Groupe l'Archipel
Éditions l'Archipel
Presses du Châtelet


Published: 01.1970


Romy Schneider

“During all her life, recalls Alice Schwarzer, Romy Schneider tried to break out from the clichés cast over her: the cute Virgin Sissi, the love affair with Delon, her repentant German mother... No biography of Rosemarie Albach-Retty alias Romy Schneider ever was so close to her real self.

December 12, 1976. A stone’s throw from the Cologne cathedral, Alice Schwarzer and Romy Schneider are crouching on the bed of Alice’s tiny penthouse, which resembles a ship’s cabin rather than a glamorous abode. As the evening sky darkens and night falls, Romy is talking and talking. Sometimes she says: « Stop the tape recorder! » and sometimes she begins to weep. She tells Alice, « I want you to make something really grand out of our encounter. I want you to get back at them all! »

Never published outside Germany, the books reveals things which Romy never told anyone: her conflict between love and acting; her mother, who - as Romy believes - «slept with Hitler»; her stepfather « who wanted to sleep with me and not only once ».

In the fall of 1976, when Romy was shooting Group Portrait with a Lady in Berlin, the German media did not stop hassling her, ransacking her trash can and counting the empty bottles of champagne. In France, Romy was a much admired star, «la Schneider.» Yet in Germany she remained the eternal Sissi. Germans did not forgive her for «running off with that Frenchman Alain Delon.»

Alice Schwarzer would wait many years until she published this book. « I wanted to tell Romy, she says. I didn‘t have time. She was a great actress. And a never really tamed « garcon manqué ». She was humble and quick-tempered, full of complexes and proud at the same time. » The book is also an essay explaining Romy’s secret of immortality. A reflection on «femininity» and the rebellion of women against their role.

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