On Sunday, July, 7, 2002, we chatted with Michel Courtemanche, the actor who plays Passepartout on "The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne". This was a surprise visit by Michel, from the Toronto Trek convention in Toronto, Ontario where he was appearing with other SAJV guests. He was able to drop in for a brief time in between other con obligations. Big thanks to Kevin (davros72) for this transcript! Also, a big thanks to Vicci, who was helping Michel in Toronto with the chat.
MICHEL: Hello everyone. I'm Michel CourtemancheUm, what do you want me to say?
Vicci: Just talk.
MICHEL: But there's no questions. [laughs]
ephialv: OK, a question for Michel - what was your favorite episode of SAJV?
MICHEL: My favorite episode was the most difficult and the best I did, I guess, was the King of Montravia. The "Royalty" episode. So what was your favorite episode that I do?
moonhart61: [My favorite episode is] the one wear you take off your shirt.
MICHEL: What was that episode again?
Gerty: "The Book of Knowledge."
MICHEL: Oh yes, "The Book of Knowledge." Yeah. Unfortunately I put on some weight since then.
ephialv: Ah, I love the episode with Passepartout alone on the Aurora, working against gravity
MICHEL: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah that was the episode when I have to work against gravity. That was a lot of fun to do because they asked me to improvise, to do comedy on that episode. It was a lot of fun to do.
v2kfool: Is Michel single?
MICHEL: Yes, I am single. Ah, OK, I'll translate, thanks.
moonhart61: Are really attracted to only blonde women, cause that is the rumor?:
MICHEL: You see, I don't; there's no difference for me. If you're blonde, red, brown, you know, if you're a good person, that's enough for me.
davros72: Michel, what was it like working with Francesca Hunt?
MICHEL: Ah, working with Francesca was great! In fact, I learned a lot from her. She's a great actress and she used to do lots of comedy back in London. So it was a lot of fun working with her. And also with Michael and Chris, but working with her, she was a really sensitive girl.
rangerlyn: Michel, what are you working on now?
MICHEL: I'm working now as a director. I left the acting job for a couple of months now, and now I'm directing a comedy show, a French comedy show on TV. And I'm writing a movie that I might direct in the next two years. So I'm writing and directing now.
ephialv: Michel, this chat is very small today - most people think that since this is con week, no one will come to chat. Hope you can come back for a bigger chat sometime, since you are beloved by the fans here
MICHEL: Yes, I'll come back for another chat another time
v2kfool: Michel, what do think of your character, Passepartout?
MICHEL: I think that, I think that [chuckles] Passepartout is... I look a lot like him. For one thing. And I think that PPT is a very courageous character, and a very sensitive one. He's courageous and coward at the same time. Courageous when he has to fight for his boss and for his friends, but that he will be afraid of vampires and spirits, and it comes from his European side. So yeah mainly this is what I think. The main character... Wow they can hear me, what I'm saying. Yeah, that's great...
moonhart61: What does PPT think of Phileas as a side kick?
MICHEL: Phileas as a sidekick? As far as I'm concerned Phileas is not a sidekick, but he always hammer on my every… you know, telling me that I'm stupid, I'm an idiot. But it is just that I am left-handed, I guess. The character makes lots of mistakes when he has to present himself to other people in the series.
Michel has not practiced his English for a long time. : He says he is a bit
ephialv: Michel is doing GREAT with English
rangerlyn: Michel, can barely hear any accent when you speak English--very well done!
moishouki: Michel, your English is better than mine, (mais il trippe , je pense ca leur rapelle Passepartout)
MICHEL: Oh thank you, because I haven't practiced my English for a long time. And I had to practice during the night while I was sleeping. It's one thing, you know, practicing English for, let's say for “The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne”. I had the time to learn the lines and how to say things, and blah blah blah. But when it comes to just chatting with you guys and just to do improv, it's a bit more difficult. Just like this morning, I had to chat in front of hundreds of people, and there were.. What am I saying? ...There were a couple of screaming girls in front of me and I didn't know what to do. So I had talk, calm them down, and finally I found the words. But...
ephialv: Michel, have you enjoyed your reunion with Chris and Gavin and Jonathan?
MICHEL: Oh, absolutely, I saw Chris and Jana, and Gavin, and Jonathan, and it was a big, very fun reunion. Cause last time I saw Chris was in Vegas last January before this year. And that was a lot of fun seeing them again. I wish that I could have seen Michael Praed and Francesca also, but..
v2kfool: Michel, question....how did you get this role?
MICHEL: How did I get it? How did I get to... totally haphazard. In fact I was in a bar, drinking beer, and I met one of the producers of Jules Verne. We had a few drinks, and he thought I was very funny. So I had an audition. So that's … this is how I got the part. But it was like, I know they were casting Passepartout in Toronto, they were casting in LA, in London, in New York. So I was very fortunate to get the part.
moonhart61: Do you think that Passepartout speaks poorly in French as well as English?
MICHEL: Yeah, Passepartout speaks like fourteen language and all of them very badly. I think I couldn't do a French Passepartout.
moishouki: [Question about broadcasting SAJV in French]
MICHEL: [Answering no plans for SAJV French broadcast]
sapphire_de2001: Just wondering, have you ever been to France (I might sound stupid, asking that, but sadly, I'm very new to SAJV, so I don't much of your background)
MICHEL: Um, yeah I've been working in France for seven years, while I was on tour in Europe, doing my one-man show. So, yeah, I was there for seven years. And that was, like, very long. You know French people, you know Parisian? Yeah, that was long.
davros72: Michel, which is your favorite place to work, theater? television? film?
MICHEL: My favorite place to work is, I would say, everywhere. I love stage, I love... I've never done any theatre. I've done lots of television, couple of films. But for now, you know, for now I'm just directing. So this is what I love to do now. But you know, acting and directing is a lot of fun.
ephialv: Are you directing comedy?
MICHEL: Yes, I'm directing a TV show, a comedy. Kind of a sitcom. And there's like eleven actors playing in it. And it's a lot of fun doing it. Yeah, it's definitely a comedy. Definitely. Oh yeah.
Have you-all had a good time at the convention?
davros72: what has been the highlight of the weekend for you, Michel?
MICHEL: Well, I wasn't expecting anything in the convention. And it's very close to my home. And I met lots of great people over here. And the Fan Club worked on Jules Verne so hard … it's impressive the work they've done so far that I'm aware of. Because I know that Chris went to a couple of these events and he was able to watch the impact of the show on the people. And it is the first time that I can actually see how is the interest. Especially that we stopped shooting that like three years ago. And three years after finally I have an answer of how much people love the show.
Vicci: I hate to tell you but I have to take him back now. Now that he knows how much fun this is, he will come back.
MICHEL: OK, we really need to go.MICHEL: Bye everyone thank you very much. Love you all. Bye!
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