He alternates television, cinema and alone-on-stage, here is Bruno Salomone in the Off d’Avignon on the bill of Au Scalpel, a face-to-face under high tension with Davy Sardou. The actor plays a brilliant surgeon who receives an unexpected visit from his brother, whom he has not seen since the death of their mother. The two men hate each other: one was in love with his brother’s wife, the other was the lover of his brother’s wife. One was top of the class, the other the favorite son. We meet Bruno Salomone at the end of the show, bermudas and Hawaiian shirt, smile on his lips. He tells us about his own Avignon.
Franceinfo Culture: Is this your first Avignon Festival?
Bruno Solomon: It’s the first time I’ve done it as an actor, I just staged my best friend, David Salles, who was doing a one-man show, I sneaked by. There I stay a month in the Off. I was apprehensive and in fact it’s still great to meet all these fascinating people, all these fascinating people, all these universes, from boulevard theater to more classical plays. I really like this permanent party atmosphere. At the end of the month I may say something else!
What was the trigger?
I was offered this project, I said to myself why not, let’s go. And then it’s part of the journey to try to sell the tour that will follow. That’s exciting.
We could sum up “Au scalpel” by a terrible game of cat and mouse between two brothers who hate each other…
That’s what I liked, it’s this mise en abyme, we’re lost, we don’t know where we are at any given moment. We are taken hostage by these two brothers, we no longer know who is telling the truth and who is lying. We did several readings beforehand and I was wondering: but is my character lying or telling the truth? I had to convince myself of what was true and what was false to fully enjoy myself. I finally found my truth.
And which is the more evil of the two?!
According to my logic, as it is my character who started, I will say that it is him (burst of laughter).
Does the Avignon Festival mean anything to you?
I visited the Palace of Popes, I took a slap, it’s a beauty, this city is sublime. There is an emulation almost everywhere, a kind of magic. I feel like I’m taking a trip back in time. Even compared to what I’m doing here. I, who started with the café-théâtre, had already learned how to canvass people. The theater is not my favorite place at first, but I like it for now.
Could you have come to Avignon with the band you formed with Jean Dujardin in “Nous c Nous”, in the 90s?
I would have loved it, but we did very little on stage together, we were on television very quickly. We played at the Sentier des halles two or three times, it’s a shame by the way, we would have had a blast. We had a big hit pretty quickly with this band.
And play in the In (the official festival)?
So there, I don’t know, I didn’t even think about it (laughs)! I’ve never seen a show in the In, I’d go see one in the Cour d’honneur.
Are you going to see other shows in the Off?
I’m going to see my friends’ plays. I saw Cyril Garnier in Astronauts, the guy is captivating in this one-on-one. I go see my friends in the one-man-shows, but I also want to see something else, I’m curious. So far I’ve been to the cinema (laughs) in this magnificent place that is Utopia. I saw Quentin Dupieux’s film, Incredible but trueI want to see the doc on Morricone, Ennio.
How is your typical day going?
In the morning I get up quite early, I go up to the Doms garden where we have a beautiful view, the sunrise. I walk in the streets when there are not too many people but it’s hard to find moments without anyone! The other time I made myself the Palace of the Popes. Then I do my show, I have a salad for lunch, if you want to know everything (smile), and then I stroll, I go to see a play or a movie, depending on what I’m offered as I know few people here.
Do you find the public of Avignon particular?
What’s amazing is that we have very different people. The evening of the premiere it was quite disparate, yesterday it was a bit hard, and today I found them quite reactive. There’s a tension in this play, it’s not a thigh-slapping comedy. Today they were fine. I was apprehensive about the public on Saturday evening!
It’s Saturday, but it’s 1 p.m.!
It’s true !
And this schedule, precisely, to play?
I like it, at least it’s done! Otherwise the day is wasted, you can’t relax completely. I organize my day according to the play.
Do you tow?
I have a trick: as soon as someone tows me, I retract them! So far we have been spared the hassle. We have a tractor, Nadine, who is great and who managed to bring 20 people today. I also have the advantage of being a little known. They say to me: ah, are you there? So I take out a box!
Are there any roles you dream of?
What excites me is changing roles, then I don’t have an idea in mind. I have a friend who tells me: I see you well in Don Juan, I don’t project myself into the classics, it’s not my basic culture. We study the classics at school, but for me it was synonymous with boredom. Molière was happier, but I didn’t understand everything. In second we are not ready, in any case, I was not ready! And today I rediscovered all that. If I feel desire on the part of a director or an author, that can communicate the desire to me. But I don’t project myself into Richard III !
Your projects ?
For now I am writing. A series which is the adaptation of my penultimate show Euphoric where I tell the story of a child who spends his life laughing. It’s like a fairy tale in which I played all the characters. In this series, if I manage to edit it, I would do some but not all.
And your animated film project?
It will be adapted from one of my sketches. It’s a family for which everything is going well, which has a little boy. The parents argue a little, there is a problem in the family, and he does not know what is going on. They live in the south, in Marseille. There is a clash, the parents go up to the Paris suburbs and, importantly, the little boy had a baby dog and they give this dog, a terrible drama for a 9-year-old child. We arrive in the suburbs, there is no longer the sea, the family, the same relationship between the parents and there is no longer the animal. The parents separate, and before leaving the father gives a guinea pig to his son and then he disappears. The only element that connects him to the father is this little animal and this little animal will play a very strong role in his life.
Is this your story?
This is completely my story.
“Au Scalpel” by Antoine Rault, directed by Thierry Harcourt
With Bruno Salomone and Davy Sardou
10 rue du Vieux Sextier, Avignon
09 87 78 05 58