To say that Bruno Marcil is versatile is an understatement. Although he did a lot of acting, TV caught on to him pretty quickly. His character as a seductive chef in the Plaisirs Gastronomiques pubs has of course contributed to his popularity.
But did you know that the actor, who we also saw in the cinema (C’est pas moi, je le jure, Souterrain, Arlette), also makes music? Winner of Ma première place des Arts in 2006, he released two albums and even opened for Robert Charlebois! A passion that he says he has put aside today.
“Today, I make pottery, it’s my new passion,” continues Bruno Marcil, laughing. It’s soil that you pot, there is no judgement. There is no “You are good or you are not good”. I am the only judge. You have an idea in mind and the result often has nothing to do with the original idea. You are in your bubble. It’s very fun. I find the same pleasure as making music. »
A “bubble of fun” which is welcome, because in everyday life, Bruno Marcil’s schedule is rather busy.
Until April 8, he will play in Abraham Lincoln goes to the theater, a play by Larry Tremblay created in 2008, directed this time by Catherine Vidal. And inspired by a true story: the assassination of the American president who ended slavery by actor and Confederate States sympathizer John Wilkes Booth. An assassination that took place… in a theater!
“I play director Marc Killman, who decided to stage the death of Abraham Lincoln to illustrate what happened the day John Wilkes Booth killed the President, which made America has changed, and that we are still experiencing this counter-shock today. For him, this is the key moment when American society has become a spectacle society. »
To do this, he hires two actors – played by Luc Bourgeois and Mani Soleymanlou – who will play the comic figures of Laurel and Hardy. Killman himself takes on the role of Abraham Lincoln. “The problem is that Killman disappears during rehearsals, says Bruno Marcil, so the two actors replace him with another director, played by Didier Lucien… It’s pretty fucked up!” »
Despite his many television engagements, Bruno Marcil always returns to the theater, notably at the TNM – where he has been seen over the years in King Lear, Les femmes savantes, Tartuffe, Sainte Carmen de la Main.
At the same time as the rehearsals and performances of Abraham Lincoln go to the theater, Bruno Marcil turns in the daily STAT – two to three days a week -, where he plays the nurse Daniel Laramée at Saint-Vincent Hospital. There, the rhythm is a tad faster than in the theatre.
“You have to be ready, you have to be self-sufficient, because it’s going fast. It’s like making a movie a week! But there is a sporting side that I really like and the team is great. My experience in the theater helps me to draw my character and to inhabit it quickly, to give it a palette of colors. The author [Marie-Andrée Labbé] sees it evolve and she can enrich it in turn. »
Another project in which Bruno Marcil has invested a lot: Mégantic. The series in which he plays (in one of the episodes) the character of Vincent Lamarre (inspired by the life of Pascal Lafontaine).
“He’s a guy who was at the Musi-Café in Mégantic with his whole gang the night of the tragedy, but who went home to take care of his children. His wife, his brother, his sister-in-law, his friends remained, and all died in the fire. He had an excavation business with his brothers and father, he returned to the site with his backhoe to pull wagons before they exploded while his relatives died…”
The actor had already rubbed shoulders with the tragedy of Lac-Mégantic in the play Les Hardings – presented at the theater, then broadcast by Télé-Québec.
“There is nothing that binds me to Mégantic. That’s why we had to be careful, because we’ve been far into the tragedy, whether in the series or in the play, with Alexia Bürger. I have spoken to many people who have lost loved ones. There are those who wanted to be left alone, but there are those who have lost their son or their daughter and who wanted to be remembered. Because it is a tragedy that could have been avoided. »
There’s also Les perles, a 12-episode series that will air soon on Club illico – which stars Bianca Gervais – in which he plays a businessman from the North Shore. And a film, Grand Nord, by Annick Blanc, in which he notably starred with Marc Beaupré, Frédéric Zouvi-Millaire and Maxime Génois.
With all these projects, and the success he is having, does Bruno Marcil still go through door frames? The actor smiles.
At 50, Bruno Marcil has the luxury of turning down projects. He decides according to the content, the teams, but also life and his two daughters.
“I deeply love my job, but I’m not ready to mortgage everything to be on the bill. I love my job, I love playing, but I don’t want to do just that, I want to be able to spend time with my girls. I am also lucid. This profession is extraordinary, but we are forgotten very quickly too. It is not true that we mark consciences. We change things in our own way, like the dentist changes things in his own way. »