Léane Labrèche-Dor has long been annoyed by the comparison with her famous father Marc Labrèche. Aware that her family ties could be “a double-edged sword,” the actress even had to make difficult choices to avoid being associated with her father. Now that she’s found her place in Quebec’s artistic scene, the 35-year-old actress has made peace with her inherited baggage.
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“I’ve made my way, I’ve taken my classes and I’ve changed my mentality around that,” she revealed in an interview with the Journal on the occasion of the release of the film My Mother’s Men, in which she stars.
“As I entered my professional life, there was a real desire to break away from my father. I knew that no matter what I did, there would always be 50% of people who would say I got this role or that because Marc Labrèche is my father. But today I’m letting go and allowing myself to have more fun. »
From laughter to tears
Proof of that letting go: Léane Labrèche-Dor recently agreed to star alongside her father, grandmother (Michelle Labrèche-Larouche) and spouse (Mickaël Gouin) in the family parody Les Labrèshian, presented earlier this year as part of the program I’m Coming to You, hosted by Marc Labrèche. To his surprise, this series of very short sketches was a huge hit with the public.
“It’s such madness that you never know if you’re going to do well if you do it,” she notes. But people find it funny. At the same time, it’s completely silly. Appearance makes no sense! And my grandma, wow, brings out the twins! I would give him all the awards in the world for his performance! »
In the years since graduating from the National Theater School (in 2012), Léane Labrèche-Dor has often excelled in comic roles, notably in the comedy show SNL Québec, which she introduced to the general public in 2014, and in the series Escouade 99, a Quebec adaptation of the American sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which aired on Club illico in 2020.
However, in recent years filmmakers have increasingly called on his services for his versatility and ability to develop dramatically as well.
This is particularly true of director Anik Jean, who offered him the lead role in his first feature film, My Mother’s Men, which opens August 4th. Léane Labrèche-Dor plays Elsie, a young woman in her early thirties who receives an unexpected legacy from her eccentric mother: a mission to reconnect with her five ex-husbands.
Anik Jean was already friends with Léane Labrèche-Dor when she offered him the lead role in her film. It was the actress’ performance in 2020 drama The Laughter that convinced her of the breadth of her acting palette.
“Today I can’t imagine the film without Léane,” says Anik Jean.
“She carried the film on her shoulders like a warrior. Léane is such a strong woman for me and I say that because I know her on many levels. But in cinema and in acting, she is an actress who has a very wide range, great generosity and good listening skills when dealing with other actors. It’s easy to work with her. She’s an incredibly talented girl. »
When Léane Labrèche-Dor read the screenplay for My Mother’s Men (written by Maryse Latendresse), she quickly identified several elements that allowed her to identify with the character Elsie. Like the fact that she too lost her mother at a young age [elle avait 16 ans quand sa mère, Fabienne Dor, a succombé à un cancer, NDLR].
“It certainly helped me find emotional ways to interpret the character,” says the actress of this similarity with the film’s heroine.
“I think it has allowed me to arrive with a small baggage full of emotion and a vision of what this grief means. I don’t think it was necessary to lose your mother to play this role. There are extraordinary actresses who could have played him better than me. But there is something unique about the way I dealt with the grief for this girl and her energy that was very close to me. »
Photo Jocelyn Michel, byconsulate.com
In the big leagues
On the set of Les Hommes de ma mère, Léane Labrèche-Dor also had the opportunity to answer several renowned actors, including Colm Feore, Marc Messier, Patrick Huard and Anne-Marie Cadieux.
“It was super intimidating because it’s gaming monuments,” she says. It was like a game hour every day. The beauty of it was that I was able to learn with actors who have completely different acting styles.
“But it took me a while to stop being intimidated… I felt small next to them in my shorts!” Colm Feore is Canada’s greatest Shakespearean actor. He is monumental on stage. When he arrived on set I was like a 10 year old girl. I couldn’t look him in the eye. »
♦ The Movie my mother’s men hits theaters on August 4th.
YOUR FIRST CINEMA MEMORY?
“I remember watching Toy Story when I was little. But the first time I really fell in love with cinema was when I saw Moulin Rouge. It was the first time I saw a film and said to myself: Wow, that’s so wonderful, what an extraordinary medium! And then several years of “Kick” against Ewan McGregor followed…”
YOUR LAST FAVORITE?
“I know it came out a year ago, but I really liked Arsenault et fils. There’s also The Diver, which I loved even though I haven’t seen it in the cinema. »
A FILM MAST YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH?
“Luc Picard! I still haven’t recovered from The Audition. I think it’s a masterpiece. There’s something I like about Luc’s sensitivity. It’s super fragile and yet a rock. He’s an artist that interests me a lot. Otherwise there are a few other filmmakers I would like to work with one day such as Robin Aubert, Louis Bélanger, Chloé Robichaud and Sophie Dupuis to name a few. »