The Shmooze

Bob Geldof To Play Rival Bernard-Henri Levy on the Big Screen

By Nathan Burstein

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Here’s one way to make an old rival nervous: play him in a movie.

Musician and activist Bob Geldof has signed on to portray French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy on the big screen, according to French news reports. The role could serve as the latest salvo in the fraught relationship between the two men, who have clashed in the past over political positions and tactics.

Geldof will play a character closely based on Levy, one of France’s most famous public intellectuals, in the film version of “Mauvaise Fille” (“Bad Daughter”), a roman a clef by Levy’s daughter, Justine.

An outspoken defender of Israel, among many (many, many) other positions, Levy is one of France’s most prominent Jews — and so famous for his writing and public appearances that he is widely known there simply as BHL.

The casting of Geldof, who is by now as well-known for his humanitarian work as for his music, is a nice bit of stunt casting that will presumably draw extra attention to the film.

While Geldof’s portrayal of him will surely pique Levy’s interest, he may not need to worry as much as he might have in the past. Last year, Geldof joined a list of other celebrities in endorsing an article written by Levy that called for the release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery.


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