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How Michel Blanc was inspired by Woody Allen for his character of Jean-Claude Dusse

INTERVIEWMore than 40 years after its release, The Bronzed remain a timeless classic of French comedy. The character of Jean-Claude Dusse, this clumsy bachelor whose amorous setbacks made generations of French people laugh, has not aged a bit either. Michel Blanc, who plays him in the film series, told how he had built his role, at the microphone of Michel Denisot on Europe 1. And one of his sources of inspiration was Woody Allen, of whom he is a big fan.

“A form of neurotic humor” that he likes

In the early 1970s, Michel Blanc joined the Splendid troupe, with his future comrades Thierry Lermitte, Christian Clavier and Gérard Jugnot. But its beginnings are mixed, unlike its partners. “When we played at the Café-Théâtre before the Tanned, I saw my friend Gérard Jugnot make them cry with laughter and Christian Clavier too. I made people laugh moderately, I hadn’t found my form of comedy. I was building characters but I didn’t find the spark, ”he recalls frankly.

He is then inspired by the roles of Woody Allen, of which he is a fan, to find his own style. “When I saw Woody Allen’s first movie, we were still in our early days. I was like, ‘but there you go, this is where I can go.’ I don’t compare myself to him, but it’s that form of neurotic humor that I can go to and it’s characters like that that will allow me to communicate with the audience. “

“Jean-Claude Dusse was my take-off rocket”

With the troupe of the Splendid, he then began to write the play Love, Shellfish and Crustaceans, which will become in 1978 the film The Bronzed, directed by Patrice Leconte. “When we wrote the first Tanned, I got the idea of ​​this character of Jean-Claude Dusse, who is a guy who goes to the Mediterranean Club like all the others to flirt “, he says.” Not only does it not work for him , but when he sits down next to a girl to talk to her, she doesn’t see him. She gets up and sees someone else and then she leaves. So here we go, “recalls Michel Blanc.

The famous sentence “We never know, on a misunderstanding that can pass”, pronounced by Jean-Claude Dusse in The Bronzés go skiing, has even become one of the most famous replicas of popular French cinema. “Some of the sentences I say in The Bronzed are taken over and they are thrown at me very often “, laughs Michel Blanc, who never tires of this character who sticks to his skin.” I would never say that I am fed up with either Tanned, or Jean-Claude Dusse. It is not a ball. Jean-Claude Dusse was my propellant, my take-off rocket. I haven’t let it go completely. “

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