Alain Delon: "Without women, I would be dead"


"Sacred monster is an expression that seems to be invented for him," says Thierry Frémaux, Cannes Film Festival's managing director, before inviting the aforementioned monster to join him on stage. This Sunday, on the Croisette, we celebrate the day "Alain Delon", which ends in beauty with the award of a palm of honor to the actor to salute his legendary career and in particular his favorite film, Mr Klein.

Before receiving the sacrosanct reward, Delon the Magnificent lent himself to the game of the master class. He arrives in the crush, pressed by the photographers, applauded by the festival-goers, to whom Thierry Frémaux asked to release their phones so that they can properly cheer the star. Forgotten polemics, they no longer have to be on this special day where we celebrate the 50 years of career of an outstanding actor.

Alain Delon is in shape: he is joking, obviously speaks a lot of women. He can not help crying by evoking all those of his life, by seeing some scenes of Rocco, of Cheetah projected during the conference, or remembering his venerated Melville. "I'm going home, I did not come here to complain," he said, wiping his face. It is with some emotion that he has swept fifty years of his life. Almost complete account of his statements.

His first Cannes

The Cannes Festival poster in tribute to Alain Delon.

© (1960 STUDIOCANAL – Titanus S.P.A. / Montage & model: Flore Maquin)

"The first time I came was in 56 with French actress Brigitte Auber. I had never shot in my life. I was leaving the Indochina war. Brigitte was in love with me and she said to me: "I'm taking you to Cannes". I answer him: "What is it, Cannes?" Over there, I felt that we were wondering who I was, because, sorry, that's not pretension, but I was still not badly done. I did not know anyone, I came from Saigon. If I had not met the women I met, I would be dead. The women loved me, they wanted me to do this job and they were the ones who fought for me to do it. Without them, I would not be here today. "

His first day of work

Brigitte Auber presents the director Yves Allégret, who offers his first role to Alain Delon in 1957 in When women get involved. The filmmaker gives him his first advice. "Before my first scene, Yves asks to see me and he will tell me something of capital importance:" Listen, Alain, especially do not play, look how you look, talk as you speak, listen as you listen, be it, do not play, live! "It has been my mark all my life. I have never played in my life, I live my roles. It was not funny for the women who shared my life, because, one day, I was cop the next day, parish priest. The camera is for me like a woman that I look in the eyes. "

"Réné, the petition is right"

Two years later Let the women get involvedAlain Delon triumphs with Full sun of René Clément. He convinces in extremis and, overnight, René Clément to give him the role of criminal Ripley rather than the kid of rich Greenleaf. "This role was not for me, I got it with teeth after a night of discussion with Clément and the producers of the film, the Hakim brothers. There was also Rene Clement's wife, Bella, who influenced her husband a lot, in whom he had enormous confidence. I tell them that Greenleaf's role is not for me. What annoys, of course, the brothers Hakim and Clement. And then Mrs. Rene Clément, who was wiping the dishes, intervenes from the bottom of the kitchen: "Rene, the petit is right" (imitating the Italian accent). And it was done, I had the role, thanks to her. "

His meeting with Visconti

Alain Delon and Annie Girardot in Rocco and his brothers.

© Titanus and Marceau Movies

Alain Delon turns Rocco and his brothers after Full Sun. Visconti, who saw him in the role of rogue Ripley, absolutely wants him for his film. "Visconti was playing Don Giovanni in London, then, with my agent Olga Horstig, we went up to see him. He told me, "You are Rocco, it will be you, unless you refuse, but I want it to be you." I met Olga through Edwige Feuillère. I was very well surrounded my entire career by the women who loved me. They were all five, ten, fifteen years older than me, and I did not call the cops when they jumped on me. To go back to Rocco, this wonderful scene with Annie (Girardot who played the role of Nadia, Editor's note), who is no longer there, this scene in the heart of the forecourt of the church upset me, he said crying. See Annie as I saw it, it killed me. It is beautiful, it really hurt me, "he says after the broadcast of the scene in question during the conference.

His palm of honor

"I am everything and I am nothing. I am what we did with me. I accept this prize, this prize, long refused, because I would have liked to be given to my directors. I was the first violin or piano and I had outstanding conductors. It's up to them to give the price. They are all dead, so I take the prize for them, in their memory, in honor of their strength, their talent. That's why I'm here, otherwise I would not be there. "

Read also Cannes Film Festival: Alain Delon, a palm for the honor


" Theunruly is the first film I produce in 64. Then I produced all Borsalino and all the movies with the word "cop" in it. I am not an author, not a writer. I did not go to school. My only strength, my only way to be the boss of a movie, was to be the producer. I could engage the actors, the scriptwriters, the directors, the chefs op. It allowed me to do what I could never do: write for someone else. Otherwise, I would have done like Audiard and I would have written for Gabin and the others. For the end of Theinsubordinate, I wanted to pay tribute to Sterling Hayden in When the city sleeps. He dies among his horses. "

Hollywood and the snobbery of the new wave

After TheunrulyAlain Delon leaves for Hollywood when the new wave emerges in France. "They did not want me, because Delon was Visconti, Melville, Clement. For them, I was banned and I did not care. I did not shoot until after, because I wanted it and I had the chance to shoot with Gordard. In Hollywood, I had a two-year contract with David Selznick (huge Hollywood producer) and MGM. I came back after three films because France missed me too much. Living in America does not suit me at all, but I could have done this career if I wanted to. "

His collaboration with Melville and the fire of his studio

the Samurai is the first masterpiece he turns on his return to France, after his American period. Jean-Pierre Melville wrote the role for Alain Delon. "We sat in his living room and he read me his story, the Samurai. I knew what a samurai was, because since Full Sun, I am a star in Japan. There, I am called the samurai of spring. He tells me the story for five minutes, I do not say a word. I stop it after five minutes and tell him I'm doing the role. I have another anecdote that I will try to tell without crying. One morning, they call me, it was RTL who tells me that the Melville studios caught fire. I take my car and go for it. The studio street was clogged. The cops let me go. I see everything that burns. I see Melville with his Stetson, in a dressing gown, his wife, his secretary. I run towards him and I take his hand so that he feels that I am there. Look at him burn all his life. We look fifty years of career go up in smoke and he said to me: "My coconut, our bird …" He thought of his piaf which was burning while all his life was blazing. "

The death of Melville

"We had a fourth film planned with Jean-Pierre, Arsène Lupin. Melville is invited by his great friend journalist Philippe Labro. He invites her to a bistro, Philippe often makes him laugh. He tells her bullshit. Jean-Pierre laughs and dies. He had a stroke. He died of a burst of laughter. I am happy because he did not realize he would die. "

Mr Klein : "Delon was starting to tire"

In 1976 fate Mr Klein, the story of an unscrupulous art dealer who ends up being victim of the roundup of the Vél 'd'Hiv in July 42. Film that Alain Delon produces and presents at the Cannes Film Festival, which he left empty-handed. No matter, the actor is incredibly proud of it. " Mr Kleinthat's all I had ever done, everything I was not and everything I was going to discover. The end is overwhelming, but it was not planned at all. Normally, the character played by Michael Lonsdale stopped me, removed me from the crowd and the roundup. I told Joseph Losey (the director, Ed) that I wanted to go all the way. It was the end I wanted. Klein did not have the expected success. Delon was starting to tire. It's hard to be here for 50 years and ask that we still love you. "

His memories of war

The actor, born in 1935, belongs to the generation that experienced the Second World War. "I remember living near Fresnes prison when Laval was shot in the yard of that prison. Everyone was talking about it: he died standing up. He was dragged four or six to put him against the post. He did not stand up (he had swallowed a cyanide capsule before his execution so as not to die on the pack, Ed). I remember the Liberation of Paris. I saw Leclerc and the hundreds of women being carried away screaming, "Death to the cows!" But I saw it all as a child, I was ten years old … "


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