At the very beginning of October, the Franco-Métis production company Wookey Films, founded by Jérémie and Janelle Wookey, finished shooting their last series after 10 days of filming in Winnipeg. Maxime Beauchamp, director and screenwriter, has set his eye on the phenomenon of cancel culture.
By Jonathan SEMAH
It was at Patio 340, on a sunny day, that the team led by Maxime Beauchamp finished filming this six-episode comedy. The Franco-Ontarian director, recipient of the program Serial Creatorsexplains how he got the idea for this series.
” The cancel culture is a much-talked-about phenomenon right now that encompasses a lot of things. I wanted to dwell on the minimalist side of this phenomenon.
“As an artist, there was a short period when we wondered if we could no longer say anything, if we could no longer approach a subject or use such and such a term. We are really in a learning phase. I also thought it was interesting to tell the story from the point of view of the person who made himself canceled. »
Indeed, this series, which does not yet have an official title, focuses on the story of Jonathan Louis-Seize. Having been canceled (boycotted) by the general public for two years after insulting the LGBTQ community, the main character tries to use the legacy of his recently deceased mother to resurrect his career as a comedian. However, to gain access to his inheritance he will have to carry out the exhaustive funeral requirements in tandem with his younger brother Thomas, who now identifies as gay.
“He’s not fundamentally a homophobic person. He is ignorant and does not move as fast as today’s society. He’ll get away with humor, that’s all he has. But he will have to learn to find his truth. Our character experienced a very rapid rise to fame and he never had the chance to ask himself what kind of person he wanted to be and there he will have to do it, ”adds Maxime Beauchamp.
Montreal actor Sébastien Téssier plays Jonathan Louis-Seize in this series. He explains how he prepared for this role.
“The scripts arrived very quickly. At first I rehearsed a lot at home. Then on arrival in Winnipeg, I was able to meet Vincent Paquette who plays my brother in the series. We lived together, it created bonds. This cohabitation allowed us to discover each other and to rehearse the days of filming before being on the set. We didn’t know each other, we met at an audition. You could say we’re good friends now. »
Like Maxime Beauchamp, Sébastien Téssier thinks that the cancel culture is a necessary movement in our time. He also enjoyed his character development.
“When you are not faced with this situation in life, you can be ignorant and afraid. But the fact that Jonathan is concretely confronted with his brother who is homosexual makes reality catch up with him. It was very interesting to have a scenario from someone who lives this situation from the inside. »
Same observation for Vincent Paquette, who plays Thomas in the series. He appreciated participating in this project and liked his character who does not want to be moralizing.
“Over the episodes, Jonathan learns from his mistakes with what he experiences with Thomas. But Thomas is not necessarily lecturing him. Jonathan will learn from his mistakes as he experiences with his brother.
” The cancel culture is important. It allowed many people to question themselves in the face of their own actions and to understand things. It’s a hard subject to deal with in series. There’s no one way to deal with it, but I think we’ve found the right tone. There is humor, but without laughing at this movement. We laugh at the character of Jonathan who can be despicable, but it’s done with respect. »
This project, which represents Wookey Films’ very first fiction series, will be broadcast on television and on the TV5/UnisTV digital platform in the spring of 2023.
Also discover in video behind the scenes of the filming of this new series: