Three layout editors had to take sick days after trying to make this into a GIF.
The Real Story:
Petit's story was already covered in the Oscar-winning documentary Man On Wire, which includes some more salient details left out of The Walk. For example, The Walk ends with Philippe being released from jail and going to dinner with his friends, who all put themselves at considerable risk to help him pull off his daring stunt. Then his girlfriend leaves New York, telling him: "You accomplished your dream, now it's time for me to find mine."
Yeah, none of that shit happened. As Petit himself explains in the documentary, as soon as he got out of jail, a random girl in the gathered crowd grabbed him, saying that she wanted to be the first person to celebrate with him. He then found himself on a waterbed in a New York loft engaging in "pleasure of the flesh," which is a phrase here meaning "nailing a groupie."
Neal Boenzi/The New York Times
"When your balls are big enough for you to tightrope-walk skyscrapers, you need to relax them now and then."
All those friends who had broken the law for him? Petit called and told them he was tied up giving interviews, and that he wouldn't be able to join them for their celebratory dinner. You may recognize this as the type of lie a terrible father tells his child to explain why he missed their birthday.
The Walk ends with a caption which tells us that Petit's friends returned to France, which is a somewhat gentle way of saying that they were fucking deported. Petit himself received a slap on the wrist and lives in New York to this day, where he presumably teaches future generations how to immediately destroy all their personal relationships in the wake of achieving a life goal.
J.M. McNab co-hosts the pop culture nostalgia podcast Rewatchability which can also be found on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter @Rewatchability.
It turns out that Hollywood is full of "true stories" loaded with bullshit, but you already knew that, so go ahead and get to reading 6 Horrifying Endings That 'True Story' Movies Left Out and 6 Movies Based On A True Story That Left Out Important Stuff.
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