André Wilms, favorite actor of Aki Kaurismäki and unforgettable father in “Life is a long quiet river” is dead

Favorite actor of director Aki Kaurismäki (“Le Havre”), André Wilms is died on Thursday at the age of 74. He was also known for the role of Jean Le Quesnoy in “Life is a long quiet river” by Etienne Chatiliez.

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The actor André Wilms, known for his numerous collaborations with the Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The other side of hope), of which he was the favorite actor, died Wednesday at the age of 74, his agent told AFP on Thursday. The reason for his death, which occurred in a Paris hospital, was not communicated by his family, said his agent Sébastien Perrolat. André Wilms had agreed to several upcoming engagements, he said.

Actor of theater and cinema, director on the boards, André Wilms made himself known to the general public by playing Mr. Le Quesnoy in Life is a long calm river (1988), first film and success in theaters by Étienne Chatiliez, then moviegoers thanks to the tragicomic films of Aki Kaurismäki.

Together they turned The bohemian life (1992), Leningrad Cowboys meet Moses (1994), Juha (1999), Le Havre (2011), The Other Side of Hope (2017). Films marked by lunar characters and poetic dialogues, with a certain tenderness for the characters.

In Le Havre, André Wilms was a shoe shiner, reaching out to a young undocumented African. The film was awarded the 2011 Louis-Delluc prize, considered the Goncourt of cinema. The Other Side of Hope orchestrated the meeting between a Syrian migrant stranded against his will in the Finnish grayness and a restaurant owner separated from his alcoholic wife.

André Wilms laughed when asked about the operation of a set whose boss does not speak the language: “Great directors don’t need to talk! He would say to me: “Play like an old gentleman. Do not run. Don’t Spill Anything “…Everybody Runs in Movies Today”. Aki is one of the few directors who doesn’t take actors for illiterates, although there are a lot of them”.

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