My Dinner with Hervé (2018)

Often executed in a perfunctory manner, the interview remains a staple of the biopic genre. Be it with an editor (Chaplin), a psychiatrist (Factory Girl), a policeman (Wonderland) or student (The Devil’s Mistress), the device enables the biopic’s subject to tick off the milestones of their life. Not so My Dinner with Hervé, in which the interview itself plays an integral part of the story.

 

Ten years have passed since television’s 'Fantasy Island' turned Hervé Villechaize into the most famous dwarf in the world. So when Danny Tate’s editor sends him to interview the actor, she insists the resulting article be short and funny. Much to Tate’s frustration, the interview turns out to anything but.

Though Jamie Dornan impresses in a role based on the film’s writer / director Sacha Gervasi, this is Peter Dinklage’s film. He may not look like Villechaize, and his imitation of the star’s voice is at times indecipherable, but Dinklage commands attention with his empathetic portrayal of a man once looked on as a freak. “When the world realises you are a real person and not just an amusing sight” Herve confides to Danny, “They get scared”. It is a grand performance.

Currently experiencing a similar fame courtesy of television's ‘Game of Thrones’, Dinklage continues to challenge the warped notion that little people are little more than just short and funny.

cast, Peter Dinklage, Hervé Villechaize, Andy Garcia, Ricardo Montalbán
Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage

as Hervé Villechaize

Andy Garcia
Andy Garcia

as Ricardo Montalban

Mark Umbers
Mark Umbers

as Roger Moore

Mark Povinelli
Mark Povinelli

as Billy Barty

1/3
Robert Curtis Brown, Merv Griffin, Wallace Langham, Ashleigh Brewer, billy barty

The biopic is inspired by an interview writer/director Sacha Gervasi conducted with Hervé Villechaize shortly before the actor’s death. Nevertheless, here are a few of the differences between fact and fiction -

Reel

  • Danny reluctantly accepts assignment to interview Hervé.

 

  • Interview was conducted in one night. 

  • Hervé meets Camille Hagen when she appears on 'Fantasy Island.

  • Hervé commits suicide inside his house.

  • Hervé's agent Marty Rothstien informs Danny that Hervé has committed suicide.

Real

  • Sacha comes up with the idea of interviewing Hervé.

 

  • Interview was conducted over a period of five days.

  • Camille Hagen appeared on 'Fantasy Island' after she married Hervé.

  • Hervé committed suicide in his backyard.

 

  • Hervé's girlfriend Kathy Self informed Sacha that Hervé had committed suicide.

Camille Hagen, Oksana Veber, Dana Broccoli, james bond, fantasy island

Clip courtesy of Dimitri Bitu

candybarstrip.jpg