“Colors of Fire is a brave film”

We met two actors from “Colors of Fire”, the successful adaptation of the novel by Pierre Lemaitre, Benoit Poelvoorde and Léa Drucker.

Paris match. Had he read Pierre Lemaire’s novel before shooting?
Leah Drucker. I had read and seen Albert Dupontel’s “Farewell up there”. I also read “Color of Fire” when Clovis Cornillac offered me the role of Madeleine. I really like what Pierre Lemaitre writes, I also really like listening to him speak in interviews. I also wanted to work with Clovis Cornillac as a director. Well, there were a lot of good reasons to make this film. And then working with Benoit in a more dramatic register …

Benoit Poelvoorde. … Because we had already played together in Edouard Baer’s “Adieu Paris” and Nicolas and Bruno’s “The Big Bad Wolf”, a super fun sequence. She is a policewoman and she arrests me (laughs). I haven’t read the book because it always scares me to anticipate what the film will be like. Clovis wrote to me why I don’t pick up the phone much and ask me to read the script. I read it. I thought it would be cool to be directed by Clovis, although I found it odd that I was offered the role of Gustave.

What’s after this announcement

You play two very complex characters. Madeleine is a woman who has no power despite her name. Gustave has the business sense but not the name.
Benoit Poelvoorde. Absolutely. Gustave is also a rejected man. As I said, we are surprised at all that men can do for love, but we are even more surprised at what they can do for love.

What’s after this announcement

Leah Drucker. He is very human. Gustave is Madeleine’s opponent, we will say the villain of the story, but not only. He gives him a tragic dimension that makes him a creepy character. Madeleine sees Gustave primarily as a support, as a pillar, as a reassuring person. He also suffered from the oppression of the social environment, from the chains of this very bourgeois education, but he tried to wake up.

Madeleine is a modern heroine

Benoit Poelvoorde

The film also resonates with current events, with this woman struggling to regain power….
Benoit Poelvoorde. Before a war … Madeleine is a modern heroine, heralds a generation of women who will fight against patriarchy.

Leah Drucker. All the women in the film are acting. The character played by Fanny Ardant could even change the course of history. Much comes from the writing of Pierre Lemaitre. In his novels there is suspense but also a sociological description of the universe that is told.

What’s after this announcement

What’s after this announcement

Benoit Poelvoorde. It sucks like a movie. We have to congratulate Gaumont (who produces the film, ed) for having had the courage to undertake businesses like these, because it remains a very demanding cinema. Let’s see where the money is. It’s a little mean what I’m about to say, but on Netflix, what is a little depressing at times is that there’s a great laziness in permanent narrative that you don’t even think about how to do it anymore. ‘Colors of Fire’ the characters are complex, the plot takes time but it’s worth seeing on the big screen.

Leah Drucker. Clovis is a very meticulous person, who works on the smallest details. He takes care of everyone, obviously the characters, the actors, but the costumes, the sets, the accessories.

Clovis was very strict, very meticulous.

Lea Drucker

How did Clovis Cornillac direct you?
Benoit Poelvoorde. I, at first it scared me because Clovis, when he looks you in the eye … We had already filmed together but he surprised me listening to every actor. Gilles Lellouche is like that too. I’m quite nervous, Léa is more composed. You need to know how to connect with everyone. Clovis can adapt to any artist.

Leah Drucker. It was very comfortable working with him. He was very strict, very meticulous.

Benoit Poelvoorde. I cycled through the sauerkraut the first week. I panicked. There was such silence on the set. Well, I was just out of an Edouard Baer movie (laughs).

Cinema is going through a crisis of attendance at the cinema. Does this worry you about the future of this very ambitious type of film?
Leah Drucker. What really excites me about cinema is the diversity. That is to say that even as an actress, it is an opportunity to be able to act in films like “The colors of fire”, to shoot with Axelle Ropert or Edouard Baer. As a spectator, what enchants me is also this diversity, I remain optimistic.

Benoit Poelvoorde. They are not at all. I have the impression that cinema will be divided into two categories of highly commercialized films, that is, great comedies or very Americanized things with cops, car chases, fights and, on the other hand, a cinema that will almost become an opera. The great wealth of French cinema, the small auteur films, will come out, alas.

Leah Drucker. Art films still work in theaters. I am thinking of “L’Innocent” by Louis Garrel, “Revoir Paris” and “Les Enfants des autres” with Virginie Efira… These are films that, on paper, were not easy and yet they worked. I think there is room for different shapes. I find that there is great vitality in French cinema and that is what makes me optimistic. Being on the sofa and watching the series, I do it sometimes, but, at some point, I need to leave the house, to go to the cinema, to escape, without having the phone by my side. I think there are many people who are like me. I can be delirious, but I am an optimistic person by nature.

Benoit Poelvoorde. I’m of a more concerned nature (laughs). What worries me a lot are the huge shopping malls that are almost towns where seeing a movie is the last thing you want to do. The screens of some multiplexes are gigantic. It worries me, you tell yourself that the movies you need are things that fart in your mouth. I am very afraid of seeing the little rooms disappear. I remember that before, when we were touring the provinces, we still went to very small cinemas. It’s over. When I did the promo with Dany Boon for Nothing to Declare, I only did multiplexes, with three theaters showing the film at the same time. They are great machines. I fear that we will make products that match the market that we have created around them. What we see on the platforms is very, very calibrated, it no longer has anything to do with cinema. All movies look the same. You can no longer make a plan that lasts two minutes. All you want is for the story to go on.

Leah Drucker. There are still working theaters, operators doing an amazing job downstairs.

Benoit Poelvoorde. And then, while young people have an increasingly weaker ability to concentrate, I receive screenplays that make up 230 pages per film of 2h30, 3 hours … The principle of cinema is always to compress time. We make longer and longer films because all the writers want to make the characters more complex. I made the remark with Pierre Tchernia when I was on the jury at Cannes in 2003. Watch Scorsese’s film on Netflix, 3 h 10 am, sorry but he enjoyed it.

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