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Claude Lelouch pays tribute to Bernard Tapie: “Dazzled, I went to see him to offer him a role”


The French director, who turned the businessman in Men, women, instructions for use in 1996, remembers with emotion an “extraordinary” personality.

He was the last of my three musketeers. There was Johnny (Hallyday), Jean-Paul (Belmondo) and Bernard …“. In an interview with our colleagues from Parisian Claude Lelouch spoke with emotion of the businessman “All Terrain»Bernard Tapie whom he will have been able to transform into an actor for his film Men, women, instructions for use in 1996.

These two defiant men were made to meet. They met in the early 1970s when Bernard Tapie rented his cinema from the famous club 13 to organize professional meetings. One evening Claude Lelouch heard him praise the merits of a bank card to potential customers. The filmmaker is amazed by his glibness, he remembers it perfectly: “He had an amazing art of convincing. He was able to sell anything. I was dazzled and I went to see him to offer him a role.

A stroke of poker: Bernard Tapie against Fabrice Luchini

Claude Lelouch will actually think of him to play in Adventure is adventure. He immediately gives him the character who will be played by Aldo Maccione. But after having, initially, accepted, the businessman retracts because the shooting is too long. We have to wait until 1996 and the film Men, women, instructions for use so that the Tapie baladin is finally born on the big screen. The bet is huge, despite his undeniable presence Bernard Tapie is a beginner actor. Claude Lelouch had an amazing idea for this poker move to succeed: “I put him in front of Fabrice Luchini who is the actor of the actors. It will remain one of my fondest memories as a director. Bernard managed to stand up to Fabrice.

The story was not to end there. The filmmaker has caressed the idea of ​​playing his third musketeer again. The case was even very well underway, as revealed by Claude Lelouch: “Bernard had agreed to be part of the second part of my trilogy The human race. “

Fate has decided otherwise. After four bouts Bernard Tapie eventually succumbed to cancer. Today, Claude Lelouch has lost an actor, but above all a man he admired. He repeats it one last time in the present tense, in this last tribute: “It is a generous man who made us dream. You never die of a dream overdose …

Men, women, instructions for use by Claude Lelouch in 1996, with Bernard Tapie, Fabrice Luchini, Pierre Arditi …

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