Steve Blauner, P. Cottrell, Mireille Machu et Jack Nicholson, à Monte Carlo en 1969
Three years ago, our friend Beverly Walker, who was writing a book on Jack Nicholson (Anatomy of an actor, Phaidon, 2014), asked Pierre if he would jot down for herhis souvenirs about Jack’s stay in Paris in April/May 1966. The commission landed on me but she never got my notes. She says she regrets not having them at the time.
"First, the location : we were sharing a flat, Pierre and I, with my friend Tina Michelino, on rue Guénégaud, off the Pont-Neuf and the river, ten minutes’ walk from the café de Flore and Castel, the private discotheque on rue Princesse. It seems to me that Jack spent most of his days in this area where he could meet all our friends, but since I was working on the right bank, by the Champs-Elysées, and wasn’t home most of the day, I can’t tell for sure. My oldest friend, Jean-Claude, who was doing his internship in psychiatry that year at a nearby hospital, remembers visiting during the day and finding Jack on the balcony with bare feet. He was surprised, he says (I’m the one surprised ! He must have been seeing his share of bare feet at the hospital !) Certainly the scene was in April since a few weeks later, Jack and Pierre would leave for the Cannes Film Festival where P. had organized screenings of The Shooting and Ride in the whirlwind, the two films Jack had produced, directed by Monte Hellmann..."
En 1966, après le retour de Nicholson à Los Angeles, Roger Corman contactait Pierre pour lui demander de tourner une séquence de The Trip – un scénario de Nicholson qu’il réalisait. Peter Fonda, en plein « trip », se retrouvait à Paris et Pierre devait le filmer dans un environnement tel qu’on puisse reconnaître immédiatement la capitale. Il choisit le pont d’Iéna et les abords du Trocadéro, avec la tour Eiffel au loin, mais la séquence fut coupée au montage. Pierre n’est pas crédité au générique comme « second unit director », regrette Bernard Eisenschitz..
“(…) Bert made arrangements through Oona to film the interview at Charlie’s home in Switzerland. Pierre Cottrell put together a French crew for the shoot with Nestor Almendros, who had shot the 3 films Pierre produced for Eric Rohmer. The interview was not a success for a variety of reasons. There were brief moments when Charlie seemed to relax and respond naturally, but on the whole he found it too difficult and was unable or unwilling to tell the kind of stories Peter [Bogdanovich] was obviously hoping to elicit.”
Richard Patterson, réalisateur du film, inMaking the Gentleman Tramp.