How did you bring about this difficult relationship between your two characters?
Pierre Arditi: We know each other, we have already toured together. We are like cats in this profession, we meet, we turn around. I like what he carries around, his universe. I liked shooting with him, especially this father-son relationship which is beautiful but tough.
yvan Attal: I have the feeling that there is a chemistry between certain actors. From the first day of shooting, I had the feeling that I had known Pierre forever. It’s my family without being my family, it’s a father, a brother, an uncle. Between us, it happens. He worked for me, as a director, on Human things but I had never toured with him.
On screen, we believe in filiation, we embody it perfectly.
You say very harsh things to yourself on screen, is it easy to play?
PA: The white hero who washes whiter than white has no interest. For an actor, what is interesting to play is the scoundrel, the coward, the idiot or the one who has flaws. There, we have two characters with flaws and they can tell themselves that the other is responsible for his own flaw, it’s not bad material to work on. We are Siamese when in reality I can be his father, it’s horrible because it means I’m getting old (laughs).
It is a film where the female roles are important. These women allow themselves to tell you things that the other does not have the courage to tell you. How did you work on this area?
PA: Women have slightly more courage than guys. I owe everything to women because I was not an ideal guy and I went through the lives of women who made what I became. In the film, women are of paramount importance. Y: They are the ones who provoke all the situations, who bring about all the major changes.
What is your relationship to classical music?
PA: I fell into it when I was little because my family was very close to the Casadesus, a large family of musicians. My mother loved Mozart and Beethoven and my father loved Bach, I was inundated with that in my youth. I opened my window, I put a record on an old Teppaz, I thought I was a conductor and the young girls who passed by my house saw me and took me for a genius (laughs).
Yvan, you who make films, does directing a film have the same feeling as directing an orchestra?
Y: There is something similar. The conductor is immediate. He raises his stick and, all of a sudden, there are I don’t know how many musicians leaving together, it’s an extraordinary feeling. The director has the results of his work much later. I played with this orchestra all day, it’s enjoyable.
It’s a film that talks a lot about filiation. How did you make it universal?
Y: We all have a father, some of us have a child. I remember, discovering my father’s relationship with my own son, I finally discovered another man, if only in the physical contact with his grandson that he never had with me. It is something sensitive like discovery. I wanted to put all that at the service of the film, using my privacy. It is an enriching and interesting film to make from this point of view.
PA: We are both a father and a son and, sometimes, we become the father of his father. it happened to me when my father became very old. He was my beacon, my father, an incredible painter. And, at one point, he became jealous of me because he had become Pierre Arditi’s father and I was no longer Georges Arditi’s son. It didn’t last long as a delicate situation, but it did exist. And in this film, I play my father. I hear my father. This report concerns everyone because it is not easy to grow up with your child, your father. When you take second place in your child’s life, it’s more complicated… The son and the father suffer from this relationship, but not in the same way. The world of music is basically just a pretext.