Experience gray areas

Experience gray areas

Michelle Allen has often offered us plots with complex relationships. Whether with A killer so close, Run away Where from The Runaway, it also got us into troubled areas where manipulative personalities find the gap to grab their prey. These narcissists fascinate. Sometimes they manage to pull their strings so subtly that it becomes difficult to tell right from wrong. This era of the #MeToo movement is conducive to an autopsy on a serial killer who doesn’t look like it. Such is the case of Christian Savard, said the Emperor. An aggressor who has raged for a decade and who, like so many others, has always gotten away with it.

Michelle Allen

Photo provided by Vivien Gaumand

When did you decide to work on a series exploring the patterns of an everyday aggressor?

2018, shortly after the start of the #MeeToo movement. A lot of things made me think and I found it difficult to find answers. There were series like The Morning Show or The Loudest Voice. I wondered how these attacks could continue. I also followed the DSK and Anne Sinclair affair [Dominique Strauss-Kahn, ancien ministre français et directeur du Fonds monétaire international a été accusé d’agression sexuelle alors qu’il était marié à la grande journaliste]. I said to myself: but what hasn’t she seen? I went back in my memories and experienced unpleasant stories. I haven’t talked about it. I didn’t see myself as a victim. I wouldn’t do that again.

The character of Christian (Jean-Philippe Perras) presents himself as a good guy. He makes women believe that if he commits inappropriate actions, it is their fault. Was it important to maintain this ambiguity?

Perpetrators are often portrayed as arrogant and unpleasant creatures. There are all kinds of attackers. Christian belongs to the category of opportunists. He doesn’t make a plan in advance, he doesn’t have an unbalanced libido. He takes chances. I don’t rule out that he’s narcissistic. He feels it’s love he’s giving. It’s the thresholds that are unsettling. limits. He is sure that his gestures will be approved. It’s innocent at first, but eventually it’s not. Weinstein [Harvey] It must have been more subtle at first, after 10 years it must have been downright uncomfortable.

Why did you decide to set the story in two eras: 2005 and 2015?

What happened in 2005 is very different. We had gained weight as women in 2005. It was normal and brave to take it. We were proud not to be a victim. There was a release. The women had an assertive sexuality. Like men, they could no longer mix sex and love. Women have learned to deal with these norms. I wanted to go and remember where we came from. We spoke of “mononcle” and the word “consent” did not exist. Everything is very divided, polarized. I wanted to remember the nuances, the gray areas.

The series features multiple victim archetypes. Is it about raising awareness?

I didn’t repeat myself. Every woman has different desires and reactions. Manuela doesn’t have the same story as Maude, Florence or Marilou.— I didn’t want to send a message. I didn’t go to the legal department. I’m not saying what to do. I show different behaviors and what women experience as a result personally, professionally and with their environment. Because there are also collateral victims. Christian’s sister Audrey is an example. Olivia [sa conjointe] in addition. The possibility of abuse is universal. They are in all walks of life. I’ve heard so many stories in the field of lawyers and medical specialists. The world of advertising was more permissive, less strict. Christian also valued a woman-friendly image.

Does an attacker feel untouchable if they don’t get caught?

i believe him All these people that we put on a pedestal are building their impunity. We apologize. We admire visionaries, but often it’s people who break the rules. Christian wants to expand. He doesn’t respect boundaries. It’s accepted, it’s right, it’s praised. There is a trivialization of the consequences.

  • The emperorWednesday 8 p.m. on Noovo.