With Godard, Bardot in another’s shoes

On August 5, 1962, Brigitte Bardot took advantage of the stretching of the summer days in her house in Bazoches (Yvelines) when the radio announced that Marilyn Monroe had been found dead at her home. One “Probable suicide”, according to the medical examiner, due to an overdose of barbiturates. Brigitte Bardot breaks down and, realizing the invisible thread that connects her to the Hollywood star, turns to Jean-Max Rivière, her friend and the composer of her songs, and asks him: ” What will I become ? “

Bardot crosses paths with Marilyn Monroe on October 29, 1956 in the toilets of the Empire cinema, in Leicester Square, in London, on the occasion of an annual gala, where film personalities are presented to the Queen. BB owes the invitation to the English producer of See you in Rio (1955), an obscure film in which she plays a small role alongside Dirk Bogarde. She responds all the more favorably to the proposal as her comrades from Paris Match warned her that Marilyn would be there.

At this time, the French star has just discovered the first cut of And God created the woman, by her husband Roger Vadim, who will be released a month later. She is there ” not bad “. “Not bad” in the sense that she thinks she will never be able to bear the comparison with the star of Men prefer blondes. In the room of the Empire, the writer Arthur Miller, husband of Marilyn Monroe, notices this Frenchwoman with the face out of the ordinary. “There was a rather short, shy-looking girl with long hair pulled back over her head; as she stood behind me, I was able to type in her name “, tells the playwright, struck by his strange “sauerkraut” – hair in abundance, cleverly unstructured, rising high on the face. “Sauerkraut” is banned by Vadim for And God created the woman in order to allow his hair – he asks her to dye it blond – to remain free, like his character.

In the toilets of the Empire, in the middle of women anxious to correct a detail, Bardot only looks at Marilyn. Blonde in a golden dress, the rebellious lock flowing on her neck, indifferent to the protocol, leaving the lingering trace of Chanel perfume n ° 5. “There emanated from her a graceful fragility, a mischievous gentleness”, remarks Bardot.

A couple who tear each other apart

They do not speak to each other but a fragility brings them together. Marilyn is a gifted actress whose talent is indifferent. Bardot displays a lack of confidence inversely proportional to his talent. When Antoine Bourseiller offered him the role of Célimène in The Misanthrope de Molière, at the Théâtre national populaire de Chaillot in Paris, the actress proves extraordinary during rehearsals, says the director, but the fear of leaving her comfort zone makes her give up. If Monroe has not completed her career, Bardot will never express her full potential.

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