Trinkets and furniture were packed up and the condo was emptied. After two seasons filled with enough watered-down discussions and snacks swallowed in the corner of the counter, Patrick Huard put the key under the door of his loft of Tower Thursday afternoon.
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Nostalgic for the fifties who wears, depending on the project, the caps of actor, screenwriter, comedian, presenter, producer and director? “I didn’t know what to expect. I felt a kind of pressure to know how I was going to live my last day in Tower. But yeah, it was emotional. I’m not so used to goodbyes. When you make a movie or a series, you know when it’s over and it’s always festive at the last party. Then we leave on another ship, there are members of your team that follow you on other adventures. There, really, it’s over, ”confesses Patrick Huard by phone.
Tower It could have lasted several more years. This everyday mix of common sense, humility and curiosity delighted viewers, who sometimes deceived District 31 (guilty!) with Patrick Huard’s gang.
The decision to descend from Tower he was fostered with his wife, Anik Jean, and their 10-year-old son, Nathan. “If my big daughter [Jessie, 24 ans] she still lived at home, she definitely would have talked to him about it. My work touches my family. And it is not possible for me to make a film in the summer and have Tower all year. It’s too much. I am a very committed person. my son is 10 years old and Towerrepresents 20% of his life”, says Patrick Huard, who also appears in the very good TV series The Honorable of the Illico Club.
With Tower in TVA, the comedian-interviewer has revolutionized the codes of the traditional talk show. With no orchestra, no lectern, and no formal introductions, guests came in and out of her apartment to a retro-chic musical theme that evoked Ocean’s Eleven.
Patrick Huard says that he “worked backwards” to avoid animating in the conventional way. He recreated a closed place, with four walls, which served as an intimacy bubble for the many stars who visited him.
He always pretended that he received in my place, in my house, and embarked the guests. There is performance pressure for artists when they arrive on a television in front of an audience and a band. The place had to actually exist, for the conversations to be real. The guests then feel at ease.
the captain of Tower he conducted most of his interviews on instinct. He wrote words on cardboard “to draw a plan, a kind of road map”, but he did not impose any scaffolding, scaffolding against the current. “The path of the conversation was traced according to an emotional logic. Yes, I read the search files before, but there was no point in forcing things with a crowbar. I took what the guests had to offer and listened to them,” explains Huard, 53.
The presenter’s listening and frankness, qualities increasingly rare on Quebec television, have colored all the episodes of Tower from September 2020. All unpretentious. Very often the program ended at 7:30 pm and I wondered why Tower It didn’t last an hour or 90 minutes. I think we would have had more.
According to Patrick Huard, the 22-minute format allowed Tower to maintain a certain lightness. “I have the impression that I would have had the reflex to delve into denser topics if I had had an hour of broadcast, I know myself,” says Patrick Huard.
After the first three weeks of broadcast Towera friend of Patrick Huard pointed out to him that he was piloting “the most beautifully decorated podcast” he had ever seen.
This observation is very correct. Tower implanted this atmosphere of trust and freedom that we find less on television.
Patrick Huard is particularly proud of the episode on systemic racism where he received, in March 2021, the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, in the company of Michelle Audette and rapper Quentin Condo. “We saw people talking to each other’s faces, directly, but with a lot of respect,” he recalls.
For the continuation of Tower, Patrick Huard will not play the mother-in-law with Gildor Roy, who will succeed him next September. “We no longer like mothers-in-law in politics. In creation, we like them even less. It’s up to Gildor to take over the show,” says Patrick Huard, who has “no right of inspection” over any modifications that might be made to the original concept.
On the Comedy “Whitewashing” Controversy team 99, which he made two years ago for Illico Club, Patrick Huard talks about a mistake, a clumsiness, which nonetheless made it possible to have an important conversation about the representation of cultural communities.
In our ultra-divided world, he begs, and I agree 100%, that we collectively have “more patience for nuance.”
“In the beginning there is always a lot of noise, he shouts. Everything is black and white, and then it turns grey”, says Patrick Huard, absent from all social networks.
And why do you avoid Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? Because he would absorb all the negative comments and would be unable to “snuggle up” like Guy A. Lepage, for example.
Although he wants to rest in the coming months, Patrick Huard’s professional schedule is already filling up. He will host the humorous contest LOL (the last laughing) : Who will have the last laugh? for the Amazon Prime Video platform.
At Bell Media, he is working on a major television series where he will play the mercenary pilot Raymond Boulanger. And he’s also refining a series on former SPVM star investigator Benoit Roberge, who sold information to a motorcyclist in 2013.
Patrick Huard is one of the rare free spirits in Quebec show business, who does not adhere to any network. We need more people like him in our star system: kind, generous, talented and a troublemaker, yes. But a loudmouth who knows how to listen as much as he liked to chat to his Rogatien Dubois.