PortraitTreasures of the “World”. Every Sunday, we unearth a striking article from our archives. Today, the family story of the actor, partly revealed in 2002, between a taciturn father and a mother full of dreams but “tied up by his brats”.
We only saw him twice, the Gérard. The first time, he stepped forward, helmet in hand, charming, confident and relaxed. He was hoping to catch a helicopter before nightfall, he was probably going on vacation, thin, already tanned. And in a summary of rare intensity, he told us about Dédé and Lilette, his parents, who died in 1988. Both generous and talkative. Disturbing. Three weeks later, he was hateful, tormented, exasperated, painful. He was, it is true, in the middle of filming. Two vertical lines marked his face. It had taken ten years. Maybe makeup. But when, spontaneously, he carried the photo of the Dede below his chin, the resemblance was all the more striking. He was staring at her, fascinated, loving. And he said provocatively: “You understood the story correctly, eh? … Yet it is simple!” “
Let’s go ! he knows well, Gérard Depardieu, that his story is neither simple nor clear. He suspects that we will not begin his story with “Once upon a time …”, because it does not look like a fairy tale or even a novel. Plot too uncertain, characters too complex. And then those double-meaning words, those ambiguous feelings, tangled up like a ball of yarn. All these silences …
He is aware that the keys he gives us are crucial, but insufficient; that some elements that he delivers for the first time are certainly capital, but also take the form of small white pebbles which, as if to guide us, will lose us along the way. He masters what he wants to say, what he intends to keep a secret, and especially what he wants us to remember, of Dédé and Lilette.
“Lords”, his friend Jean Carmet told him one day, at the time when he still saw only lost people, wounded by life, on the margins of society. Yet this is the word he would like to keep today. Lords, yes. And poets. “Yet it is simple! “
A marriage of love
When Gérard was born, on December 27, 1948, in Châteauroux, the Depardieu couple already had two children. He lived in a pocket apartment on the first floor of a house in the Omelon district. Le Dédé (René, of his real name), who had made a tour of France with the companions, was a sheet-trainer, proud of his job, but poorly paid.
La Lilette (named Alice) took care of her children, dreaming of cinema and exotic destinations. In fact, after the first two births, she had hoped to take a trip in late 1948 and claimed that Gerard’s arrival – a terrible Christmas present – had dashed her plans. She even let the little boy understand that with knitting needles she had tried to get rid of them. No wonder that after a few nightmares he often woke up in a sweat, looking in front of a mirror for any traces of needles on his skull …
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