Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda
Roger Vadim has loved – and married – some of the most beautiful, gifted, and famous women of the 20th century. His book is as frank as it is revealing. Vadim tells the story of his life with Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deveuve, and Jane Fonda – three superstars whose private lives he changed as radically as he did their careers. His life (and theirs) reads like the best kind of romance novel, beginning with his love affair with the adolescent, bourgeoise Bardot, who threatened suicide if they couldn’t be together… And he tells it all their tempestuous marriage, the making of their famous movie “And God Created Woman”, Bridget becoming a celebrity, and their amiable divorce. And then Catherine Deneuve, described by the press as “the most beautiful woman in the world”. Vadim observed and describes her transformation from adolescent to goddess: “With me she was docile. But I did notice that she wasted no time in getting her own way…She took her profession very seriously”. And in private we see Deneuve the woman, pregnant with Vadim’s baby and as she became an international star with “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”, the end. Through Vadim’s eyes we watch Jane Fonda’s journey from the insecure child of Hollywood movie aristocracy to the mature woman she became. He tells us of their decision to have a baby – when Jane asked if the house wouldn’t be too crowded with the two children already in residence Vadim pointed out, “We have five cats, six dogs and four Italians already”. Of their “open marriage”, “Jane and I were the guinea pigs of an unstable era and we did not know it”. And finally of the breakup: “Jane wasn’t leaving me for another man but for herself. I much preferred to see her taking off on the chariot of politics to her leaving me for another man. I found this to be loftier as well as much easier on my ego”. It’s all here, a memoir at once gossipy, explicit, and deeply moving, starring the three most beautiful and fascinating women in the world.