Website last updated: 17-7-2024

Jon Auty remembers Rémy Julienne - The Greatest Cascadeur

By: Jon Auty
Rémy Julienne 1930-2021
To say that Rémy Julienne was a great stuntman is an understatement. He started out with aspirations of becoming a motorcycle racer. This turned into Motocross and his ability on two wheels was also as significant and flamboyant as his ability of four wheels. This drive and determination saw him become the French Motocross champion in 1956.

We all remember him as a stuntman who had a gift behind the wheel of any vehicle and if he couldn’t do something he had someone on his team who could.

Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said:

“Rémy has been a legendary force in the action sequences of so many films. We were lucky to have worked with him on six films. His artistry and innovation changed the way car sequences were designed and captured. He was a charming, dedicated and loyal member of the crew who was both respected and loved by all who worked with him. Rémy built a great team of remarkable stunt performers including his sons, Dominique and Michel, who carry on their father’s profession. Our love and sympathy goes out to his family and friends. Rémy will be sorely missed by everyone at Eon.”

A veteran of well over 1400(!) movies including many iconic pictures including The Italian Job in 1969 and S*P*Y*S in 1974. But to us he will always be remembered for his association with the James Bond series of films.

Starting in 1981 with For Your Eyes Only - not only as driving stunts arranger but also as stunt double for Roger Moore.

This successful working relationship continued over the next five Bond adventures - Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995).

Director John Glen was always a huge fan of Rémy’s and was influential in getting him on board for the 1981 Bond adventure. “You were in safe hands with him, anything you wanted he could do.”

A selection of Rémy Julienne's amazing work compiled by Eric Saussine:

For me, his work on the 1985 adventure A View To A Kill is just magnificent. The chase in Paris gives Rémy and his team a chance to do something that hadn’t been seen before. A car, Renault obviously, driven by Bond doubled by Rémy’s son, Dominique Julienne, jumping a ramp, giving the roof of a tour bus a glancing blow, then jumping off the other end of the bus onto the road below. Only to have the roof of the vehicle then removed by a barrier in the road. A stunt that Rémy performed himself.

Rémy Julienne in A View to a Kill
Rémy Julienne as James Bond in A View to a Kill. Copyright © 1985 Danjaq S.A. & MGM/United Artists Pictures. All rights reserved.

I refer to this as his best work because of its impact on screen. Interestingly if you ask Bond fans what their favourite car stunt is in a Bond film they’ll often say “the barrel roll from The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). Its a visually stunning stunt. Worked out by computer and done once. Rémy Julienne was mesmerised by its beauty and awe inspiring impact on screen and knew that if it was to be beaten it would have to be something incredible. The months of planning and timing it took to get the Renault 11 at the right speed and to have the bus in just the right place was the beauty of L’Equipe Rémy Julienne, the organisation that was the creative HQ for his ideas over the next forty plus years. Before this they, as a company, had certainly wreaked quite a few vehicles. So Rémy decided that in order to preserve the life of each vehicle a box rig would be required. Similar to the rigs that stuntmen used to fall into before the invention of the airbag. The only difference is that Rémy’s was held together and allowed the vehicle to crash into it and nine times of out ten be driven out for a second or third take.

The James Bond films would still have had car chases without Rémy Julienne, but you would have seen a very obvious difference. All stunt coordinators and performers working on Bonds have a passion like no other. Its Bond, and therefore its bigger than life itself sometimes. So was Rémy. He looked at his on screen work from a fans point of view. The director asks him for a certain shot. Okay, now what would Rémy want to see as he sat in the cinema. This is why directors wanted him to be involved in their projects.

His passing offers mixed feelings. 90yrs old is a great age and what a life he has lived. All the places around the world he has visited, all the wonderful people he has worked with and all the edge of the seat action he has created. But his passing due to the terrible illness currently causing havoc in our lives is a great shame. I imagine he would have wanted to depart this world in a slightly more dignified and very possibly much more exciting way.

After 65 years in the business of entertainment we say a sad farewell to a man who meant so much to so many of us.

Our thoughts and prayers are very obviously with his wonderful family at this time and we pray that they continue to give the action movie stunt work that not only the audience will love but that Rémy Julienne would be very proud of.

Merci pour tout Rémy, tu étais le meilleur.

Visit The Official Website of Rémy Julienne for more information.



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