Francis Legault, creator of L’autre midi à la table d’à contre, launches a new show on January 1st. All week, he receives five leading artists on his microphone to talk to them about the characters they would like to play on stage or on screen… but which have never been offered to them.

In turn, Sophie Cadieux, René Richard Cyr, Anne Dorval, Théodore Pellerin and Marie Laberge (better known as an author, but who is also an actress) will come and confide in Legault during the week. With his new show, the director brings the public into the process of the performers’ work, like around the table in a rehearsal room, but also into their privacy.

“I really like theater,” continues the director and interviewer. I am fascinated by the work of actresses and actors. However, I find that we often invite them just to promote things. We ask them for an anecdote from the set, the time they seemed the craziest, we force them to give their recipe for carrot cake… It’s rarer that we invite them to talk about their way of approach a character. »

By trusting three characters that they would dream of defending, each performer will reveal themselves to the public. And also explore the dark (or bright) areas of the human soul contained in the great theater characters.

For example, one of the characters chosen by René Richard Cyr is Richard III, “the king of the wicked” in Shakespeare. Cyr says outright that he loves playing bad guys in the theater. Because it’s “enjoyable” for an actor to feel that he has the spectators in his hand! He remembers Duceppe’s audience reaction to booing Monique Joly when she played Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in the mid-1970s.

Cyr will make some revelations during his one-hour interview with Francis Legault. He addresses “his fear of censorship,” discussing the play Oranges Are Green. “Claude Gauvreau said: “Censorship is the negation of thought.” »

The director judges that the message has become more important than the story in the current creation: “I sometimes have the impression of watching RDI while going to the theater. » And he drops a little bomb by addressing the question of artistic freedom, at the risk of appearing right-wing. “I’m going to say something I’ve never said in public before: minorities are going to kill us. We must find what unites us and not seek what divides us. »

One of Anne Dorval’s characters is Marie-Louise, from À toi, forever, ta Marie-Lou, by Michel Tremblay. For the show, she presents two extracts from the play. The actress has never played Tremblay, and she finds it hard to put the famous author’s tongue in her mouth. Actor Patrice Robitaille comes to surprise her at Radio-Canada’s Studio 2 to play Léopold. Their exchange that follows – on Duplessist Quebec, toxic couples, the “tragedy of everyday life” – is fascinating!

“I hope that the series will continue, to explore a gallery of rich characters drawn from theater, cinema or TV: the angry, the psychorigid, the anxious, the jealous, the idealist, the naive, etc. I would like to create, with actors and actresses, a gallery of characters who reflect the complexity of the human soul,” he concludes.