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Laurent Lafitte. “In order to fight, to survive, we must be immodest.”

He takes on the iconic role of Cyrano in the theater and portrays no less than Moliere in the cinema… The actor, a resident of the Comédie-Française, takes on all challenges.

50 years old. it’s his year. His equivalent roles in the theater are Cyrano de Bergerac, and in cinema Moliere in Olivier Pi’s film. Before that, he gave a speech Tapie In the Netflix series. “They are great figures about whom everyone has an opinion. It’s always difficult for an actor to play very well-known characters,” he admits moments after tea before heading backstage to have his Cyrano nose fitted.

Madame Figaro. – Eric Ruf, chief administrator of the Comédie-Française, says you have Cyrano’s brilliance, honesty, humility…
Laurent Lafitte: I don’t know if Cyrano is that humble. In order to fight, to survive, we must be immodest. He still has a big ego.

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Was this role stressful for you?
The only time I get nervous in the theater is on opening night. I fear memory loss. There, faced with the enormity of the role, sixteen hundred lines, it’s one of the greatest roles in the repertoire, which worried me beforehand.

How do you learn the text?
I don’t have a terrible memory, so I create graphs for myself. I put a date every five or six pages. I cram, it’s laborious. Then we enter the experiment, then the text is associated with movements and movements.

…The famous memory of actors’ bodies.
It’s a really emotionally draining role, especially in the twenty-five minutes before Cyrano dies.

I dreamed of playing Cyrano

Laurent Lafitte

This is one of the most moving moments in the theater. Let’s look at the direction of Emmanuel Daumas. Isn’t he a little weird?
I think the previous productions were virilistic. References to Emmanuel Daumas: Vincente Minnelli, Jacques Demy… Queer is exaggerated. Aesthetics existed in the 17the century. All these little marquises were ribboned. Here the board looks like…

…a little kitsch cabaret.
At that time, no doubt, it must have looked like a cabaret. The stage-audience boundary was porous. Nobles and prominent figures were present on the stage.

Cyrano, is this your dream role?
I dreamed about it without knowing the details. While working on it, I understand that this role is a theatrical whirlwind. Tribute to the theater as well. Cyrano interrupts the mediocre actor from the start. The writing is sublime. It’s like tennis. when you play with someone stronger than you, you become better. Edmond Rostan’s language is so powerful that you just have to be honest and use it. We enter the filming site, it is gone for three hours.

Theater is like tennis. when you play with someone stronger than you, you become better.

Laurent Lafitte

A few words about the directors.
Emmanuel leaves the actors very free. Moreover, he is allergic to figures. Cyrano, like Don Juan, is so powerful that the danger is to turn him into a figure. He will look deeply. He is more interested in his weakness, his cracks than his brave side. If he is a hero, it is to hide his complexes. There are dramatic twists. I’m curious about the work he did with Jennifer Decker on Roxanne. In today’s world, what these two men are doing to her is appalling.

We didn’t necessarily think about it…
Roxanne is the romantic interest of the play. Now that’s almost brain rape. Make this woman believe that this man, Christian, exists when he is a mixture of the two; the mourning she has endured for fourteen years for a man who never was. And, finally, Cyrano at the threshold of the grave. “Well, I’m going to die soon, but I wanted to tell you. I’m the one who loves you.” Jennifer has a bit more angst than the previous Roxanes, and it’s mostly justified.

Let’s move on to your other news, Imaginary Moliere. Olivier Pi says he couldn’t imagine anyone else. He thinks you look like him physically. The film tells about the last day of the playwright. Olivier Pi highlights his bisexuality.
It is assumed that he is bisexual. His relationship with actor Baron is as possible as his stories with his first or second wife.

In the cinema, Laurent Lafitte plays Moliere seen by Olivier Pi.
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This version is not very popular.
Because these are things that historians are not interested in. Not to mention a bit of latent homophobia. Same with Cyrano. The real Cyrano was a notorious homosexual. Moliere met Baron at a very young age and took him under his wing. He was stunningly beautiful. The Delon of the time… on which men and women looked back.

We know the story better with Madeleine and Armand, Moliere’s mother and daughter lover.
It was a bit like Woody Allen. I’m not judging, I’m saying this factually. Moliere is mysterious. This is why I love the title of the movie… Imaginary Moliere. This is patentable, but don’t pretend that this is a fictional biography. It is well documented.

The action of the film takes place behind the scenes of a candlelit theater…
And successive shots. There is a formal freedom that is a bit Fellini, Pasolini. Olivier Pi also eschews one-size-fits-all prefab figures. The film also tells about Moliere’s dilemma in the face of the powerful. He is a provocateur, but he has to respect the codes. Death is lurking. He plays a boy who is always afraid of dying while he is in the process of leaving. The church criticized the actors for faking life, what God created… I really like the metaphysical dimension of the film.

Cyrano de BergeracEdmond Rosta, directed by Emmanuel Daumas, until April 29, 2024 at the Comédie-Française, Paris. comedie-française.fr:
Imaginary Moliere By Olivier Pi, released on February 17, 2024.

Source: Le Figaro

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