French movie star Jean Reno spent terrifying time with mobster JACQUES IMBERT while preparing for his role in new film 22 BULLETS - and now knows why the hardman was so feared.
Reno plays a Mafia boss based on Imbert in the movie and thought it would be a good idea to track down the real guy.
And 79-year-old Imbert, who was shot 22 times and survived, proved to be a tough guy in every respect.
The actor explains, "We created a fictional story based on the fact he was shot 22 times in that he fought against the mob life because he wanted to change after he found love and he had a family. We suggested he was tired of being somebody mean.
"I met him two times in his lawyer's place because they move with precaution. It is difficult to communicate with the mob because they're very secretive. You can talk about food, wine and normal life but you're not gonna get any anecdotes coming from his real life.
"The second time we met I asked him, 'Jacques, do you know what happened to the people who shot you?' And he said, 'God knows and they know.' It was chilling and from that moment it was like a door closed. He stopped communicating."