French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he will not watch a new film about his rise to power because to do so would be narcissistic but he also can’t bear criticism.
"I have certainly no desire to see ‘Conquest’," he told arts magazine Telerama, referring to the political thriller produced by the brothers Eric and Nicolas Altmayer, which screens this month at the Cannes Film Festival.
"In general I never read what people say about me, because I am never pleased. If it is critical I find it unjust, and if it praises me, it never does so enough. So is there any point?" Telerama quoted him as saying.
He rejected rumors that he had tried to vet the film or stop it being shown, but appeared displeased with its reported portrayal of his private life.
Political dramas about British politicians to which the Altmayers’ film has been compared "do not attack their private life, as I am told is the case here," with "Conquest," he said.
"It is also out of respect for my wife Carla that I will not see this film," he said, naming former supermodel first lady Carla Bruni.
"And not least to protect my mental health. Narcissism is never a good solution and too much narcissism makes you mad."
Respected stage actor Denis Podalydes plays the film’s main role, mimicking Sarkozy in dark blue suits and cropped curly hair, in the story of an ambitious politician’s road to the presidency.
Sarkozy said he had met Podalydes and "was surprised to see that could play me on the screen, he seemed so fragile."
The film screens out of competition at Cannes, the world’s biggest and glitziest film festival, on May 18.
Sarkozy told Telerama he has "eclectic" tastes in film and watches up to 180 films a year including the classic works of Frank Capra and the Marx Brothers.