Marking the fifth death anniversary of the French rock and roll star, Johnny Hallyday, Netflix presented a trailer for its new docuseries on the star’s life: Johnny Hallyday Beyond Rock. His name may not resonate with you, but he was quite a star in the French-speaking regions where he was even dubbed the ‘French Elvis’! Much in the fashion of other biopics on the streamer, this will contain five episodes chronicling the star’s life from high to low and to his reinvention. The biopic is narrated by the star himself.
Meet the ‘French Elvis Presley’ in Netflix biopic Johnny Hallyday Beyond Rock
Born as John-Philippe Smet, Johnny was a big name in the French music industry. In his career spanning 40 years, the sensation sold more than 110 million records. In his heyday, his fans would call him “Our Johnny”. His achievements didn’t just end with music, even tried his hands in acting and starred in one of Jean-Luc Godard’s films.
He could even start a riot
Johnny was known for his incredible stage presence and he had the power to start a riot. And he did! He caused a riot at the Festival de Rock, in 1961 that led to a ban on rock and roll!
As BBC writes:
He was a hip-swinging bolt of lightning, a sexually-charged wild man of rock, and a danger to public decency.
But the man could not enter the American market. It was the biggest regret of his career until the later years. He once said, “I am not 20 years old anymore, Perhaps I’m a little tired of playing Johnny Hallyday. I want to be Jean-Philippe Smet again.”
A disturbed personal life
Despite the highs he saw in his career, the megastar was desperately lonely and blamed his unhappy childhood. The tabloids would frequently report of his drug abuse particularly cocaine, tax evasions, and his motorcycle accident. Married four times, the star was also accused of rape once. He attempted suicide twice and was in a coma that sparked his death rumors in 2009. He finally succumbed to lung cancer in 2017. Wecan expect to see most of this and more in the upcoming Netflix documentary.