French Actor Jean Paul Belmondo; who rose to prominence in the 1960s as part of the New Wave movement and remained; a big film star in France for years to come. His celebrated representations of rough, alienated characters, most notably in Godard’s “Breathless; earned him comparisons to Marlon Brando and James Dean.
Belmondo’s father, Paul Belmondo, was an Algerian-born Pied-Noir sculptor whose parents were of Sicilian and Piedmontese descent.
Transition into Acting:
He had a brief run as an amateur boxer after; a tumultuous education in which he frequently played the class clown; but he abandoned the ring to pursue acting at Paris’s National Conservatory of Dramatic Art. Despite his obvious brilliance, he was unable to receive the highest honours when he graduated in 1956; because of his contemptuous attitude toward his instructors.
Rise To Stardom:
Moreover Belmondo quickly transitioned from theatre to screen, appearing in a string of supporting roles in films directed by well-known filmmakers. Other famous filmmakers were drawn to him by his imposing screen presence; but his unusual appearance limited the amount of offers he received.
Philippe De Broca’s 1964 over-the-top spy thriller “That Man From Rio; which played like a spoof of James Bond, was the turning point in his career. The public liked it, and Mr. Belmondo’s performance was especially well-received. What’s more, Mr. Belmondo seemed to enjoy himself while doing it.
His Personal Favourite Performance:
Despite the fact that numerous reviewers scorned Mr. Belmondo for selling out to the French New Wave, he told interviewers that this was his favourite picture.
In 1965, Eugene Archer stated in The New York Times that; “no actor since James Dean has generated such strong connection. Dean suggested the rebellious adolescent desire, a violent manifestation of the modern world’s frustrations, as ferocious as it was needless.
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