“I’m beating so hard on my life,” said Romi Schneider, who, 40 years after her death, resonates with a painful past littered with pitfalls. To understand the one that will become one of the greatest German icons in the center of French-language cinema, we must return to its origins. The daughter of actresses Magda Schneider and Wolf Albach-Retti, the young Rosemary Magdalena Albach, known as Romi Schneider, was born to follow in the footsteps of her mother, who was a star of Austrian cinema in the 1930s and played a very impressive game. in Levels (Love Story French) she was a good actress in 1933, and Romy also wanted to play, ”she told us. Emmanuel Bonini, author of the book The real Romy Schneider.
Already during her integration into the boarding school for girls Goldenstein in 1949, the young Romi Schneider stood out. Due to her strong temperament and great ambitions, she took her first steps as an actress, participating in the show in front of her young friends. She will only have to wait until 1954 to reach the top league with her first film. When the white lilac blooms again from Hans Deppe. “His hearing was extraordinary. Her father told her, “You are not beautiful, but you capture the light like no other.” She was very photogenic“, – explained the biographer. New chemistry between the camera and a young 15-year-old girl who will watch her until her last breath.
Two years after her acting debut, the young German embodies on the big screen – which some consider the greatest role in her life – the Empress of Austria, nicknamed Sissy. Young years of the queen. A character who will push her to the forefront … But at what cost? If the first opus was a good snack for Romy Schneider, the shooting of parts 2 and 3 was more time consuming. “She wanted to give something to someone very young. His mother told him that he should not be locked in the role, but money was also at stake, ”Emmanuel Bonini explained.
Thanks to this international success, the young Romi Schneider wants more. Fortunately or not, director Pierre Gaspar-Yui aims to make a remake of the film. Levels who crowned Madgu Schneider twenty years ago. To restore the role of the latter, who is better than his own daughter? After arriving in France, Romi Schneider meets his future partner on stage – and future lover – Alain Delon. Despite all expectations, love at first sight was not instantaneous, on the contrary. “They were so different,” Emmanuel Bonini reminds us. But aren’t opposites attracted? On March 22, 1959, Romi Schneider and Alain Delon got engaged unnoticed.
Actress in the shadows of Alain Delon
Now engaged to Alain Delon, Romy Schneider considers herself a “wife”. Having become a “botanist”, the public no longer shows such great interest in the young German woman, who has become a shadow of her lover. “His relationship with Delon was harmful. Undoubtedly, he opened the doors of France to him. It was good for her, “said Emmanuel Bonini before qualifying.” But she was included in the catalog, it’s very difficult. She had no more suggestions. Delon got into the movies by accident when she was an actress at heart. She needed it. “
Finally, director Lucino Visconti will allow him to resume success. In 1961, Romi Schneider and Alain Delon starred in the play again It is a pity that she is a prostitute. A new exercise for a young prodigy who is not used to playing in front of an audience. If it was a success, it was not without suffering for Romy Schneider. Tensions and disputes erupt between Visconti and Romi, the latter renamed Romina. “He was a guy who felt potential, someone unique. He was terrible, “said Emmanuel Bonini. Nevertheless, when Romi Schneider gets her first Cesar, she will dedicate it to the director.
Revival of Romi Schneider
Returning to the stage, Romy Schneider leaves for Uncle Sam’s country after playing in a play. Gull Anton Chekhov. Although the German is little known in the Atlantic, the German has directed several major American directors, including Orson Welles. TrialCarl Foreman c WinnersOtto Preminger s cardinal and lend me your husband David Swift. It was at this time that certain rumors of infidelity reached her ears. Her fiancé Alain Delon was playing with a certain Natalie. Disappointed, the young woman does not take this alleged idyll seriously, she firmly believes in their engagement.
Unexpectedly, the Cheetah will leave her in a few weeks in a fifteen-page farewell letter. The following year, in 1964, Alain Delon became the father of a boy named Anthony. The blow is even stronger for a German who would have an abortion at the beginning of the idyll.
Romi Schneider, who said that “there is nothing colder than dead love”, clings to her acting career to overcome her brutal abandonment. She will star in feature films What happened, Pussy? Cliver Donner in 1965 Half past ten in the summer Jules Dassen, as well as in Fantastic true stories from Eddie Chapman. In 1966, she married director Harry Mayen in Cap Ferrat. In the same year, Romi Schneider will finally give up the role of a young girl in favor of her mother. after the birth of his son David.
“Pool” or a movie of maturity
Some will say that this is the most beautiful performance on screen between Alain Delon and Romy Schneider. Feature film Basinfrom Jacques Dere, remains above all reunion of the maturity of two lovers, each of whom developed differently. I must say that Alain Delon “caused the actress so much that she knew that there would be no future with him,” – said Emmanuel Bonini.
The reunion made possible by the actor who insisted that his ex-fiancée get the lead role after suffering Brigitte Bardot’s refusal. In fact, despite his stubbornness, Alain Delon left his place in La Madrasa empty-handed.
“All the conditions were met for the film to become legendary. She had to fight to change, to be free. She fought to be seen as an actress, not a star, ”explains the biographer. Since then, there has been a strange smell on the set that contrasts with this idyllic picture, especially when their children – Anthony Delon and David Mayen – are having fun together by the pool between the two shots.
An actress with a complex power relationship
“I have my peak behind me, I’m not saying this ironically, because I really believe that the actress reaches her peak at twenty-five.”, said actress Romy Schneider in the year of her 35th birthday. And yet the actress is far from suspicious of the many successful films that inevitably impose her success in France. His passport to popular cinema came in 1972 with the film Caesar and Rosalia. Like all the directors before him who had the opportunity to star with Romy Schneider, Claude Sote (with whom the actress has already starred in Things of life in 1969) had to deal with the bloodshed and impulsiveness of the actress.
I have to say this the star was even better when it was brought to its limits. “She said she wanted her husband to abuse her. She needed his reports. She was nervous and constantly in need. With director Claude Chabrol, it was hell. He gave her instructions and then went to play cards, and she went crazy because he didn’t watch her play, ”explains Emmanuel Bonini.
Already during his collaboration with Henri-Georges Clouseau hell, In 1964, Romi Schneider encountered a director who used irritating methods. “She found something else. With him, we either progressed or broke down. ” The same story in 1975, when the actress worked under the direction of director Andrzej Zhulawski for The main thing is to love. “Alain Delon said that at this time in her life she was already too “broken”. and that it would be necessary not to force her to play in such a film “, – explains the biographer and adds:” But it was she who was in demand. She needed it. “
Actor Jean-Louis Trintinian will say about him: “Romi was dissatisfied when the work went very well. When she fired, she was already dying. The dramas of his life were reflected on the screen“, Says the biographer in his book, The real Romy Schneider. Proven film, from which she will be a big winner, receiving “Cesar” for Best Actress in 1976. Strong, exhausting roles, which often pushed her to the edge of the abyss, the actress has gone through a lot. She won’t have to wait long until she finally gets into a hellish realm that is almost impossible to overcome …
Alcohol, depression, drugs … Find out more in our episode 2, which will be released on May 25, 2022.