Anna Karina

  1. Lilianne David, A bout de souffle/Breathless, France, 1959.    About to helm his feature debut, Jean-Luc Godard met his future wife, Danish model Hanne-Karine Blarke Bayer (re-named by Coco Chanel, herself!)  among girls being seen on July 29 for Jean-Paul Belmondo’s girlfriend. When JLG explained she’d have to strip in the role, the girl he’d seen “discreetly nude” in a bath in a soap commercial simply fled. He called her back (“for the lead, this time”) for Le Petit Soldat, 1960, first of his eight movies with the New Wave’s Louise Brooks… and future Mme Godard, 1961-67. Liliane was the lover of the film’s original writer, François Truffaut. Anna directed Vivre ensemble, 1973.
  2. Catherine Ribeiro, Les Carabiniers, France, 1962.    There was early trouble in Jean-Luc Godard’s marriage to Anna, 1961-67. She dismissed the second of Godard’s Rosselliniesque trilogy, preferring Jacques Baratier’s Dragées au poivre and Jean-Luc Godard gave her role of Cleopatra (ex-Messaline, and described as a mix of Anna Magnani and Maria Felix) to his mistress of the moment, the first of four films for the future singer.
  3. Jeanne Moreau, Eva, France-Italy, 1962.    Jean-Luc Godard scrambled around various projects to keep the couple together – after her affairs with Jacques Perrin and Maurice Ronet, plus a suicide attempt. JLG ached for a good melodrama(!). James Hadley Chase’s creation of bitchy man-eater Eva Olivier was considered until it passed to Joseph Losey. Unfortunately, his producers were the Hakim brothers, Raymond and Robert, who – Moreau’s co-star Stanley Baker told me – “couldn’t produce a fart out of a tin of beans.”
  4. Macha Meril, Une femme mariée, France, 1964.    This time Karina fled to Greece for Italian director Valerio Zurlini’s La soldatesse – probably to escape a Godard drama that was too biographical. Her replacement was her age, 23; Philippe Leroy playing her husband matched Godard’s 33; and her screen lover Bernard Noel was 37, like her off-screen lover, Maurice Ronet.
  5. Nadine Nortier, Mouchette, France, 1966.    Topping Jean-Luc Godard’s list ofmelodramas for his straying wife was Georges Bernanos’ tragedy of a teenager’s suicide after being raped.The uncompromising Robert Bresson (13 films in 40 years) inherited the project -and Godard created the extremely “Christian and sadistic” trailer. At 26, Karina was too old for the part played by the amatuer Nadine, 18 – her one and only movie.
  6. Anna Gaël, Berenice, France, 1967.    Yet another idea to – maybe – keep the Godards together was a film of the Racine play. Godard liked the idea of making a film about theatre – just not this one. (A future Godard star, Bernard Verley, was in the Pierre -Alain Jolivet version).
  7. Jeanne Moreau, Le corps de Diane, France, 1969.    Jean-Louis Richard selected Anna but passed his script to his ex-wife – and Moreau wanted the jealousy study as her first outing after Orson Welles’ aborted The Deep (eventually made by Philip Noyce as Dead Calm, 1989).
  8. Annie Girardot, La bande a Bonnot (Bonnot’s Gang), France-Italy, 1974.    Another ’62 possibility for Godard directing Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo from 1960’s Une femme est une femme. But that coupling didn’t encore until Pierrot le fou, 1965. Ironically, the second Mme Godard, Anne Wiazemsky (1967-79), was in Philippe Fourastié’s film.
  9. Domiziana Giordano, Nouvelle vague, Switzerland-France, 1989.    When searching in 1964 for a project to help save his marriage to Karina, Jean-Luc Godard suggested a story of an actress caught between two men – played by the same man (Jean-Paul Belmondo). Producer Mag Bodard said: “Only with Deneuve.” Nothing came of it… In 1987, producer Marin Karmitz suggested it with Mastroianni – who passed on what eventually became Nouvelle vague with Alain Delon, thoroughly bemused on and off-screen, struggling with having Godard’s laat minute dialogue on cue-cards.
  10. Fifi Chachnil, BdVoltaire (Boulevard Voltaire), France, 2016.  When Christine heard that Anna Karina had quit the film, Chrtistine Kaufmann  immediately offered her services to réalisateur Alexandre Vallès.  He considered her offer but went with Fifi, instead. Karina made (indeed, directed) her 84th and final film, as the titular Victoria, in 2008.  Anna had been, of course, Jean-Luc Godard’s early muse. Karin and Kaufmann were co-stars in Michel Deville’s   1966.Franco-German Tendre requins


 Birth year: 1940Death year: 2019Other name: Casting Calls:  10