Successes, failures, rebounds, addictions, life in permanent speeding.

A far cry from the usual hagiographies, Netflix's Johnny by Johnny documentary series paints a captivating portrait of the former teen idol.

A popular idea is that Johnny Hallyday, who died in December 2017, did not say much in the countless TV interviews given in more than fifty years of career.

False.

His outspokenness is the flavor of these five episodes of 35 minutes each, broadcast from this Tuesday, based on archives, often drawn from oblivion and accompanied by testimonies in voiceover, without language of wood, like Pascal Obispo who worked with him.

His relationship with drugs

There are nuggets.

"I'm quite a liar (…) I can't help it", so one day let go of the "Taulier" facing the camera.

"Each time we unearthed an interview, we were struck by its frankness, which means that the story is held together by Johnny's voice, even if we sometimes have witnesses to go a little further", dissects for Eric Hannezo, boss of Black Dynamite (company of the Mediawan group) which produces the documentary series in association with Universal Music France.

Adeline Blondieau, one of the ex-wives, thus describes a romance that has become a “job”: taking full-time care of Johnny, sometimes assailed by “his demons”.

The result is a full portrait of the man who was the favorite rocker of the French, between a bang and a dark face.

"There was no calculation to protect him or not, himself being so cash in the interview, which does not prevent empathy", develops Eric Hannezo.

Johnny's famous interview given to the newspaper

Le Monde

in 1998 caused a stir at the time, because he spoke candidly about his relationship with drugs.

But in the Netflix series we also hear the interpreter of

Light the fire

indulge in the rhythm to keep on tour, avoiding appearing on stage with “dilated nostrils”, a reference to cocaine.

No, he never shook hands with Elvis Presley

The border between legend and reality is drawn over the episodes.

No, he never shook hands with Elvis Presley when leaving the stage as he led people to believe, establishes the documentary directed by Alexandre Danchin and Jonathan Gallaud.

Yes, on the other hand, Charles Aznavour took him under his wing and scammed him to build an image.

In addition to excerpts from the concerts, we hear guitar riffs when the artist revives and electro pieces announce the setbacks.

Enough to attract purists and others, especially a young audience who will be able to grasp “the romantic dimension of the last sacred monster” of French showbiz, as Eric Hannezo sums it up.

Johnny, over the interviews, consciously or not opens the various drawers of his life.

The archive images navigate between a singer with insane shows (kung-fu fights and giant hand on stage), an actor who has gone through action and auteur cinema, a megastar with a crazy lifestyle and a lucid man when taking stock of marital/family life.

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  • Documentary

  • Johnny Hallyday

  • Series

  • netflix

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