For several days, Villefranche-de-Rouergue has been living to the rhythm of the filming of the Netflix series for the filming of “All the light that we cannot see”, the screenplay of which is taken from the novel by Anthony Doerr. If the actors are inaccessible, on the other hand, when it comes to the extras, that’s another story…
Impossible to cross this Rubicond to try to clear a passage place Notre Dame in Villefranche-de-Rouergue. Difficult to manage to spin in the maze of the streets where the turns of the crank of the turning are declined. Without the essential pass imposed by American production, there is no question of passing, except for extras or traders joining their shops or restaurants. Nor even to try to afford a few shots.
“Telephoto lenses are prohibited”, launches a duo of vigilantes, constantly rehashing the message. But never mind. For more than ten days Villefranche-de-Rouergue has been living to the rhythm of the filming of the Netflix series “All the light we cannot see”, the screenplay of which is taken from the novel by Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize in 2015, the presence of premises opens the parenthesis.
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Behind the railings, on the seating side, a duo of extras with Rouergat accents smile and joke between two takes. “The longest is the wait”, launches a Bernard Rouziès, difficult to recognize. Cap riveted to his white and blue hair worn high, namely those who dressed the little people during the Second World War when the country found itself caught in the pincers of the Nazi yoke.
“The series seems very faithful to the text”
The former municipal councilor of Jean Rigal, had to abandon a beard over forty years old for the needs of the cause. “When I went to the casting, they asked me to let it grow, which I did and when before the shooting I arrived to try on the costumes, they asked me to shave it”. Not enough to move him, because, for him, living this experience, in his city, is worth a lot of sacrifices.
Of the 500 extras selected for the shoot, the vast majority are from Villefranche or its immediate surroundings.
Happy as a fish in water, he does not sulk his pleasure. No more than one of his friends, very diligent in his mission. He went so far as to buy Anthony Doerr’s novel, which he had read and knew every detail of. “The series seems very faithful to the text,” he says. Of the 500 extras selected for the shoot, the vast majority are from Villefranche or its immediate surroundings. Suffice to say that the German soldiers crossed under the arcades have more the vocabulary of the South-West than that of Berlin…
After these few days of filming and quick appearances by the stars – Mark Ruffalo, presented as very simple and to say the least sympathetic, only shot for one day and Hugh Laurie arrived with a beard that was about ten days old — , the anecdotes are going well. Bernard Rouziès lets go: “we spoke with a guy who comes from Cantal; his wife, who does a bit of theatre, wanted to be an extra, he said to himself I’m going to give it a try by passing the casting: and he was taken “. His wife no!
“Let’s not forget that Oradour is not that far”
During this time, two nuns pass under the arcades to reach the old Starjouet store where the extras are made up and dressed. Other women come out dressed as they were during the Occupation. With a dip in history. Which does not give manages to this nonagenarian the desire to joke when he catches sight of those who play the roles of soldiers of the Reich. “I remember the Croat revolt in September 1943, the massacre that followed, and the city put under a bell jar by the Boches, if we had not had Louis Fontanges as mayor who spoke German well and negotiated with the Nazi leaders, I don’t know if I’ll be there today; let’s not forget that Oradour is not that far away”.
For his part, Bernard stops commenting on his fleeting adventure. He is summoned to go under the arcades. The smoke bombs invade the premises and the extras return to their posts. Filming continues until the end of next week. And the curious will continue to try to sneak into the city playing cat and mouse to immortalize the metamorphosed city…
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