Jean Sorel: “Monica Vitti was wonderfully intelligent”

The French actor, who spent a large part of his career in Italy under the direction of Visconti, Bolognini and Lattuada, fondly remembers Antonioni’s muse, with whom he played in 1967 in the comedy Kill me quick, I’m cold.

In 1967 Francesco Maselli, formerly Michelangelo Antonioni’s first assistant, asked Jean Sorel to share the bill with Monica Vitti. The film Kill me quick, I’m cold (Fai in fretta ad uccidermi… ho freddo!)an Italian comedy of which our transalpine brothers, – Dino Risi in the lead -, hold the secret will tell the story of two lovers Giovanna and Franco, crooks at heart, who will rip off their victims by pretending to be brother and sister. ..

Six decades after the French actor has forgotten nothing of his meeting “fraternal” and artistic with the one who will go down in the history of the seventh art as the most intellectual of Roman acrobats. For Le Figarohe agreed to talk about the moments spent with Monica Vitti during this shoot, which remains memorable for him.

LE FIGARO. – What memories do you have of Monica Vitti?

John SOREL. – You know how I lived in Italy for a long time and spent a large part of my career there, I knew Monica well. But it’s fate, we only played one movie together. What was striking about her, of course, was her marvelous intelligence. But a rare intelligence made up of humor which allowed her to shine in the cinema both in the psychological films of her husband Michelangelo Antonioni and in what is now called the great satirical Italian comedy of which Dino Risi is the most illustrious representative.

How did she work on a movie set?

She took her acting very seriously. She was meticulous, and acted almost like a director, even in our film, which was a kind of comic thriller. It must be said that Francesco Maselli was Antonioni’s former first assistant, which allowed Monica to have an almost natural authority over him.

Was Monica Vitti in life as in the cinema?

Apparently in life, she also showed a lot of confidence. You know, she had that indefinable charm of great actresses who know they have an almost magical power of seduction. But all of that, come to think of it, was the fruit of his labor. We must never forget that she walked the trestles at a very young age, confronting Brecht and Feydeau. Monica, for me, will remain the eternal symbol of the great Italian cinema of the post-war period, that is to say this astonishing marriage of charm and intelligence.

Kill me quick, I’m cold (Fai in fretta ad uccidermi… ho freddo!), in 1967, by Francesco Maselli, with Monica Vitti, Jean Sorel…


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