In words that will send a Gallic breeze down the necks of many a fan of French political drama ‘Spin’, its star Grégory Fitoussi admits that the work he does on his spin doctor character Ludovic Desmeuze consists of trying to “make him a little bit ‘pervert’.”
Even with the mists of translation from French to English, there is no mistaking what he means. Grégory, known for his role in ‘Mr Selfridge’ as well as previous French hit show ‘Spiral’, tells Radio Times: “Everything is about power. He has sexual power over women and he knows this, so he uses it. But it’s a little sad because this guy doesn’t have feelings for anyone. He’s a bit lonely. I wouldn’t like to be him.”
For a lonely man, Ludovic seems to have a lovely time, at the centre of the drama whose third series is about to show in the UK, on More4 and the Walter Presents platform, following a rapturous reception when it was shown in France last year.
Despite his lethal on-screen charms, Grégory is convinced his alter ego has no unkind motives:
“I don’t see Ludovic as a bad guy. He’s not kind, and he doesn’t bother being polite or nice with people, but he’s in a world of sharks, where each must bite deeper than the next. And like so many people who don’t behave well, I think he’s convinced he’s in the right. He could be working for the left or the right – he doesn’t care – but he knows what his goals are and does what it takes to achieve them.”
With all the political changes sweeping Europe as well as America in recent months, French viewers delighted in trying to align the faces on screen with real-life political figures.
The third series of the hit political drama reflects the mood in Paris ever since the attacks, in November 2015, of 89 people in the Bataclan concert hall, very near Grégory’s own flat. Without replicating the attacks on screen, ‘Spin’ already has plenty of close-to-reality scenarios. The series’ Socialist president is caught between keeping his young mistress happy and his unpredictable First Lady quiet. There is a back-stabbing Prime Minister, ready to undermine the country’s President at the first opportunity, and French viewers have delighted in recognising other familiar figures.
Grégory agrees. “Sometimes, after reading the scripts, we think, ‘No, this is going too far,’ and then, a couple of months later, we have exactly the same thing going on for real.”
The third series of ‘Spin’kicks off with the assassination of a far-right politician, tipped to become the new French president. In real life, Grégory fears the forthcoming French elections could see the arrival of Front National leader Marine Le Pen at Paris Elysée Palace.
“All I can say is I’m really scared. I don’t think this will happen, but yes, there’s a chance the far right could win. And I honestly don’t want to think about that.
“Europe is changing so fast. The whole world is waiting for something to happen. I’m not sure it’s going to be something good.”
‘Spin’ Series 3 begins on More4 on Friday 14 April at 9pm. Next week’s edition of Radio Ties is on sale now.