Death of Belmondo: “we had the impression of being in a film when we were with him”, testifies Cyril Viguier, documentary filmmaker

We felt like we were in a Belmondo movie all the time when we were with him“, testifies Monday, September 6 on franceinfo Cyril Viguier, journalist, producer, who produced the documentary”Belmondo by Belmondo“.

franceinfo: You saw Jean-Paul Belmondo in July, you went to his place with Alain Delon.

Cyril Viguier: It was the last meeting between these two sacred monsters of cinema. We had just shot the show “Alain Delon facing the world” [diffusée cet été] and we would come and introduce him to the show, tell him what we had done. And it also allowed Alain Delon to see Jean Paul Belmondo one last time since we knew that his life was dying out.

We had a divine time at his place. Alain was happy to see his old accomplice and he told him “hurry up and get better, because I have just sent your lawyer the Borsalino 3 contract, we are going back to Marseille in September!”. And I saw a wonderful smile on the face of Jean-Paul Belmondo, which was good. He wasn’t really able to construct sentences anymore at the end of his life, but there was that gleam, that hand that squeezed me.

You dated Belmondo, how do you feel tonight?

I oscillate between the great sadness and the fact that it was not someone sad. He was in constant joy. I saw him go from a helicopter stunt over Paris to a very serious stroke, never changing his mood. That’s Belmondo, that smile, that kindness.

You co-wrote “Belmondo by Belmondo”, a documentary, with his son Paul.

Yes Paul Belmondo wanted to pay tribute to his father. For the film, we went to all the places in the world where Jean-Paul Belmondo wanted to return, where he had made films. We went with him to Rio and we met the little shoe shiner from the movie The man from Rio by Philippe de Broca. We went to Rome to find Ursula Andress, with whom he had lived. We went to Normandy, to Villerville, which was called Tigreville in A monkey in winter. It was his last appearance. He was very happy to have done this with his son.

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Jean-Paul Belmondo was diminished but he kept smiling.

Yes for example, one evening in Rio, in his suite, he tries to get up but he falls. He can’t get up, and he spends the night on the tiled floor in his bathroom. In the morning, we go back to his room for breakfast, with his son Paul and we find him on the floor, he spent the night on the floor. And what strikes us is the smile and the laughter. This explains a lot of his personality and strength of character.

There is another dimension that matters, it is his family. He adored his family: Paul, Patricia, his missing daughter, his other daughter Florence. His mother followed him everywhere, his brother Alain who was his film partner. It was a 24 hour clan. Jean-Paul was a friend as one dreams of having.

How was he off the set?

He was really cool. It is the person in the world that I met where there was the least difference between the public person, the actor and the man. It was the same jokes, it felt like we were in a Belmondo movie all the time when we were with him.

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