It is still a relief that Nathalie Coupal turned the page last year. If 2023 has been full of challenges both in his career and in her private life, it has also been rich in lessons of all kinds. The actress, who returns to the small screen with Project Innocence, remembers the challenges that have marked her path in recent months.
Nathalie, you are from the cast of Innocence Project. What is your role in this new series?
This is a fascinating legal series! These days I perform legal roles. Inside The rebelsI am the mother of Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse and I play the judge. This time it’s me Leboeuf, Crown Prosecutor. I read all the texts and was impressed by the palette explored in this series. We are exploring a miscarriage of justice. A man is convicted of murder. The criminalist played by Guy Nadon wants to do justice at all costs. I’m exploring the facets of a character who has a very cerebral, very Cartesian confidence, which until now I haven’t had the opportunity to play many times.
• Read also: Emi Chicoine’s character will have to prove herself in Project Innocence
Do you have other projects in parallel?
Yes. Last fall I starred in the English version of Plan B. I had appeared in the French version of the series and, when the CBC took over the project, they offered me, like Vincent Leclerc, to reprise my role. He had not often worked in English. I was glad they offered to do it. It was great! I knew the story, the character, the situations, and sometimes even the filming locations! Playing in another language is different and very interesting. It made me want to work in English. Otherwise, I don’t know what awaits me. I had a difficult year… In 2023, I had to face challenges, one after another.
What are you talking about?
I finished the year 2022 with the retirement of the series. Hotel. From one day to the next we had to say goodbye to a great gang. Fortunately I had something else, but I realized how precarious this job is.
The last time we met, you were happy to be in your new life. You had sold your suburban house to settle in the country…
My life is changing a lot right now. More than ever, I love my job. I am extremely happy on set. But I don’t want to do anything anymore. I have to have interest and passion for a project to accept it, because I find a lot of meaning in the life I have built in the countryside. There is more space for creation, meditation, the forest, physical life, reflection, writing.
Do you still live alone in the country?
My boyfriend has an apartment in Montreal, but he’s usually with me. We not live together. We each have our space. Your own room is an important element. I did a workshop in the garage. I set up a beautiful creative room that sometimes doubles as a guest bedroom. There I can do whatever I want: write, paint. I started making ceramics. I want all of this to take up more space in my life. I would like to find a balance between the two worlds, because one inevitably feeds the other. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I work is not the same as I feel when I walk through the woods. It is a connection with my soul.
You have adapted well to this new life…
Yes, but I fear the events. Together with other citizens, I fight tooth and nail to promote the uniqueness and richness of the forest and biodiversity. Making developments in such magical places is stupid! This year I also had to mobilize for this cause. But my nature means I avoid conflict. That doesn’t mean I don’t have the strength to defend myself, but I don’t want that in life. The year 2023 began with Hotel who did not return, then mobilization against a promoter. And there have also been many difficulties in my family with my elderly parents.
Were your parents sick?
Both had to leave their homes. So I made two dad moves. My father had an extraordinary wife. He had a degenerative disease that took his life within two months. He was a a terrible year, a year during which I had to support my parents and my son who needed me. The good news is that I learned that anxiety is a part of life and that it needs to be welcomed. We can’t be in magical thinking and tell ourselves that everything is fabulous, all the time. Conflicts exist, but we can learn to prepare to face them. Losses are part of life. Supporting loved ones is very nourishing.
Would you say that you became a parent to your parents, in some way?
Yes. It is very demanding, but also very rewarding. Taking care of our parents also means observing the state of our family; a state that can sometimes be surprising. In my family we really bonded on an emotional level: there was a lot of help and support. They say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I don’t want to be stronger, but to continue being happy and enjoying the good things in life. It helped that my love life was extraordinarily rich and beautiful. For all these reasons, it has been a very busy year.
Watch Innocence Project on Tuesdays at 8pm on Noovo.
Plan B will air in 2024 on CBC.
You can see Los Rebeldes at Club illico.
Nathalie is in charge of dubbing direction. She provides the voice of, among others, Caillou’s mother.