Our personalities of the year: Charles Fournier
A few years ago, Charles Fournier worked far from the stage, on construction sites. Confronted with the disease, then with the death of his father, he reinvented himself by becoming an actor, then an author. With his first play, “Foreman”, the text of which he signs and in which he plays the main role, he offers a sharp, impactful, funny and benevolent reflection on masculinity. The show won honors at the Arts and Culture Excellence Awards, where it was crowned “work of the year in the Capitale-Nationale”. The Quebec Theater Critics Association also awarded Charles Fournier the prize for the best original text in 2019.
Q What was your best memory of 2019?
A The last representation of Foreman . All my construction buddies were there. It was almost half the room, a nasty gang . In addition to them, there were all my actor friends. We went for a drink afterwards. It was to see these guys, in this context, asking a million questions … There was one in there that had inspired one of the characters. He was leaning against the bar and the actor [who played the character] was perhaps three or four benches away. My friend asked another of my buddies to go tell the actor he is really good. I said to him, “Go ahead, you!” He replied that he was not capable. Finally, the actor came to speak to him. My boyfrienddidn’t say anything. He patted him on the shoulder, chocked his beer, and left. I had managed to get these sores, but not to hurt him. He understood this suffering and he saw the link that the actor had with the character. It is as if he was telling him that he understands his suffering. But the actor did not experience that! It was a great moment. And to receive the prize for the work of the year, it was the icing on the cake .
Q What was your artistic or cultural favorite in 2019?
R The re-reading of Antigone [in a staging by Olivier Arteau at Le Trident]. This is the definition of a show . That was all. It was rock ‘n’ roll. With the lighting, it almost felt like being in a movie. Succeeding in putting on scenes of war from that era is not easy. And it was updated.
There was also Les murailles by Erika Soucy [at Périscope in a staging by Maxime Carbonneau]. I talk a lot about the father-son bond. To see the same universe from a woman’s point of view was a big crush. Even if I come a little from this milieu, the North Shore, the fly-in fly-out , it’s something that I didn’t know at all.
Q A disappointment in 2019?
A That my father didn’t see Foreman is the biggest disappointment of my life. It’s starting to date, the time he died, and I’m starting to have trouble imagining how he would have reacted. This is harder. For not having been able to see his face. The world may tell me that it would be proud of me, not to have seen it, it will always stay. Beyond all the other projects I do, [it touches] really this one. At the same time, it’s contradictory, because if my father hadn’t died, Foreman wouldn’t exist. And I probably wouldn’t be in theater either.
Q What does 2020 have in store for you?
A I’m going to act in Premier Act in À L’ffiche in a staging by Angelique Patterson. It’s a show that talks about obsolescence and the whole digitization of work, but also of art. There is also Foreman who returns to Périscope and we are going to play in Montreal. And I’m writing for a next show.
Q What do you want for 2020?
A I hope that the artistic community of Quebec appreciates itself at its fair value. I think that by doing so, it will allow us to be recognized at our fair value. There are extraordinary artists in Quebec, in all fields. From the world that can radiate very strongly. Often, we position ourselves or accept to be positioned in relation to Montreal or Toronto. If we allied, among other things for film productions or series … We are able to make series here. He releases 12 actors per year from the Conservatoire, he releases a handful of directors and screenwriters. I want us to take our place.
“On poster” will be presented at Premier Acte from February 25 to March 14. “Foreman” will be shown at the Periscope from September 15 to October 3.