Jean-Claude Drouot: from Thierry la Fronde to Victor Hugo, the voice of the just

the essential
In a few days, Jean-Claude Drouot will return to his haven of Lugagnac, in the Lot. For now, he is still Victor Hugo in “The Art of being a grandfather”, at the Lucernaire theater, in Paris. Straight up, despite the blows …

Noble. And the very embodiment of a virtuous ideal, in the service of great causes … For almost 60 years, this has been the fate of Jean-Claude Drouot on stage and on screen. In everyone’s imagination, nourished by the “little window” of the 1960s, Thierry de Janville was born, a young knight of Sologne during the Hundred Years War. And it has remained a myth: forever this Thierry la Fronde, French Robin Hood with athletic build, black hair and keen eye, righter of wrongs and resistant outlaw fighting the English occupier.

“It was the first big popular TV series and I had a whole naivety, a whole enthusiasm which gave me credibility in this role of the just,” he remembers today. “With age, this enthusiasm for just causes has become a form of fervor for me. Thierry la Fronde… The character is there, intact, enamored of justice, loyalty but now with the responsibility of being the spokesperson great texts “, continues Jean-Claude Drouot, 82 years old … Comedian, Belgian director and former resident of the French Comedy whose career we always blame ourselves for summing up the essential Thierry of the beginnings, so much he gave and still gives, in cinema, on TV and on stage.

From Agnès Varda’s “Happiness” in 1965 to the forensic scientist of the “Capitaine Marleau” series today, including “Les Gens de Mogador” without forgetting Euripides, Molière, Shakespeare, Tchekov or Claudel on the repertoire side, with a concern requirement and culture for all inherited from the big TV, Bluwal, Santelli… Jean-Claude Drouot has never stopped playing. Until having his seat reserved in any family room since he went from dreamed big brother of the 60s to “The Art of being a grandfather” at the end of 2021, playing Victor Hugo at the Lucernaire theater.

Overwhelming necessity

A subscription to the roles of bearded, after having personified – and how – Zola and Jaurès? The easy smile of the question answers the overwhelming need to live, if not for oneself, for others… “When he writes” The Art of being a grandfather “, Hugo has just lost his wife, Adèle , and his son Charles, he then took charge of his two grandchildren… “One after the other, mourning after mourning, the ordeal redoubled. Either… “, he writes. Attentive to this sorrow, I felt called by this text: it imposed itself on me after the disappearance of my wife Claire, four years ago. This” despite the hardships, I do not collapse “”, this strength of Hugo, I wear it every day on stage “, confides Jean-Claude Drouot.

Claire rests in Lugagnac. “It is my land of exile, my own Guernsey, on the Causse, great landscapes that devour your soul and invite you to come together inside. In my roles, I am traveling and there, in Lugagnac, I am where I belong (read box) “, he continues.

From Occitania, he once played Gaston Phébus, “a Shakespearean character, enlightened prince but a complex and tough fellow.” And especially Jaurès, twice, the last of which was at the Sorano theater in Toulouse, in 2014. Jaurès: “A model and a help. If I didn’t have my authors and such encounters … Jaurès’s is very important, his spirit of justice, loyalty. What makes him unique is his absolute honesty. With him, I feel invested, the voice of an uplifting humanism. ” Justice, the common thread since Thierry la Fronde… “Castres gave me a copy of Jaurès’ funeral mask, it is always near me, on my table. With Jaurès, I feel on a mission”, says Jean-Claude Drouot . Defender of one race, too: “Humanity.”

Tomorrow: Philippe Bergeroo