Gaspard Ulliel died on Wednesday at the age of 37. A look back at six essential films by the French actor, from “Saint Laurent” to “Hannibal Lecter: the origins of evil” via “Just the end of the world”.
Gaspard Ulliel died on Wednesday at the age of 37 following a skiing accident. A look back at six essential films by the French actor, from Saint Laurent to Hannibal Lecter: the origins of evil and Just the end of the world. With roles in front of the cameras of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Bertrand Bonello or Xavier Dolan…
SAINT LAURENT (2014)
For Bertrand Bonello, Gaspard ulliel slipped into 2014 in the guise of the famous French couturier Yves Saint Laurent. A soberly titled biopic Saint Laurent which focuses on a specific decade of the fashion designer’s life, between 1967 and 1976.
In order to embody this legend on screen, Ulliel worked a lot on his voice and diction. “For our first working session, Bertrand sent me interviews available on the INA archives”, he said. “He insisted on the particular diction of Saint Laurent, a grace which was, he said, fragility without being femininity. Something quite difficult to grasp and reproduce”.
The comedian was also made to lose 12 kilos for the role of YSL, so that his build would resemble that of the fashion designer. “Yves had a tall silhouette with long arms, he was slender while having cheeks”, noted the actor. “I lost weight in order to get closer to this silhouette. I think that at the time men were thinner than today.”
A LONG ENGAGEMENT SUNDAY (2004)
In A Long Engagement Sunday, Gaspard Ulliel plays Manech, the fiancé of Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) who disappeared during the First World War and that she tries by all means to find. A man who would be one of the five soldiers judged in court-martial then put in the first line on the front and abandoned to the enemy.
For her performance in the feature film by Jean-Pierre Jeunet adapted from the novel by Sébastien Japrisot, Gaspard Ulliel won over his peers. In 2005, the French actor indeed won the César for Best Male Hope for his performance.
HANNIBAL LECTER: THE ORIGINS OF EVIL (2007)
Hannibal Lecter: The Origins of Evil offer to Gaspard ulliel the formidable privilege of embodying on screen one of the most cult characters of the seventh art. A feature film that asks a question: how did a little boy like the others become one of the most fascinating criminals there is?
Gaspard Ulliel knew full well that he would be judged on the performance of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Dragon Rouge. “The prospect of taking over from Anthony Hopkins is terribly exciting”, he declared. “I watched the other movies a lot to see his movements and his acting, the way he blinked.”
And the actor to continue: “I learned a lot from his performance, but I also realized that I shouldn’t stick to an imitation, that I should take certain details from his roles and simply add them to my character. I I looked for the character deep inside me, and I made it different.”
JACQUOU THE CRUNCHY (2007)
With Jacquou Le Croquant, an adventure film adapted from Eugène Le Roy, the young Gaspard ulliel takes on a new dimension. He becomes the young first whose career will be scrutinized.
For this extremely physical role – Jacquou is constantly on the move – the actor undergoes demanding training. Ironically, the role was initially to be held by Jocelyn Quivrin, another actor who died prematurely.
THE LOST (2003)
Les Egarés is the film that reveals Gaspard ulliel to the general public. However, this is not his first appearance in the cinema, the actor already having half a dozen feature films to his credit when he shoots for André Téchiné.
Incandescent and stunningly beautiful, Gaspard Ulliel captivated the Croisette, where the film was presented in Competition in 2003, and did not leave the Académie des César indifferent, which offered him a nomination as Young Hope.
JUST THE END OF THE WORLD (2016)
His piercing and hypnotic gaze inspires another great director: Xavier Dolan. In Just the end of the world, adaptation of the play by Jean-Luc Lagarce, Gaspard ulliel lends his features to Louis. A successful young writer, he returns to his family after a long absence to announce terrible news.
On screen, the actor has never looked so great. Her character speaks little but all the power of her acting is crystallized in her eyes and this silent scene shared with Marion Cotillard. A great film about things left unsaid, appearance and family disorder, Just the End of the World won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2016 and allowed Gaspard Ulliel to win his second César, that of Best Actor.
On stage, it is Xavier Dolan who collects the prize – the star was filming during the ceremony. In a letter written by him and read by the director, he wrote these words: “Thank you, I owe you so much. Thank you for offering your actors what is out of the ordinary to tell the ordinary.”