He offered Michael Lonsdale one of the greatest roles of his career in 2010. Xavier Beauvois had turned the actor who died at the age of 89 in "Of men and gods"
(Editor's note: the film will be rebroadcast exceptionally on September 28 at 8:50 pm on France 5)
which reviewed the assassination of the monks of Tibéhirine in Algeria in 1996. The actor played there brother Luc alongside Lambert Wilson and Olivier Rabourdin.
The director tells about this unforgettable collaboration.
What memories do you have of Michael Lonsdale on the set?
It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
He was a bit my favorite, the most rock'n'roll of the group.
He was reading L'Equipe and Le Canard Enchaîné.
Always ready for a little bit of red.
What struck me was that he came on the set even on the days when he was not filming when there was a road and you had to trudge.
Suddenly, I told him: "Since you are here, we will take the opportunity to make a plan or two."
Humanly, what man was he in your eyes?
Everything was simple with him.
I knew I was working with someone who had toured with Losey, Welles, Duras, Truffaut and all that was immediately defused.
You had in front of you a nice guy, not a star at all.
The strongest thing is that he was not playing Brother Luc.
He was Brother Luc.
As if there was a connection, a force of spirit that had descended into him.
What image will he leave?
The eclecticism of his career.
It's as if he had broken a taboo.
Before him, everyone was rather in their chapel.
He's the first to blow this up.
And in the end he is very good in all registers.