As of: 06/17/2022 6:27 p.m
He has shot with the biggest names in cinema and starred alongside divas Brigitte Bardot and Romy Schneider. French film legend Jean-Louis Trintignant has died at the age of 91.
Jean-Louis Trintignant always emphasized that he was long dead. A stroke of fate, the death of his daughter Marie, killed by her boyfriend – let him die: “It was 2003. That completely destroyed me. I never recovered from that. On the other hand, we consist of our happiness and our dramas.”
ARD Studio Paris
Trintignant grows up as the son of a wealthy industrialist in southern France, during wartime. The father in the resistance, the mother shaved because of an affair with a German soldier.
I wasn’t particularly happy as a kid. Even then I thought about killing myself. I’ve never been an optimist. But I still think back with tenderness, because there were many people I loved very much, but I didn’t have time to tell them.
The breakthrough with Brigitte Bardot
Trintignant studied law in Aix-en-Provence and discovered his love of acting as a spectator in Molière’s play “The Miser”. He wants to be a director, breathe more freely, he goes to Paris. And – in order to better understand actors – first register as one. “I started the course and it was a disaster. They discouraged me, but that made me want to keep trying,” he says. “I had a southern French accent and that makes you look ridiculous in Paris if you want to act.”
The young man from the provinces makes ends meet with odd jobs. Gets first roles, is shy but beautiful. Brigitte Bardot thinks so too, with whom he shoots “And the woman always lures”. The affair caused a stir. Trintignant prefers military service. Return to the stage, in front of the camera. And says modestly:
This is also why the theater is more pleasant, because you have far fewer spectators, but they breathe at the same time as you do. That’s lucky and I want to make them laugh.
Most honors for Haneke’s “Love”
Trintignant received his first major prize in 1968 at the Berlinale for “The Liar”. He made the film that brought him the most honors when he was over 80 years old. “Love” directed by Michael Haneke, about an old man who cares for his terminally ill wife. Until the end, the actor remains a mystery to many. A French journalist once asked him whether he liked it:
Yes, but not because of my job. I don’t find myself particularly interesting. I never thought I was special because I make films.
Trintignant slips into around 150 roles in cinema and television, particularly political ones. Eventually he became frail, went blind and no longer had his cancer treated.
One should talk about death, not make it a mystery, not a drama. But when you’re close to death, you know it can’t be undone. No one has come back and said, ‘oh, it’s great afterwards’. I hope you will sleep and think of nothing more. But I’m not sure if it will be like that. Maybe it will be hell, purgatory – or paradise.
Obituary for Jean-Louis Trintignant – The humble star resigns
Stefanie Markert, ARD Paris, June 17, 2022 5:35 p.m