this amazing advice from director Guillaume Nicloux to Louise Bourgoin

Broadcast this Wednesday, January 25, 2023 on Arte at 8:55 p.m., the film The nun (available on Arte.tv) is set in the 18th century. It features Suzanne Simonin (Pauline Étienne still unknown to the general public), a young girl who tells her story in a diary. Two years earlier, she entered the convent, but at the time of pronouncing her vows, she retracted. Her parents, ruined by the marriages of their elders, wonder what they can do to help her settle down. But Suzanne discovers a secret about her origins, which leads her to return to the convent. The mother superior (Françoise Lebrun), who protected her, dies mysteriously. Suzanne then finds herself under the control of Sister Christine (Louise Bourgoin, very noticed in The Girl from Monaco), decided to make her bend by all kinds of bullying. This new adaptation of the eponymous novel by Denis Diderot, which also counts among its interpreters Isabelle Huppert (at the peak of her art as for She by Paul Verhoeven), allows us to discover an impeccable Louise Bourgoin as Sister Christine. A role that the actress wanted to prepare at all costs …

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An “affectless” director

“Guillaume Nicloux offered me the role of Sister Christine at least a year and a half before filming. It was in a café. He told me about his project in an almost professorial, very intelligent way”, said Louise Bourgoin when the film was released. The actress imagined that the director was going to advise her on her future acting, give her specific advice… “Then we didn’t see each other again, continues the actress. Usually the directors try to create a link, send little notes, he was without affect. I read The nun a long time ago i read it again for the movie (Suzanne Simonin, the Nun of Diderotby Jacques Rivette, 1967, editor’s note). Guillaume Nicloux had forbidden me to watch the version of the book shot by Jacques Rivette before the shooting, but I did it anyway: I found the film to be very theatrical.”

A destabilizing piece of advice to say the least!

The young woman continues to insist with the director and asks his advice. She continues: “I asked Guillaume Nicloux how to prepare the role, he replied that it was useless. I laughed, believing in a provocation because generally we rehearse, the directors give details, indications likely to help you mature the character in you (…) And with a slightly smirk, he told me that he hadn’t seen any of my films, whereas directors usually insist on the fact that they particularly appreciated you in such a film… I had the impression of having been imposed by a producer, I found that surprising but me, nothing offends me.“And fortunately Louise Bourgoin did not “nothing done”because, in the end, it is exceptional and glaringly true!

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