It is well known that the pandemic has hit the cultural industry hard, slowing the impetus of our artists. Sophie Lorain was obviously no exception. But after a break from filming, she resumed work at full speed, starting what she describes as a “marathon” … and which she is just beginning to see the finish line.
Sophie Lorain’s name is on everyone’s lips these days. And his face, on all screens (well, almost). The series Portrait-Robot and Get me out of me a hit on their respective platforms – Club illico and Crave -, the telephones are currently entitled to a double dose of the 63-year-old actress.
And that’s far from all. Because on the sidelines of these outings, she is piloting two other projects, which this time will place her behind the camera.
Other projects underway
The first : A family bond, the television adaptation of Nadine Bismuth’s successful novel that she directs and co-produced by ALSO, the company founded with her husband, Alexis Durand-Brault.
The second : Megantic, a series inspired by the tragedy that claimed the lives of 47 victims in the summer of 2013, for which she intends to earn the sole title of producer.
In short, Sophie Lorain is not idle. It would also have been bad to know her to think that the pandemic was going to paralyze her for a long time.
“In fact, we harassed the government to be able to resume work,” laughs the one who defended the title role of the Fortier series at the turn of the millennium.
“We knew that there were countries which had started filming again with specific protocols. We proposed several – some were refused – but we finally agreed on the one that is currently in use, ”she adds.
The way back to the film sets, however, was a twisty road. Because reality – both in front of and behind the cameras – has changed considerably over the past few months (and health measures).
Not only have production costs skyrocketed with soaring construction material prices, but the pandemic reality and the physical distancing it imposes often causes headaches in the field.
“Everything is much longer, the staging must be rethought in a completely different way. You have to be creative, do all kinds of pirouettes so that it doesn’t appear on the screen, especially in scenes where proximity is necessary, ”explains Sophie Lorain.
A puzzle “
For Portrait-Robot and Get me out of me, the transition went smoothly, the amorous intrigues being relayed in the background. But for A family bond, which is being filmed at the time of this writing, the sanitary measures have turned out to be more restrictive.
“Turning a love story in the midst of a pandemic is quite a puzzle. Would I do it again? I’m not sure, ”says Sophie Lorain.
“But at the same time, we accepted these conditions, so we have to accept them. And we’re lucky to be working. There are so many trades that are still in slow motion today. We can only hope that everything will be easier when we are all vaccinated, ”she adds.
♦ The series Portrait-Robot and Get me out of me are currently broadcast on Club illico and Crave, respectively.
♦ A family bond is expected on Tou.tv in August.
Megantic: “It’s bigger than us “
Sophie Lorain knew very well that she was touching on a delicate subject with her project for a series on the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. But she fully assumes her approach. “It’s important to recognize this story, this tragedy,” she pleads.
The events in Lac-Mégantic, where 47 people were killed in a train derailment in the summer of 2013, left a mark on Quebecers. That, the actress is well aware of. It was therefore to be expected that a series inspired by it would offend some.
“Was I surprised at the negative reactions? Not at all. Megantic, it’s a shocking story, a tragedy that has happened to us, ”suggests the one who will act as co-producer with Alexis Durand-Brault.
“Each person grieves differently. For some it will never be finished, so for them there is nothing more to say. They are angry, and it is totally justified. But there are people – and there are many – who need to confide, to share their testimony, ”continues Sophie Lorain.
The latter, the screenwriter Sylvain Guy has extended an attentive ear to them, collecting their confidences and testimonies over the past three years. This is how he built a dramatic series, articulated around seven characters whose destiny will be turned upside down by the events of the night of July 5 to 6, 2013.
Not a documentary
Sophie Lorain is also categorical: this is not a documentary. We will relive the tragedy and its repercussions, but from the perspective of people affected directly or indirectly by the events.
“The tragedy, we saw it on the news. We absorbed it. What interests us is the human side, to see how the course of an entire life can change in an instant. We do not want to go to the political or railway side, ”she insists.
And do not expect to see the actress appear on the screen in this series, expected next year on Club illico. Because Sophie Lorain has every intention of building its distribution without relying on the stars of the small screen.
“We made the wish to take actors less known to the general public. I think the credibility of the story is at stake. Because Megantic, it’s bigger than us; it doesn’t need a figurehead to be told, ”she says.
♦ The shooting of Megantic will begin in August.