In a reality show involving celebrities, who do you expect to find? Ex-athletes, comedians, comedians, a former Miss France, stars of social networks…, it’s obvious. All these profiles (David Douillet, Camille Lacourt, Alex Ramirès, Natoo, Martin Lamotte, Elsa Esnoult, Delphine Wespiser, Just Riadh…) are thus in the casting of traitorslaunched this Wednesday, at 9:10 p.m., on M6. On the other hand, among the fourteen personalities ready to draw their more or less solid strategies, one would not have imagined seeing an author of bestsellers.
Bernard Werber is however in the game. The man who, at almost 61, is one of the most widely read French writers in the world – 20 million copies sold just for The ants –, is more accustomed to cultivating discretion. Discovering it as a cathodic player is surprising. He recognizes it, he “hesitated for a long time” before saying yes. “My entourage told me not to go, that I was going to make a fool of myself, lose all credibility”, he confided in early July during a round table to which 20 minutes a part taken.
“I have total confidence in my friend Eric Antoine”
“I had already been offered similar programs. What made me decide to accept this time is that I have complete confidence in my friend Eric Antoine. Be that as it may, the host has changed the situation,” explains Bernard Werber. Does he regret it today? “I saw a rough cut. I don’t realize, I’m waiting to see the reaction of those around me to know what to think. »
“He didn’t make fun of himself, really. He was a great player, assures Eric Antoine. I really wanted Bernard to be on the show. The first time I played this kind of game was at his house. I played two games, telling him that the next time, I would be the master of the game. That’s it, it’s done. »
The board game he’s talking about is The Werewolf of Thiercelieux to which Traitors resembles in outline, but in a life-size version, in an Auvergne castle with meetings in the middle of the night. The competition begins when the fourteen contestants sit around the table and close their eyes. With a discreet tap on the shoulder, Eric Antoine lets three of them know that they are designated to be the “traitors”. The other eleven are the “loyal ones”.
Every evening, the traitors meet in secret and agree to eliminate a “loyal”… who will not appear the next day at breakfast. They will also have to be careful not to be unmasked and eliminated by the other participants. Because all the players, “traitors” included, are regularly invited to vote against those they suspect of playing a double game… Strategy, bluff and a sense of deduction are therefore the key words of the show.
“A zone of great discomfort”
“I think the adventure begins when you are outside your comfort zone, there I was in a zone of great discomfort and it was exciting! summarizes Bernard Weber. Was he designated to be a traitor? Don’t count on us to reveal it. What we can tell you, on the other hand, is that when Eric Antoine spoke face to face with each of the candidates and asked them if they would enjoy being among the traitors, the writer was the only one to say no. “I told him that he could impose it on me despite everything, specifies Bernard Werber. I really can’t lie. It’s a bug of life. Besides, it’s more exciting to find the culprits than to be a culprit and try to hide. »
Professional deformation, Bernard Werber could not help observing the course of the game through his author’s prism. “There is a dramatic rise, a climax, an extraordinary moment of suspense, which the production could not anticipate or organize. It’s an impeccable line of narration, with twists and turns, the unpredictable, he says. When you write a thriller, you are in a race with the reader. The writer must go where the reader had not expected. If the person reading has guessed who the killer is, it doesn’t work. Well, in the show, the public knows who the assassins are [les “traîtres”] but he does not know how they will be unmasked, nor if they will be. Definitely, even while promoting a show, Bernard Werber knows how to keep us going…