The Visitors: Why Valérie Lemercier and Muriel Robin had a bad time filming

The Visitors: Why Valérie Lemercier and Muriel Robin had a bad time filming

The performers of Béatrice de Montmirail/Frénégonde de Pouille did not feel out of place on the set.

A week after VisitorsTMC will rebroadcast its sequel tonight, The Corridors of Time. In 1998, on the strength of the 13.8 million admissions collected in 1993, the director Jean-Marie Poiré reformed the tandem Godefroy de Montmirail (Jean Reno) – Jacquouille la Fripouille (Christian Clavier) with this sequel which takes place in the immediate continuity of the first part: Godefroy is preparing to celebrate his marriage there with Frénégonde de Pouille when the duke, his father, interrupts the ceremony because his jewels have been stolen, as well as a precious relic. Godefroy understands that it is undoubtedly Jacquouille the author of the larceny…

We therefore find all the cult characters of the franchise, with the exception of a major casting change, Muriel Robin replacing Valérie Lemercier, who did not wish to take on the role of Béatrice de Montmirail / Frénégonde de Pouille. The actress had however been very appreciated by the public and the professionals of the cinema for her interpretation: she had even received the César for Visitors. Jean-Marie Poiré revealed during the Première Cinéma Club dedicated to the film, in 2016, to have thought of her when discovering one of her sketches: “I knew that Valérie Lemercier would be perfect as Béa because I really liked her sketch La Renardière. She was already expressing herself like her character, accentuating her ‘Marie-Chantal’ side. She was very snobbish and at the same time capable In the sketch, she exclaimed, for example, between two bourgeois allusions: ‘We found a lot of cousins ​​lost to sight on mom’s side, who have huge cocks!’ It was exactly that tone of mi -traditional, semi-vulgar that I was looking for.

The Visitors: 5 things you didn’t know about the cult comedy

At 28, she then had little experience in the cinema, appearing only in supporting roles in Snowy in May, The Day After Tomorrow, Operation Corned-Beef and Sweak exes. Delighted to have been cast for this comedy, she however had a hard time filming, not being on the same wavelength as the director as she explained in Firstin 2017: “When it was necessary to adapt my character as a grand bourgeoise to the screen, it was complicated: I was wary of the role too much. Suddenly, what I proposed was not very colorful.” Two years before, she nevertheless revealed on European 1 to have been conquered by his character: “I love Béatrice de Montmirail! I always like to play bourgeois. There will still be a lot of them in my shows. They are very amusing characters, because they don’t doubt anything.”

The main problem was above all that apart from the takes, she felt excluded from the band, revealed The worldin 2008. The director and the main actors knew each other very well (Clavier had filmed with him in Father Christmas is garbage, Grandpa resists, My best friends etc., and was in a relationship with Marie-Anne Chazelle, the interpreter of Ginette; as for Jean Reno, he was the star of Operation Corned Beefalready alongside Clavier, in 1991). “They all dined without me, separated me from Isabelle Nanty, to whom I felt close, she remembers. When the make-up artist saw Marie-Anne Chazel arrive, she exclaimed: ‘Here is finally a funny woman'”. She then preferred to refuse to play in the sequel. “We sometimes agree to make a film without knowing too much what it can give, did she justify Teleramain 2007. But there, really, I didn’t feel it… And the sequel didn’t prove me wrong.”

The Visitors 2 received more mixed reviews than the first opus, but it achieved a nice success by attracting in theaters more than 8 million spectators, which made it the third box office success of the year 1998 behind titanic And The dinner of fools. 20 years after the release of the film, his replacement, Muriel Robin, also revealed that she had had a bad time on the set of It’s up to you : “I don’t enjoy it because I’m going there for the wrong reasons and also because I think Jean-Marie Poiré doesn’t want Beatrice de Montmirail but Valérie Lemercier in the role of Béatrice de Montmirail. I have my bourge But it’s not the same bourgeois of Valérie. And he’s not in love with me. I skate alone, I’m much less funny, I don’t think I’m very good, not as efficient as I could have been. to be and I can’t tell during the promo and it’s not particularly pleasant. But the film exists.”

For Valérie Lemercier, screenwriters Christian Clavier and Jean-Marie Poiré should have invented a new character so that the actress felt more comfortable “Many people criticized the performance of Muriel Robin, who took over the character of Béatrice de Montmirail, she judged, still in Telerama. But it would have been necessary to change everything, the name of the character, his family circle, his relations, his tics of language… so that she could feel completely at ease. A good actor always has a hard time trying to match another actor’s performance. And that’s exactly what he was asked to do.”

My cult scene of Visitors, by Jean-Marie Poiré

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