“At first it was very difficult to play Sam,” reveals Hélène de Fougerolles

  • After the departure of Natacha Lindinger at the end of season 6, Hélène de Fougerolles now plays Sam in the new premieres that TF1 broadcasts starting this Monday, January 8.
  • This seventh season was filmed in February 2023 and has six episodes instead of the usual eight.
  • “I hope I have managed to put a little bit of myself in this character, put a little bit of flaws. I had them before, but they were less visible,” confides Hélène de Fougerolles.

Checkered shirt, boots and jeans, Helen of Fougerolles camp one Sam larger than life in the new season 7 that begins this Monday on TF1. The actress thus takes over Mathilde Seigner (season 1) and Natasha Lindinger (season 2 to 6) in this adaptation of the Danish series Rita. At the beginning of the six new episodes, this literature teacher, as insolent and rocking as ever, is back at the Valadier school. And he hasn’t lost any of his directness! Along with the main actress, we find Fred Testot, Chantal LadesouCarlota Gaccio, Thierry Neuvic, Fanny Gilles, or even a newcomer, Amaury de Crayencour. After playing a recurring role in Balthazar From 2018 to 2020, Hélène de Fougerolles is delighted to play a long-term character again, although playing Sam was not so obvious in the early days.

What do you like about Sam?

He is a free character, who has a lot to play for. A little boring at times but very endearing. I don’t know how long I was away but how lucky I was to be able to play a role like that!

Is there some of Sam in you?

There probably is, but I thought it would be much easier to find. When filming started, I was really struggling. I’m much gentler, I apologize a lot, I say “I’m sorry”, “thank you” all day long, which is not Sam’s kind of home at all. Maybe the only thing we have in common is riding a horse. bikes… I thought there was more of Sam in me. At the same time, she will end up looking like me (laughs). I hope I managed to put a little bit of myself into this character, put some flaws in it. She used to have them but they were less visible. Today my sensitivity has spilled a little over the character.

How do you work with a character that already exists?

The costume helped a lot. There is definitely a very masculine side with his somewhat cowboy boots, his pants and his checked shirt. Apparently, I got it and walked pretty fast. Otherwise, I was lucky to get sick the first week. I caught a cold and my voice became much deeper. Funnily enough, it helped me a lot. Because the truth is that at first it was very difficult.

Because ?

He was so far away from me! So you have to believe that I found a way to speak, to be, to play. Afterwards it’s fun. With Captain Bach in Balthazar, this is the second time I’ve done a recurring role. It was extraordinary because for four months of the year he lived in someone else’s place. I really live my roles like that. There I have another person who lives with me, by my side, another person who is a little bit of me but not completely. It’s quite fun.

What guides you when choosing your characters?

Pleasure, and that’s how it is in life in general. I really have this side, a bit like children, where I have to have fun. Otherwise it’s not fun and I don’t want to go back there. This concerns the character but also the team. On a set, if I start having bad moments, it’s no longer work, it’s suffering and I don’t even want to go there anymore.

Are you satisfied with the variety of characters they offer you?

Honestly, I have a great time on television. In the thriller TF1 I played an investigating judge who suffered from partial amnesia, The missing of the Black Forest. Right after they give me Sam, who is much sexier. I like ! I have many things to show, to play. I am very lucky as an actress.

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