Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon: A Relationship On And Off-Screen

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Brigitte Bardot from the film, Come Dance with Me © Francos Films, Cinematografica
Brigitte Bardot from the film, Come Dance with Me © Francos Films, Cinematografica
Brigitte Bardot from the film, Come Dance with Me © Francos Films, Cinematografica

Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon are undeniably two icons of French cinema. And although they rarely crossed paths on set, they became great friends and the emblematic sex symbols...

 

 

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Brigitte Bardot from the film, Come Dance with Me © Francos Films, Cinematografica

Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon are undeniably two icons of French cinema. And although they rarely crossed paths on set, they became great friends and the emblematic sex symbols of the 60's and 70's. Their relationship always intrigued the press, and it's only in recent interviews that Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon shared insights of what it was like being the most photographed people in France. Stream on TV5MONDEplus the fascinating documentary "Alain Delon, la beauté du diable et les femmes", a look into the women that changed Alain Delon's life, from Claudia Cardinale and Romy Schneider to Brigitte Bardot of course.

- Watch Alain Delon, Brigitte Bardot and the best of classic French Cinema on TV5MONDE -

TV5MONDE USA is the place for all things French, new movies or classics, unknown gems and box-office hits alike. If you're here because you love Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon and the golden age of French cinema, then you're in luck. You can watch right now on the streaming platform TV5MONDEplus the classic comedy with Brigitte Bardot Come Dance with me (Voulez-vous dansez avec moi) among many other classics. Coming in March, you'll be able to stream La Parisienne and Mademoiselle Striptease as well, two other must-see with BB. On top of its streaming platform comes TV5MONDE USA a 24-hour French network that airs over 150 French films every year but also broadcast hours of content around French style, French gastronomy and French art-de-vivre. Finally, you'll also get access to the on-demand channel TV5MONDE French Cinema on Demand which curates 15 French movies every month around a theme, an actor or a director. 

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The Beginning of their Friendship: Famous Love Affairs

Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon met for the first time on the set of the aptly named movie Famous Love Affairs (Les Amours célèbres)! The movie was directed by Michel Boisrond and released in 1961. The film is an anthology of historical love stories inspired by famous couples such as François Villon and his mistress or Molière and his lover.

On set, Bardot played a supporting role as Diane de Poitiers, the king's mistress, while Delon played the role of Henri II, the king of France. Their relationship on set was not very close as they didn't share many scenes together. Alain Delon's career had just taken off with his first two lead role as Tom Ripley in "Plein Soleil" by René Clement and Rocco in "Rocco And His Brothers" by Luchino Visconti. The French actor later revealed that while on set he was too shy to approach Bardot and didn't talk to her much. At the time, Brigitte Bardot was already a superstar in France and beyond having played in films such as "A Parisian" (Une Parisienne), "Come Dance With Me" (Voulez-vous dansez avec moi) and "And God Created Women..."  However, the film marked the beginning of their friendship.

Stream now Come Dance with me (Voulez-vous dansez avec moi) on TV5MONDEplus and Start streaming in March Mademoiselle Striptease and La Parisienne

Histoires extraordinaires: The Fellini-Vadim-Malle Film

In 1968, Bardot and Delon reunited for Histoires extraordinaires, a movie that is a collection of three Edgar Allan Poe stories directed by Federico Fellini, Louis Malle, and Roger Vadim. Bardot played the female lead in Vadim's segment, "Metzengerstein," while Delon took on the role of the male lead in Malle's segment "William Wilson," and Jane Fonda played the female lead.

On set, Bardot and Delon became closer and developed a deep friendship. They were known for their off-screen antics and were often seen partying together after hours. Delon admired Bardot's fearlessness and her talent, and they often talked about their experience in the industry. The sexual liberation movement took over France by storm and it didn't long for French tabloïds to start sharing unfounded rumours about a potential relationship between Brigitte Bardot and Alain Delon, who had just started dating Mireille Darc, the love of his life.

La Piscine: The Movie that Could Have Reunited Them

In 1969, Delon wanted to reunite with Bardot for the film La Piscine, a psychological drama directed by Jacques Deray and set in St. Tropez, where Bardot lived. The film tells the story of a couple who are visited by the man's ex-girlfriend and her new lover.

Delon wanted Bardot to play the female lead, but her agent thought the film was too serious and not "Bardot enough." The role eventually went to Romy Schneider, Alain Delon's ex-partner, who gave an outstanding performance and relaunched her career. The shooting of the movie led to a friendship between Bardot and Romy Schneider. However, their friendship ended a couple of years after only when Schneider blamed Bardot for being photographed by paparazzi at Bardot's house, La Madrague.

The Enduring Friendship between Bardot and Delon

Bardot and Delon were both known for their good looks, and there were rumors about them being romantically involved, but both actors always denied them. They said they were just great friends. Bardot even said in an interview that Delon was "the only one" who understood her. In the preface of a book about him, le samouraï Alain Delon addressed one more time the rumor of a romantic relationship with Brigitte Bardot: "As surprising as it can be, nothing ever happened, we just had the best friendship for 65 years now."

After "Histoires extraordinaires", Bardot and Delon did not work together on any more movies. However, they remained friends and were often seen together at events and parties. Bardot and Delon are now both in their 80s, and their friendship has endured for over 60 years. They have both retired from acting, but their legacy lives on. 

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