Nearly 5 million fans during the unit (a TV film) broadcast in April 2023: “Flair de famille” had found its audience. We follow the steps of a brother and a sister, portrayed by Samuel Labarthe and Sylvie Testud. The first is a police commissioner in Abbeville while the second is a captain who arrived from Paris. Together, they will rediscover their brother and sister automatisms to carry out different investigations.
In this second opus, we head to Hauts-de-France, where the body of a former queen of the night is found in the park of her sumptuous property. Suspicion quickly falls on his only daughter, Aurore (Gwendolyn Gourvenec), strangely back in the region after twenty years of absence. François and Caroline Flament, now roommates and confidants, investigate to unravel this disturbing affair in which, in addition to their faithful assistants, their troublesome father (Bernard Flament) is involved. Samuel Labarthe, a Franco-Swiss actor who needs no introduction, mischievously returns to his role as François Flament.
The unit had gathered 5 million viewers and its rebroadcast, last Saturday, more than 4.5 million: you are expected…
It’s always nice to see that the public is there, we hope for the same enthusiasm for this new episode. My character defends values that are dear to me and I find that everything is well put together in the scenario. For this second episode, we have expanded the casting since we will find, with Sylvie Testud who plays my sister, our father, played by Didier Flamand.
From the start, the idea was to decline the unitary approach, right?
We had this idea in mind, yes. It’s always nice to explore a range of characters, to flesh them out. We want to build public loyalty around these siblings. And then I like to travel, going to film in Hauts-de-France is very pleasant, we discover landscapes, local artisans. Ideally, I would like to shoot three per year to have some sort of collection, but you have to find availability to block off five months of filming to shoot three.
How did you build your duo with Sylvie Testud?
We had filmed together on “Sagan”, with a memorable laugh between us. It bonded us. We quickly fell into the shoes of our characters, I am the slightly psychorigid, protective older brother. We are in the archetype of the brother-sister relationship, a sort of “cat and dog” relationship, but it always works in comedy. This was already the case on the series “The Little Murders of Agatha Christie” in which I filmed between 2013 and 2020.
In your career, you have often played real characters, from Charles de Gaulle to François Mitterrand, including Dominique de Villepin and François I. What’s in it for you?
De Gaulle was an extraordinary role, I loved doing it (“De Gaulle, the brilliance and the secret”, series of six episodes released in 2020). When I knew I had the role, I had an energy in my body to take on the character. My job is not to imitate but to interpret, I must reinvent the genre, suggest it and not imitate it. This is a difficult shade to find. Being an actor means being a bit of a chameleon, these are constant challenges. I come from the theater, it’s commonplace to take someone else’s body. The theater allows Laurence Olivier to portray Othello even though he is white, which would no longer be possible today with the prevailing wokism.
What role would you like to play?
I want to do what I can’t imagine, so I don’t know (laughs). I’m at an age where I can no longer play certain things and I’m also often offered authoritarian roles like company boss or prosecutor. I must have a form of natural authority, you see me in a three-piece suit quickly. Each actor is in a box, we must succeed in getting out of it, in forcing proposals that manage to be imaginative, surprising. At the moment, I’m playing texts by Nicolas Bouvier, “L’usage du monde”, in Evian, which refreshes me.
“Flair de famille”, this Saturday at 9:10 p.m., on France 2.