On the occasion of the broadcast of the last episodes of “My Angel” this evening on TF1, meeting with Muriel Robin, the star of the series, who speaks to us about this very strong role, written for her. As well as his desires for comedy and his plans for 2022.
AlloCiné: When Jacqueline Sauvage was promoted, you said that you would be ready to play in a series if the role was “nice”. Today you are finally the heroine of Mon Ange. What made this the right project?
Muriel robin : In saying that, I was thinking above all of a recurring series, over several seasons. My Angel is a mini-series, it’s like making a TV movie in two big parts after all. But what I liked was this character of Suzanne. His loneliness, his strength, his courage. A term that is not used enough, but women, on the whole, are courageous. They amaze me, they overwhelm me, even in less serious situations than the one Suzanne is going through.
And then, she disturbs Suzanne. She arrives in this beautiful nature, and suddenly there is this village with secrets, family secrets. And when you arrive like that and you are not welcome, it is courageous. And I like it. I like annoying people. It’s great to disturb. We make things happen, we change the point of view. It is the opposite of being frozen. And people don’t like to be moved in their certainties. Because otherwise everything will go downhill. But too bad if it tumbles, because what is being rebuilt behind is stronger, more solid, more true.
I had a lot of scenes where I don’t speak, and that interested me a lot. The viewer can put whatever he wants in the scene when the characters are not speaking. It’s almost the spectator who feeds the character at that moment. So here it is, that’s a bit of all that I liked. Also with the theme of female alcoholism which touches me a lot. I hope someday to do something just about it. But there is already that in Mon Ange.
And then Kika Ungaro, the cinematographer, who had already worked on Jacqueline Sauvage, created a light and a special atmosphere. The production used the word “western”, it needed a special atmosphere. And it’s true that if we were in the United States, Suzanne would go into a saloon, all heads would turn, there would be a sound of harmonica, some Ennio Morricone, and she would feel that she had to bar because things are going to go wrong. They would push her out the door, she would come in through the window. And all this with unwavering strength and determination.
Moreover, Mon Ange was compared a lot to the film 3 Billboards when the project was announced, and it is true that there is a bit of that …
Yes, I understand this filiation because 3 Billboards also has a western color. And this is the story of this woman ready for anything. It’s a terrific movie. And, all things considered, My Angel comes close to it on many levels. There is an unusual, completely different rhythm. We are in the slow, in something heavy. Everything looks peaceful, but in reality there is horror behind it all. It’s a real thriller. We are taken by this story. It’s a mix between thriller and intimate drama, and it changes a bit from what we see all the time on French television.
You are very well surrounded in the series. How did the collaboration with Marilou Berry go?
Very well. I really enjoyed playing with Marilou, who is a very beautiful actress. I had met her when she was little, but it was the first time we worked together. She is a very intense, dense actress, with a lot of humanity. But I also really enjoyed working with all the other actors, including Patrick Chesnais of course. The cast of the series is really very good, it’s true.
Suzanne is an inconvenient character, as you say, but she also touches the audience tremendously. Was it easy to identify with her flaws and everything she goes through?
Yes, because we rely on the script. And there are parts of Suzanne in me, it’s chemical. As there was a piece of Jacqueline Sauvage in me. Suzanne, she is there, somewhere in me, so it was quite simple in the end to make her resurface when I heard “action”.
Is it a role that was written especially for you?
Yes, absolutely, the character of Suzanne was written for me, it’s a very nice gift. All the more so since I really like the work of Négar Djavadi, the screenwriter, who had already worked on Jacqueline Sauvage and on The First Forgotten. I have complete confidence in his work. So it was a real pleasure to embark on this new project with her.
Julie, Suzanne’s daughter, whom your character is desperately looking for, even if it means turning everything upside down, is played by Romane Jolly, who was talked about a lot this fall for her role in Fugueuse on TF1. Did she impress you?
Romane touched me a lot, we talked a lot. She is cracked this girl. There are people who have a crack and those who don’t. And with someone like Romane, we are necessarily touched. She really has something this kid. But when we toured together I didn’t know she had this role in Fugueuse. I am delighted for her, because she is wonderful, she deserves it.
You have said several times that you feel that the most interesting roles are now more on television. Do you still think so? And are Mon Ange et Doutes, in which we saw you on Arte, good examples?
There are obviously some interesting things in cinema, but I find that there are more strong things, harder things to be found on TV today. Jacqueline Sauvage I would have had no interest in playing that in the cinema, we would have made three spectators. Especially since there are almost only comedies that are boxes in the cinema. Maybe for “not funny” dramas people prefer not to pay. And vice versa, I don’t know.
But there are obviously great things in the movies. And Doutes, for example, would have totally had its place in the cinema in my opinion. But it’s very good on Arte. We are on TV, but a different TV. Anyway, I only have positive things to say about Doutes. It’s the movie of life. This in camera, which is in apnea, it was fascinating and very hard to play. I loved playing this woman. But it’s the kind of project that is unlike any other and that you probably can’t see anywhere other than on Arte on TV in France.
So what I can say, to answer your question more concisely, is that the TV offers me in any case magnificent roles that I am not sure I can find elsewhere.
Do you have the feeling that Jacqueline Sauvage has changed a lot of things in your career?
In my life, yes, that’s for sure, because this film is very important, it is linked to my commitment against violence against women. But in my career, not so much. I was already playing in dramas before, like Marie Besnard, and they continue to offer me some.
I don’t do comedies, it’s not my choice. I am probably anticipating another question. They don’t send me comedies, that’s how it is. On TV there is none, or few anyway. But there is surely a place to take. And in the cinema there are many but I haven’t received a single one in 30 years. So I find myself being funny on stage and not funny on screen. I would have preferred a balance, but that’s how it is.
Fortunately, I am developing two comedies for the cinema. Adult comedies. Maybe we are never better served than by ourselves. We’ll see.
Today, do you feel ready for a recurring series?
If it’s great, maybe. But I don’t know if this series and if this role exist (laughs). But why not, we have to see.
What are your plans for 2022? Are other collaborations planned with TF1?
Not to my knowledge. Apart of course from They love each other (or almost), the adaptation of the play They love each other, but I simply play in it, it is more the “baby” of Pierre Palmade and Michèle Laroque, unlike I Love You Coiffure which was based on my sketches.
But we have a great working relationship with TF1, UGC, and Negar Djavadi so there is a chance that things will be done in the future. But there is nothing concrete yet. Right now I’m really focused on writing the comedies I was telling you about. But what is certain is that for my next roles, I would like to let go of dark films a bit. I want pumps.
And at the level of what I have already shot, we will see me in 2022 in The Chamber of Wonders by Lisa Azuelos, alongside Alexandra Lamy. And in En corps by Cédric Klapisch, a very beautiful film which takes place in the world of dance, with a dancer who has the leading role and who is formidable. There is also Pio Marmaï and François Civil. For me the shoot was quite short, but I have a very beautiful character and I was very touched that Cédric thought of me because Klapisch, for once, is the cinema.
Interview as part of the 2021 La Rochelle TV Fiction Festival.