Documentary director Anthony Bourdain defends decision to girlfriend Asia Argento. NOT to be interviewed
The filmmaker behind a new documentary about Anthony Bourdain has defended the decision not to interview late chef Asia Argento’s girlfriend, saying it would have made the film too complicated.
Morgan Neville spoke to many people close to Bourdain, but not to the Italian actress and activist the tour operator was dating for about a year when he committed suicide in 2018.
Their relationship forms the basis of the latter part of the documentary, which suggests that the celebrity chef had become “addicted” to the Italian actress.
marcel said: in an interview with Vulture those attempts to fit Argento into the film “made me feel like sinking down this rabbit hole they say, they said, and it just wasn’t the movie I wanted to make.”
The filmmaker behind a new documentary about Anthony Bourdain (right) has defended the decision not to interview late chef Asia Argento’s girlfriend (left), saying it would have made the film too complicated
Morgan Neville (pictured) spoke to many people close to Bourdain for the film, but not the Italian actress and activist he had been dating for about a year at the time of his death in 2018
“She’s been giving interviews. I kinda know what she was going to say. And even as I was putting together the story, trying to decide how to go about it, as I started incorporating more of that story into the film, it immediately made people want to ask ten more questions. It became this kind of narrative quicksand of “Oh, but what about? And how did this happen?”
“It just became this thing that made me feel like I was sinking down this rabbit hole, they said, they said, and it just wasn’t the movie I wanted to make. I just want to know why he was who he was and I felt like the balance of the movie would have tipped if I’d put her in there,” Neville said.
Argento, the daughter of famed Italian director Dario Argento, was one of the first actresses to come forward with accusations against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, who denied the allegations.
In January she has accused filmmaker Rob Cohen of drugging and sexually abusing her while filming the action movie xXx nearly two decades ago. Cohen, 71, has vehemently denied the claims.
Argento himself became the subject of an allegation of sexual assault by fellow actor Jimmy Bennett in August 2018.
Bennett claimed the incident happened in May 2013, when he was 17 years old, at a California hotel.
Although she initially denied the allegation, claiming she had no sexual interactions with Bennett. She later admitted they had sex, but claims she didn’t know how old he was at the time.
Bennett has disputed Argento’s version of events and is later alleged to have paid him $380,000 in “silent” money from Bourdain.
Since shortly after Bourdain’s death, Argento has been portrayed by some as a negative figure in his life.
The new documentary notes that paparazzi photos emerged five days before Bourdain’s death of Argento hugging a male friend and walking hand in hand through Rome.
The documentary does not blame Argento for Bourdain’s death, but some reviewers have suggested the film is “dangerously close to exploiting the screenplay.”
Argento has not publicly commented on the film.
Neville said he felt including Argento ran the risk of upsetting other people close to Bourdain (pictured in Roadrunner)
In an interview with IndieWire earlier this month, Neville said he felt that including the actress would upset other people close to Bourdain.
“I looked at everything she had said in interviews after Tony died. I know roughly what she would say, which is that she loved him and felt misrepresented by people. Frankly, I also knew that if you interviewed her, you would get a lot of bad blood from a lot of people in Tony’s life. So there was a price to pay, too,’ Neville said.
Marcel told The Wall Street Journal that the film was heavily vetted by its lawyers, also in Italy, and also by CNN’s legal team, as CNN Films is an executive producer, in case Argento – or anyone else – should object to how they were portrayed.
‘I went out of my way to make sure I included the quote from [TV director] Michael Steed said, ‘Tony killed Tony, you know, 60-year-old men don’t normally commit suicide because they broke up with someone’.
“I’m not saying she caused his suicide. Suicide is a private and I think selfish act.
“I was just trying to paint a picture, I think accurately, of the various factors that were going on in his life, and there were many. The impression he had over the past year was that he was just much more manic and much more depressed.”
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