The former casting director, Dominique Besnehard, shared on Friday January 14 on franceinfo, his grief after the death Thursday of director Jean-Jacques Beineix at the age of 75. “I have a lot of pain because it’s someone I worked with. Frankly, it’s hard”, did he declare. He denounces the role of the film critic who has not been kind to him: “When she decides, before going to see the film, not to love, it’s a terrible pain”, he said. “He was very deep, very cultured and at the same time he was popular”, he pointed out.
franceinfo: How did you start with Jean-Jacques Beineix?
Dominique Besnehard: I did the casting for the movie 37.2° in the morning. I had known Jean-Jacques since 1975 since he was an assistant on the film at the time Wing or thigh by Claude Zidi. I worked with Claude Berri. He immediately trusted me. I was 20 years old. I have always loved his invention, his curiosity. He was a multiple character, both very deep and also very funny. We forget that he was very funny. For the rest, in 37.2° in the morning, there are many, many very funny scenes. There is emotion and humor. I did the casting Diva. At the time, it was a small bomb. Diva it’s a movie that was released in theaters. It didn’t work at all. And it’s thanks to the Caesars. At the time, the Césars allowed films to work. Then we made The moon in the gutter and I did 37.2° in the morning.
He is someone who served as little hands in film productions. He was eager to show his talent at that time?
He was an assistant. He went through the small door. He worked with Jean Becker. He had made this cult series with Micheline Prêles and Daniel Gélin, The five darlings. He was curious. He was very deep, very cultured and at the same time he was popular. He loved people. At the same time, he had dark moments. I had appointments in the morning for the casting, it never went. A bit like Maurice Pialat. And then, during the day, he woke up. I have a lot of pain because it’s someone I worked with. Frankly, it’s hard (he sobs).
Jean-Jacques Beineix was bruised by the violent criticism of his films?
Especially in Cannes with The moon in the gutter. It was the battle of Hernani. He had a madness in the image. And when we said that he did advertising aesthetics, it’s absolutely false. In 37°2 in the morning, you can’t bring in four million people if there isn’t all of a sudden a sort of collusion with the public. People found themselves in this film. IP5, it’s a painful film since it’s where Yves Montand lost his life. Even his last film, Mortal Transfer, had many qualities. But the critic when she decides, before going to see the film, not to like it, it is a terrible evil. He was a victim of this evil where people before going to see the film, they knew they were not going to like it.
Surely you have a thought for Béatrice Dalle?
I am thinking of Jean-Hugues Anglade and Béatrice Dalle. I don’t think Béatrice will do any interviews. She still owes him everything. It’s his pygmalion. He fought because some people didn’t want us to take her saying she was unknown. She brought a woman’s style. She really is like my sister. She is very saddened and unfortunately she is not someone who will be able to speak.