Valérie has both pain and hatred in her eyes when she looks at her mother Chantal in the series “My Mother”, which deals with the side effects of bipolarity within a family.
Since she is the eldest, Valérie (the excellent Marilyn Castonguay) has taken care of the happiness of her brother (Steve Gagnon) and her sister (Rachel Graton), her mother Chantal (the extraordinary Chantale Fontaine) has proved more than inadequate to many times.
Chantal could leave in a hot air balloon for weeks, even months, and when she made an act of presence in the house, a trifle would cause her to come off her hinges or she would hole up in the cellar, marked by profound despair. Valérie took everything, cared for the others, including her dying father, until her mother slept with her husband Martin (Richard Robitaille), with whom, moreover, the 58-year-old woman has committed a big fraud that landed her in jail.
Valérie went haywire after this latest betrayal of the one who gave her life. Since then her daily life has been “intense and dark,” sums up her interpreter, Marilyn Castonguay, speaking of a golden role for the multiple dimensions of her character.
“Valérie is no longer able to absorb professional challenges, love, she is rejected and does the minimum. Above all, what comforts her is consumption.
Indeed, Valérie drinks a lot in the series produced by François Bouvier. She also uses cocaine, she no longer cares for herself, she is always angry and has become a compulsive gambler, while her money is increasingly scarce. After losing her job and confiscating her vehicle on Tuesday she continues her descent into her underworld, her work of self-destruction seeming to have no other purpose than her confiscation.
“He’s not able to get help, because he’s not able to release this anger, he’s not able to either identify it or take it on.”
The forced cohabitation of Valérie and Chantal has made it possible to realize that the daughter and the mother have the same temperament. Could Valérie therefore have inherited Chantal’s bipolar disorder or is it rather consumption and depression that exacerbate her current behaviors?
The 38-year-old actress prefers to say nothing, for fear of depriving viewers of the pleasure of discovering the sequel. Unlike Chantal, who always believed her extravaganzas were related to depression — she was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder in prison — Valérie is alone in her corner and she refuses any intervention. In contrast, she criticizes her mother for not getting the help she needed to care for her children.
Although “Valerie [l]”Lived all the time,” Marilyn Castonguay learned to “shield” herself from darker characters, especially during her stage solo “Girls and Boys,” which dealt with infanticide. In the case of “My mother”, the most difficult thing was saying goodbye to Valérie, her mourning lasted for two days, the first of her in 12 years of career.
“When I was playing Valerie, I was in action, I felt efficient and useful for her, and by the time filming was over, it was like I left her alone with her problems and I couldn’t fix anything for her anymore.”
Produced and written by Anne Boyer and Michel D’Astous of Duo Productions, the “My Mother” series is shown every Tuesday at 8pm on TVA.
Marilyn Castonguay has to reprise her now legendary role of Huguette in the last season of the series “C’est comme ça que je t’aime”, which will start filming in 2023. It was this fall in “Anna et Arnaud », series with Guylaine Tremblay and Nico Racicot who can be reached on TVA+.We will also see her at the cinema next year in “Frontières”, Guy Édoin’s latest work.