Today Jean Brassard has very kindly stopped by in order to chat about his role in The Fault in Our Stars! I’m very pleased to be able to share his thoughts on the film itself, how he approaches his work, and what he thinks about twitter!
Here is our interview:
Hello there, thank you for taking the time out to do this interview with me today. I hope you are well?
Thank you, James. Yes I am quite well, thank you. Hope you are as well.
I am thank you! Could you first just tell us a little about the film and your role within it?
Well, The Fault In Our Stars is a wonderful romantic drama based on John Green’s book of the same name in which two young people who meet in a support group for cancer patients fall in love and try to figure out their lives –what is left of it- and how to live fully while dealing with all that means to be young.
They eventually end up in Amsterdam and go to a fancy restaurant where Augustus (Ansel Elgort’s character) declares his love to Hazel (Shailene Woodley’s character.) And I happen to be their waiter. Being aware of their particular story, I make sure they have the best dinner they ever had, starting by pouring champagne and telling them “we’ve bottled all the stars for you tonight, my young friends.”
And how did you became involved with this project, what about it particularly interested you?
I was called on an audition James, not knowing what I was getting involved with! I read the script and loved it. And I thought this was the best waiter part one could ever get!
Did you feel a certain pressure when delivering the “We have bottled all the stars this evening, my young friends” line? Does its weight in relation to the title change the line and your approach to it at all?
I wouldn’t say it carried weight. I saw it as a little diamond I was handed that I had to take care of and make shine. So I let the line be inside of me and waited to see what my rapport would be with Shailene and Ansel and how I would fit in their story. I delivered the line by taking them in as much as I could and thinking of them as if they were my own children.
Recently the clip of you delivering that line was released online and there were a few mixed reactions to the accent which you used, which you then responded to. Does the immediate feedback which you can now get back from fans over the internet affect you personally and professionally in any way?
Everyone is entitled to their opinions and experiences and when you look at things that way, you can respect a fan’s views and be okay with it. In regards to the accent itself, the goal was to bring in a European colour and perhaps with the idea of not being quite sure where it was from. But overall the feedback has been about my presence in that scene and how a part of it my character is with these wonderful lines. I’m quite happy with it!
I saw it as a little diamond I was handed that I had to take care of and make shine
– Jean Brassard
You seem to be very comfortable on Twitter however I would be interested to know if when you started a few years back you found promoting yourself online to be a struggle?
Yes, I’m doing my best now to be in synch with the rest of the world and I’m enjoying it now. The thing is often more about time management than anything else. But you are correct, at the beginning it was difficult for me to see how it would fit in with all the things I do in my artistic life and thought it time consuming. Now I’m going at it at my own pace and having fun sharing on Twitter and FB and see what everyone else is up to.
Just how important would you say online self-promotion within this business actually is?
Online is pretty much where most people get their news and do a lot of their social living nowadays, so I’d say that’s the most important place to be since all the other media have a presence there too.
Another topic other than your film work which you talk about on Twitter is your work and passion for audio books. Also last year you starred in the The Kid From Paris on stage. Do you find that all these different disciplines inform each other? Or are they distinctly separate practices?
Oh, they definitely are linked and feed into each other. A lot of what I do comes from using my voice: singing, audiobooks, voice over work, and there are a lot of connections there.
And so do you have a preferred medium out of those?
What I like most is the variety of the things I do. I could focus on one more than the other but that’s just the way I am. I do have a bit of a dilettante side I suppose. But I just love doing all those things each in their own particular way and the challenges and pleasure they bring.
And so finally what’s next for you? Do you have anything coming up which you can tell us about?
Right now I’m writing a lot of songs and hope to have a show ready in the Fall with them and work toward a second CD. My first one is “Le gamin de Paris”, excerpts from a tribute show to the French star Yves Montand, co-written with and directed by David Krueger. The English version of it being “The Kid From Paris.” I have a musical play that is heading towards development and a couple other projects in the wings that I will be letting friends and fans know on Twitter and FB, so do follow me and visit my page on those. See, I’m much better at social media now!
Jean Brassard thank you again for chatting with me!
James, it was my pleasure. Thank you for your interest in what I’m doing.
For now I shall leave you all with the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars: