He made films with the greatest directors, including Clouzot, Verneuil, Chabrol and, of course, François Truffaut.
When the filming of Anne Fontaine's Comment j'ai tué mon père [My Father and I] was over, Charles Berling asked Michel Bouquet, who was the lead actor in the movie, if he would take part in a book of interviews about the condition of the actor and the individual in today's society.
He was enthusiastic right away, and so Les Joueurs was born.
On the recommendation of the much-missed production sound mixer Jean-Claude Laureux, Charles Berling called me asking for a recorder that had a microphone that should not, under any circumstances, look like the mikes used on movie sets.
This was because Michel Bouquet had told him that, because of his great sensitivity (shyness), he was afraid that he would not be able to utter more than three words if he saw any mike.
After giving the matter some thought, I suggested a small DAT Sony TCD-D8 recorder and a Beyer MPC 50 mike that I nicknamed the tablemat.
Very few production sound mixers are familiar with this PZM mike, whose surprising appearance could be construed as a casting error by its manufacturer.
Charles Berling wrote:
"I was proud of having gotten hold of a DAT recorder a few days earlier and a microphone that looked uncannily like a tablemat. It was made of wood and was lent to me by a friend who was a sound mixer. I liked the thing because it was discreet. When I clumsily turned on my tape recorder, I was amazed to catch Michel's first words on the mike. He had come up to it and lavished me with a heap of very flattering praise.
Such was the care with which he chose his words and the beauty of the voice he adopted for the tablemat that it had a wonderful comedic effect. I suggested we get to work straight away on our main task to hand."
Michel Bouquet's last two films have just been released in movies theatres at the start of the month of June 2022.
A feature film by Tatiana Becquet Genel entitled Cérémonie secrète. Inspired by Joseph Losey's 1968 film Secret Ceremony, this is a thought-provoking tale about a society that is losing its bearings.
Also, in the documentary by Jean-Pierre Larcher called Juste avant la nuit [Just Before Night], the superlative actor finds himself isolated in a hotel by the sea and begins to reflect on his career, pondering the great theatre and cinema auteurs who influenced his life.
"Great auteurs are masterful manipulators. They know that truth does not exist. It should exist but it never will. An actor's life consists of tricking people into thinking that something is there when it is not. It's a difficult role to bear." Michel Bouquet