VIDEO. Paul Belmondo: “My father staged his departure well”

He had remained silent since the death of his father Jean-Paul Belmondo, whose death on September 6 at the age of 88 aroused immense emotion, at the height of his popularity. Un months after his father’s national funeral at the Invalides, his son Paul Belmondo confided in franceinfo. He looks back on this moment he dreaded so much, on his father’s last wishes, on the bond he forged with the public, he who “touches everyone, from top to bottom “. And he explains why he has remained silent until then, apart from a photo and a message to thank the public.

Elodie Suigo: Jean-Paul Belmondo left more than a month ago, already. You have since remained very discreet. Was this silence, this distance necessary?

Paul Belmondo: Of course, it is necessary because we first need to live these moments with ourselves, with our family. And now was not the time to speak up but to wait a little bit. And at the same time, there were so many people who loved him, who expressed their sadness and joy to have known him, there was no need to add and say anything. Today, I decided to thank all these testimonies and all these people who shared their pain and the joy they had to know my father, anonymously or not.

How did you experience this national funeral?

When the presidency, Mr. Macron and Ms. Macron contacted us, they first asked us what we wanted to do to pay tribute to our father. They didn’t impose anything on us. And it is true that it is difficult to say. We said what we thought, what my father would have liked, the church of Saint-Germain-des-PrĂ©s and so on. Afterwards, they told us: “We would like to pay a national tribute to your father”. Yes, of course, it touches us and it would have made him happy. But what was important for us is that it is on the one hand a national tribute, but that the public also have access to this tribute, that it is not something closed. Ms. Macron explained to us that part of the public could attend even inside the Invalides and then, that people could come and pray to my father until the next day. It was important that there was his cinema family and, at the same time, his audience.

And then there is this famous drink. He wanted his friends to get together, to raise their glasses.

Yes, that is part of the things he wrote. He wanted … He was a cop and a thug, in his films he had this bad boy side, but he also had this very fair side and very proud of the institution. He was proud of his medals, but there you have it: we can do something serious, but then we’ll have a drink and have fun. We did that on Friday, we drank, ate until late. And There you go. The young people even continued even later in the night.

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This music from the “Professional” was a real choice and it comes from him. He wanted us to hear this iconic professional music.

Yes, it’s true. When we got together with my sisters, my uncle and my aunt, to think about how to organize, who is invited, who will speak, it is never easy … And then, we said to ourselves: the music, well, we are not going to put on the professional…. And then comes the little message from the notary who says: here is your father, wanted this, that, that … And the professional. Well, if he wants it, we’ll put it on! We had said to ourselves: it will be too much. This music is moving, besides in The professional, it’s the moment when he dies at the end, it’s still a lot … But he loved this music. And yet, he was not a fan of music, my father. There, he surprised us and he was right. His departure from Les Invalides, it was so beautiful, with this music. He staged his departure well.

He died in about twenty films in which he played, notably “A bout de souffle”, Pierrot le fou “,” Borsalino “… These deaths in the cinema, they were virtual. no longer there?

Very often, it was said: Delon dies in his films and not Belmondo. But in fact, my father would die a lot in his films, it’s true, watching his filmography … It’s difficult. He is always in us and he is always there. The artists remain present after their death and by what they leave behind them, and then by what he has transmitted to us. Today, even though I don’t see him anymore, even though he’s no longer there, even though there aren’t those family lunches with him anymore, he’s still there. And I think for a lot of French people, for a lot of people, it will always be there.

Has this love of the public made it easier for you?

It did not lighten, it touched us, to see all these testimonies, to see this line until 3 in the morning of these people who came to say goodbye to him, to see all the messages that I received , whether by paper, anonymous, or on social networks … The other day, I was delivered a package at home and the delivery man had put a little note, without putting a name, without say nothing, thanking me. That’s it, my father. It affects everyone, from top to bottom. It touches. And it’s true that it helps to see that there is so much love for him.

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