In 1983, a few months before Tchao Pantin, which marked the dramatic turning point in Coluche’s career, was released in theaters La Femme de mon pote. Directed by Bertrand Blier, the film follows two friends, Pascal and Micky, who work in a winter sports resort. Pascal has an affair with Viviane who is far from leaving Micky indifferent. But he resists in the name of their friendship, until Pascal pushes him into Viviane’s arms. Micky gives in and ends up spending a few days in the company of the young woman during Pascal’s absence.
A different initial trio
My Friend’s Wife helps repair a missed date between Blier and Coluche. This one had indeed passed tests for the role of Pierrot in Les Valseuses, which finally returned to Patrick Dewaere. In La Femme de mon pote, which was written especially for him by Blier, Coluche must share the poster with Dewaere, who is one of his best friends. Miou-Miou completes the cast. It is a homecoming for the trio, who knew each other and started on the boards of the Café de la Gare. The scenario resonates with their private life: Miou-Miou was successively in a relationship with the two men in the 1970s. In 1982, Elsa Chalier, the ex-partner of Dewaere, became a couple with Coluche and settled with him in Guadeloupe.
The suicide of Patrick Dewaere
On July 16 of the same year, Dewaere puts an end to his life with a rifle offered by Coluche. Thierry Lhermitte then resumes his role in La Femme de mon pote while Miou-Miou, upset by this death, is replaced by Isabelle Huppert. Coluche wants to give up the project but his impresario, Paul Lederman, pushes him to stay, eager to make him work at all costs with Blier.
For the actor, filming is difficult. Like his character, the actor is lost. He refuses to learn his text to the letter and allows himself to improvise, arousing the anger of Blier who brings meticulous care to the dialogues. Blier remembers a “Bizarre atmosphere, an atmosphere of mourning, for Coluche as for me. We already felt the actor he was going to become, but he cultivated an amateurish behavior. We both had a good sinter. First day, foreground, I ask to take the shot again. And there he said to me: “Bah no, you only had to call on a professional actor.” “ (Extract from “Coluche” by Axel Cadieux, Legends of French cinema, Sofilm). On the verge of depression, Coluche does not hesitate to take cocaine between two scenes in the eyes of all.
His self-destructive behavior is linked to his next role, that of the pump attendant at Tchao Pantin, for which he won the César for best actor.