Thierry Lhermitte "suffered a lot" on the set of Le Dîner de cons: "He was going to cry in the make-up artist's dressing room"

Thierry Lhermitte “suffered a lot” on the set of Le Dîner de cons: “He was going to cry in the make-up artist’s dressing room”

Thierry Lhermitte “suffered a lot” on the set of Le Dîner de cons: “He was going to cry in the make-up artist’s dressing room” (Photo by Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

This Sunday, June 26, 2022, TF1 is broadcasting “Le Dîner de cons”. A cult film carried by Thierry Lhermitte and the late Jacques Villeret. However, behind the success on the big and small screen hide exhausting filming conditions. And it was Thierry Lhermitte who often spoke about it…

The story of a “Dinner of idiots“, it is initially that of a group of friends who take pleasure in perpetuating a strange tradition: organizing a weekly dinner during which each one brings with him the perfect imbecile, in order to make the assembly laugh. For this daring synopsis, the director of the film, Francis Veber, had appealed in 1998 to two big names in comedy: Thierry Lhermitte as Pierre Brochant, a fashionable and contemptuous editor, and Jacques Villeret in that of François Pignon, a sympathetic accountant, although a bit exasperating. The rest, all the French know it: the evening turns into a huge fiasco.

Video. “I couldn’t anymore, I took the right drugs”: Thierry Lhermitte cash on his health which played a dirty trick on him

“We didn’t have fun at all”

If the film was a huge success in dark rooms, and was even entitled to his 2010 American remake, “The Dinner”, Thierry Lhermitte does not keep only good memories. At that time, Francis Veber is already the talented director that we know, but also has a reputation as a tough guy with very high standards when it comes to managing the actors who shoot under the eye of his camera. Accustomed to the jokes of the Splendid troupe, Thierry Lhermitte also already had a good filmography behind him when he shot in “Le Dîner de cons”, with cult comedies like “Les Bronzés”, “Santa Claus is a junk” or “Les Ripoux”.

But experience or not, the actor did not expect that the filming of Francis Veber’s film would be so… trying. “It’s very hard. We are under orders, an instrument in the hands of Francis” he already confided in 1998. The director himself had admitted it: “On the set, we didn’t have fun with the everything. It’s so mathematical to make such a calibrated comedy.”

Several years after the film’s release and success, Thierry Lhermitte always keeps this bittersweet memory, as he explained on the set of C à vous: “It was hard because Francis Veber, he wants to hear what he wrote. I was not used to that , I suffered a lot, but I learned a lot.” Because there is no question for the actor, now 69, of firing red balls at Francis Veber, regardless of his temperament: “He wants the meaning of what he wrote. And the meaning, he comes out of music. He wants to hear that and not something that suits you because you know how to do it well (…) Frankly, he is the conductor of this masterpiece of popular culture” he specified.

“He was going to cry in the make-up artist’s dressing room”

Today, Francis Veber is 84 years old, and his reputation precedes him brilliantly. At the origin of many successful comedies in addition to “Dîner de cons”, such as “La Chèvre”, “Les fugitives” or even “Les Compères” and “La doubling”, the director has always assumed his precise way of working. , and his outspokenness which often borders on the limits of propriety. For example, in 2021 in an interview granted to the magazine “Schnock”, Francis Veber attacked Luc Besson, with whom he nevertheless collaborated: “I did a lot of different things. ‘Le Grand Bleu’, for example, it was a 300-page Camembert without a box. I reassured Besson, who was wondering what I was going to do in his abyss. We got along very well. He thinks he’s a screenwriter, but he’s totally illiterate” he let go.

As for his reputation as a man without filters on film sets, Francis Veber assumes: “When you are a writer-director, you have music in your head. As long as you don’t have your music, you start over. I I did 45 takes with Depardieu on ‘Tais-toi’ and 37 with Auteuil on ‘Le Placard’. They are patient!” And then there is also Thierry Lhermitte.

Video. Thierry Lhermitte admits to having suffered a lot on the set of Le Dîner de cons

In the columns of “Schnock”, the director thus returned to an anecdote about the actor during the filming of “Diner des cons”. “He wasn’t directed with his friends from the Splendid, we let them do their thing, they knew where the laughs were. With me, he was lost, he was going to cry in the make-up artist’s dressing room.” Incisive words against Thierry Lhermitte that let you imagine the atmosphere on the set…

Read also :

>> From “La Chèvre” to “Dîner de Cons”, the crazy story of François Pignon (D8): When the fictional character really exists

>> “I couldn’t anymore, I was going crazy”: Thierry Lhermitte confides in his burn-out

>> The dinner of idiots (TF1): who to replace François Pignon at the table? (PICTURES)

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