It has never been safe to predict what Isabelle Adjani was going to do, or why. In 1974, François Truffaut was planning to make The Story of Adele H, about a daughter of Victor Hugo who falls in love with a young army officer and goes mad in her efforts to get him to return the love. He wanted someone new for the lead role, and was intrigued by Adjani in a recent hit comedy called La Gifle. Adjani was 19 and ravishing; but she was under contract as a stage actress to La Comédie-Française.
Truffaut pursued her. The theatre company declined to release her. The matter went to law. Adjani stayed quiet – but in the end she had her way. She would do Adele H. Truffaut