relive the national tribute chaired by Emmanuel Macron

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A minute of silence in tribute to 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 lays a white rose at the foot of the portrait of Michel Bouquet

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

Students from 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 Cosi fan tutte of Mozart.

Emmanuel Macron lays a white rose at the foot of the portrait of Michel Bouquet
Emmanuel Macron lays a white rose at the foot of the portrait of Michel Bouquet © BFMTV

Emmanuel Macron: “Michel Bouquet reigned over the theater as a sacred monster”

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

“He enlightened our minds,” added the President of the Republic. “Michel Bouquet believed in his characters as one believes in divinities.”

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

Muriel Robin, who was a pupil of Michel Bouquet at the Conservatoire, thanks the actor in her speech for having guided her and helped her to become an actress.

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

About fifteen years ago, it was he who prevented her from leaving the profession of actress and asked her to hang on. “15 years ago, the job was killing me, you said to me, ‘You don’t have the right, Muriel!’ You have probably prevented me from dying”, sums up the actress, very moved. “I have always seen a giant in you.”

The moving 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 vibrant voice.

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

Francis Huster: “I don’t have 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 began his career with Gérard Philipe [et Jean Vilar]. It’s a moment of happiness, because he will join them all up 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 p.m. It will follow speeches by Fabrice Luchini, Muriel Robin and Pierre Arditi.

The final preparations before the start of the national tribute

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

The public and guests are already there. Muriel Robin, who is to speak during the ceremony, arrived among the first. Several celebrities made the trip, including Kad Merad, Macha Méril and Francis Huster.

Three actors to pay tribute to their “father of theater”

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

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

Muriel Robin was very close to this actor whom she has addressed as you almost all her life: “I managed after 30 years to call him Michel.” Twice, Michel Bouquet retained Muriel Robin to put an end to her career:

“He was a father, a landmark. I have a crazy chance and once again, a happiness and an honor, that Michel Bouquet is interested in me, it is that I was perhaps worth something. For someone ‘one who has no self-confidence, like me, it really prevents dying.

Over 75 years of career

Unforgettable in The King is dying by 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 evening of his life in The Walker of the Champ-de-Mars, by Robert Guédiguian (2005). This role earned him the César for best actor, after that received a few years earlier for Anne Fontaine’s film how i killed my father (2002).

On screen, he also played secret characters in Claude Chabrol’s films (The unfaithful wife in 1969, Chicken In Vinegar in 1985), performed 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 chasing Jean Valjean in Wretched by Robert Hossein (1982).

The course of the ceremony

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

  • Welcome of the President of the Republic by Florence Parly (Minister for the Armed Forces), Geneviève Darrieussecq (Minister Delegate to the Minister for the Armed Forces), Roselyne Bachelot (Minister for Culture) and the military authorities.
  • Flag honors.
  • 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 will lay flowers at the foot of the portrait of Michel Bouquet.
  • The aria “Soave sia il vento” by Cosi fan tutte by Mozart will be interpreted by William Thomas, Marie-Andrée Bouchard-Lesieur and Tamara Banjesevic. They will be accompanied by the orchestra of the Republican Guard.
  • Ringtone “To the dead”.
  • Moment of silence.
  • The Marseillaise will be performed by the French Army Choir and the Republican Guard Orchestra.
  • End of the tribute ceremony.

Welcome to this live

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

The ceremony, which will be chaired by Emmanuel Macron, will begin at 4 p.m. at the Hôtel national des Invalides in Paris and should last an hour. The President of the Republic must speak around 4:30 p.m.

The ceremony is open to the public, in the presence of the family and relatives of the actor. An event to follow live on BFMTV.

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