The Eye of INA: Jean Rochefort, the eternally elegant

In In your soul and conscience, The naive in love , The queen of spadesand other programs available on Madelen, the actor with two Césars, who died nearly five years ago, showed the full extent of his humor and his talent.

In more than six decades of career, Jean Rochefort has played almost every role in very different registers. In the cinema, there was, of course, The tall blond with a black shoe and The Riderwhere he demonstrated his comedic strength, but also Let the party begin and The Drum Crabwhich earned him two Caesars.

Five years after his death, on October 9, 2017, and while a cycle of reading-shows with his daughter Clémence is dedicated to him at La Scala in Paris, the Madelen platform offers to find him at his beginnings, through characters that he performed on television in In your soul and conscience, The naive lover , The queen of spadesand a few others. zero platformproduced in 1966 by André Voisin, brings together some of his interpretations, from the nonchalant to the veteran, passing through the embittered minor civil servant or the reporter.

These images show how much he cultivated elegance and humor on stage and in the city. He exceptionally forsook this side “britishin 2012, posing for photographers in sneakers. He then explained that it was not just any shoes. Some time earlier, at the Cannes Film Festival, he had confided to Meg Ryan that since the filming of Don Quixote, he sometimes had a hard time walking. The next day, he had received, in his hotel room, a pair that had become legendary, accompanied by a note in which the interpreter of When Harry Met Sally just wrote “Love, Meg“. “ That day,I said to myself, I stop everything! he confided. It’s not worth continuing to work. I’m at the top! »

The Splendid troupe owes him eternal gratitude

Jean Rochefort never stopped cultivating laughter, but also, and above all, friendship. His complicity with Jean-Pierre Marielle and Philippe Noiret is part of his legend, but we often ignore the one he maintained with the Splendid troupe. In 1974, he was one of the first spectators of tanned and immediately believed in their potential and talent. He was then about to turn in The Watchmaker of Saint-Paul, the first film by Bertrand Tavernier. He asked the director to entrust small roles to these promising strangers. This is how Christian Clavier and Michel Blanc began on screen playing valets, while Thierry Lhermitte played a count and Gérard Jugnot, a passerby. The latter have never forgotten him and have made no secret of devoting eternal gratitude to him.

On the other hand, Jean Rochefort made a mistake in 1964, when he urged his friend Michel Galabru to refuse the role of Warrant Officer Jérôme Gerber in The Gendarme of Saint-Tropez that Jean Girault had just proposed to him. “You’re not going to shoot this, anyway, he exclaimed. It will never work.He then admitted his lack of judgment and Galabru congratulated himself for not having listened to him.
And his mustache, by the way, where did it come from? In 1971, he wears a fake one to play the role of Alceste in The Misanthrope, directed by Pierre Dux. The day after the last one, he decides to let it grow. “It conceals my treacherous air which limits me in feminine contacts“, he will specify. His way of making humor rhyme with love.

The Drum Crabby Pierre Schoendoerffer in 1977, with Jean Rochefort, Jacques Perrin, Claude Rich, Jacques Dufilho…


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