People like me spend a lot of time analysing desire, and not so much time just…desiring.
I was reminded a few times recently, of just how much I once lusted after Vincent Cassell. Actor (brilliant in La Haine, L’Appartement, Irreversible etc) and Frenchman (because he does that ‘je suis un Francais’ thing- like Gainsbourg, like Cantona, like Derrida, so very well).
I really loved him for his body. And something about him, in his expression, the rugged boyishness of his face. A certain tension in his stance, an intensity I suppose. I don’t think Vincent does anything by halves.
Do I still fancy Vincent? Yes. But, not how I used to. I don’t feel any investment in my desire anymore. I still appreciate his body, and I appreciate the nostalgia I feel when I watch L’appartement for the umpteenth time and I see his naked torso on screen, as if for the first time. I miss that first time. I can’t get it back.
The fact he married his co-star in that 1993 film, Monica Belucci, who is at least as attractive as him, and at least as intense, at least as French, has dampened my feelings a little. Not because I entertained ideas of having him myself, but because the ‘power couple’ I always find decidedly unsexy. The Beckhams, The Blairs, The Obamas. Two people who got together because they knew the other would not cramp their style, but would not outshine them either. That would add to rather than detract from the brand. It is too well thought out. It’s not how love is supposed to go.
I like mess and blood and fuck-ups. I like Courtney and Kurt, Sid and Nancy, Ike and Tina. People who really would not have been advised by a PR to tie the knot.
But Vincent. I can still do Vincent in my mind, if I take myself back to where I found him.
Though, he will always really be ‘Max’ to me.