French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant has died at the age of 91. According to a statement from his wife, Marianne Hoepfner, the interpreter of films such as Three Colors: Red, Z or The Great Silence has died of prostate cancer. Almost four years ago, in July 2018, Trintignant decided to say goodbye to him. He couldn’t anymore. “I think the cinema is over for me,” he announced in an interview in the Nice Matin newspaper. “I don’t fight. I let things happen. There is a doctor from Marseille who is going to try something new. But I do not do chemotherapy, although he was already prepared, ”he assured.
Until then, he had become a titan of European cinema. Jean-Paul Belmondo or Alain Delon may have been more famous, but Trintignant moved better with elegance and silences. With a majestic physique and a nose for choosing scripts (or being open to the projects that came to him and that made him temporarily leave his beloved theater), the careers of filmmakers like Lelouch, Haneke or Costa-Gavras would not be the same if he had not been there French actor.
That interview served as both an announcement and a review of his career and his fears, both those related to his age and his cancer and those experienced throughout a career of 120 titles and half a century, and the pain caused by the murder of his daughter, also an actress Marie Trintignant, 41, at the hands of her partner, the musician Bertrand Cantat, in the summer of 2003. “I’ve been dead for 15 years,” he told Nice Matin. “I have lived through two dramas that affected me a lot. Especially the last one, that of my daughter Marie. And when I say I’m dead, that’s what I mean.”
From his overwhelming run, he recounted that he still felt surprised. “I am extremely shy (…) I was not cut out for a job in public,” he assured. “Besides, fame never interested me too much. The first time, it’s funny. But then not anymore.” Curious reflection for someone who started on stage and who at the beginning of the 21st century put it before the cinema.
“I just refused to work on a Bruno Dumont movie. It was interesting, but I’m afraid I’m not up to it physically. I no longer move alone, I always need someone by my side to tell me: be careful, there is a piece of furniture in front of you, you’re going to get hit, ”he said, not without a certain irony. In that 2018 he had already stopped leaving home. “I can’t read, because I’m going blind. And the books were a great pleasure. I watch TV, I listen to music, I sleep a lot. I stay on the couch, reflecting on the good and bad things. Without boredom, luckily.”