A new documentary about Anthony Bourdain has one person missing – his girlfriend Asia Argento.
Morgan Neville’s film, titled “Roadrunner,” focuses on the world-renowned chef, who took his life in 2018 at age 61 in France. It’s the first time many of those who were closed to Bourdain discussed his life and death, including his ex-wife Ottavia Busia.
Argento, 45, was dating Bourdain before his passing. The actress faced backlash following his suicide when images surfaced of her with a journalist friend, which were taken before Bourdain died.
“We debated it for months,” Neville recently told Vulture about interviewing Argento.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN’S EX-WIFE OTTAVIA BUSIA SPEAKS OUT IN ‘ROADRUNNER’: ‘I SHOULD HAVE KEPT AN EYE ON HIM MORE’
“I just felt like if I crack that door open, I really better be damn sure it’s what I want,” he explained to the outlet. “Because it would have been painful for a lot of people, honestly, if I had interviewed her. So I just said – and believe me, we talked and talked about it – is this really want I want?”
Neville said he struggled to figure how to address Argento’s take in the film.
“It just became this thing that made me feel like I was sinking into this rabbit hole of she said, they said, and it just was not the film I wanted to make,” said Neville. “I just want to know why he was who he was and felt like the balance of the film would have tipped over if I had put her in it.”
“Again, we played with edits of trying to go deeper into the story and looking at everything she had said,” he continued. “And every time I even screened it for people in longer versions, all I got were people wanting to go down this rabbit hole of more and more about their relationship in the last year of his life. I felt like I’m trying to make a psychological portrait of a person’s entire life. And I just didn’t want to be capsized by it. So I made the call. People can disagree.”
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On June 25, which would have been Bourdain’s birthday, Argento took to Instagram and shared several photos and videos of the “Parts Unknown” star.
“Celebrating the most extraordinary man I have ever met,” she wrote. “Missing you every day. Cherishing each moment we shared in our life together. I feel your presence and your strength. You shine so bright within me. I love you my A. Happy birthday.
Neville previously told The Associated Press that it was difficult addressing the final chapter of Bourdain’s life.
“The way I came to think of it is: Tony was an ultimate searcher and a seeker,” Neville told the outlet. “But if you are really always seeking and always curious, then you can get lost. He had this tattoo that he got late in life that said in Greek ‘I am certain of nothing.’ That sounds very Zen, but it’s also a little sad.”
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“If you’re truly certain of nothing and always looking for something, it means you’re leaving everything behind at every moment,” he shared. “I think for Tony, that rootless ultimately disconnected him from the things he should be certain about, like the love of people around him.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.