André Dussollier: “I would have to do an analysis”

Too little present on television, André Dussollier sows doubt in Juliette dans son bain (Friday 20, at 8:55 p.m., on Arte), a satire with a thriller flavor. A portrait of a brutal and devious man, for an actor who delights in juggling with masks.

TV star: This TV movie points to the association between immorality and money, as if the two were necessarily associated…

Andre Dussollier: It is true that there are ready-made ideas. But there is such a gap today between those who have immense fortunes, without necessarily paying taxes in proportion, and those who have no money, that it is unbearable. My character is unsympathetic, because he constantly has to justify his wealth. It’s not bad to have these kinds of roles against the grain. We are in an enlightened thriller that navigates in unexpected areas.

You also have thunderous tantrums in this role. It’s hard to imagine you doing the same in life…

I hate violence. It’s rare that I get angry, and when I do, I feel as bad for the person as for myself. This role must have served as an outlet for me! I would like to be Alceste (The Misanthrope,editor’s note) but I was brought up to be Philinthe (Alceste’s friend who reproaches him for his negativity, editor’s note). I can’t find the middle ground. I would have to do an analysis. But it’s a bit late…

Does the game help you express what seems impossible in life?

The actors are people who are a bit withdrawn and – I speak for myself – with a reality that has not always been easy to live with or to share. Thanks to this world of “lies”, we are forced to interpret characters who are not us, with the greatest of truths. It’s quite ideal, because it does not lend itself to consequences. We are a bit orphans of the truth who find it in the lie.

Your character is a man of power. Do you think you have one in this profession?

When I met famous actresses, like Catherine Deneuve,or other lesser-known ones, I noticed that, whatever their status, there is always a fragility, a day-to-day battle to be able to exist. Careers are made and unmade by combinations of circumstances. You can’t feel like you own anything, because nothing is rational in this profession. What I like, on the other hand, is the artistic power. The one we win by our choices. I like the big gaps between the roles, as if I were, each time, at the start of my job.

Between A bear like no other, your first soap opera broadcast in 1978, and Juliet in her bath, do you think you stayed the same?

I think so. The important thing, as Gide said, is to follow one’s slope, as long as it’s uphill. As time passes too quickly, your inner clock directs you to more essential things as the years pass. But I am still very far from having achieved everything I want!


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