Nadine Trintignant: “Jean-Louis kept his intelligence and his depth to the end”

Sunday 19 June, noon. Nadine Trintignant welcomes us to her home. She agrees to reveal something about her ex-husband, the father of her children. Memories and tenderness flow, not tears.

“His death came as a shock… We expected it, and yet I didn’t believe it. I didn’t think about it, it was unimaginable. I’ve often visited him, recently too… He could hardly see and had difficulty walking. But Jean-Louis stayed clear, he kept his intelligence and his depth to the end. He fought bravely.

This “never again” side is insurmountable

We met when we were young, I was 22 years old. Since then we haven’t stopped rubbing shoulders, talking to each other. He lived next door to my house in the Marais for a long time. His wife Marianne, who I love very much, was wonderful. She will feel terrible sadness, a lack… When you find yourself alone, you suddenly understand that no one needs you anymore, and it’s hard. Whether with Alain [Corneau] , Jean-Louis, Pauline or Marie, this “never again” aspect cannot be overcome. And yet here I am. I have to love life passionately… even if there are always reasons to persevere, persevere.

What comes after this ad?

With Jean-Louis we stopped loving each other, but we didn’t stop loving each other

When we lost our daughter Pauline, Marie was 8 years old, with Jean-Louis, there was no question of letting go. Life is stronger than you think. With Jean-Louis we stopped loving each other, these are things that happen, but we didn’t stop loving each other. He could have been fickle and so could I, not for revenge but to exist. He was a person of integrity. He could be cruel and infinitely gentle. In Michael Haneke’s Amour, Emmanuelle Riva whispers to him: “You’re a monster, but you’re so nice!” Proof that this director had learned some of Jean-Louis’ secrets. I remember two films where Jean-Louis looks like Jean-Louis. First “Red”, by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Look it’s beautiful. And “The Conformist” by Bernardo Bertolucci. He shot masterpieces; he chose well, often against the advice of all. When he accepted Sergio Corbucci’s western Le Grand Silence, our intellectual Italian director buddies called him crazy. He was right, it was a smash hit, performed like Dino Risi’s “Fanfaron” even against many people’s opinion.

What comes after this ad?

What determined his decisions? Joy, his powerful intuition, when he sensed that the film was going to be good. The best thing that excited us like me was when he played Hamlet in the theater at the age of 29. I was there every night. Shakespeare wanted us to doubt, not know if Hamlet was crazy or just pretending. Jean-Louis played it brilliantly, with such ambiguity… It was disturbing.

Also read. In the Match Archives – Jean Louis Trintignant in the Paris Match photo archive

What comes after this ad?

What comes after this ad?

After Pauline’s death, he preferred the film adaptation of Claude Lelouch’s Voyou because he needed it. Keep going. He didn’t stop working. I didn’t do anything for a year and a half before I made a film about Pauline. It helped me. Jean-Louis rotated constantly, a lot. If he was a fantastic father, he was less present for Marie when cinema started working. He and she met quite late on stage for the “Poèmes à Lou”. They only played two pieces together; Too bad, because they played the same. Jean-Louis and I disagreed. As much as I enjoyed working surrounded by my family, I took on our son Vincent as my assistant and Marie as an actress, what luck! – as much as Jean-Louis didn’t want to. When Téchiné needed an actress our daughter’s age for his film with Jean-Louis, he didn’t want her to pass the exams. “I will never help my children,” he kept telling me. He had managed it alone, he didn’t know anyone when he arrived in Paris. In his comedy class at Charles Dullin he had been warned: “Listen, my child, you are not gifted, don’t…” And Jean-Louis insisted. He had a hard time losing his Southern accent. Jean-Louis was shy, reserved, almost silent.

Also read. Jean-Louis Trintignant, a life and career in pictures

A few years after we met, I introduced him to friends, Jean Babilée and Michel Drach. I remember her funny remarks when the Cousteau documentary was just released: “Your guy is ‘Le Monde du Silence’, he’s got a Cousteau between his teeth!” He shouldn’t have said three sentences. Marie was shy too… Jean-Louis was very afraid of death, he said so. He had this very beautiful phrase, so true, during our last conversation: “If one of us dies, the other will lose the testimony of his youth.” »

#Nadine #Trintignant #JeanLouis #intelligence #depth

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.