Confident. A man with clear ideas. The French clown Philippe Gaulier leaves no stone unturnedin La Torturadora (Éditions Filmiko), a book in the form of an irreverent, rude and comical interview, evoking his concept of theater, clown, directing. A concept that has little or nothing to do with the sacred classical methods. Stanislavski must be turning in his grave.
What is a clown?
It is someone who wants to believe he is very important, but he is basically ridiculous. And he is happy to be, not ashamed. He is wonderfully ridiculous, like Don Quixote.
Then he is aware of his ridiculousness ...
His friends would say, "If I were an idiot like you, I would be a clown." So he has heard that maybe yes, he's an idiot. This is very clear, and yet, he still has many things to say, like all idiots.
What role does humor play?
Life without humor is not life. Humor is the salt: if there is no humor in work, it is missing something.
In any genre?
At all. In life. In tragedy too. In Medea, we have to say: How beautiful! But also: What a beautiful actress! As a viewer I'm not always with the character, but I often am with the actress.
That's what they mean when they say it's nonsense to confuse oneself with the character, or to have “actory-ness”…
Its a very great nonsense.
However, conventional methods according to the ...
These classical methods are so stupid and they mainly only refer to Diderot and the eighteenth century. Who was this idiot? Stanislavski, a guy who bored the Russians for so long ... They converted stage directors to the role of priests, who say now you must suffer, mourn and weep at the funeral of your mother, so remember your mother. This is a kind of terrorism and it is what many teachers like about the theater! It is shit, but a shit thiiiiis/soooo big.
What to say to these actors?
I do not enter into their lives or into their misery. Those that cry for the sake of pleasuring their audiences. I've never worked around a table, putting the text high above everything else.
Do you prefer the risk of improvisation?
The text is written, but sometimes we do not know the best rhythm/pace and we need to try different things.
Can anyone be an actor?
No. There are people who have no pleasure and there are very boring people. There are those that have fun reminding us about our pleasure, selling it. We all have to give/to be generous with our pleasure. And to sell it, but for some that's almost like being a whore. They bored ones are more engaged with being pharmacists! The point is that these requirements greatly limit the number of people who can be an actor.
Are there many actors who should not be?
There are many. Others are geniuses.
The actor has to convey feelings but while having fun/pleasure and entertaining the viewer. Is there a pact/a relationship between them that is established?
The pact is the game. They want to play with us and this game is the way to have fun/to move towards nonsense or the ridiculous. When performing a Greek tragedy one must transmit fury; if you play a vaudeville/farce, you must make us laugh.
That's sounds natural, and you write that it is important not to be natural ...
I open my imagination while watching the actors play between them. If I go to a mental hospital and see a tragic scene, my imagination is not stimulated or amused. I get a shock, I am impressed in that it seems like real life. In theater, I enjoy it, because it is all a game: to convey pleasure, but not naturally.