“Why are you old? », « Do you think a lot about your father? », « Do you like cassoulet? », « What is your relationship to the cartoon? These are the kind of questions, sometimes surprising, to which Gilles Lellouche will respond on Saturday Papotin meetings. The actor and director inaugurates this broadcast of France 2 which will see, each week, at 8:35 p.m., a personality be interviewed for half an hour by around fifty journalists with a autism spectrum.
At the beginning, there is the newspaper The Papotin, launched in 1989 at the day hospital of Antony (Hauts-de-Seine) by an educator, Driss El Kesri. The media has set up an unmissable meeting for the whole team: the Wednesday morning editorial conference. Young people from around ten institutions in the Ile-de-France meet weekly in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.
“All questions are good to ask”
“Speech is free. We debate, we share around the texts they write, some sing or imitate television columnists, explains Julien Bancilhon, who takes off his psychologist’s cap to put on that of editor-in-chief when he is at Papotin. Sometimes we have a guest and the conference becomes an interview session. »
It is in this context that the directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano became acquainted with this medium, when they had just completed the promotion ofUntouchables ten years ago. “The originality of their questions and the freshness of their looks overwhelmed us,” explains the duo in the press kit. They were the ones who brought the concept of the show to France 2. “There had already been similar attempts in the past, but they had never materialized because these journalists are difficult to format for television requirements”, slips Julien Bancilhon.
“All questions are good to ask,” he adds. What matters to us, above all, is that it’s not mechanical, but rather that the journalists grasp the affinities between their concerns and the guest’s biography or his world. This creates much more spontaneous questions, which have a more interesting force and freshness. »
Far from caricatures
The result is indeed far from the marked out promo interview, punctuated with predictable questions. The guest is sometimes disconcerted, amused, moved and his answers impossible to stuff with elements of language. He confides differently. “I remember an interview a few years ago with Vincent Cassel who is generally quite cold in interviews. With the team of Papotin, it was of a completely unusual lightness and spontaneity for him, recalls the editor-in-chief. Faced with these atypical journalists, we feel that there is no search for scoop. The sincerity of the question calls for a mirror response at the level of authenticity. »
If the personality invited can thus gain by revealing himself in a new light, this also applies to their interlocutors. “This is an opportunity to show these young people in an unusual position, where they are not expected. Very often, they are caricatured, especially in series or films, deplores Julien Bancilhon. There, we see them as they are, in their diversity and in their exercise of journalism which they accomplish in an original way. And then they are taken seriously. They understand that their concerns can resonate with anyone and appeal to readers and viewers. »