“I always think about Gérard Depardieu when I create a role,” said Bertrand Blier, who since 1974 has made eight films with France’s premier actor. “Even if it’s a woman. Even if it’s an animal. Sometimes there’s a big piece of furniture — it’s Depardieu.”
Blier was free-associating at the daily afternoon ‘Happy Hour’ interview-event of COL·COA (City of Lights · City of Angels), L.A.’s annual French film festival. A few hours later, he would oversee the West Coast premiere of his latest film, Le bruit des glaçons. Interviewed by film critic Wade Major, Blier did not mince words about someone he cares about deeply.
“He is my brother, but he is too fat now,” said the director of Trop Belle Pour Toi, through a translator. “We don’t have the lens to shoot him,” he quipped, making a painful joke.
“People always tell me, ‘You have to cut the umbilical cord [that attaches Blier to Depardieu].”
“I met Gerard Depardieu — it was the most important relationships of my life. It’s like a love story. A meeting of minds. It’s one of the great things about movies — a meeting between a director and an actor. It’s a mystery of cinema. It happens once every twenty years. Fellini and Mastroianni. Scorsese and DeNiro.
“There’s meetings with actresses, too, but that’s dangerous.
“When I approach [Depardieu] with a script, he says, ‘I got it. Start shooting.’ [If, on the set,] I walk toward him, he says, ‘I get it, just shoot.’ He can see it in my eyes. He knows what I need.”
Blier/Depardieu major collaborations: Trop belle pour toi, Buffet froid, Préparez vos mouchoirs, Les valseuses (Going Places), Tenue de soirée, Merci la vie, Combien tu m’aimes?
COLCOA French Film Festival 2011 | Director’s Guild of America | thru the weekend