Did you have the feeling while filming that scene, the confession of a 14-year-old, that you were doing something wrong?
No, not at all. On the contrary. I felt people needed to know what it’s like to be 14. It was portrayed well in the film. All children are like that at that age.
It didn’t seem different from reality?
Is it exactly like that for you? You didn’t have to make an effort?
No, not at all.
How was that scene shot? You’re asked questions, and your answers are very natural. Were you given words to say?
I wasn’t given the words. Truffaut had told me about it a month in advance. He said this scene had to be the best scene of the film. He told me a month in advance so I could get used to the idea. The day we shot it, he asked me questions, and I was to answer however I wanted. In the beginning, it wasn’t working, so he gave me some ideas that I would then flesh out to say what I had to say.
So the words were yours?
Yes, all mine.
When you saw yourself on the screen, what did you think? Did you recognize yourself?
Yes, I recognized myself. I thought it was fun. It felt normal.
Did you feel like you were watching someone else?
In that scene, not particularly. I recognized myself. But in other scenes, I saw someone else. I saw someone acting.
— Jean-Pierre Léaud on Les quatre cents coups, Cannes, 1959
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