Louis de Funès, one of the most appreciated comic actors in French, also had his dark sides. Relations with some of his partners on film sets were sometimes electrical, partly because of the wars of egos. After Jean Marais on Fantomas, Fernandel on Le mouton à cinq pattes, Jean Gabin on Le Tatoué or Claude Rich Sur Oscar, Louis de Funès gets angry with Jean Lefebvre on the saga of the Gendarmes.
Despite his popularity rating and the sympathy he exudes at first, Jean Lefebvre has not always had the reputation of being easy on film sets. Suffice to say that faced with such an overwhelming temperament as that of de Funès, it could spark. The two men will experience it bitterly after filming the Constable gets married. When the film premiered in October 1968, the interpreter from Fougasse noted that scenes in which he appeared with Geneviève Grad, alias Nicole Cruchot, had disappeared from the final cut.
The actor is then mad with rage. In the media, he accuses Funès of being responsible for these cuts. His behavior will earn him a severe reprimand from filmmaker Jean Girault. The latter describes it as “poor” and of “highest paid in the world” in a free forum of the daily “Paris-Jour”. This brutal altercation did not prevent Jean Lefebvre from appearing one last time in the credits of the Gendarme on the road in 1970.
However, this incident creates a definite annoyance between Jean Lefebvre and Louis de Funès, who will never turn together again. Jean Girault will add a layer to this dispute, shooting with red balls on Lefebvre: “He claims, with the audacity of the mediocre, that I cut him off from all the scenes where he had the chance to crush Louis de Funès. I personally think that I did him a proud service by avoiding unpleasant comparisons. “, retorts the director.
Louis de Funès quiz: do you know the names of his characters?
Indeed, Girault notably criticizes Jean Lefebvre for arriving on the set late and without knowing his text, when Louis de Funès repeats his own up to 50 times. This version is corroborated by the director of photography of Jean Girault, Jean Tournier: “Lefbvre was not very serious. He always arrived late on the set and did not know his text. But the most annoying thing is that he spent his nights at the casino and that he arrived quite tipsy. still doing his job, but when we watched his performance in the evening, it was a disaster in the image. Girault was right not to keep his few scenes. In a way, he was helpful to Jean Lefebvre. “
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Source: Louis de Funès: Small and large mops From Jean-Marc Loubier