Icon of French cinema, Daniel Auteuil has acted in more than 75 films and no less than 25 plays in addition to having won two Césars. An accomplished actor, he enjoyed a prestigious career crowned with several awards. In his new biography, an official first, signed Nathalie Simon, the author sought to demystify his image of a rather shy man who usually gives little access to his private life and who nevertheless agreed to answer the biographer’s questions.
We can say that Daniel Auteuil knew perfectly well what he wanted to do in life. At just three years old, tall as three apples, he will tell his parents that he wants to do theater when he grows up. It must be said that he was practically born on a stage. His parents, like his grandparents, are lyric singers of operas and operettas. As a child, his playground was the theaters following his parents backstage, having fun with the costumes he found.
He was born in 1950 during a tour while his parents were visiting Algiers in Algeria, but it was in Avignon in France that he grew up. He will land a role at just four years old in the opera Madame Butterfly.
It is at the age of 16 that he will begin his career more officially, where he will go on stage holding the main role of the play, Chekhov’s Marriage Proposal.
At 25, he will shoot alongside Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Louis Trintignant.
But it was in 1986, when he played alongside Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Béart, that he received all the honors in the film, Jean de Florette, an adaptation of the work of Marcel Pagnol. deserving the César for best actor.
If Daniel Auteuil has stood out in the cinema and in many TV series, easily passing from comedy to drama, he has not shunned the theater respectful of his childhood dreams.
Throughout his career, he said he was more comfortable on the boards than in front of a camera. He was notably nominated for two Molières for his roles in plays, La Double Inconstance by Marivaux and Les Fourberies de Scapin by Molière. In addition, Daniel Auteuil stood out as a director and as a director, in addition to having tried his luck as a singer, which makes him a chameleon artist.
Pitfalls and regrets
If we can say that he had an easy start, as well as a pampered childhood, we must also know that his journey is also strewn with pitfalls. We learn that even if he took private lessons in dramatic art, he never managed to be admitted to the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, despite three attempts. “I was never taken, it’s hopeless,” laments the actor.
Among his major professional regrets was his refusal to star in the hit French film Intouchables. It was Alain Delon who offered him the role of Philippe, the wealthy handicapped person, finally played by François Cluzet. “I told him no, but I regret it today,” says the actor. “It’s a missed date. “. He also refused a role in the film Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, which he still regrets today.
Besides the regrets, there are also the many complexes. First his physique, he would have liked to be prettier. Added to this is the lack of self-confidence that dates back to childhood. His difficulties at school and his physique have a lot to do with it.
He would have liked to devote himself more to music. It wasn’t until later that he started playing the guitar.
It is said of him that he is also a devoted father. He had three children by three different women.
Among the women who shared his life, there is the actress Anne Jousset with whom he had a daughter, Aurore. Will follow the actress Emmanuelle Béart with whom he had a daughter, Nelly, who were together for 11 years.
After a briefer affair with the actress and director, Marianne Denicourt, he fell under the spell of the painter, Aude Ambrogg, whom he married in 2003. Together, they had a son, Zachary.
The 73-year-old actor who calls himself a contemplative, lives in Corsica and likes to watch his olive trees grow. He lives quietly with his wife of 30 years his junior from Corsica and his disabled dog rescued from the SPA and his parrot, saying that it is success that keeps him alive. He still remains open to acting in the cinema or getting on the boards.
Daniel Auteuil Under the mask
Editions de L’Archipel
Among his many awards and accolades received include:
– Daniel Auteuil has been nominated for the César for Best Actor 14 times.
– In 1987, he won the César for best actor for his role in the films Jean de Florette and Manon des sources.
– In 1996, he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for the film Le Huitième Jour.
– In 2000, he was crowned best actor, earning a César for The Girl on the Bridge.
– In 2005, he became an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.
– In 2022, he was named Commander of the National Order of Merit.