Lothaire Bluteau is back | The Journal of Montreal
For 40 years, Lothaire Bluteau has led an atypical career that has taken him to the four corners of the world. Being very rare on Quebec film sets, the actor of Jesus of Montreal was in Quebec last week to defend one of the main roles of the film Melting icealongside Christine Beaulieu and Marc Béland.
Lothaire Bluteau was already back in New York – where he had been living for thirty years – when The newspaper spoke to him last week. The 65-year-old actor had just spent a few days in Montreal and Sorel to take part in the first block of filming for Melting icesecond feature from director François Péloquin (The sound of trees), co-written with Sarah Lévesque.
Bluteau plays in the film a former murderer who tries to get back on the right track with the help of a parole officer in charge of an experimental rehabilitation wing.
« It’s a subject [la réhabilitation des criminels] which has not often been approached in the cinema and which is treated here in a daring way, confides Lothaire Bluteau, saying that he was seduced by the scenario. I like it, people who take risks. I also like when you learn something by watching a film.”
The scenes shot last week will be used to build the last part of the film, set in summer. Next February, François Péloquin will reunite with his acting trio to shoot most of the feature film. He considers himself privileged to be able to count on Lothaire Bluteau to play a central character in his film.
“What a gift!, says the filmmaker. He really is an exceptional actor. When he plays, he is perfectly real and invested. You can feel the emotions in his eyes, in his throat. We also feel the life that marked him. It is very beautiful. He’s a really special being. »
The call of Europe
Lothaire Bluteau had not played in a Quebec film for moons. His last major role in Quebec cinema dates back to 1995 in The confessional by Robert LePage. It’s not that he shuns his native province, quite the contrary. The actor simply says that he has not received many offers from Quebec in recent years. “I worked more in Europe because I received more offers there, he explains simply.
“In Montreal, people didn’t approach me. I know it wasn’t out of malice and I’m not complaining because it allowed me to do lots of interesting things elsewhere. But I believe that in Quebec, people thought that I would not accept because I was making big films abroad. However, I made plenty of short films elsewhere because the script interested me. I don’t do this job for the money or to be successful.
Since the beginning of his career, Lothaire Bluteau has always been driven by the desire « to go elsewhere ». In 1989, the international success of Jesus of Montreal (by Denys Arcand) has opened several doors for him abroad. The actor then did not hesitate to embark on an international career which led him to play roles as varied as an emperor of West Francia in the series vikingsa terrorist in the action series 24 or a French ambassador in the historical series The Tudors.
“I don’t think we have the career of our talent, observes the actor. We rather have the career of our desires and our personality. If there are things that interest you in life, without realizing it, you will make choices that will push you to explore these areas of interest. Me, I wanted to make films about the Second World War because it’s something I never understood. I did, then it led me to do another, then another…”
These long months of filming, often spent far from home and from his friends and family, have not always been easy.
« It’s hard in crisscross to do the job I did the way I did it, to walk from one city to another being all alone all the time, he admits. There was no internet when I started. When I was going to shoot for three months in Russia, no one came to join me. It was rough but I was lucky because it allowed me to make films that I still find beautiful. And even when it didn’t work out with the audience, I wasn’t ashamed because I took a chance and tried something that I thought was risky and rich. I don’t mind freaking out when I take a risk. It’s always honorable to take a chance. »
Filming Melting ice will continue in Montreal in February.