Romy Schneider, The Last Year of an Icon

Romy Schneider, The Last Year of an Icon

It’s an evening like it often happens during shooting. One day in November 1981, the team of Sans-Susie’s Way, By Jacques Rufio, who has been working for a month, ends up in a tavern in Copenhagen, West Berlin. There is a festive atmosphere. It felt Romi Schneider is in the limelight. The fragility of the 43-year-old actress is known to all. But no one can imagine that this is her last film and she will disappear after six months.

At a table in the basement of Copenhagen, the actress sat down with her costume designer and her hairdresser. The director of photography, Romy’s regular makeup artist, and Claire Denis were also at the party – the future director was then Jacques Rufio’s first assistant. Romy Schneider, one of Europe’s biggest film stars since the mid-1950s, loves these intimate environments. Away from the curious, she can let herself go, laugh, cry, talk loudly, drink.

Romy Schneider takes a beer mug and doodles on it. The actress often compulsively writes on everything she has at hand: hotel letterheads, tissues, pages torn from magazines. She also interprets a lot of copies of her scenarios, which she covers with reflections and descriptions. In French, which she prefers to her native German, her writing is awkward, crossed out—a sign that she has a bad command of it in writing.

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germanic spleen

Romy Schneider throws the coaster at Claire Dennis, who then drinks a glass of wine at the other end of the table, “Like a Frisbee”, remember it future director chocolate (1988), Good work (1999) or trouble every day (2001) grabs a piece of cardboard and reads the German words on it: “Sensucht”, Romy Schneider knows that the young assistant masters the subtleties of the Germanic language. and she knows that word sehnsuch, difficult to translate, revealing a certain malaise, a vague feeling. Only this word can express the state of mind of Romy Schneider in 1981. “It is a word that has many folds and folds, Claire Dennis says today. also in joy Sehnsuch, The joy of regret ,

“Romi can shed tears with laughter at any moment.” Remembers press officer Josie Benbent Sans-Susie’s Way, who had worked with the actress since Caesar and Rosalie (1972), by Claude Sotte. “What’s your madness? », Journalist Guy Brucourt asked him in 1970. Then he replied with a smile: “The Germanic spleen. It’s Visconti who told me. Whether it’s high or low, there’s nothing in between. Either we’re amazingly good or we fall into misfortune and, sometimes, we don’t know what to do.” Why. “

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