Echappée : bitter farewell

Those who saw the finale of L’Échappée on Monday evening at TVA remained with the impression that the character of Brigitte Francoeur was disappearing from history. “Yes but no,” I wrote. Hammered response from the broadcaster, the producer and the press relations firm to this question, still to this day: “The character of Brigitte, played by Julie Perreault, is in the plans for the fifth year of L’Échappée .”
T he La Presse colleague Hugo Dumas has since talked about the departure of Julie Perreault, in unfriendly circumstances. The actress did not want to comment on the news Wednesday, visibly shaken, limiting herself to saying that her contract with L’Échappée was terminated. His agent did not call us back.

In an interview with Le Soleil , author-coordinator Michelle Allen said she was shocked and hurt to read that there was tension between the actress and her. “For two years, we worked very well and there were no problems. In June 2018, I learned from her agent that she wanted to leave L’Échappée at the end of the third season. I could not, there was a dramatic line that was undertaken, Brigitte could not disappear quickly like that, without preparing the sequel. I sent a long email to Julie to find an arrangement, to try to see what could be done to prepare for her departure. I never had an acknowledgment. ”

Then, producer André Dupuy managed to convince Julie Perreault to stay for a fourth and last season. “I promised that I would prepare for his departure and I respected my agreement. I informed TVA in March 2019 that Julie was leaving, for reasons of scenario. The broadcaster did not see any problem with it, since L’Échappée is walking quite strong, ”continues Michelle Allen, who also signed the two seasons of Fugueuse .

She explains that she has since contacted many times Julie Perreault for her impressions, without success. “I tried to prepare the best ending I could give her, without killing her. I wanted to see his character win. ” Then, the author wanted Brigitte to survive the departure of the actress in the life of her characters, although there was never any question of replacing Julie Perreault in the same role. “As we got so attached to her, she can’t just disappear from Ste-Alice like that,” she explained to me.

Thus, Brigitte will be very present in the minds of the characters this fall, then at the center of a major event, which I cannot reveal to you for the moment, since it would reveal a huge punch. Let’s say that this event will have an impact on just about everyone. “It is certain that we will talk about its existence. She is still at the heart of many stories, she is Jade’s mother, Noémie’s sister, ”recalls the author.

It is common for an author to receive comments from actors, who wish to understand the sometimes surprising gestures of their characters. “When an actor does not feel comfortable with a line, we change it, that’s all. It’s normal, an actor who has no questions is doing his job wrong. ” From the start, Julie Perreault addressed her questions directly to Michelle Allen, by phone or text, while others went through the director. “For Julie, it was always special, he was our” lead “. I answered it right away. She complained that she had nothing to defend, so we made her experience a lot. We worked hard to give it juice, beautiful scenes, with Bruno (Alexandre Goyette) among others. ”

“She did her job well to the end. It’s a shame it ends like this, ”says Michelle Allen. At the very end, Brigitte had to say farewell: “I will come back to see you.” “I wanted her to say it, even if I had promised that she would not come back. For Brigitte to say that to her daughter was symbolic. The director informed me that she did not mean this replica. It was for the character, not for the actress, I knew she would not come back ”, however, the author is surprised.

Without being current, it sometimes happens that an actor chooses to leave a role. “It is not easy to manage. We get attached to our artists, who are very well paid and surrounded by the production. We are building something with them. ” After all of this, Michelle Allen considers having done everything to make Julie Perreault happy on the set of L’Échappée . “I am a team girl, I like working with people. L’Échappée is a very beautiful platter. No tyranny, lack of communication, I really work in a spirit of collaboration. We work so hard, so fast. It saddens me that the impression that comes out is that there is no respect on the set of L’Échappée . ”

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