You could say that all of Quebec witnessed the friendship that has grown between Rita Lafontaine and Clemence Desrochers, when both have embodied a tandem of “ecornifleuses” in the film The Great Seduction. The two actresses have remained very close thereafter. But as Rita Lafontaine was always very discreet about his health problems, his death was a complete surprise to her friend.
Clemence Desrochers remembers his “little Rita,” which had the look every morning at his apartment in L’Île-des-Soeurs, as both actresses have played all their scenes in Montreal, not in Harrington Harbour Lower Coast -North.
“The great seduction was ultimately a success. I won the award for best supporting role, but it could have been, because the strength of each character had both of us. “The duo had also been asked for an advertising Loto-Quebec soon after. Clemence Desrochers and Rita Lafontaine had never worked together before this comedy by Jean-François Pouliot.
“Since we saw during dinner at the restaurant, not often, but every time we jumped into her arms, it was a real friendship, with tenderness and pleasure. Jacques is a man who has a lot of spirit … and I can laugh a little. So we did laugh Rita. We had beautiful moments together. It was a woman charming, sensitive, simple, dull, who did not play to the actress. Everyone loved him for his truth. ”
Witnessed a disappointment
Clemence Desrochers has witnessed the difficulties of her friend when she tried to launch a summer theater in the ancient church of Ham-Nord, attempt which ended in failure, after three summers of performances. The building was finally sold in 2009 to a company that was eventually declared bankruptcy and was demolished in 2014.
“We thought the adventure was risky, it was too far away to attract as many spectators, it was not quite a tourist area. Rita hoped great things and it was very disappointing for her. She lost a lot of money. She hoped to make productions and teach drama to young people. Finally, this part of her dream, she has performed at the University of Trois-Rivières, “he says about the certificate in theatrical interpretation established in 2010 in conjunction with the actress.
“Towards the end of his life, Rita was sad because it almost worked. She had a small role in The Inn of the Black Dog, but that was all. I missed him a lot. She lived a big void. ”
As a viewer, Clemence Desrochers was the most affected by Rita Lafontaine whenever it embodied the character of Nana, the mother of Michel Tremblay. “We did not see the actress could see the mother of Michel Tremblay. She completely lost in this role. Rita has practically become the collaborator of Michel Tremblay. He had always needed her. ”
“I think that’s everyone who is grieving today because Rita was the friend of everyone,” says Clémence Desrochers.
Full of soul and love
The actor Normand Chouinard has crossed paths with Rita Lafontaine for the first time on the stage of TNM.
“It is known for its many great qualities of actresses and roles in the work of Tremblay, but it is associated with less comedy. Yet she excelled. I played with him in the room The turkey, Feydeau, ridden by André Brassard, in 1979. She was funny, she had punch, as they say in the trade. We never played again together on stage, but it was still backcrossing because we bathed both in the field of summer theater in the region. This is a woman who loved working with young people and many who believed in them. It was a setter. I it to keep the memory of someone who worked in simplicity, which put soulful in his game, which was full of love for his craft. ”
Marcel Leboeuf for his part played the son of Rita Lafontaine in The Sparrow and Finch. “It was my first soap opera and we fell in love, we loved big ben. It is then always remained very close, although it was sometimes a long time without seeing. It was an extremely versatile actress. I tried to help him when it veered badly with his theater. The death of his daughter is into him. I trust that she went to find her. Rita believed there was something on the other side. She was the star charts of his friends, including my own. ”
Jean Francoeur was a technician at the Theatre of Sherbrooke workshop when, in the early 80s, Rita Lafontaine played in several productions of the Sherbrooke company. He remembers the humanity of the actress: “It was a silk! She treated everyone the same way. For her, the technicians, the props, the actors all were on the same footing. She knew where she was going, but she never said a word louder than the other. The work was done in fun, respect, gentleness.