Patrick Bruel


  1. Bruno Lavergne, L’hôtel de la plage, France, 1977.    The Algerian-born French newcomer did his test – withlong hair. Director Michel Lang suggested he cut it and comeback in three days.  When the shorn Bruel phonedabout this nextappointment, he was told:“We got someone else.” Bruel told this story to another realisateurin 1978. “Good job,” said Alexandre Arcady.“If you’dbeen in that film I’d never choose you for mine.”Le coup de sirocco proved the first of three more Arcady-Bruel films about pied-noirs (Algerian-born French) at home or abroad.
  2. Pierre Cosso, La boum 2, France,1982.  One  young pied-noir replaced by another when the Gaumont suits said he wouldn’t wet any teenage girls’  panties. Hah! He was soon  enough a major French movie and pop star (with screaming fans – “Pat-trickkk!  Pat-trickkk! Pat-trickkk!!!”–  and the biggest selling album in  French history). Plus becoming the world champion poker player! The Boumfind, Sophie Marceau, and Bruel finally got it on for Tu veu ou tu veux pas, 2013. 
  3. Dominique Besnehard, A nos amours (To Our Loves), France, 1983.    Returning to aid realisateur Maurice Pialat, after their bitter row during Passe ton bac d’abord… in 1978, Dominique Besnehard set about locating the heroine’s  violent brother.  The film was written by Pialat’s lover,  Arlette Langmann, a based on her life and  her brother: none other than the #1 French producer-director Claude Berri… who also  made his mark with films about his own childhood and adolescence. (How French can you get). Despite  making snide anti-gay slurs  about Besenhard really hunting among young actors  to find a new lover, Pialat  saw the final selections.  Bruel, Jackie Berroyer, Jacques Gamblin, Vincent Lindon, Robin Renucci, Jacques Villeret –  all slapping poor Sandrine Bonnaire several times in their tests. And then gave the role to… Besnehard! He’d started as actor and  various directors he’d worked with  told him  to go for it. Next day, Pialat typically declared: “Hmm, not sure if it’s a good idea… [Pause] OK, just don’t be be too gay.  Then again, Berri is  a bit homo!”
  4. Erik Blanc, L’invité surprise,France, 1989.   “I liked the role but not his universe.” French papers revelled in this change as pop singer Bruel was blanc and Blanc was noir.
  5. Cyril Collard, Les nuits fauves, France, 1992.    An ex-Pialat assistant,  Collard wrote his first (and only) feature film for Bruel. He refused for a good reason. Nothing to do with playing a bisexual guy with AIDS, who sleeps with a young girl withouta condom or telling her about his condition – but the fact that she didn’t catch anything. I know it’s possible, he told Collard,because you’ve done it. This is your story. But it’s not a message I can pass on to the public. Or his public now that he was the #1 pop singer in France… Collard died of AIDS three days before his film uniquely won Césars for Best Film and Best First Film,
  6. Daniel Auteuil, La Reine Margot, France-Italy, 1993.  “Very painful for Patrick,” recalled scenarist Danièle Thompson.  The actor-turned-pop-idol was thisclose to being Henry de Navarre, the arranged husband of the titular 1572 French queen, played by Isabelle Adjani. Producteur Claude Berri voted against Auteuil due to his lack of box-office clout. “We need someone that brings people into cinemas. And that someone is Patrick Bruel.” Realisateur Patrice Cherau won the day. Entwer : Bruelmania –  the suddenly rampant singing career of Pat-rickkkk!  Pat-rickkkk!
  7. Dominique Rocheteau, Le garçu, France, 1994.   When the pop idol couldn’t make it, realisateur Maurice Pialat took a chance on a former French international football star.Scoring an own goal!
  8. Massimo Ranieri, Les Parisiens, France, 2004.     For what was supposed to be the first chapter in a trilogy called Le genre humain, Claude Lelouchcalled up the singer-actor from his Attention bandits, 1987. “But he didn’t want to sing.”Nor did the public when the realisateur’s latest pretensionproved one of his three worst flops.
  9. Albert Dupontel, Fauteuils d’orchestre (US: Avenue Montaigne), France, 2006.     Although keen on the pianist character, Bruel finally pulled out of the film by auteur Danielle Thompson. He eventually starred in her Code a changé, 2008.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9