On screen, he was a magnetic Saint Laurent and a moving writer at the end of his life: at only 37 years old, Gaspard Ulliel died suddenly after a skiing accident, ending a career that had been awarded several times.
• Read also: Xavier Dolan struck by the death of Gaspard Ulliel
“Victim of a skiing accident” on Tuesday, the actor “died”, his family said in a brief statement sent to AFP by his agent.
The actor who was spending a family vacation in Savoie collided on Tuesday afternoon with another skier at the crossroads of two blue slopes, according to a spokeswoman for the La Rosière resort. Seriously injured, he was then transported by helicopter to the Grenoble University Hospital, where he died.
The second skier did not need to be airlifted, according to the spokesperson.
- Listen to columnist Anaïs Guertin-Lacroix with Benoit Dutrizac on QUB Radio:
“The accident happened yesterday at 3:58 p.m. (…) This collision led to the fall of the most severely affected victim, Gaspard Ulliel, who was then taken care of by our trackers, by the station doctor and then by medical helicopter rescue. He was transferred by helicopter to Grenoble by the rescue helicopter, ”described Jean Regaldo, director of the Rosière ski area, to AFP.
The announcement Wednesday morning of this accident revived the memory of other personalities who were victims of ski accidents.
The Grenoble University Hospital had already admitted at the end of 2013 the German Formula 1 star Michael Schumacher, hospitalized for six months after a fall against a rock which occurred while he was skiing off-piste with his son in Méribel (Savoie). He had finally left the hospital in June 2014 in a vegetative state to be installed in a medical bed in his family’s Swiss villa in Gland (canton of Vaud).
Located on the borders of the French and Italian Alps, La Rosière is a Savoyard family resort with reputedly easy slopes, but where the risk of collisions is present, such as in Flaine (Haute-Savoie), where a five-year-old British girl died this weekend. -end after being hit by a 40-year-old man who was skiing at excessive speed.
“This certain gaze”
The death of Gaspard Ulliel, an already accomplished actor and angel face, sparked a flood of emotional reactions from colleagues, distributors (Gaumont, UGC) and members of the government.
“Gaspard Ulliel grew up with cinema and cinema grew with him. They loved each other madly. It is with a heavy heart that we will now see his most beautiful interpretations and meet this certain look. We are losing a French actor,” reacted Prime Minister Jean Castex on Twitter.
“His sensitivity and the intensity of his acting made Gaspard Ulliel an exceptional actor. The cinema today loses an immense talent. I send my condolences to his loved ones and my loving thoughts to all those who mourn him today,” said the Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot.
Pierre Niney, who had also played Yves Saint Laurent on screen, and won the César for this role, said he was “heartbroken”.
“Gaspard was benevolence and kindness. Beauty and talent,” he said on Twitter.
Gaspard Ulliel was known to the general public for films such as “A Long Engagement Sunday” (2004) by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, “Saint Laurent” (2014) by Bertrand Bonello and “Just the End of the World” (2016) by Xavier Dolan, who had won him the César for best actor in 2017. He played a writer there reuniting with his family after twelve years of absence, to whom he came to announce his impending death.
During an eclectic career, he had toured alongside big names in French cinema, such as Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu.
With his slight scar linked to a dog scratch in childhood, he was also the face of a Chanel perfume.
He led a career in France but also internationally and will be featured in the Marvel series “Moon Knight” broadcast from March 30 on Disney +.
He was recently filming for a much-anticipated Xavier Giannoli series on Canal +, his agent reported to AFP, and had finished filming “More Than Ever,” alongside Vicky Krieps and Liv Ullmann.
Gaspard Ulliel in five films
The actor Gaspard Ulliel, who died Wednesday at the age of 37 after a skiing accident, leaves behind a gallery of graceful characters who have acquired a great maturity over the years. Here are five of his films.
The actor was only 19 when he shot “Les Égarés” under the direction of André Téchiné in 2003. He played a delinquent on the run who, during the Exodus of June 1940, took two children under his wing and their mother, a disturbing young widow. With this role, a concentration of forces and injuries, he won his second nomination for the César for best male hope. The year before, he was in the same category with Michel Blanc’s comedy “Kiss whoever you want”.
A long engagement Sunday
The third nomination for the César for best male hope will be the good one for Gaspard Ulliel. The young actor won the statuette in 2005 for “A long engagement Sunday” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet in which he played Manech, the fiancé of Mathilde (Audrey Tautou) who disappeared in 1917 in the trenches and whom the young girl refuses to believe dead. . In this blockbuster which made more than 4 million admissions, Gaspard Ulliel embodies a young man suspended between childhood and madness. His grace in this role is matched only by his freshness.
The Princess of Montpensier
In 2010, he played Henri de Guise in “La Princesse de Montpensier”, an ambitious period film by Bertrand Tavernier, with Mélanie Thierry and Lambert Wilson. In this love story against the backdrop of the 16th century religious wars shot in cinemascope, he embodies with all the ardor of his youth, the young cousin of the Princess of Montpensier.
It is with Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” in 2014 that Gaspard Ulliel embodies his first role as a man, complex and powerful. After a year of work where he seeks to find the unique voice of the couturier, he delivers a dark and fragile character that makes him known internationally.
Nominated as best actor at the César, it is finally Pierre Niney who wins for the same role in another “Yves Saint Laurent” by Jalil Lespert. But in this role – that of his life, he confessed – Gaspard Ulliel reached splendid maturity.
Just the end of the world
Louis, homosexual, successful author, finds his family after 12 years of absence to announce to them “his imminent and irremediable death”. The shadow of his Saint Laurent nourished the composition of this serious and disturbing new role, this time directed by Xavier Dolan in 2016. The young Canadian director films this prodigal son as an alter ego, a stranger among his own, blinded by the family hysteria. He will win his second César, this time for best actor.