Xavier Lacaille, Liz Kingsman and Noé Debré
France tv distribution has recently screened the first episode of the third season of "Parliament" in the frame of Unifrance-Rendez Vous in Biarritz. The light-hearted political satire has become in a hit in France and the distributor has sold the comedy to several territories including, Germany The United States and Asia. The series is set at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and follows a young assistant working for a newly elected member, juggling his ethics, job and love life.
"I grew up in Strasbourg, and so, unlike most other Europeans, the parliament was a very concrete experience for me, because I saw it every day. So it made me curious about it, and then I had this intuition that there was a committee inside, because is place is very complicated, people coming from all around Europe to try to make it work," explained creator and director Noé Debré in an exclusive chat with Señal News. "Then I met Fabienne Servan-Schreiber from Cinétévé, who's the producer, whose husband used to be a member of the European Parliament, we talked about it, and we decided to do it together. Then, surprisingly, some broadcaster agreed to give us money to do that," he added.
The first season of "Parliament" told the story of Samy, who came to the European Parliament by chance and ended up giving his all for a cause he knew nothing about when he arrived. In the second season, audiences meet up with a more seasoned Samy, who has to learn to compromise without compromising himself. The series has an international cast and is shot in three languages, French, English and German. "When I was in cinema school, I learned about the project while it was being written by Noé and at that time I wanted to be part of the writing process of the show," confessed French main actor Xavier Lacaille. "Then there was an audition process, and I wanted to do it. It's not the writing, I must be the acting, I was really happy to do it," he added.
"The show begins just after Brexit. My character was working for a British MEP and lost her job, so basically spends the entire three seasons just trying to find employment and reasons to stay in Europe," said British actress Liz Kingsman, who played Rose, Sami's girlfriend. "One of the themes of the show is sort of choices and decisions and consequences, and my character's just sort of trying to figure out if she can care about any job enough to put her heart into it."
The first two episodes of "Parliament" Season 3 are scheduled for broadcast in France on September 29, and the first two seasons became a global phenomenon. "There's a specific audience that love political satire," indicated Debré. "What's attractive in 'Parliament' is that it's a very weird setting, the parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg is really weird. The way I understand the series is that it's about how complicated the world is. We live in a world that we understand less and less. We feel like this tiny piece inside a huge machinery, and we don't understand the machinery. The European Parliament is a good metaphor for that," explained the series creator.
COMEDY AS A METHOD TO LAUGH OF REALITY
"The obvious problem with making a show at the European institutions is how complicated they are, but the good thing about making a comedy of it is that what we laugh," asserted Lacaille. "The more complicated it is, the more the characters are lost, the more fun we have with it. We take the difficulties and try to make it the strength of the series," he added.
"'Parliament' is the only show talking about the European Parliament, and it's such a weird. Even though you don't want to laugh, you can watch 'Parliament' because it's interesting," commented the French actor. "My pleasure in the 'Parliament' are the actors, we have a great ensemble. We are very lucky because we get all these actors from everywhere in Europe, and they agreed to come because they find it fun to go and shoot. It's like summer camp," affirmed Debré.