“I didn’t want it to be too modern a series”

Sasha (Angèle Metzger) in the series “Tender Chair”, by Yaël Langmann and Jérémy Mainguy.

Screenwriter Yaël Langmann signs for France TV Slash tender meat, about an intersex teenager played by Angèle Metzger. Scriptwriter and co-director of the series, she talks about her genesis and writing, the rejections she suffered from her and her taste for American teen series.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers “Tender meat”, on France 5: the tender age of Sasha, an intersex teenager

What interested you about the topic of intersex?

It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. I’ve been working on writing an intersex character for ten years, at first it was more to do a feature film. When I was a teenager, I met an intersex person. At that time, the word didn’t even exist, we called it “hermaphrodite”. I witnessed the identity abyss, the total vertigo that the fixation of this word could have caused in the construction of this person. How do you grow, how can you build yourself when you have the image of a monster in your head?

When I started working on the character of Sasha, the subject was very repulsive to the potential partners I proposed it to. The general reaction was: ” That does not exist “, as if he were talking about the Little Mermaid. I’ve also been asked a lot if I was the one who was intersex. And then I suffered frank rejections, very violent, of the style. “It’s disgusting, why do you want to tell that? »

Why did you go to see the France TV Slash teams in particular?

When I met Clara Laplace, my producer, she immediately saw potential in this track. We went to Slash because we think they are great! Their teams, the issues they address in the playoffs… They have great flexibility in relation to changes in society, it was natural to talk about it with them.

“I suffered frank rejections, very violent, like ‘it sucks, why do you want to tell that?’ »

How did you compose the cast, which is one of the great successes of the series?

Above all, we didn’t want to make a “medicalist” or too documentary series, but something accessible, easy to understand. In addition, the fact that Sasha’s parents are young and of working-class origin brings together a larger audience than if they were Parisians, from a more affluent social background or, on the contrary, even more in difficulty.

The casting of the parents was done in that sense, we did not want Sasha’s mother (Daphne Burky) looks like the mom we often see on teen shows, a little older… We wanted her to be a woman in her mid-40s, who had her kids too soon and is overwhelmed. The same for the father (Grégoire Colin), we wanted them to be people who looked like us, who did not embody a father archetype.

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