Thursday, August 18, 2011

The actor

French actor Gerard Depardieu outraged fellow passengers by urinating in the aisle of an Air France flight as it prepared to take off on Tuesday…
A passenger on the flight said Depardieu, 62, the star of movies such as "Jean de Florette" and "Green Card," appeared to be drunk and insisted he be allowed to use the bathroom during takeoff, when passengers must remain seated.
When asked by a hostess to return to his seat, Depardieu urinated in the aisle.


Once upon a time, I met Depardieu. And by met, I mean the introduction was probably along the lines of, “This is R’s girlfriend.”

I was in college, it was 1979, at a small gathering. I don’t think anyone at the time could foresee the splash Depardieu would make a few years later, and the splash he'd make a few decades after that. He’s consistent, though; always sets his sights on #1.

But back when I met him, on this evening, a group of French and Americans surrounded this beau of the ball, murmuring things about mise en scene, diegesis. He was, to the best of my knowledge, at that time, still in the habit of using restrooms.

“Depardieu! He’s feral!” said this one director, who was a friend of a friend. “He follows his instincts, like an animal. He has no training, no education, he comes from the streets and has been in jail. He’s brilliant.”

I remember looking at Depardieu, and he didn’t seem so brilliant to me, just clumsy, with lumpy cheeks and a tuber-sort of nose like a sweet potato. The bull in a chinashop of French intellectuals and American guys who had lots of family money. As the night went on, Depardieu drank and drank, and grew increasingly oafish. Which seemed to please almost everyone.

It was a time when most people I knew thought misbehavior the purest form of behavior, but these people could only misbehave, themselves, by proxy.

So then there was a screening of the film. And Depardieu became Depardieu! Tender, strong, hurt, weak, virile. For an hour and a half, he was achingly, painfully beautiful.

When the lights came on, someone was snoring. Depardieu had passed out.

I plucked myself out of blatant misbehavior shortly thereafter. It’s fun to be a wild child, but eventually you’re not wild or a child, just meeting expectations. Besides, if you want to be wantonly mischievous for the rest of your life, you need handlers, around the clock.

I think we all reach a point in life when we decide whether we’re defined from the inside out or the outside in.

The inside out is tough, because you assume all responsibility for everything life throws your way. But the outside in, what artists call negative space, means you have no this, you’re only that. And one day you find yourself peeing in the aisle of a plane because you took this flight all by yourself but never learned to handle your own baggage.

40 comments:

  1. I saw a clip about the clod's behaviour last night.

    It reminded me of last year, running into a guy I knew in school. He was still the wild child, but years older, still acting like we were young'ns. It was cute as a teenager, walking down the center line of Fair Oaks at midnight, scaring everyone in the group. Or peeing off the Colorado Street bridge (or in a plane) when you're well over the age of consent. Not so funny now that we're long distanced from our wild teenage years, or even our college days. Like tasting an old bottle of wine that is past its prime, not such a sweet memory and certainly not so sweet at this age. Neither my school chum, nor Gerard, the clod, are particularly funny these days. So very sad that either one thinks they are still funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don’t think anyone at the time could foresee the splash Depardieu would make a few years later, and the splash he made a few decades after that. He’s consistent, though; always sets his sights on #1.

    Anderson Cooper makes a funny about DeparTwo and can't stop laughing at his own joke:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c39L6cCRgG0

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is #1,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V44E_YanQsg&feature=related

    ReplyDelete
  4. I really love reading your posts. Really.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wonder was this happening in front the curtain or behind.
    In other words, on first class or economy class?

    And I don’t think this was a wonderful act from an actor.

    ReplyDelete
  6. There's a fair few people in Berlin still pissing in the aisles, I've noticed this visit. After pissing in the aisles for decades, it sort of, well, it sort of smells.

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh, and I meant to say, fabulous post by the way!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Seen a picture of him lately? Whoa.

    GG

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great actor. Too bad so many of them never grow up. I went to high school with Meg Ryan. She was surly. I think that's my only brush with fame.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is all so good but the last three paragraphs are perfect. Growing up, not everyone is successful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good stuff, just because he is good at his job doesn't mean he isn't a dickhead.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Enjoyed this post. What's the deal lately with people peeing on planes? I'm flying tomorrow. Should I bring a raincoat?


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  13. This might be my new favorite post of yours, and that's saying something.

    Your last two paragraphs are pure gold--a variation on every little league getting a trophy for just showing up. Never mind excelling--he has to be built from the outside in. The uniform has made him even after he takes it off. But wait, what's that buzzing sound . . . ?

    And let's not overlook this: "these people could only misbehave, themselves, by proxy."

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My pleasure. I was rather taken aback by The Good Soup's experience. Germany? Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Who’s the winner here (if there is anyone):
    1. Gerard Depardieu who got his pee
    2. The audience who oversaw the act
    3. The ordinary passengers who got rid of Depardieu

    Anyhow 2 hours delay is not fun.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Brilliant contextualization. My first thought was, "is he out of his frackin' mind?!?!?"

    ReplyDelete
  17. This whole incident pisses me off!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent post, and very wise words about growing up. Wild child stories are fun to tell once you've past that stage, but I can't imagine Depardieu getting any laughs recounting this pathetic story to friends. Feral indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You are such a talented writer, KB. As for the disgraceful monsieur ~ well, you've said it far better than I can.

    ReplyDelete
  20. He probably could care less that he peed as he did.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kelly just blew a fuse on my grammar alert siren.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Uh-oh Kelly. You can make it all better -- just ask Earl if he's begging the question. Trust me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. A very strange story when I heard about it on the news. Kinda creepy!

    ReplyDelete
  24. This idea of the wild child, mad poetic genius etc has always been rich fodder in the arts. There is an entire show dedicated to street artist currently at MOCA. Wild children willing to drape themselves in the eves of freeway overpasses for attention. Then they get older as in the case of wild aging child Shephard Farley. What is it with air ports?

    btw: now you know my "go to" news souse

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a buffoon - although, having just taken a couple of flights, I can relate to the desperate need to go and the frustration at not being permitted to. He's still an ass but those potty rules can be pretty harsh too.

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thks for taking on this controversial topic, KB. On this one issue most of your readers appear to be also supporters.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Mister Earl: it felt funny when I wrote it. Are you begging the question? I fear I have a British-English-gone-awry problem.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hah! Now we'll have to wait while Earl fetches a cold damp cloth for his forehead.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is a wonderful piece of writing, Karin. You are more brilliant all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You've been reading Stanislavsky.

    I don't think the master would have approved of this actor's methods.

    I can't tell you about all of Hollywood, but of the celebrities I've met, most are gracious.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Envisioning the wild and crazy you... a pisser life has to be defined so.

    Went to see Steve Martin/bluegrass concert the other night. He mentioned he had to 'cut one song from his set', as there was no intermission in the concert... and the manager didn't want a "Gerard Depardieu" incident. So the song Martin cut from his set? "Tinkle Tinkle Little Star" , or so he said.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm inclined to chuckle about Depardieu's potty rebuttal!!! Having been desperate I can appreciate the concept!!! Definitely over the top...but I'll bet there were a lot of people wishing they could've done the same!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. What a fascinating slice of your life and your time with Depardieu. He's filming in Monaco at the moment so let's hope he behaves. I gather he apologised.

    I remember when I first came to France and had a semester at the uni in Perpignan trying to learn French, the first film we were shown and studied was Les Valseuses and at that moment I fell in love with Depardieu. He's changed somewhat over the years... What an actor tho.

    Thanks so much for your visit to Menton DP. x

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is good site to spent time on .I just stumbled upon your informative blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your very well written blog posts. I will be your frequent visitor, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Preservation and promotion of health is achieved through a combination of physical, mental and social well-being, sometimes called "the triangle of health." Health is a positive concept focuses on the social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.

    ReplyDelete