Delon by Delon: Jean-François, his half-brother, tells Alain “the UFO”

The eleven-year-old samurai, a man of cinema too, confides in the columns of the magazine Schnock on childhood, adolescence and the career of his elder. A rare word, which sheds light on the personality and the sufferings of the legend of cinema.

There is Alain Delon … and Jean-François, the admiring little brother, who rubbed shoulders with the actor without ever succeeding in catching him. “It’s a UFO!», Confesses this stranger to the general public, yet so present in Alain’s career. “Tweety», As Delon liked to call him, confided in the magazine Schnock (number 37) by evoking in particular their intimate and professional relationships.

Alain Delon is both family, and at the same time, he is not at all“. An observation that sums up the relations of the siblings, of which Jean-François is the youngest of eleven years. “He lived between Bourg-la-Reine with his mother and L’Haÿ-les-Roses, with his father (also father of Jean-François, editor’s note)… At the age when I could really have had a close relationship with him , he was in Indochina“.

Placed at the age of four with a couple in Fresnes when his parents separated, he then wandered from boarding schools to boarding schools. Delon is “fired from four or five establishments », Before joining the army and being sent to the front. “He tasted like castagne. He wasn’t a jolly fellow, but rather a crazy young dog“.

The flight of happiness

A man unfit for happiness. Who, as in the song, runs away from him for fear that he will run away. “He believes he has been left behind (…) but he will never give the opportunity to talk about it. It’s taboo», Recognizes Jean-François Delon, evoking in passing “The tears of early childhood” of which Pascal Jardin speaks, author so often cited by his elder.

The Indochinese conflict finishes cutting the bridges between him and his relatives, Delon retaining a deep grudge vis-à-vis his parents, whom he accuses of having “sent to war“.

Jean-François Delon evokes this big brother injured on his return from Indochina: “When he returned, he was a hothead. He no longer wanted to see his parents, whom he had remembered badly. He then frequented Pigalle, the whores, the mobsters. […] One day in 1957, we were walking in the street with my father and we see a poster for a movie When the Woman gets involved. And at the bottom of it, the name of Alain Delon. That’s how we learned he was an actor!

A coincidence that allows the two brothers to meet again, one evening in 1961, when Jean-François goes to the theater to see Too bad she’s a whore. The staging is by Luchino Visconti. Romy Schneider and Alain Delon share the poster. After the play, the youngest sneaks into the lodge of his elder. He is intimidated, even takes to addressing the actor. A shy reunion, which leads to a long collaboration.
It’s the “jobWhich will bring them together, Alain making Jean-François work from time to time on his films. Bunuel, Deray, Melville, Delon himself, hire him as an intern, then as an assistant director. Nudges, without these ever turning into a privilege: “Sure Madly, Delon wanted me to be the first assistant. As I did not yet have enough experience, Pierre Caro, the production manager of Adel Productions, preferred that it be René Clément’s brother, Claude. So I was only second.

“He is animal, he smells. He has exceptional abilities and at the same time immense faults ”

Jean-François Delon on Alain Delon in the review Schnock

On the set as in life, Delon is distant without being indifferent. He treats his brother like anyone else, that is, with great professional consideration and deep modesty: “Sometimes I would have wanted to bump into him […]. I regret that there was not more closeness, but he is like that with everyone. He is animal, he smells. He has exceptional abilities and at the same time immense flaws. Everything and its opposite. […] He’s the most unpredictable guy I know.

SEE ALSO – Non Stop People – Alain Delon: after his homophobic remarks, Muriel Robin answers him

Schnock, n ° 37, “You are welcome” , Alain Delon, La Tengo éditions, 176 p., € 15.50


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