Catherine Chabot apologizes. And yet, his reaction is profoundly human. While recounting the adventure of The Candidate, the actress suddenly felt tears welling up and clouding her vision. She stops and places her ring fingers under her eyes, to prevent any overflow. Too late. A few tears already wet his cheeks. “Lucky we took the photos before! »

Catherine Chabot is not sad. She gets emotional thinking about the auditions she went through to land “the role of a lifetime”, that of Alix Mongeau, a pole candidate who causes a surprise by winning her elections, in Isabelle Langlois’ offering (Let go, Rumors). She becomes moved as she recounts how her agent informed her that she had obtained the coveted contract.

And above all, she is moved by recalling an interview with Phœbe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), in which the British author, actress and producer recounted that upon leaving the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she felt that she had to snuff out her own light and “dumb down what she really was” to make it in the industry. The result: every time she auditioned, she was a shadow of her former self.

“When I left the Conservatoire, I experienced the same thing,” reveals Catherine Chabot, with a lump in her throat. I am an expressive person. I am full. But I was afraid to be completely myself. I didn’t dare give up. Alix Mongeau allowed me to break that. She allowed me to radically be who I was as an actress. »

Freely inspired by the journey of Ruth Ellen Brosseau, this former assistant bar manager, inexperienced in politics, whom the irresistible orange wave propelled to Parliament in the 2011 federal elections, The Candidate paints the portrait of a single mother, nail technician, obliged to learn the basics of the profession of deputy, for which she has no interest. Initially, at least.

In an interview, Catherine Chabot describes the unsuspected heroine as a “warrior”, an “extremely strong woman” with whom – against all expectations, given the exterior packaging – she shares several points in common. “I’m a girl who talks. I am a girl who loves the world. I worked in a bar for five years on [Avenue du] Mont-Royal. »

“This role was written for me,” she continues enthusiastically.

For Sébastien Gagné (Nuit blanche), who co-directs The Candidate with Charles-Olivier Michaud (Ru), Catherine Chabot delivers her best career performance as Alix Mongeau. Not only because she understands the particular musicality of Isabelle Langlois’s texts, but also because she expresses all the nuances and subtleties of a character which, in the hands of a less gifted actress, could have bordered on the caricature.

“Catherine’s eyes are a bit magical,” says Sébastien Gagné. When Alix records her statement at the police station and she recites all the insults she suffered, we can read her soul through her eyes. »

If Catherine Chabot had no difficulty, personality-wise, establishing a connection with Alix Mongeau, the work proved more tedious on the looks side. We’re talking about an almost complete metamorphosis, with big swipes of aerosol self-tanner (spray tan), false eyelashes, blow-drying, jewelry, very tight jeans (as Marie-Chantal Toupin would say), belly sweaters, necklines and, above all, false nails.

“In everyday life, I am zero girlie,” emphasizes the 35-year-old actress. I am the opposite of Alix. But I was super comfortable the same. I thought it was funny! There’s just my boyfriend… When I got home, he was like: “You’re really orange.” And spray tan stains the sheets. When I left for work at 4 a.m., I left a big brown mark in the bed. That wasn’t sexy! »

Better known to the general public as an actress, with roles in Léo, Hôtel and Liar, Catherine Chabot is also a playwright. His creations include Lignes de vanish, a play presented in 2019, then adapted for the cinema in 2022, with Léane Labrèche-Dor and Mariana Mazza.

Catherine Chabot confirms that she has other writing projects in the works, but none that she wishes to announce. “Writing requires a lot of love, a lot of time and a lot of energy,” emphasizes the mother of a 2-year-old girl. I have some burning feelings, but today I want to play. »

On this aspect, Catherine Chabot claims to be well served. A “great project” awaits her in the spring, and Noovo will present this winter L’aréna, a sketch comedy that she filmed last fall, with Benoit Brière, Phil Roy, Catherine St-Laurent and Sophie Cadieux.

Catherine Chabot plays the new flame of a hockey player played by Valérie Tellos, who plays her political attaché in The Candidate. The arena also marks its reunion with Sébastien Gagné, who directs the series. “It was a very family-friendly shoot,” says the actress. I felt confident. I felt like I had a safety net. »

Like most (if not all) of the people who have devoured The Candidate on ICI Extra over the last few months, Catherine Chabot would like a sequel to become a reality, but unfortunately, nothing is planned, says Radio- Canada.

“Of course we would like a second season. Because it’s special, as a series. There is so much to say. There is a real story, real issues. »