LIVE – Emmanuel Macron: “Michel Bouquet ruled the theater like a holy monster”

A minute of silence in honor of Michel Bouquet

After the speeches of the actors Fabrice Luchini, Muriel Robin and Pierre Arditi, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron observed a minute of silence in tribute to Michel Bouquet.

Emmanuel Macron places a white rose at the foot of Michel Bouquet’s portrait

At the end of his speech, Emmanuel Macron places a white rose at the foot of Michel Bouquet’s portrait.

Students of the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique followed him, while William Thomas, Marie-Andrée Bouchard-Lesieur and Tamara Banjesevic performed the aria “Soave sia il vento” by So do them all from Mozart.

Emmanuel Macron places a white rose at the foot of Michel Bouquet's portrait
Emmanuel Macron places a white rose at the foot of Michel Bouquet’s portrait © BFMTV

Emmanuel Macron: “Michel Bouquet ruled the theater as a holy monster”

Emmanuel Macron, in his eulogy, paid tribute to Michel Bouquet, who “ruled the theater like a sacred monster.” “Michel Bouquet brought 20th century European theater to life.”

“He has enlightened our minds,” added the president of the republic. “Michel Bouquet believed in his characters as one believes in deities.”

“You probably saved me from death”: Muriel Robin salutes the memory of her “theatre father”

Muriel Robin, student of Michel Bouquet at the Conservatory, thanks the actor in her speech for her guidance and help to become an actress.

“Sir, you have opened for me the doors to such a great world: the theatre.” “Thanks to you I discovered the words, their weight, their subtleties”, explained Muriel Robin in this text in the form of a letter to her master, whom she considers her “theatre father”.

About fifteen years ago, it was he who prevented her from leaving the profession of an actress and asked her to persevere. “15 years ago the job killed me, you said to me, ‘You have no right, Muriel!’ You undoubtedly prevented me from dying,” the actress sums up touchedly. “I’ve always seen a giant in you.”

The touching tribute of Fabrice Luchini

Fabrice Luchini pays tribute to Michel Bouquet in a moving speech. “You were a genius. You were the essence and the unique,” he said in a lively voice.

“My dear Michel, your disappearance will leave a huge void in this family of actors of which you were the most special, the most amazing representative,” he added. “Your voice is eternal.”

Francis Huster: ‘I have no tears in my eyes today’

Francis Huster paid tribute to Michel Bouquet before entering the Hôtel National des Invalides. “I don’t have tears in my eyes today because I think it’s a moment of happiness,” he told BFMTV.

Francis Husteron April 27, 2022
Francis Huster on April 27, 2022 © BFMTV

And to add: “For me, Michel Bouquet is the child of the TNP. He started his career with Gérard Philipe [et Jean Vilar]† It’s a moment of happiness because he will join them all there.”

The ceremony begins

The tribute to Michel Bouquet begins. Emmanuel Macron arrived at the Hôtel national des Invalides.

The President of the Republic will deliver the eulogy at 4:30 PM. This is followed by speeches by Fabrice Luchini, Muriel Robin and Pierre Arditi.

The final preparations for the start of the national celebration

The Hôtel des Invalides is preparing to host the national tribute to Michel Bouquet. A black and white photograph of the actor is prominently placed in the courtyard of the Invalides.

The audience and guests are already there. Muriel Robin, who will be speaking at the ceremony, was one of the first to arrive. Several celebrities made the trip, including Kad Merad, Macha Méril and Francis Huster.

Three actors pay tribute to their ‘father of the theatre’

Fabrice Luchini, Muriel Robin and Pierre Arditi pay tribute to Michel Bouquet during the ceremony. A very moving moment for these three actors, who consider Michel Bouquet their “father of the theatre”.

“It’s always complicated to talk about someone without talking too much about yourself. I wrote a letter, I talk to him,” said Muriel Robin this morning on France Info, student of Michel Bouquet at the Conservatory. “We will find certain things in common in the speeches of Pierre Arditi and Fabrice Luchini.”

Muriel Robin had a close relationship with this actor whom she has addressed as you almost her entire life: “I managed to call him Michel after 30 years.” Twice Michel Bouquet took over Muriel Robin to end her career:

“He was a father, a milestone. I have a crazy opportunity and again, a happiness and an honor, that Michel Bouquet is interested in me, it is that I may have been worth something. For someone ‘someone who has no self-confidence, like me, it actually prevents dying.

More than 75 years of career

Unforgettable in The king is dying from Ionesco – which he has played no less than 800 times – and in the miser of Molière, Michel Bouquet is a monument of French theater and cinema, whose career spans more than 75 years.

He had also marked the cinema by embodying an astonishing Mitterrand on the night of his life in The walker of the Champ-de-Mars, by Robert Guediguian (2005). This role earned him the César for best actor, then a few years earlier for the film by Anne Fontaine how i killed my father (2002).

On screen, he also played secret characters in Claude Chabrol’s films (The Unfaithful Woman in 1969, Chicken In Vinegar in 1985), conducted under the direction of François Truffaut (The bride was in black in 1967, and The Mississippi Mermaid in 1968) and was a masterful Javert, the inspector who chased Jean Valjean miserable by Robert Hossein (1982).

The course of the ceremony

Here is the sequence of the ceremony of the national tribute to the comedy Michel Bouquet.

  • Welcome from the President of the Republic by Florence Parly (Minister of the Armed Forces), Geneviève Darrieussecq (Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Armed Forces), Roselyne Bachelot (Minister of Culture) and the military authorities.
  • Flag honor.
  • The Marseillaise interpreted by the Mobile Gendarmerie.
  • Review of troops.
  • Speeches by actors Fabrice Luchini, Muriel Robin and Pierre Arditi.
  • Eulogy of the President of the Republic.
  • The students of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art lay flowers at the foot of Michel Bouquet’s portrait.
  • L’air “Soave sia il vento” de So do them all by Mozart is performed by William Thomas, Marie-Andrée Bouchard-Lesieur and Tamara Banjesevic. They are accompanied by the Republican Guard orchestra.
  • Ringtone “To the dead”.
  • Moment of silence.
  • The Marseillaise will be performed by the French Army Chorus and the Republican Guard Orchestra.
  • End of the honoring ceremony.

Welcome to this live

Welcome to this live dedicated to the national tribute to the actor Michel Bouquet, a monument of the French theater who died on April 13 at the age of 96.

The ceremony, chaired by Emmanuel Macron, starts at 4 p.m. at the Hôtel national des Invalides in Paris and lasts one hour. The President of the Republic is due to speak around 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony is open to the public, attended by the actor’s family and relatives. An event to follow live on BFMTV.

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