Madeleine Renaud

1. – Mona Goya, Les vieux de la vieille, France-Italy, 1960. A gentle comedy about three old practical jokers suffered from two errors. 1. Jean Gabin insisted on Pierre Fresnay making up the trio (when he wasn’t made for jokes). 2. Michel Audiard wouldn’t rewrite scenes to suit the stage diva Renaud. “So,” declared realisateur Gilles Grangier, “instead of a real lady, we got more of a peasant.” Charming!

2. – Valentina Cortese, La Nuit americaine/Day For Night, France, 1973. When Simone Simon refused to comeback as the hasbeen star, auteur François Truffaut asked the doyenne of the French theatre. And that’s exactly where she was… doing French theatre. The Italian Cortese won an Oscar nod.

3. – Denise Grey, La Boum, France, 1980. Based on the scenarist Danièle Thompson’s grandmother (mother of her father, realisateur Gerard Oury), Poupette was the granny of the year – a great comeback for Grey in her first film for 15 years.

4. – Alida Valli, Aspern, Portugal-France, 1985. Only problem with director Eduardo de Gregorio’s version of The Aspern Papers was finding the old lady – Juliana Bartes was about 100 in the Henry James novel. The Argentinean ran through the oldest French actresses like Renaud, 85, and Valentine Tessier, 93, etc. “Too risky. They could die during the shooting.” (In fact, Tessier died in 1981). He thought again: ah Valli! “No, absurd. Too young. [64].Then, I decided that if I want her, if she’s interesting, why not? Who cares about verisimilitude?” And? “And she was fantastic, absolutely comic and terrifying at the same time.”


 Birth year: 1900Death year: 1994Other name: Casting Calls:  4