François Cluzet is all smiles: “I loved being a doctor for two months!”, He told us in 2016, the year the film was released. “I always wanted to be an actor, not to act, but to live roles.” After the excellent Hippocrates (2014), in which he radiographed the hospital, without a romantic filter, Thomas Lilti, doctor and filmmaker, continues his auscultation of contemporary medicine, by plunging us into the daily life of the good Doctor Werner, campaign general practitioner. old school. “In making this film, I was keen to pay tribute to this profession, the importance of which I became aware of when, as a young practitioner, I was doing replacements in Normandy. I had the chance to work with men. and exceptional women, ”he explains. If the role was not written for Cluzet, the actor is obvious. To the delight of the person concerned: “I come from a working-class background. Becoming a doctor was a family dream. Young, when I was already an actor, I thought several times about going back to school, to try to to become, to feel useful. What seduced me in the role is the human relationship of this doctor with his patients. He has a form of altruistic self-sacrifice, which is not so much today. hui. “
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This everyday hero, Cluzet lives in him, with absolute sincerity. “Werner does not work miracles, but he has the quality that his patients demand of him. He is a confidant, almost a psychoanalyst. He does much more than heal”, specifies the actor, who admits to having been inspired by Thomas Lilti to compose his character. “Beyond the fact that he was a doctor, what was interesting on set was to see how concerned he was about others. He has the humanity of the character, the same listening… I have a little copied his tone of voice, his way of listening. “
After decades of dedication, Dr Werner is forced to take it easy, for health reasons. He must therefore find a replacement, which, in our time of medical desertification (the film then becomes a political manifesto), is a real challenge. Nathalie Delezia, a former nurse who has just finished her internship, takes up the challenge. To embody this pugnacious woman, who will have to be accepted by her colleague, devious, Lilti, on the advice of Cluzet, approached Marianne Denicourt. Good choice: he had already written a magnificent score for an authoritarian head of clinic in Hippocrates. A role that earned the actress a César nomination. Unlike her partner, Marianne felt the need to “consult” professionals, “so as not to be encumbered by medicine when playing,” she explains. Two approaches for the same accuracy. And François Cluzet admits: “For the first time, I would like to continue the journey with this character in a series. If Thomas Lilti told me about it, I would be up for it.” A great idea: Hippocrates, the series he signed for Canal, is a total success.