From Nadine Trintignant to Nathalie Baye via Jean Dujardin and Emmanuel Macron, many personalities paid tribute to actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, who died at the age of 91.
The disappearance of Jean-Louis Trintignant, an emblematic figure of French cinema and theatre, has not left the world of the seventh art unmoved. Many have paid tribute to the actor, who after a long fight against illness, died this Friday, June 17, at the age of 91.
After the announcement of his death, his ex-wife, the director Nadine Trintignant, paid him a poignant tribute on BFM TV. “He was someone rare, confusing in a good way. A huge actor who worked all his life with his tape recorder in his hand. (…) He made great movies. He liked to laugh. He was happy.“ Later married to the director Alain Corneau, Nadine Trintignant has not forgotten her first husband and father of her three children. Despite their separation, the pair had remained close. “That doesn’t stop me from always loving Alain Corneau of course, but when you love someone, you love him for life. We are in love, it does not last, but we love forever. Jean-Louis like Alain, they are men that I have loved forever.“ An unforgettable relationship, yet linked by drama. “I knew him between his 22 years 38 years, 40 years, I do not know, it was youth. There were obviously cracks, we lost our two daughters. It’s cracks that you never get rid of.”
Still on BFM TV, Gilles Jacobformer president of the Cannes Film Festival, made a point of mentioning “moral as well as physical elegance” by Jean-Louis Trintignant. “He was someone small but who had such strength of play, such accuracy of tone, such fragility, with at the same time a smile, and the voice of Trintignant, we will always remember it.” Guest of France Inter this Saturday, he continued: “Trintignant happens to have made every director’s best film. As soon as he touched something, it was good. His films were completely nonconformist, original, burlesque, very funny, which did not have the success that they should have, so he stopped everything.”
Gilles Jacob was accompanied by Claude Lelouchdirector of A man and a womanin which Jean-Louis Trintignant gave the reply to Anouk Aimee. The film received the Palme d’Or at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival, the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1967 and Best Original Screenplay. Lelouch portrays him as an actor who didn’t cheat. “I found in Jean-Louis these perfumes of truth that give meaning to life. Life is an extraordinary, wonderful game, but you have to detect cheaters. Jean-Louis was not one. There were nuances in him, because in life, nothing is black or white.” The filmmaker continues and tells how, in 2019, the actor had stopped believing in him. “He thought his face was going to scare people, that he was going to be set back from all the gifts he had given us so far. I managed to convince him, he took a long time to convince himself. But you had to go very fast, he had terrible ups and downs.”
Also questioned on RTL, Claude Lelouch confides that Trintignant was the first actor to say “yes” to him. “I shot seven films with him and seven times he offered me his talent. Among the greatest, he was one of the greatest.” What marked him: his voice, “The most beautiful that we have ever heard in the cinema and in the theatre. He didn’t speak, he sang. As soon as he said a word, we listened. We were fascinated, hypnotized. He made things believable. As soon as he interpreted a role, we believed in it, he was in the truth. He shared with us these sufferings and he transformed it into his game.”
Antoine Sirwho played the son of Jean-Louis Trintignant, at the age of five, in A man and a woman also spoke on Twitter, a post that speaks for itself.
Many directors who have turned the actor also spoke, all testifying to the impact of Jean-Louis Trintignant on the world of cinema.
Costa Gavraswho directed the actor in 1969 in Za political thriller which won Jean-Louis Trintignant the interpretation prize at the Cannes Film Festival, spoke at the microphone of France Inter: “There was a great mystery surrounding it. This mystery persisted and then, all of a sudden, he said a few words, he made people laugh and it became an astonishing character, a character we loved.” On France Info, the director spoke of a “great actor” and a “rather surprising, surprising man”: “I worked with him twice. It was a great pleasure each time. (…) As soon as he had read the script, as soon as we spoke, he was already the character. It was enough rare.”
Still on France Info, it’s the director’s turn Enki Bilal to salute the actor he directed in Bunker Palace Hotel in 1989. He speaks of a “very great mysterious actor who leaves, an actor with a voice” and a theater actor”which marks“.
Moved and upset, Philippe Labrodirector of Without apparent mobile (1971) shared his “continuing respect for his talent and intelligence”.
Mentioning a man “out of the ordinary, who will be missed”, Alexandre Arcady also remembers the comedian he worked with on great forgiveness (1982): “I enjoyed shooting with him, as you can imagine! I was a young director. “to a great first violin in an orchestra”: “He played to perfection, without excess.”
On the social media side, the Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques obviously reacted to the news on Twitter.
Emmanuel Macron also made a point of honoring “this great actor who “with her wise beauty and her sober acting, her deep voice and her modesty, (…) gave all her roles the depth of an enigma.”
Jean Dujardin meanwhile shared on his instagram account a photo of the actor, soberly accompanied by a joined hand emoji and a heart.
Nathalie Baye also reacted to the death of the legendary actor via his Instagram account confident that “his smile, his voice, his look” would be missed.
Leila Bekhti meanwhile shared a tweet from the La Cinémathèque Française account saluting the actor. “It is one of the greatest actors in the history of French cinema who leaves us today. Jean-Louis Trintignant, a life of theater and cinema, 1930-2022.”
Pierre Lescurejournalist and president of the Cannes Film Festival from 2014 to 2022, published two photos of the actor with the mention “Farewell, Dear Jean-Louis…“. A tweet notably shared by the actress Geraldine Nakache.
Finally, Jean Michel Ribes has known the actor since childhood: “He was a friend of my parents“. The director of the Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris notably returned to the death of Marie Trintignant : “It’s something that both totally destroyed him and at the same time reinforced him in a kind of dignity. He wanted to stay upright, he wanted to play, he wanted to be himself, to continue to have this capacity for charm and ambiguity which was what guided him in life. There are not many great actors who have been both great actors in the theater and in the cinema, he was that.” For him, Jean-Louis Trintignant’s best film, his most emblematic, is Z. “A second Jean-Louis Trintignant, I don’t see one.”