“I instantly had a crush on her. In fact, I still have,” says Senta Berger on her first encounter with Romy Schneider back in 1959.
Author Thilo Wydra’s conversations with the Austrian film and television legend on her friendship with Schneider are an essential element of his new book on the latter’s tempestuous relationship with French icon Alain Delon.
“Eine Liebe in Paris. Romy & Alain” pays tribute to Schneider’s immortal legacy as an actress but does not turn a blind eye on the sinister side: mediocre movies, venomous coverage by German papers, Delon’s affairs and Schneider’s addictions.
Schneider – who took the audacious step of leaving Austria at the age of 21 for France – first met Delon in 1958. “Christine” was the first of just three films co-starred by European cinema’s number-one glamour couple of the 1960s.
The shooting of “La Piscine” at the French Riviera in summer 1968 is probably the key chapter of the book. Filmed five years after Delon left Schneider, “La Piscine” is still considered as one of the most outstanding French movies of the 1960s.
Speaking with Wydra, award-winning German actor Mario Adorf revealed that Brigitte Bardot had initially been considered for the lead role before Delon pushed for Schneider. This is just one of many astonishing anecdotes that keep “Eine Liebe in Paris” from becoming just another sloppily-edited publication eyeing up the wallets of “Sissi” nostalgia enthusiasts.
Eine Liebe in Paris. Romy & Alain
By Thilo Wydra
Published by Heyne (www.heyne.de)