His relationship with Leonard and Maya, a potential return of Samia and the chef Cardone… At the heart of one of the intrigues of Here it all begins since the start of the school year, Rik Kleve, interpreter of Ethan, tells Allociné more about the state of mind of his character.
Arriving at the Institute with the label of “son of”, he who is the offspring of Annabelle Cardone (Alexandra Vandernoot), the ruthless boss and great rival of Emmanuel Teyssier (Benjamin Baroche), the cold and tormentor of work Ethan has grown up a lot since then. Now in the second year of his course at Auguste Armand’s cooking school, the young man has been intriguing fans since the start of the school year with the vague and unstable relationship he has with the new kids Léonard (Thomas Vilan) and Maya (Alexandra Favalli).
Rik Kleve, the interpreter of Ethan, agreed to share some confidences with AlloCiné about his character in Here it all begins, broadcast from Monday to Friday at 6:30 p.m. on TF1.
Allociné: Ethan has changed quite a bit in recent months, between the last end-of-year exams, the internship at the Institute this summer and his meeting with Maya and Leonard. How do you view the evolution of your character?
Rik Kleve: I have the impression that it’s very natural for someone who, at the beginning, had to give body and soul to integrate school and the kitchen to now be much more relaxed. There have been ups and downs in the meantime, but I find that in his social relationships, Ethan has relaxed. This is also the case in his way of designing the kitchen.
Is this greater freedom, acquired during his first year at the Institute by freeing himself from his mother’s tutelage, not also synonymous with a loss of reference points, with an excess of freedom? which he now does not know how to manage?
I don’t see it like that but rather as something positive for Ethan, who, now that he has separated from his mother, will be able to think for himself. When Ethan arrived at the Institute, his mother often told him that he wasn’t there to make friends. Just becoming friends with Axel (Thomas Da Costa) was complicated because his mother wouldn’t allow it. And now it’s completely different. He allows himself to have friends, to go out, to find interesting things to do outside of cooking, like surfing or wing foil. This is what allows him to be more creative in his cooking, I think.
This second year at the Institute will therefore be more about finding a new balance…?
Yes, especially because cooking always makes Ethan think of his mother. It was thanks to her that he discovered the world of cooking and that he finds himself almost obliged, today, to cook. I think he never considered doing anything else because his mother never gave him a choice.
How could Ethan also free himself from his mother in the kitchen? Could he go in a direction other than cooking?
I don’t know. I think that for Ethan, it’s still natural to continue in this, to finish his three years at the Institute, perhaps to join the master’s program afterwards. We’ll see what the future holds for him.
Since the start of the school year, the trio formed by Ethan, Leonard and Maya has been quite difficult to pin down. How do you define their relationship?
First of all, we must remember that Ethan met them at the same time, and that they therefore built their friendship together, even if Maya and Leonard already knew each other from before. It is in this context that the Ethan-Maya couple and Leonard’s feelings towards Ethan were born.
Now, the question that has always arisen is: what could happen between Leonard and Ethan? I think that on Leonard’s side, if the opportunity existed, he would have asked the question about Maya but the choice would ultimately have been quite clear. On the other hand, as for Ethan, I think that it is not yet as clear as he has never asked questions about his potential bisexuality. In any case, at no time did I approach scenes saying to myself “I’m going to play an attraction to Leonardo, I’m going to play this ambiguity”. Instead, I tried to play Ethan’s strong admiration for Leonardo. But strong admiration can always, at one point or another, transform into something else or be confused with love.
In the last episodes broadcast, the situation seems somewhat blocked since the three characters are no longer able to regain their previous complicity, Ethan and Maya have left each other, and Leonard has isolated himself so as not to suffer further from the attraction. that he feels for Ethan.
How will the trio manage to get out of this impasse?
I don’t know. We would have to start from scratch but for that, they may have to distance themselves for a while. Perhaps in the future, opportunities will arise for them to reconnect. So many strong, and sometimes serious, things have happened between them that it’s extremely complicated, if not impossible, to get out of a situation like that.
As you said, Ethan hasn’t questioned his sexual orientation at all yet, although we remember the way he reacted when he learned of his then-girlfriend’s bisexuality. , Samia.
So, could Leonard and Ethan want to see if they have a story to live together? Or could Ethan end up in an open relationship with Maya and Leonard?
These are questions that arose. Let’s see what happens in the coming months. In any case, at this moment, it is not yet relevant.
Does Samia (Emma Boulanouar) could soon make his big return to the Institute, and thus shake up Ethan in the face of this situation?
It is certain that it would break all that and endanger all these relationships. Ethan would be very destabilized because I don’t think he’s fully recovered from his breakup with Samia, even if it’s going back a bit now. It had been super brutal for him at the time. I feel like Ethan still has feelings for both Samia and Maya.
How are the shoots going with Alexandra Favalli and Thomas Vilan, the interpreters of Maya and Léonard?
So, as soon as they arrived on set, I really worked to make them feel integrated into the rest of the group and into this machine that is Here it all begins because it can be very impressive when you’re starting out, and I’m speaking from experience.
Today, Thomas is a great friend. Alexandra too. I get along very well with them. The three of us also form a small group. It happened, naturally, because we tour together, so we spend a lot of time together, but I think that even without that, this link would still have been there because there is something, I don’t know not what, which makes us get along well.
And then, when I see Thomas and Alexandra talking to each other without me, it touches me a lot and it makes me smile because I tell myself that connections were also made between them, even though they met at the same time as I met them.
The end of Ethan’s course at the Institute is still far away, but can we expect to see Chef Cardone reappear soon to get involved in her son’s future again?
Often I have good instincts. And there, I feel her arriving, being around. I think she’s going to hurt Ethan again soon. But maybe Ethan will rebel against his mother a little this time.
Until then, are you still having as much fun filming the soap opera? Do you see yourself going further with Ethan?
Oh yes ! I learn every day and frankly, I weigh my words when saying that. We have to be fairly autonomous because there isn’t always someone who has the time to tell us how to do better. But when you are, you can learn so much! Each scene is often shot in a few takes but that doesn’t stop us from being able to try things and I think we shouldn’t be afraid to do that at all. This is how we discover and learn. I feel like there is no better acting school than this show. She teaches me to be efficient.