Maurice Ronet - Interview

Uploaded by im1533 on 04.07.2012

Maurice Ronet, it seems to me you chose to be an actor
not only out of professional interest but as a way of life. Am l wrong?
No, you're not wrong.
l didn't become an actor right away,
though l made Rendezvous in July with Jacques Becker a long time ago.
lt was a complete accident and not what l wanted to do.
No one knows at that age what they want to do,
but l wanted something other than theater or cinema.
lmmediately after Rendezvous in July,
l went to the south of France to do ceramics.
l did many things before becoming an actor,
which came along as a sort of conclusion.
l painted. l wrote.
And after a roundabout journey, l found in cinema
a synthesis of all that interested me in painting and literature.
You also become an actor by your behavior.
ln this profession, what you're able to produce
is always a result of your own life.
Anyway, what's interesting in the life and career of an actor
is being offered roles
that fit your personality and allow you to express your true nature.
lt's an encounter between the character, the actor, and the man.
Does that happen often for you?
No, not often.
But when things worked, it was there.
Can you give examples?
lt happened on Purple Noon, and especially on The Fire Within.
lt happened on Elevator to the Gallows.
lt's funny to see the similarity
between Elevator to the Gallows Purple Noon,
The Fire Within and Time Out for Love.
- What similarity? - The characters are similar.
How do you see your characters? It's Iike asking how you see yourself.
When you're an actor, people know more about you than you do yourself.
All these characters
belong to the same generation l do,
a generation that's a bit ''transitory.''
All these characters are heavy drinkers...
have a sense of humor...
and leave a bitter taste of hopelessness in your mouth.
Where do they come from?
Are they the product of a certain Parisian way of life,
or something deeper?
Parisian, perhaps. They're characters from a certain kind of bourgeois Iiterature,
like that of Drieu La Rochelle and others.
They're also a product of circumstance.
This generation was 17 years old at the end of WWll:
too young to have fought, too old to be just chiIdren.
More and more, this generation merges into the following generation.
For 10 or 15 years, a difference of five years really counted
between those who were 12 at the end of WWll and those who were 17.
There was a big difference?
There was a terrible chasm
but gradually, with passing time and various events
they're starting to melt together.
A generation is a lot of people.
Yes, and among them,
one of our spokespersons, Roger Nimier,
wrote really beautiful things about our generation.
He always wrote the same thing:.
that it was a ''sacrificed'' generation,
because we really didn't have any myths.
We really hadn't had many to lean upon among our elders.
You might say the future was ours in that sense.
- Not much to believe in either. - That's right.
Do you think there's a crisis of faith?
Do you think it's important to believe in something?
Yes, certainly.
We're going through a moral crisis right now.
While making The Fire Within, weren't you obsessed with the idea of suicide?
Not at all.
Perhaps on a totally different level, but not as an automatic reflex.
lt's not my job to obey the characters. They should obey me.
A typical actor's answer. Perhaps that's why you'd like to direct too.
To make the characters obey you.
As l said before,
the character is a framework in which an actor expresses himself.
lt's not just a costume he wears.