Vincent Cassel on Liaison, Bringing European Masculinity to the Small

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Apple TV+’s new series, Liaison, is described as a high-stakes, contemporary thriller exploring how past mistakes can potentially destroy our future.

It’s an intense, heart-pounding series from start to finish, bolstered by a passionate love story between the two lead characters.

We talked with executive producer and star Vincent Cassel about the series and its combination of action and an unpredictable, multi-layered plot.

Vincent Cassel as Gabriel in Liaison

In the series, Cassel stars as Gabriel, a man Cassel describes as representing what a modern French man can be.

Eva Green stars as Alison, a woman who shares a past with Gabriel. That past is initially hidden under a veil of mystery, but as the espionage and political intrigue driving the series plays out, it reveals a passionate and enduring love story between the two.

Vincent Cassel and Eva Green for Liaison

During our interview, Cassel shared his take on the modern French man through a veil of European masculinity.

Gabriel is full of flaws and can take a physical and emotional beating, but he doesn’t hide his shortcomings, even if he’s not always upfront with the truth about situations as they unfold.

The one thing that holds true throughout the story is that Gabriel will do anything for Alison to keep her safe.

Gabriel and Alison on Liaison

The layered story finds these two characters thrown together after a long time, which tests their ability to communicate, raising tension and confusing Alison and the viewers.

The characters’ chemistry is electric, and Cassel chalks up their on-screen magic to their off-screen fascination with one another.

Cassel has “always been fascinated by her as an actress” and has always wanted to work with her.

When she signed on for the show, that was the ultimate green light for Cassel, who was excited about the possibility of the virtual game of table tennis they’d carry out as Gabriel and Alison.

Vincent Cassel for Liaison

Don’t let Cassel’s gray hair fool you, as it belies his physical capabilities. As Gabriel, Cassel becomes a full-blown action star, bringing to life eye-popping action sequences with what looks like no effort at all.

Through Gabriel, he shows that men don’t need to be big and built Alpha males full of bravado. Masculinity doesn’t hinge on those characteristics, and Gabriel’s discretion and seeming normalcy prove him quite lethal.

Gabriel isn’t a character who doesn’t need to show off his masculine side because it’s who he is at his core; he’s not afraid to express it and doesn’t shy away from its strengths.

Vincent Cassel, Eva Green, and Stephen Hopkins

Thanks to his involvement as an executive producer, Cassel’s creative touch is at the heart of Liaison. His viewpoints on masculinity and love help the story glide to its natural conclusion.

But don’t fall too in love with the story, as Cassel admits he’d be wary of signing on for anything that didn’t have an end in sight.

Check out the full interview with Cassel below, and stream the premiere of Liaison on Apple TV+ on Friday, February 24.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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