40 years ago, our magazine revealed the great friendship between John Travolta and Gérard Depardieu … With Rétro Match, follow the news through the archives of Paris Match.
It is a beautiful friendship of which Match will have been the privileged witness. Between Gérard Depardieu and John Travolta, it all started with love at first sight. In October 1980, our queen of the night, Agathe Godard, recounts it in her column: “Guess who came to see Gérard Depardieu on the set of“ Inspector la Bavure ”? John Travolta himself! General amazement when the most expensive and most urban cowboy in America tumbled, without fuss, smiling with all his white quenottes on Claude Zidi’s set. John and Gérard had never seen each other before, the first knew the second thanks to “1900”, “Les valseuses” and “Prepare your handkerchiefs”, films that he watches regularly in his private screening room with his friend James Cagney . Fan of Depardieu, he had sworn not to leave Paris (where he spent three days) without seeing the object of his admiration. “
“So they met, liked each other and went to a bistro in the 20th arrondissement to seal their brand new friendship over a good beer. John went into ecstasies over the beauty of his buddy’s gray leather jacket (made especially by Michel Lipsick, a young leather lion, for the purposes of the film). Gerard offered it to him on the spot. In return, John gave him the keys to his Santa Monica ranch and invited the entire Depardieu family to come and spend a few idyllic weeks with him. And to conclude, our two stars promised to tour together next year. “With Alan Parker as director, if possible,” said Depardieu, “Ok!” Said Travolta. And they parted – reluctantly – enchanted with each other. “
In May 1981, Depardieu and Travolta meet again. ” [John] slipped into the controls of his white and blue “learjet” and landed in Paris, from New York, after an eleven hour flight. Just arrived from Grenoble at the wheel of his black Mercedes, Gérard came to pick it up at the “Plaza” to take him to spend the weekend in Bougival, with his family ”, writes Agathe Godard, herself a great friend of Depardieu and Travolta, whom she will follow accompanied by photographer Jean-Claude Deutsch.
They will never turn together in the end, but, nice wink, it’s Depardieu who will double Travolta in the French version of “Blow-Out” by Brian De Palma, that same year 1981. The two men will continue to see each other as of as possible, according to the agendas and the passages of one and the other, in Los Angeles or Paris. Years later, it is an ordeal that will bring them together. Two and a half months apart, John Travolta and Gérard Depardieu both lost their sons. Guillaume Depardieu died on October 13, 2008, Jett Travolta on January 2, 2009. Friends in happy moments, Gérard and John will also support each other in tragedy.
Here is the report devoted to the reunion of John Travolta and Gérard Depardieu, as published in Paris Match in 1981.
Discover Retro Match, news through the Match archives …
Paris Match No. 1668, May 15, 1981
Travolta: He made 12,000 km in his jet to party with Gérard (Depardieu)
By Agathe Godard, photos Jean-Claude Deutsch
He slipped into the controls of his white and blue “learjet” and landed in Paris, coming from New York, after an eleven-hour flight. Just arrived from Grenoble at the wheel of his black Mercedes, Gérard came to pick him up at the “Plaza” to take him to spend the weekend in Bougival, with his family.
After their first and brief meeting on the set of “Inspector La Bavure”, (it was the day when Coluche was smashing the house where Gérard was sheltering with a shovel!) Gérard and John had seen each other again in New York during the French Film Festival and John had promised his boyfriend to come to France. Which he did last weekend.
Relaxed, limpid and tender blue eyes (he inherited it from his mother, an Irish actress and director whom he adored and waited every night until she came home from the theater as a child), John first gave Julie a giant teddy bear and Guillaume a remote control car. Then tasted the leg of lamb (washed down with Ducru-Maucaillou) prepared by Elisabeth.
In the afternoon, Gérard gave him a tour of the new house (which adjoins his own) which he bought two years ago and which he is restoring: “There you will have your room …” John thanked and invited the whole family to his Santa Barbara ranch where he has horses, dogs, swimming pool, tennis court and movie theater. After tea, the whole family had fun making a jam: Gérard, Elisabeth and François Bernheim, her musical accomplice (with whom she will perform in June, at the Espace Gaîté), sang in chorus of airs by “Grease” and some hits from Stevie Wonder, while John played guitar. In the evening, rustic dinner: omelet with fine herbs, salad, cheeses and a quiet evening around the fireplace.
“For the past year,” says John, “every morning I choose to be optimistic, to see the positive and ignore the small problems, and I am a happy man. Yes, every morning I choose happiness! »Going to bed early (but this is not his habit, he likes the night and hates the morning), John went back to the controls of his plane the next day to accompany Gérard to Grenoble where he finished the Truffaut. “He’s a wonderful, generous, impeccable guy,” Gérard concluded. He is adopted into the clan, he is part of the family. ”
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