Raymond Bouchard was at the peak of his theatrical career when he took on the role of Othello at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, directed by Olivier Reichenbach.
“It was the biggest challenge of my life, carrying this huge role for two to three hours at each performance. Shakespeare is super heavy, and playing it hurts all the way. I who am not at all athletic, I understood what the expression “hitting a wall” means for runners. The first Saturday, we played two performances: after the first, I collapsed in my dressing room. I didn’t think I would be able to come back on stage at night! It was very exhausting, but it remains a wonderful memory. »
Raymond Bouchard played the main role of this series presented in two parts on Radio-Canada: that of Raymond Laflamme, owner of Papers La Source, which earned him the Gémeaux prize for the best interpretation in a first male dramatic role in 1990.
“It was an amazing trip! As it was a co-production with France, we played with lots of French actors under the direction of Jean Beaudin. I played a great role, inspired by the owner of the Cascades Papers. In the Eastern Townships, there was no one on the streets when L’or et le papier was on TV! »
In the Canadian radio series written by Réjean Tremblay and Fabienne Larouche, Raymond Bouchard wore the clothes of Paul Vézina, the obtuse editor of the daily L’Express.
“Those have been great years!” There was a lot of upheaval and action in this series. We had to do heavy scenes, then very funny scenes. It also allowed me to play with Claude Léveillé, a man I loved very much. Initially, this character was only supposed to stay for one season, but the writers decided to keep him longer. That must mean I was good, not to blame myself! »
In this classic of American drama by Reginald Rose, Raymond Bouchard played juror number 3, the one who refuses until the very end to believe in the innocence of the accused. Here, the production was directed by Jacques Rossi and performed in several venues, including the French Theater of the National Arts Center in Ottawa and the Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne.
“This role was one of those I had dreamed of for a long time. It was super fun to play: there’s flesh around the bone throughout the play and at the end my character explodes, in crisis. This final monologue was very moving to deliver. I must have played this piece 150 times…”
First appearing in Lance et Count: New Generation, Raymond Bouchard played the character of Jérôme Labrie, who would become president of the Quebec National. The last four chapters of the series written by Réjean Tremblay were shown on TQS and then on TVA. Raymond Bouchard also appeared in the credits of the film Lance et Count.
“This series allowed me to dive into another world, that of sport. I love watching sports on TV, especially the Tour de France. I know all the names of the cyclists! Lance et compte was a very important series for Quebec and it was fun to be part of it. »
For seven years, Raymond Bouchard played Gilbert Séguin in this soap opera presented on TVA and written by Annie Piérard and Bernard Dansereau. In 2003, he won the Gémeaux award in the category of best performance, male supporting role in a soap opera or comedy for this role.
“This show was like a family! I was happy to play the father of the beautiful Guylaine Tremblay, with whom I had played in The Doctor Despite Him at the Rideau Vert and who was always planning tricks to make me laugh on stage! She is a great actress who excels in drama as in comedy. It’s been seven great years! »
For the cinema, Raymond Bouchard slipped into the skin of Germain Lesage, rogue mayor of Sainte-Marie-la-Mauderne, in the film The Great Seduction, written by Ken Scott and directed by Jean-François Pouliot.
“Everything about this movie was a memorable adventure. Shooting on an island was a big challenge. The material arrived by barge from Sept-Îles! To go to the island, you had to take a boat piloted by a captain who was always a little drunk. I who am afraid of water! The success of the film was also enormous. The first time we saw it fully edited was in Cannes, at the Directors’ Fortnight. The audience laughed all the way! »
In this film directed by Sébastien Rose and co-written (with Stéfanie Lasnier) by the latter, Raymond Bouchard plays the role of François Agira, a famous writer who is sick and on the verge of bankruptcy, who tries to reconcile his two sons with disparate personalities.
“During filming, I thought a lot about my father and what it means to grow old. I shot some great scenes with the guys who were doing my sons, Paul Ahmarani and David La Haye. During one scene, they wash their father who suffered from incontinence. We shot it all day. It was beautiful. This is the kind of role that takes time to settle before returning to reality. »
Noël, a man with Alzheimer’s, was played by Raymond Bouchard in this play by Michel Tremblay, directed by Serge Denoncourt and presented at Duceppe.
“Another very involving role, like Othello. It was a very tough text that opened for me with a six-page monologue! This man who fears that his illness will degenerate, who refuses his diagnosis. It still upsets me to think about it. It took me a long time to recover after each performance. »
Raymond Bouchard’s most recent television appearance was in the series A Criminal Affair, presented on Noovo and Crave, where he played retired policeman Marcel Dorais. Joanne Arseneau wrote the texts and Stéphane Lapointe the production.
“When I read the text, I immediately wanted to play this beautiful character. I just wanted to make sure there weren’t too many physical scenes to play, because I’m full of arthritis! The interrogation scene was very powerful. And I was able to play for the first time with Céline Bonnier, one of the best actresses in Quebec…”