The Bachelor, Greg the Millionaire, Married at first sight… There are countless shows that try to bring two kindred spirits together. M6 then offers to return to the biggest dating shows on the small screen in 20 years of love on television this Monday at 9:10 p.m. In particular, we will see images from the first season of My Incredible Fiancelaunched on TF1 in 2005.
In this great deception, the producer makes Adeline, who now calls herself Angelina Toffoli, believe that she is going to meet the man of her life under the eyes of the cameras. Surprised, she finds herself face to face with Laurent Ournac, or rather his character, Laurent Fortin, who then has only one goal: to blow up a cable to his sweetheart. Once the trickery was revealed to Adeline, she had to succeed in getting her parents to accept this fake marriage to win the sum of 100,000 euros. “I never sought to be publicized, I did not tell myself that I wanted to do this show to be seen”, testifies Angelina to 20 minutes.
What was the most difficult: supporting Laurent Ournac or having to play comedy in front of your parents?
Performing in front of my parents, I had to improvise in the face of their emotions. Every morning, we had a brief from the production that told us what we were going to do: tell them that we were going to get engaged, get married, etc. There were stages. Me, I had no frame. Laurent, he had a coach and he knew what he had to do while me, it was total improvisation. I didn’t know what to tell them and how they were going to react. It’s not a comedy, it’s real people and there is still a perpetual questioning, we don’t want to go too far not to hurt them. You have to find the right measure.
Did you still get attached to Laurent Fortin/Ournac on the show?
I really got attached to Laurent, yes. As we were only the two of us, I only had him because I was isolated in my room, they came to get me only to play totally improvised scenes with him. I had been cut off from everything long before filming, I only rubbed shoulders with Laurent so there was really a strong attachment. Otherwise, I was on my own so every time we made a scene, even if I didn’t know what was going to happen, I was super happy to find him. There were two of us in this lie, it became an ally. I attached myself as an ally and as a human being because I appreciated him.
Have you kept in contact with him?
Filming took place in February 2005 and the show aired in July. We saw each other many times before the broadcast, we were very, very close. I thought I had won a friend for life, we also said that we would never leave each other. Finally, at the broadcast, nothing happened as planned. The success was great, Laurent saw that he could continue there, he seized opportunities and he understood that he had to separate from me in his trajectory. It was quite difficult for me because I didn’t understand why we couldn’t be friends anymore. There’s work for everyone, just because he decides to do stuff with TF1 doesn’t mean we can’t be friends anymore. This is where I was very disappointed, he cut ties as he went along, he remained unreachable and it stayed like that…
Would you say it’s a life-changing experience?
I think it’s a show that impacted my life. I was 24 at the time, she made me grow on many things, especially in my family relationships. My dad was very absent when I was young, he was very modest and when he accepted this fake marriage and guided me to Laurent, he told me that he loved me, that he was proud of me and that’s what every young girl expects. It’s something I will never forget. It took this show for there to be this rapprochement. It changed my life.
You have become known throughout France: there was a peak audience of ten million viewers during the fake wedding…
I never tried to be publicized, I didn’t tell myself that I wanted to do this show to be seen. I had this opportunity, I liked comedy, I took pleasure in acting in front of the camera, I seemed to have facilities for transmitting emotions. When I moved to Paris after the show, I took acting lessons to be sure of what I was worth. I was told that I had that in me so I thought that if there was enough media coverage, I could say yes to proposals. There were projects, but they were never finished so I withdrew from all that.
The press received this program very badly, speaking of the exploitation of obesity. Was that something you paid attention to at the time?
I did not understand the criticisms of the press, which took the show at face value. The viewers were not mistaken: I received tons of letters from people who were in a relationship with people who did not have the same religion, the same color… Thanks to the show, they had the courage to tell their family. The press had taken Laurent’s obesity badly. If the journalists had bothered to watch the show to the end, they would have seen that we were going beyond appearances. The acceptance message was beautiful. Seventeen years back, it was innovative.
What are you doing for a living today?
I moved to Dijon in 2011, I rested in Burgundy, on my land. I do medi-aesthetics, I have been the manager of a new technologies center for four years where we do non-surgical lifting, firming, scar repair.
Do people still recognize you, seventeen years later?
Yes, it happens to me! I opened in 2018, my first customers came out of curiosity because they knew who I was. When they fall with me in care, it’s 5 stars with the TV star (laughs)! I only have good feedback each time, they liked this show, there is a lot of respect.