Actor Johan Heldenbergh talks ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’

Writer/actor Johan Heldenbergh recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about his role as Didier Bontinck in the new drama “The Broken Circle Breakdown.”

In “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” which opens Friday, Dec. 6, Heldenbergh and Veerle Baetens play two people who fall in love at first sight in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He’s a romantic atheist, she’s a religious realist. But when their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.

Listen to “Breakthrough Entertainment’s” full interview with Heldenbergh by clicking HERE. The following is an excerpt from the interview in which the writer/actor discusses what he hopes that viewers take away from “The Broken Circle Breakdown.”

I had recently broke up with my girlfriend. I was married for 20 years and we had three children. Luckily, I didn’t experience the things that Elise and Didier experience in the movie. But it is all in there. It is very personal. I just wrote it for myself. I didn’t need a lot of research or anything like that. I just wrote it for myself. I needed to write something about a breakup and I just did and it came out that way. It came out in a completely other story but it is all in there.

“‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ is basically a love story. It is about a very passionate, glorious love and I want people to leave the venues with a feeling that they are touched by these characters. There is also a lot of hope in the movie and there is a lot of things to think about. There is a political aspect. You could look at the movie in so many ways. [But, ultimately,] I think that love cannot conquer everything – as we are often made to believe in cinemas and television series.

Sometimes even glorious love is not able to conquer everything. That is just the truth because 80 percent of people have to go through that experience – a breakup. It is sad but it is the truth. And this is a movie that was made with the utmost integrity and the utmost honesty. Even the music is honest. It is acoustic music. You could just take the guitar off the wall and play it with your grandfather, your uncles and your sons. Everything about it is honest truthful and full of integrity. I believe that is a sentiment that people leave the movie with.” – Johan Heldenbergh

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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