Many stars of American cinema salute the memory of the French actor, who died Monday at the age of 88.
The wave of emotion caused by the death of Jean-Paul Belmondo crosses the borders of France. While tributes from French cultural and political figures have been pouring in since the announcement of his disappearance on Monday, at the age of 88, many international stars also express their admiration for the actor.
If he never made a career in Hollywood – “Why complicate my life? I’m too dumb to learn the language and it would end in disaster” – he said, as reported New York Times – its notoriety and influence crossed borders. Tarantino thus said of him, in 2013 at the Lumière festival in Lyon: “The word Belmondo is a verb which means vitality, charisma, force of nature. It means super coolness!”.
American filmmaker Spike Lee paid tribute to the actor on Tuesday. On Instagram, the president of the jury of the last Cannes Film Festival publishes the photo of a poster ofBreathless (by Jean-Luc Godard, 1960), one of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s most cult films:
“The great French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo went to Paris today,” he wrote. “This poster is from one of my favorite movies, Breathless, which greatly influenced my first feature film, Nola Darling does what she wants (1986, editor’s note). Monsieur Belmondo signed it, writing ‘To Spike’. It is also signed by the master of cinema Jean-Luc Godard. “
Despite his reluctance to try his hand at English, Jean-Paul Belmondo has repeatedly given the answer to American actresses. Notably Jean Seberg in Breathless, but also Mia Farrow, in Doctor Popaul by Claude Chabrol (1972). The latter shared a photo from the film on Monday, in which she appears lying alongside the actor:
“Rest in peace, wonderful Jean-Paul Belmondo”, writes the actress of Rosemary’s Baby in legend. “A great actor and a lovely person.”
“I wanted to be with him on his birthday”
American actor Elijah Wood paid tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo and Michael K. Williams (The Wire), found dead the same day in New York at the age of 54: ‘Jean-Paul Belmondo and Michael K. Williams on the same day …’, writes the star of Lord of the Rings in caption of portraits of the two actors. “My God, what a loss.”
Mickey Rourke, too, had a few words for the actor. Comment on a photo of Jean-Paul Belmondo posted by Carla Bruni on Instagram, the American actor writes:
“I wanted to be with him for his 87th birthday but no one could travel because of the Covid. Now I will visit him at his grave (…) I’m heartbroken, but Jean-Paul Belmondo is no longer in pain ( …) So much talent, so much charm, such a beautiful personality (…) The French will never forget him and will always love him deeply. “
British supermodel Naomi Campbell commented on Carla Bruni’s post with some emojis featuring hearts and doves. In a more discreet tribute, actress Sharon Stone shared the snapshot of Belmondo published by the former First Lady in her own story.
“A sad day for culture”
Closer to France, the Spanish actor Antonio Banderas also pays tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo, deploring “a sad day for culture”:
“A great actor and an icon of French and European cinema has passed away,” he writes. And to add, in French: “Rest in peace Jean-Paul Belmondo”.
An actor as focused on popular comedies as on auteur cinema, icon of the New Wave as much as of action cinema, Jean-Paul Belmondo was one of the last sacred monsters of the French big screen. Jean Dujardin, Michel Boujenah, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Claude Lelouch: all paid tribute to the actor on the announcement of his death. Several figures of the political class, including Emmanuel Macron, also praised his memory. The Elysée announced on Tuesday that a national tribute will be paid to him on Thursday at the Invalides.