Claude Berri

  1. Michel Reynal, Les fruits sauvages, France, 1953.   Among the first auditions of the future producer (66 films) and director (24 films, from Le Vieil Homme et l’Enfant to Jean de Florette).
  2. David Saire, The Greengage Summer, (US:), 1960.    “I have an alibi. I was at my grandmother’s.” Try as he might, and he spent an hour recording the lines for post-synchronisation, Berri could not make himself understood – and was fired from the UYK film. . Even after bravely being thrown into a river for six takes, winning smiles from the star, Susannah York. (“But I am married, Claude”). No one suggested dubbing the Frenchman – a common enough solution for the same director, Lewis Gilbert, during his three Bond movies. (Two films later and it was Berri’s realisateur, Jean Aurel, who was sacked from Le bride sur le cou. 1961).
  3. Yann Dedet, Sous le soleil de Satan, France, 1987.    Realisateur Maurice Pialat asked his semi-brother-in-law, the mighty producer-director Claude Berri, to play the doctor seducing Sandrine Bonnaire. To get into the character, Berri used his tongue in their kissing scene. No way to treat Pialat’s find from A nos amours, 1983. Next thing Berri knew, shooting was shuttered for three days – “under the pretext of changing the cameraman” – and when everything kicked off anew, Pialat’s (Truffaut’s and Makavejev’s) editor was playing Dr Gallet. With tongue well in cheek. 
  4. Michel Modo, Tout l’or du monde, France-Italy, 1961.    Old Wave réalisateur RenéClair was directing Bourvil in three roles while all the few agents in Paris were trying to get their young clients into the last  dozen roles – walk-on villagers. The future great agent, Gerard Lebovici, called Costa-Gavras, one of Clair’s two assistants, and recommended Claude Berri, Marcel Bozzuffi, Jean-Pierre Cassel, FrançoiseDorleac,  Serge Rousseau.  Costa passed on the bad news: None matched what was wanted. Lebo told Costa: “Tomorrow’s French cinema will be be you and me”…and later in the 60s, Lebo offered him a film about the French Public Enemy #1 Mesrine – with Jean-Paul Belmondo. Costa quickly owned up to the revulsion he felt about the criminal and the film was never made until a two-parter in 2007 – 23 years after Lebo’s murder in 1984. 


 Birth year: 1934 Death year: 2009 Other name:  Usual occupation: Film director Casting Calls:  4