The diction is still impeccable, the elegance and presence intact. At 90, whom he celebrated at the start of the year, Gérard Poirier is enjoying a peaceful retirement, even if the pandemic has somewhat clouded his happiness.
You immediately recognize the actor’s unforgettable voice as soon as he takes our call.
“How are you, Mr. Poirier?”
“It’s going as well as it can be, under the circumstances, isn’t it?” He replies quietly.
The pandemic is difficult for him. Gérard Poirier and his wife, his sweet Monique Provencher, live in a retirement home on Sherbrooke Street, which has so far been spared from COVID-19. The rules are strict, no visitors are allowed.
“The passage of the pandemic makes us suffer, obviously, but we try to stay happy. What bothers me the most is not being able to do what we were doing before the pandemic hit. Before, we went out a lot more; We would go shopping together, we would eat with friends, we would go to shows. It was moving. ”
“For now, everything is doomed. We feel like we are prisoners. Just going to visit a buddy is a problem. And I think we are not the only ones. It’s a painful thing to go through for everyone … “, laments the actor of” L’Auberge du chien noir “,” Le temps d’une paix “,” Le parc des Braves “,” Les Plouffe ” , and so many other series, films and plays, whose career spanned more than 60 years.
Gérard Poirier tells us that he is “completely retired”, “for six or seven years”.
“I didn’t do anything about it. It’s normal. I think, when we get to a certain age, there are no more roles for… old people, ”he sneers.
His last engagement with the camera, he believes, dates back to the short film “Henry”, by Yan England, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2013. On television, we may have seen him last. once in the skin of Clermont Geoffrion, the biological father of Claire (Marie-Thérèse Fortin), in “Mémoires vives”.
His memories playing tricks on him, Gérard Poirier enlists the help of his wife to recall them accurately.
“Old age is a weird thing,” he philosophizes. Things are not as clear as they used to be … ”
Yet it is with eloquence that he recounts having played his first scenes as an actor, “on the air”, in 1954. Previously, he had embarked on a career as a teacher, both at the Normal School and at the National School of theater and at the Conservatory.
“I have nothing to complain about my career. I’ve always had a job. I may have had small spells of unemployment, but it didn’t last. I was really busy.”
What if he was offered a role today, would he take it?
“I would have to read the text first. I am detached now from this world. I think that would be a difficulty. I’m not sure I will still be able to memorize … ”
Overall, Gérard Poirier’s health is doing well.
“I am standing. I can still move forward, that’s a lot! I live in a place where the elderly are. I can compare my condition with that of others, who are really terrible … ”
He copes with minor sight and hearing problems.
“I watch TV, but because I have poor eyesight, I lost the taste for it. The characters, for me, have become very black silhouettes. I’m having a kind of Lent, if you will. The happiness I used to watch television no longer exists. Everything has become difficult … ”
The artist crossed the 90-year mark on February 4, 2020, with complete discretion. His Monique confirmed to him that no special event had been organized to mark the milestone, which he referred to as “great age.” “You didn’t want to!” She whispered to him, a few steps from the receiver. Today, he calmly awaits his imminent 91 years.
Gérard Poirier is the father of two daughters, born from his first marriage. The oldest is a businesswoman, the youngest is deceased. He and his precious Monique have been a team for “at least 30 years”.
“We are both, I believe, at our second marriage. We have lots of ideas … (laughs) She looks like a young girl. She takes great care of herself. What I appreciate, mind … “, compliments the man to his better half.