Why did you choose to take up the story of Olivier Dubreuil at 50?
We find Olivier 32 years later. When we finish In my eyes he is 18, he has managed to transcend birthdays and he is going to the big city to become someone, to have some recognition in the eyes of others. In Three months at most, he is 50 years old, he had his recognition, he has been in the public eye for 20 years. But that doesn’t completely satisfy him, at least it doesn’t fix all the ills. For me, it was very interesting to take it there.
Is Olivier Dubreuil still your alter ego?
To be honest, I too have a father buried in New York. And I also said to myself, faced with death, that I would like to find out more about him. I wrote about fame, not all that glitters, but all that it takes to make it shine. This is always what fascinates me. My driving force of creation, my obsession, is to understand the human relationship. Olivier has become a bit of my alter ego. There are things he allows himself to say that I might not say. I give him the word that I did not have when I was very little. You cannot write a book like this without starting from yourself. When I write, all the thoughts on the job, on life, on the mother and her lies, I cannot make them all up.
Is fiction a way for you to soften reality?
When I was little, I fled like him into the imagination to extricate myself from what I was living and hearing. It’s possible that going into fiction will allow me to tell all the truths I want to tell. With In my eyes my concern was not to settle scores. It was first a letter that I had written to my children because I had problems and I told myself that if I died then, I did not want these children to find themselves not understanding. my life. I told them: don’t do like me, don’t accept that adults abuse you, terrorize you. When my girlfriend read this, she told me I should write a complete book. In the case of Three months at most, I wanted to have something bright.
Olivier went around the garden as an interviewer. What about you?
I like it so much. But I needed to stop for two years. I needed so much to step back, to ask myself questions. I realized that the questions I was asking others were to avoid asking myself. It comforts somewhere, it helps to relativize the stories of others. I still like to animate. I wouldn’t do a late night talk show again. But why not another season of Josélito at the heart of the world or go back to the radio? I had two proposals on the radio and I’m looking to see if I come back in January or September 2021.
Much of this book was written during a pandemic. What has it changed for you?
I love business in life so much that one of my biggest fears is running out of time to do them. During the pandemic, I gave myself the right to postpone things, to review my deadlines. It was a big eye-opener for me to be able to enjoy things without having to do several things simultaneously. With COVID-19, I took the time to write my book. When you’re hyper vigilant like me, you forget to live. One day, my wife asked me what I would like to write on my gravestone. I replied: “I forgot to live”. There are ends where I didn’t live, I survived. And now, I want to live, intensely, but taking the time to appreciate things.
Was this book written with a sequel to the hit TV series in mind? Olivier ?
All my books have had a second life on TV, in fiction, in TV show or in documentary. But in my way of writing Three months at most, there is something different. It’s more structured and we see more images. It will certainly be suitable for television, but not for several years.
You are writing right now Chaos, a series directed by Stéphan Beaudoin which will be broadcast on Club Illico next year in which we follow 10 young adults who, during a concert by their idol, find themselves caught in the explosion of a bomb placed in the show. Where did the idea for the series come from?
I wanted to make a documentary series on the world of teens. Then I said to myself that it would be interesting to take their stories and make minifictions of them. TVA asked me to make a single fiction. What interests me is the fate that spares, that strikes, but also who are we before an event, how do we react before and what do we become after. I really like the loss of innocence. Students go to the Polytechnique, are happy, go to the end of session party and there, bang, something happens. I want to understand this magical state of grace. Shouldn’t we stretch it more? We’re starting to tour early next year. There are three temporalities: before, during and after, so it’s hard to write. Daniel Bélanger is doing all the music for the series and Simon Morin, the singer.
Three months at most, by Josélito Michaud, published by Libre Expression editions.
Josélito Michaud will give a virtual interview on November 14 at 3 p.m. as part of the Montreal Book Fair.