His crooner timbre has faded. If singing remains his passion, the actor, aged 84, enjoys his role as dean of film sets.
“It was time for me to shoot again, because we’re broke.” Mélissa Drigeard’s film, Everything smiles on us, came at the right time for Guy Marchand. He plays the role of a grandfather suffering from cancer, the patriarch of a family in complete disrepair. In the columns of Parisian , the actor and singer expresses himself, confesses his love for life, confides his memories, speaks frankly about old age and death.
“With a hat and a beard, you can grow old underneath, you can’t see it”, he jokes before regretting his past voice, this beautiful crooner’s voice capable of reaching heights with rock’n’roll accents. “As I got older, it got more serious. It’s good for acting. Less for singing: as the other said, it is in the treble that it gets serious. “ Fortunately “My friends more talented than me are dead. I occupy the niche “, comments with humor the 84-year-old artist, whose gallbladder problems and“Shortness of breath” inconvenience him without distressing him.
The patriarch’s aura follows him to film sets, where Guy Marchand loves to act as mentor: “In the films, there are often young and old, and little by little they get attached to you. I am very emotional. What is fantastic is the letter I received after [le tournage de Tout nous sourit, N.D.L.R.]: “JI’m the little red haired helper, I learned a lot from this movie. If I could grow old like you. “A young dude I barely saw. Wonderful. I feel more real playing.”
The end of life does not scare the actor. At least, apparently. In The last part, TV movie directed by Macha Méril and broadcast on November 8 on TF1, Guy Marchand plays Franck Dubosc’s dying father. “I repeat my death. Like that, it’s almost done. Besides, Macha taught me to die. She saw people disappear that she loved very much, including her companion [le compositeur Michel Legrand, N.D.L.R.]. I didn’t know how to do it, we were in a hospital room. She said to me: “I’ll teach you how to breathe your last.” It’s fantastic, the cinema! It makes you stupid at first, to take care only of your navel, but as you get older, you realize that it is something magical. To play, like the sorcerers in the tribes, who imitate life. “
His carelessness – feigned or real – punctuates his daily life, in his large house located not far from Avignon. Life must be “Light” and woe kept away. His reversal of fortune, he explains by a bohemian existence. “I made a lot of money on Nestor burma [série télévisée policière, dans laquelle Guy Marchand interprétait le rôle-titre, N.D.L.R.] but I spent it all. Horses. Cars. The women. I liked to live widely. And I didn’t have star salaries. I’m a tourist”, he confesses. “I have always found myself in places without knowing why. I grew up among the thugs of Belleville. Afterwards, I followed my women. First a beautiful Bordelaise, who gave me two beautiful children, Jules, and Ludivine. Two gifts. Afterwards I followed a girl in the South who loved horses like me. And then I lived with my beautiful Russian, but she moved to Berlin. ”
His old friends “More talented”, like Noiret and Serrault, miss him even if the complex remains: “I loved them so much but I was always afraid to say too much bullshit, not to be perfect enough, ideal in their company. Noiret brought such peace to a shoot. ” Pialat, too, plunges him into his memories. Together they turned Louie. Despite the harshness and fits of anger of the filmmaker, nostalgia takes him by the throat. “What am I missing Pialat. He wasn’t nice to me. I was leaving the army, I had a sense of honor. It’s ridiculous, eh, as a term. “
Because before becoming an artist, Marchand cut his teeth in Algeria, first in the French army, then the Foreign Legion. “In Algeria, I saw that men were capable of doing incredible, unspeakable things”, he says. His childhood was also the scene of human wickedness. “The shorn women of the Place Armand Carrel”, one of them “With a child in her arms, pursued by vociferous people”, made him feminist. “We were a sacrificed generation, that of war. When I went to the movies to see Tarzan in Belleville at the end of the war, with kids who bawled while waiting for their film or their cartoon, in the first part, at the News, we saw the excavators pushing corpses at Auschwitz. At seven, it’s a bit tough. Engraved forever.“