Patrick Dewaere


  1. Bernard Le Coq, Cèsar et Rosalie,France-Italy-West Germany, 1972. Just a little role – but a great director, Claude Sautet. “I could see immediately that he had too much temperament… to be satisfied with such a small role” – as one of cartoonist Samy Frey’s assistants. Eight yearts later, Sautet called him in for Unmauvais fils, 1980. Le Coq went on toa healthy career in tele-films and series.
  2. Patrick Bouchitey, Les caids, France, 1972.Tested for auteur Robert Enrico – but lost. However, realisateur Claude Miller saw the tests and became very interested in Patrick for La meilleure façon de marcher, France, 1975. Heused his extreme arrogance like a cloak- and stole women fromhis brother and his pals, yet bever forgave singer Julian Clerc was taking his Miou-Miou away or Coluche for seducing his Elsa).
  3. Gérard Depardieu, Maîtresse, France, 974.Increasingly jealous ofDepardieu. It started during Les valseuses, 1973.Although “Le gros”used to say: “With Dewaere, it’s good and not expensive. With Depardieu. it’s more expensive but no better.”
  4. Gérard Depardieu, Pas si méchant que ça, France, 1974,Claude Gorettapreferred GéGé… while poor Patricklaboured in Jane Birkin’sFrench comedy flop, Catherine& Cie. He was saved with his next outing, replacing Alain Delon, no less, in Adieu poulet with Lino Ventura. Although, Dewaere was against playing a copor thought his friends would be
  5. Robert Charlebois, Un genio, due compari, un pollo (US: A Genius, Two Friends And An Idiot), Italy-France-West Germany,1975.Les valseuses Go West… That was Sergio Leone’s plan for Dewaere,Gérard Depardieu, and Miou-Miou. But the French film didn’t do well enough to impress the suits.Just Miou-Miou went to Monument Valley “and did her thing perfectly” opposite Terence Hill and Robert Charlebois. “The Canadian singer had the humour and humanity of Eli Wallach. but [director] Damiano Damiani never made use of it.” The movie disappointed the maestro and he never made another Western.
  6. Jean Rochefort, Calmos, (US : Femmes Fatales), France, 1975. Bertrand  Blier wanted  to use his greatValseuses tandem of Dewaere and Gérard Depardieu and Patrick Dewaere  but they were all booked up. All because of great Valseuses tandem of Dewaere and Depardieu. Blier went older with Rochefort and Jean-Pierre Marielle. (A better US title was the  more correct Cool, Calm and Collected).
  7. Christian Clavier, Dites-lui que je l’aime (US: The Sweet Sickness),France, 1977.Dewaere was furious when Claude Miller gave the main role to “Le gros.”Miller had only won a budget for his directing debut,La meilleure façon de marcher, in 1975 because Dewaere agreed to be in it. And this was how he was thanked – with the third wheel role.“Bastard!” said Dewaere. Miller didn’t help himself by also refusing Dewaere’s ex, Miou-Miou, as the girl. “After Lily aime-moi (in 1975), I had a big head,” Dewaere agreed, “and refused many films.  I wated to be Dustin Hoffman.Or Terence Stamp.” (while working at Café de la Gare. Patrick dubbed Hoffman in The Graduate, for example – but he did Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy because “he talked more than Hoffman, so better paid!”
  8. Victor Lanoux, La carapate (UK/US:The Escape), France, 1978.   Dewaere was flattered when asked to join the latest endeavour of comedy-meister Gérard Oury.  And signed on without reading the script which proved not to be written for him, as he had expected.”It was simply… written.”  Au revoir!  Oury told a different story. He invited Deware to a working lunch and he’d turned up with a girlfriend in tow. Before Oury was finished with lunch, h e was finished with Dewaere. And then had his light bulb moment… hadn’t Lanoux been a music-hall comic partner of the film’s  top comedy star, Pierre Richard?  It still proved one of the rare failures from Richard – and Oury. The Gaumont combine was furious with Dewaere!  When réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud suggested him for his Coup de tête. Gaumont production chief Alain Poiré said: “No way!”  He relented. Annaud, after all, had directed the Oscar-winning La victoire en chantant– and Dewaere had promised to stop using drugs. Actually, he might have played better football when high and loose. He was so bad, sober, he had to be doubled by  soccer star Lucien Denis.
  9. Gérard Depardieu, Buffet Froid, France, 1979.Another astringentslice of life by their Valseuses maker Betrand Blier. Producers always went for Depardieu first-unless Dewaere had the latest hit. Depardieu often called his copain: “I can’t do this film, why don’t you?”Blier kept Beau-pere, 1981, for Dewaere.
  10. Gérard Depardieu, Le Choix des armes, (US: Choice of Arms), France, 1980.  Furious again!  This time with realisateur Alain Corneau.After their closeness the year before on Serie noir, Dewaere never stopped calling Corneau to know when and where their next film would happen. Instead, helost yet another filmto “Le gros.”As Patrickonce said: “You see, that’smy friend there, Gérard, who grabs all the roles. Me? I’m just une merge.” They were different. By asking for roles, and fighting when bypassed, Dewaere was seeking approval… love.  “Le gros” was seeking…work.

  11. Gérard Depardieu, Loulou, France, 1980.   At one time it looked like Dewaere and Sylvia Kristel as Loulou and Nelly in another wannabe-Cassavetes sliceof the obnoxious realisateur Maurice Pialat’s life. Kristel would have none of it – and, after flirting with Jacques Dutronc, it became the first of three fractious Pialat films with Depardieu.
  12. Alain Souchon,  L’Eté meurtrier (UK/US : One Deadly Summer),  France, 1982.    It was either  because of Adjani or the stupid name  of her lover – Pin-Pon – but all The Guys  passed.   Depardieu, Dewaere, Gerard Klein and singer Yves Duteil. Adjani suggested another singer… one who  could never take the shine off her.  But they made a  rubbish couple: non-sexpot and non-actor. 
  13. Gérard Lanvin, Prix du danger, France, 1982. By now, producers were worried about his habit and the ever present and rapid possibility of ODing.  Insurance companies refused to cover him. “He was mad with rage,” said Les valseuses director Betrand Blier. Yves Boiset had directed him as Le Juge Fayard dit “Le Sherif” in1976. Now he was scared something bad would happen… particularly with so many stunts on the Yugoslav locations. And. Patrick, he felt, could not hack that. Not anymore.
  14. Francis Huster, Equateur  (UK/US: Equator), France-Gabon, 1982.  Dewaere committed suicide, inexplicably, two days after agreeing to make auteur Serge Gainsbourg’s adaptation of Georges Simenon’s novel, Le coup de lune, as his next endeavour after Claude Lelouch’s Edith et Marcel. Gainsbourg made do with Huster, who had kindly dubbed US actor Joe Dallesandro into French for Gainsbourg’s debut film based on his (and his wife Jane Birkin’s) global disc triumph: Je t’aime moi non plus. “Francis is a very good actor but he doesn’t attract the lens.” Nor the public. Equateur was a huge flop, with a mere 68,282 tickets sold on the opening day, Serge went back to his day job: writing for and recording Birkin and their daughter, Charlotte, Isabelle Adjani, Catherine Deneuve – and even some real singers, like Vanessa Paradis.

  15. Marcel Cerdan Jr, Edith et Marcel, France, 1982.
    July 16, 1982. 10am. Three weeks before the start dateof realisateur Claude Lelouch’s film about the love affair of his childhood idols (singer Edith Piaf and boxer Marcel Cerdan), Dewaere poses for publicity shots in the Bois de Boulogne with his co-star, Evelyn Bouix. He then lunches with Lelouch at his Club 13, theydiscuss d boxing and the movie. The actor is called to the phone (his wife, thought Lelouch), returns, makes a 5pm date at the gym and leaves. “It was,” said Lelouch, “absolutely impossible to imagine that this man would commit suicide two hours later…” Yet between 3.15-3.35pm, Dewaere ate his .22 rifle, at age 35. Lelouch wanted to cancel the film, but everything, everyone was booked. In indecent haste just two  days later, he called on Cerdan Jr, a clone of his father, except for his weight. He agreed to lose 10 kilos in 15 days. And,.,.. action!

  16. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Vivement dimanche! (UK: Finally Sunday; US: Confidentially Yours), France, 1982.   “It may be only an after-dinner chocolate of a film rather than a meal,”  said web critic Derek Winnert, “but it is a handmade, beautifully wrapped confectionery.” The  light-hearted tribute to his idol, Alfred Hitchcock, was  alas, the 21st and final film of François  Truffaut.  
  17. Thierry Lhermitte, La femme de mon pote (US: My Best Friend’s Girl), France, 1983.   Bad coincidence!  Bertrand Blier was writing his film to co-star Patrick and Coluche… when Dewaere visited him, upset that  Coluche was living out his role by sleeping with his new girlfriend, Elsa.   By the time the scenario was ready to shoot, the telephone rang and Blier found himself being quizzed by the France-Soir paper about the suicide of Deware. Quoi?? . Depardieu: “Patrick took everything, that’s no scoop.   I took stuf with him, heroin mainly… to accompany him in his moments of immense solitude.  Unlike him, I have an iron-clad good health.”
  18. Claude Brasseur, La Gitane, France, 1985.   As Sanguine, it had been set for Dewaere and the Spanish star, Angela Molina.
  19. Jean-Hugues Anglade, 37.2 le matin/Betty Blue, France, 1986.    Anglade said realisateur Jean-Jacques Beineix was “indelicate enough” to tell him that only Deweare’s suicide had prevented him making the film.   “And I would have offered him the role to keep him with us.”
  20. Michel Blanc, Tenue de soirée, France, 1986.    Caustic auteur Bertrand Blier wrote it during – and for the trio of – Les Valseuses, 1973. “Not for now,we don’t want a sequel; for when we need a hit!”  After Dewaere’s suicide, Blier said he would never make it.   Impressed by L’année des meduses, he  mused over Bernard Giraudeau  – who rejected the gay role. So why not a comic, one of the two Michels. “And  Blanc simply read it before Coluche!”
  21. Renaud, Germinal, France, 1992.   “He would have made an excellent Lantier,” said Claude Berri about his Zola hero. “But he is dead. Now I can’t see anyone but Renaud in the role. If he refuses, definitively, I won’t make the film.”

 Birth year: 1947Death year: 1982Other name: Casting Calls:  20