“Suddenly Romy Schneider”, on France Culture: the life-work of an actress alone on stage and in life


It is the story of a very talented young man, Guillaume Poix, multi-award winning playwright, translator and novelist (The conductive threads, Wepler Prize, and Where I come from has disappeared, Gallimard, “Verticales”, 2017 and 2020). When the Geneva pocket theater commissioned an adaptation of The swimming pool, the famous film by Jacques Deray, released in 1969, he accepts, before realizing that, without the swimming pool or the cinégénie of Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, it hardly made sense. The former student of the Ecole normale supérieure then makes a counter-proposal: “We rarely talk about the ‘work’ of an actor or actress. We say “career”, we say “filmography”, almost never “work”. However, for me, Romy Schneider is the author of a major cinematographic work. “ Not only thanks to the films in which she played and some of which will have marked the history of cinema, “But also because his life is in his work – or vice versa”.

So there you have it the life and work of Romy Schneider. “A history of representations of women by men: her filmography is made up of sixty-three films in which she is physically abused, often by her spouse. It is very disturbing to see that she was this figure that it was tolerable to strike: today, it would make an event. ” Also resonance of this feeling that the actress had “Never to feel in the right place because of your origins (French, German, Austrian)”.

Between fiction and reality

Beyond this fictional reality, what moved Guillaume Poix the most was this thin border between fiction and reality. “I have the feeling that something of my real self comes through more and more with the passing of the films”, said the one who confided: “Most of the things written about me are lies. “

What gave the author a magnificent idea: to make Romy Schneider say only what she articulated. To do this, he watches his entire filmography, noting all the lines he finds. “Beautiful and symptomatic”. Aftershocks that he then climbs up to form this wonderful monologue which constitutes the first part of his text. He uses the same process for the third part, this time making a montage based on the interviews the actress gave or things that she wrote in her diary. For the central part, room is left for fiction and its male partners: Alain Delon in the lead of course, but obviously also Philippe Noiret, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Michel Piccoli …

Performed in Geneva in 2018 and published by Éditions Théâtrales, the text is then spotted by Blandine Masson, the director of fiction on France Culture, who offers to adapt it for the channel, with which he also works regularly. The realization is then entrusted to another very talented young man: Cédric Aussir. All that remained was to find those who would carry this beautiful project: let us quote in particular the prowess of Anouk Grinberg, who opens the first sequence of this extraordinary project. Out of the ordinary and as relevant as it is moving, both in the evocation of Romy Schneider’s life-work and in the questioning of what it is to be an actor – a subject which is obviously close to the heart of the playwright that is Guillaume. Pitch, which will have to be followed closely.

Suddenly Romy Schneider, by Guillaume Poix directed by Cédric Aussir. In podcast on franceculture.fr


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