At 54 years old, the “favorite actress of the French”, as polls regularly reveal, plays the main role in François Ozon’s new film, Everything went well. An adaptation of Emmanuèle Bernheim’s novel (Gallimard, 2013), where she tells how her father, knowing he was condemned, charged her with the heavy task of organizing her assisted suicide in Switzerland.
Not light, as a subject …
Honestly, when I was told about this story, I did not find the thing particularly attractive, especially since I did not see where the problem was: I imagined the old Indian that we accompany at the top of the mountain to die. But the intrigue of Emmanuel Bernheim’s book makes it appear that it is not so simple: because there are laws, because the family circle is disturbed by them.
Your father died this winter …
I don’t want to mix everything up. This father of the film has nothing to do with mine. Still, we live someone’s death, and then it stays like that for a long time, a kind of smoke that stays, and that stays, and that stays. These are fundamental moments. I lived them in the present moment, there was no revelation, just love until the end … Of course, we went through crises, but I think we were “up to date”, with my parents.
You have also experienced the disappearance of filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski, with whom you lived for seventeen years and had a son …
There too, I had the chance to be present, to be there with the people I love. I think we die as we live. It sounds like a ready-made phrase, but I have never been surprised by the death of those around me. I found them to be consistent – death is not welcome, of course, we’re sad, but the movie is about that, the father character is consistent about that. It is her daughter who has a problem, because she has to take on a form of responsibility by accompanying her father to death. He’s a bit of a bastard, father.
Would you do it?
I think that the person who is going to die does not have all the rights… but a little all the same. It’s brave to go and die, and if people aren’t brave and scared, you have to be there. I don’t think this is the time to settle scores.
It can remain very heavy to carry, then. That’s what you said about smoke, right?
There will be leftovers and residues… Things that we probably will not have solved, but each day is enough its trouble.
Did you discuss all this with François Ozon?
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