(Paris) With the approval of Philippe Besson, the director Olivier Peyon has done a real job of adaptation by further developing in his screenplay the part of the novel evoking the link between an author who has just published an autobiographical story and the son of the young man whom the latter loved in his youth. Meeting with the filmmaker and Guillaume de Tonquédec, the interpreter of the novelist.

Yes, there is in the film a rather striking physical resemblance between Guillaume de Tonquédec and the writer Philippe Besson. Director Olivier Peyon (A Life Elsewhere, Tokyo Shaking) saw in this relationship an opportunity to be able to play with it a little, especially since Stop with your lies is the most autobiographical of the novels by the author of Ceci n’est not a news item. For his part, Guillaume de Tonquédec, who plays him in this film adaptation, wanted to meet the writer.

“Even if we had a little fun giving the character a certain resemblance to Philippe Besson, it was certainly not to try to make an imitation, specifies however the actor. That would have been far too simplistic. I who, in the theater, play a lot of texts by authors who have been dead for a long time, I found it extraordinary to have the opportunity to ask questions of a living novelist and to be able to discuss with the human being who lived the story that he tells in his book. I drew a tremendous wealth of information from it, which helped me a lot during filming. »

The idea of ​​this adaptation goes back a long time, even before the publication of the book, in 2017. The start was a bit difficult and complicated according to Olivier Peyon, especially since the years of the pandemic did not make things any easier. . As the novel quickly became a best-seller, several other directors also expressed interest.

“I had the chance to read the manuscript very early in the process,” says the filmmaker. When I met Philippe Besson to discuss it, his novel was already popular. I argued that a large part of the story took place in 1984, in the years of his youth, but that its originality resided above all in this meeting, 30 years later, between the writer and the son of the man he loved in his teens. I suggested that he develop this aspect of the story even more in the screenplay I was about to write. He saw this as an extension of the novel. »

This idea also pleased an author who, points out Olivier Peyon, knows what cinema is. Philippe Besson has written screenplays, notably for works by director Josée Dayan, and has also seen one of his novels, His Brother, brought to the big screen by Patrice Chéreau.

“Even if Philippe was not at all intrusive and did not wish to intervene in any way, I nevertheless felt a great responsibility towards him, continues the director, especially since this story is largely autobiographical. It was important for me to keep him informed of what we were doing and to discuss it. »

Stop With Your Lies, which also stars Victor Belmondo, tells the story of a famous writer who finally agreed to return to his native village to sponsor the bicentenary of a brand of cognac. This visit obviously brings back memories of the past, in particular a passionate and clandestine story, lived in adolescence with a boy who later became, he will learn on the spot, the father of the young man who welcomes him. .

“When I received the script, which moved me for so many reasons, I said thank you life,” says Guillaume de Tonquédec. The themes covered are universal because they revolve around the question of honesty with oneself. »

Revealed to the international public thanks to the cinematographic adaptation of the play The first name, Guillaume de Tonquédec has played a lot in the theater, in addition to lending his talent to television series and feature films. Among the teachers who trained him, notably at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art in Paris, is Michel Bouquet.

“Michel said that in cinema, the author is the camera. It’s so fair. A filming experience can be extraordinary, but end up in a very bad film and the reverse is also true. It turns out that, this time, there really was a match. I loved every moment of filming. And the spectators we have been able to meet during previews or festival presentations – we notably presented Stop with your lies at the Cinemania festival in Montreal last year – leave the screening upset. That’s thanks to Olivier. How lucky I was to have been able to participate in a movie like this at least once in my life! »