: Which magazine is this from? What is the date?
It's truly a shame that Ronny Coutteure committed suicide. Here are more of his words from this RARE interview that will help keep his spirit alive...
-How did you approach the character with George Lucas?
I knew that they had established a type-cast, that is to say that it was “the right man in the right place” so I never talked about my character with George Lucas. We didn’t have a fundamental discussion about the characters like we generally do in France. They told us: “The character is you”, and then it’s up to us, the actors, to reflect and to give the best of ourselves. You know, us French are very Cartesian, so we need some direction. It is true sometimes from one episode to another, my character is terribly different since it was written by different authors. But fortunately there is a certain coherence in the consistency of the stories. The character can sometimes be more serious or more funny, sometimes more modest, sometimes more “hedonistic”. But it’s my internal cookery.
-At the same time it’s a testing role?
Yes and no. People often put a proper behaviour upon me. But thanks to the film Mini Trip*
things have evolved a little. They did not have a priority. Nevertheless it was necessary that I learned to mount a horse. That was all new. But after time passed as it went along, I realized that the character wasn’t too far from my own personal self. It’s simply an aspect of me that I maybe never had the chance to develop. It’s true that I’ve been given nice characters. It’s true that one’s self can overtake. As I’m not a very physical actor but rather someone who is calm in day-to-day life, it was then necessary that I took it upon myself to exceed physically. You know I have never made an adventure film before and so to achieve its stunts suitably was a little scary and then after, this became a childish pleasure, it’s very enjoyable. Luckily I’m not doing big stunts.
-What is your typical day on the set?
We get up at 5 o’clock in the morning, generally we need to be ready to film around 6:30-7:00. We start with the exteriors and, when the light goes down at the end of the day, we then do all the interior scenes. The day normally finishes at 8 PM but sometimes it happens that we film until 9 PM or even 10 PM. The days are long and difficult.
-Are you going to return to the theatre?
Theatre pleases me very much, I will never stop. It’s contact with the public.
-Can you tell us about filming in Kenya?
We went back there with a boat, luckily there was nobody hurt, more fear than harm; the comical side if you wish, is that there were crocodiles not too far away and the problem was to know if they were going to arrive before or after first-aid. That was memorable, but if not, we were super protected. In Kenya we had armed guys with us.
In Nairobi, we took a plane for 1 hour and a half, we landed in a meadow, then we took a 4x4 for 2 hours and arrived at a riverside where we took a canoe for 1 hour. So there weren’t many curious spectators. The capital was 4 hrs. 30mins. from there. We left the camp at 5:30 AM to be able to start filming at 6:00. To go from the camp right to the set, 30 minutes by boat was necessary, the river was the only possible way. The food took 3 days to arrive. The showers, they were buckets. We stayed 17 days. After, we were happy to return to Nairobi which seemed ultra civilised, with our colonial hotel from the beginning of the century (the North Folk Hotel**
) where we were magnificently lodged very well.
-I believe that you filmed for Lucasfilm Ltd more recently.
Yes, we did the third season which is composed of 4 Television Movies (1hr. 30mins.). For me, this happened essentially in Thailand on the Isle of Phuket, in China, in New Guinea, lastly Singapore. All these fantastic and Asian countries. These are episodes with a lot of adventure. At the end of June, I’m going to film the last “additional scenes” which are going to allow to entirely repeat the series but by episodes of one hour and a half instead of 45 mins. What was funny was to film the ends of scenes which came from episodes shot 3 years ago. We filmed in a London suburb where they re-assembled loads of distinct scenery, trains, etc…
Correction: Also on Page 1...it's “Mini
Trip” (and not “Mimi Trip”)
Thanks again to Sakis
for providing the original & higher-res scans!
Hotel in Nairobi