Michel Blanc

  1. Jean Poiret, La miraculé, France, 1986.    The well-named writer-director Jean-Pierre Mocky aimed rather too high for debunking the hypocrisy of the Roman Catholic church – and its religious tourism HQ in the sacred French town of Lourdes.  He  tried to persuade top UK comic Benny Hill  – a favourite  of the French  on TV – to take the lead role, before moving  moved on to another hilarious Brit, the  bug-eyed Marty Feldman. He then  talked to  French clown Coluche and actor-director  Michel Blanc. Tragically, Coluche was suddenly dead – crushed on his motor-bike by a heavy lorry on June 19, 1986.. A shocked Blanc simply withdrew – in the first registered letter Mocky had “ever received from an actor!”   Finally, Mocky settled for his own old pals for their last film togethjer:  the Cage aux Folles team, of Jean Poiret as Papu and, as Reginald Fox-Terrie, Michel Serrault  – a sort of a French Peter Sellers, without the range of the British model.
  2. Daniel Auteuil, Quelque jours avec moi (US: A Few Days With Me), France, 1987.   SupremerealisateurClaude Sautet wanted Blanc; co-scenarist Jacques Fieschi voted Lambert Wilson. (Mix them together and what do you get but Auteuil). Despite having shared  the 1986 Best Actor  award at Cannes for Tenue de  soirée,  “I was not right for it,” said the actor-director Blanc, who writes better for himself.  At his agency, Artmedia, everyone  thought he was mad.  “No one wanted to talk to me…   But Daniel brought to the part a seduction that I didn’t  have.”  Not the best judge of scripts, Auteuil rejected it (like Blanc) until his then-lover, Emmanuelle Beart, said: “You’re an idiot or what? This is Claude Sautet!!!” They made Sautet’s  Un Coeur en Hivertogether in 1994  and she was Nelly & M Arnaudwas Michel Serrault in the director’s 16th and final film in 1995. Pierre Arditi, Vanille fraise, France, 1989.   Gérard Oury, once the top French comedy-maker, had devised it for the extremely odd coupling of Blanc-Deneuve. Blanc wrote his own comedy for her, Grosse Fatigue, 1994, except her role (as herself) went to Carole Bouquet (as herself)..
  3. Jean-Pierre Mocky, Le mari de Léon, France, 1993.    Always the loner, Mocky took on the role, himself, when everyone refused it from Gérard Depardieu to Richard Bohringer.
  4. Patrick Timsit, Passage a l’acte, France, 1996.    So another comic went straight as Timsit lay in the couch trying to convince his shrink that he’s a killer. 


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  5