Patrick Huard’s new TV show, Les Honorables, is already a Club illico sensation, beating all previous viewing records. We met with Louis Choquette, director of the 10-episode series, to chat about the importance of casting, the bond among and with the actors, and what the show is really about.

How did you get involved in Les Honorables?
A very cordial phone call from our producer, Josée Vallée. Then a read-through of the draft, which I loved right away!

What was it about the project that interested you?
The world of justice and of judges has already been done on Québec TV, but this was an opportunity use it as the backdrop to a more intimate family drama, to give viewers a show with heart that didn’t descend into melodrama. There was a depth of genuine feeling in the approach to acting, a desire to give true emotional expression to the characters. The main characters grabbed my interest right away; I was moved by their situation.

Binge watch les Honorables, the new serie of Patrick Hard, on Club illico.

Episode 1 is free! Click here.

What directorial choices did you make for this show, which oscillates between the implacable courthouse, the action scenes and the intimate dialogue among family members?
The justice system is the backdrop. The true subject of the show is the characters: Ludovic, Lucie, Alicia, Gabrielle and Raphaël. They were the beacons I followed through the darkness of their ordeal. We all had an immense desire for authenticity, and that was our focus.

Explain your casting choices and what these actors brought to their characters and the story.
In Québec today, productions happen very fast, mainly for budgetary reasons. The only point where I can take my time is the casting process. That stage took a few months. I was working remotely at times because I was based in Paris for a while. We auditioned a lot of actors and I used photos to test potential family combinations.

Putting the Dessureaux family together took us a while. It was organized around Patrick and Macha, of course, and the show started to take shape from the moment they agreed to take on the roles of Ludovic and Lucie. My dream couple! After that we held auditions to see the chemistry between actors and figure out the best duos and trios, to create the most realistic family we could. Mylène (Mackay), Olivier (Gervais-Courchesne) and Myriam (Gaboury) seemed like the best choices to play the couple’s children. And—this is something quite rare—there’s actually quite a striking physical resemblance, especially between the mother and the daughters.

What did you most enjoy about filming this show?
The extraordinary team work. It was such an effective creative collaboration! Both with the technical team (Julien Fontaine is an amazing director of photography) and with the actors. I loved the months I spent behind the camera. The actors and I developed an incredible symbiotic relationship; it was so effective. The commitment to getting the performances just right and the infectious desire for authenticity were strong collective drivers.

What do you remember most about shooting this show?
The horrible heat that forced me to stop filming in the middle of a scene – in order to wipe down the actors so they could continue!

Tell us about your relationship with Patrick Huard, who plays the main character.
Patrick and I developed a very effective M.O. I really believe in meetings of the mind on the set, and ours was a great encounter, artistically and personally. We tuned in very quickly and it felt like we were delving into unexplored territory with Ludovic’s character, which is the mark of a truly powerful collaboration between actor and director.

Did filming a series intended for binge-viewing on Club illico change your directorial approach?
Whether it’s for television, the web or the theatres, my job is to tell a story with my camera. Regardless of the medium. The only difference may be that theoretically, movie theatres have a captive audience that allows you to tell the story a bit differently. But this argument doesn’t really hold anymore, since most movies are now watched on multiple platforms.

What do you hope viewers at home will take away from the show?
We don’t make any judgements or give any easy answers about the operation of the justice system. We provide a window on the painful world of characters who have lost a loved one and have to cope with the grief. This leads to situations where the love between family members—in a family that was quite fractured—is renewed and brought back to the surface. So in the most terrible tragedies you can sometimes find an unexpected ray of light.

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