When the webmaster of www.objectifcinema.com told me at the end of October
that I had the opportunity to watch an Italian movie during a press presentation, I cannot say that I was thrilled...
The movie’s title? Cantando dietro i Paraventi. The director? Ermanno Olmi.
I knew Olmi as a great Italian director, who made famous films in the 70’ and the 80’ (with movies like "L’Albero degli zoccoli"),
but it was not exactly my kind of movies. So, I was about to decline his offer when (God only knows why) I decided to go
through the information he sent me again… and discovered this magic sentence: "With Bud Spencer". What? Bud Spencer?
I checked on www.imdb.com and it was true: Cantando dietro i Paraventi
was indeed Bud Spencer’s last movie! So I immediately contacted Viviana, the woman in charge of the press relations for
the movie, and I told her I definitely wanted to see it! I also asked her if the arrival of Bud Spencer in Paris was already
scheduled. She confirmed that I could see Cantando dietro i Paraventi on one of the days
I chose. And she added: "Yes, he will come in Paris early in December." I immediately replied: "Would it be possible to make an interview?"
My heart was beating like crazy. "We’ll talk about this later," she said. Naturally, what I heard was: "Yes, okay, you’ll do it!" Of course,
it was difficult to plan the meeting more than a month in advance, but I had high hopes.
First, I had to see the movie. This beautiful film tells the story of a Chinese pirate woman of the 18th century. Bud Spencer plays the role of an old captain, the storyteller. Cantando dietro i Paraventi has little in common with the "Trinity" movies. But although Bud does not hit anyone with his giant fists, he is great anyway.
At the end of November, I had not forgotten what the charming woman had told me on the phone and I asked her again whether I could interview the partner of Terence Hill. "Okay. Wednesday 8th December at 12.30 pm. Is that OK for you?" OK for me? Of course it is!
On Wednesday, I was on my way to the Hotel de l’Abbaye, near Saint-Germain-des-Prés. My questions about the whole career of Bud Spencer were ready. I had thirty minutes with him, which was little time to talk about the almost hundred movies he made. But I was happy nevertheless.
I came in at the hotel at 12.20 pm and asked for Viviana. I met her and she told me that Bud was already there, waiting for me in the tearoom. I followed her and she introduced me to one of my screen idols…
Bud Spencer is very impressive. He is tall and strong. A single hand of him is bigger than my both hands joined together! The interview began right away and he was able to answer to my questions in French. Bud Spencer told me a lot of things about his first roles, his relationship with Terence Hill, the style of humor they created, etc. It was very nice. He told me that he saw Bodo (the little black boy of Piedone d’Egitto and Piedone l’africano) six month ago! Bodo is now a lawyer in Johannesburg. And when he was making Piedone a Hong Kong, US Marines were asking him for autographs! They knew him very well because they used to watch the "Trinity" movies on their aircraft carrier! Bud also told me that, according to him, Botte di Natale was a mistake because it was not exactly the kind of movies Terence and him were making before, which explains its poor success.
But after thirty minutes of talking, it was already time to say goodbye to this very kind man. I will never forget the moments I shared with Bud Spencer…
You can read the interview Philippe made with Bud here (in French only).