Jérôme Commandeur shot part of his second film in Limoges (Haute-Vienne). “Irréductible” tells the story of a civil servant from Limoges who refuses to leave his post. The film hits theaters on June 29.
Vincent Peltier, your character, is a civil servant at the Waters and Forests in Limoges. He was forced to resign by the Ministry of Public Service. But your character refuses and will therefore be mutated many times. Why did you decide to shoot part of the film in Limoges?
I had to start in a corner where life is good, a dreamlike, eternal France, like a childhood madeleine. I had selected some corners and I remembered that when I started in this profession 25 years ago – I was very young, I was 20 years old, I was doing little pranks in a radio station in Limoges, RLS. The oldest may remember it, the radio, not my pranks. It was a nod to my beginnings.
Besides, you seemed really moved at the preview at the Ester cinema in Limoges.
To see people who come to see the film in preview, and who prove by this gesture that they are deeply interested in your work. A hundred extras who had played in the film were present. It’s a bit like the end of summer camp. It is a page in our history that is turning.
In the film, spectators will be able to find beautiful headliners… For example Christian Clavier, who plays a trade union leader.
This is the first time that Christian has played a role on the left. He entered the local CGT, he looked like a kid in the Louvre (laughs). And I like the opposites. There is for example a very beautiful declaration of love to France by Depardieu, who has a somewhat contrasting relationship with our country. Gérard Darmon plays the somewhat libidinous Minister of the Civil Service, a somewhat vicious political baron. I wanted to go into lots of families of actors, and above all take on sacred monsters who have done everything in the cinema. It was a pleasure to direct.
Your character finds himself in an unusual situation: he is going to land in Greenland. What brought him to this place?
He will protect the researchers of a scientific base from bear attacks, the most difficult job that we could find for him. And it is also Valérie Lemercier, the boss of the base who welcomes him. From that moment, the film definitely goes into an adventure comedy because it will find love, go to Sweden…
How would you qualify the humor of your film?
It is totally a caricature. We are in the land of Molière, Pierre Dac, Desproges, Coluche: satire and causticity are part of our heritage. But once we’ve said that, it’s important to say that these are people who work hard, who make the collective work. They exfiltrate our nationals from Ukraine or repair the pylons. First and foremost are caregivers. That’s what I like with humor, we carry and at the same time, we tip our hats and say thank you.
The environment is also mentioned in subtext in your film.
It seemed to me more than important, natural. As he is transferred to Greenland, we can no longer film Greenland or talk about it as ten years ago. In this period of heat, it must be said that over there it is 25 degrees, sometimes 28 in Siberia. The idea is not at all to have a moral or a lesson. If some see this film as a light comedy, that’s fine. And if some want to seize certain arguments and that it infuses in the head, it is very well also.