The Fox News drama “Bombshell” blurs the line between fact and fiction—including implying that then-candidate Donald Trump poisoned Megyn Kelly before a GOP presidential debate. Let’s start with the facts Fact: I’ll need a new phone once 5G networks roll out. To truly take advantage of all that 5G has to offer, you’ll need a 5G-compatible phone. On the bright side, since 5G networks are building on top of rather than replacing the existing 4G and 4G LTE networks, you won’t need a new phone right away. The Trial of the Chicago 7, the new Netflix film from writer and director Aaron Sorkin, dramatizes the prosecution of eight anti-war activists—yes, eight—for their activities during the 1968.Questioning the Story:
Was Philippe paralyzed as the result of a paragliding accident?
Yes. The Upside true story reveals that the real-life paragliding accident happened in the Savoyard reliefs of Mont Bisanne in the Swiss Alps in 1993 when Philippe was 42. He had been distracted by thoughts of the workers he had laid off and hadn’t been paying enough attention to what he was doing. As a result, he crashed. Philippe remained in the hospital for two years before he was able to go home. At the same time, his wife was dying of cancer.
Was Philippe really a wealthy American businessman?No. Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was not an American businessman. In exploring how accurate The Upside movie is, we discovered that Philippe is actually a wealthy French aristocrat. He is the second son of French duke Pozzo di Borgo and his wife the Marquis de Vogüé. He was born into a life of privilege and abundant wealth, growing up in castles and manors. This contradicts the movie, in which the character states that his father gave him nothing and that he earned every penny. As an adult, the real Philippe worked as the director of the Pommery champagne house located in Reims, France.
Founded in 1858, the Pommery is an Elizabethan-style estate constructed to facilitate the production and distribution of champagne, which is stored in its 18 kilometers of interconnected underground wine cellars that were dug into the chalk quarries beneath the property. In addition to selling Pommery Champagne, the estate also houses an art installation. -Champagne Pommery Website
As implied above, the true story behind The Upside unfolded in Paris, not Manhattan like in the movie.
How old was Philippe when the accident happened?
Wealthy Corsican French businessman Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was 42 when he became a quadriplegic after a 1993 paragliding accident.
Had Philippe's caretaker really been in jail?
Yes. 'I'm disabled, but he is also a little bit disabled,' said Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, the real-life individual on whom Bryan Cranston's character is based. 'In his case, he was socially very disabled, coming out of jail, basically. So, he has a problem. I have to understand his problem, and once we both understand each other's problem, then we are in a very close confidence relationship.' Abdel Yasmin Sellou, who inspired Kevin Hart's character, was a career criminal from Algeria who had been in prison for nearly two years. His name was changed from Abdel to Dell for the movie. -The Intouchables Premiere Interview
What had the real caretaker been in prison for?'I was doing black-market work,' Abdel Sellou told The Telegraph. This “black-market work” included stealing from tourists on the streets of Paris, which is eventually what landed him in jail (Mirror Online). Learn more about Abdel's past and his life-changing experience with quadriplegic Philippe Pozzo di Borgo in his memoir You Changed My Life.
Did Abdel really have no interest in being a caretaker at first?
The Upside true story confirms that Philippe's ex-con caretaker, Abdel Sellou, only applied for the job so that he could get government support, which required him to be employed. His counselor had encouraged him to apply for the position. At the time he was hired, Abdel was 21 and Philippe 42. Similar to the movie, he was given a private apartment in Philippe’s home. Abdel had no intentions of sticking around long helping a disabled person and his ailing wife. Abdel even stole a Faberge egg during his job interview.
Is Nicole Kidman's character, Yvonne, based on a real person?
Fact Vs Fiction
Yes. As indicated by the photos at the top, Nicole Kidman's character in the movie, Yvonne, is based on Philippe Pozzo di Borgo's real-life female assistant, Laurence Landouc'h (pictured below, right). The affection and budding romance between Yvonne and Bryan Cranston's character in the movie is fictional. In his memoir, Philippe never mentions that their relationship was anything more than professional.
Why did the real-life Philippe hire a recently paroled convict to care for him?'At the time, I was coming out of two years of hospital, intensive care and rehabilitation, and [Abdel Sellou] was coming out of nearly two years of jail,' recalled Philippe. 'And my wife was very sick and had a few months left to live, and we were both on our bed in bad shape. I need a guy crazy enough not to be afraid of the situation. He's afraid of nothing at all, and very strong, available, and extremely generous. So he was the best person we could imagine.' Philippe described Abdel as his 'guardian devil.' -The Intouchables Premiere Interview
Did Philippe really interview 90 people before hiring Abdel as his caretaker?
Yes. After interviewing around 90 people, like in the movie, Philippe knew immediately that Abdel was the one. 'This is the guy I need,' Philippe recalled in an interview with The Telegraph. 'I don't give a damn that he is out of jail. I needed him. And he became a friend afterwards.' Philippe said that the fact that they were both on the fringes of society, he a disabled person and Abdel a criminal, created a common bond between them. Like in The Upside movie, they also shared a similar sense of humor. 'He didn't feel sorry for me,' said Philippe. 'He was irreverent, cheeky and had an outrageous sense of humor' (Mirror Online).
Does Kevin Hart physically resemble Philippe's real-life caretaker?
While both men are short with relatively square faces, Philippe's real-life caretaker, Abdel Sellou, is an Algerian Muslim, not a black American. Like his onscreen counterpart, Abdel was indeed hot-tempered and accustomed to solving disputes with his fists, something that he has since given up. -The Telegraph
One of nine children, Abdel says that he was “the devil” of his family from an early age. At 4, he was sent to Paris to live with relatives. By age 10, he was stealing and trying to extort his schoolmates. It didn’t take long for his run-ins with the police to begin and he eventually dropped out of school. He spent his time coming up with ways to steal from the tourists who roamed the streets of Paris.
Had the real caretaker been a deadbeat dad when he was hired by Philippe?No. In answering the question, 'How accurate is The Upside movie?' we learned that unlike Kevin Hart's character in the film, there is no record of the real caretaker, Abdel Sellou, having any children when he was hired by Philippe. One reason that Philippe hired him in real life was because he was available 24/7.
Fact Vs Fiction Moneyball
When did Philippe's wife die?
After a long battle with cancer, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo's wife Béatrice died in 1996, roughly three years after his paragliding accident. This means that in real life, Philippe's first wife was alive for almost three years after his caretaker, Abdel Sellou, was hired in 1993.
Was the real Dell a reckless driver?
Yes. 'What I can tell you is that he drove like mad,' said Philippe at the premiere of The Intouchables, the blockbuster French movie on which The Upside was based. 'He had no idea how to handle a car at 200 kilometers an hour, which he did drive with no permit, of course no driving license, for ten years. So, that's one stupid thing I accepted from him.'
Did Philippe and Abdel do all the crazy things together that are shown in the movie?Many of the wild things that Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart's characters do in the movie were inspired by the real-life exploits of Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and his caretaker Abdel Sellou. Together, they made a game of speeding through Paris in Philippe's Rolls-Royce until the police pulled them over. Abdel would then explain that the reason they were speeding was because Philippe was having a seizure. Not only didn't they get a ticket, the police would escort them to the closest hospital.
Another thing Abdel did was have Philippe's wheelchair modified so that it was capable of going as fast as 9mph, with Abdel riding on the back like Kevin Hart's character does in the movie. The chair had a wing mirror and an onboard computer that allowed Philippe to execute a variety of tasks, including opening windows and using his phone.
'I suddenly found I was enjoying life again,' says Philippe, 'feeling like I didn’t know what was coming next.' -The Telegraph
Did Abdel trim Philippe's beard into a Hitler mustache?
No. In real life, Abdel didn't play a trick on Philippe by trimming his beard into a Hitler mustache prior to going on a date.
Was Philippe's caretaker really a womanizer?
Yes. In researching The Upside true story, we learned that Abdel was indeed a womanizer. After his time working with Philippe came to an end, he did settle down and got married. He now operates a poultry farm in Algeria and has three children who call Philippe their 'uncle.'
'Back then I would not even have asked those questions about settling down,' says Abdel. 'I was just interested in women as the equivalent of fast food. I'm now settled, squeezed into my new life, but I am still a man and I tell it loudly, which people don't usually. I still like women.' -The Telegraph
Did Abdel really get Philippe to smoke a joint?Yes. 'That was true,' says Philippe. 'He said it would help me. In fact, it doesn't help. It takes away the pain and puts me to sleep for two hours, but I wake up feeling tired. First time I tried it I was 48.' -The Telegraph
Does Philippe live with a lot of pain even though he's paralyzed from the neck down?
Yes. The pain we see Bryan Cranston's character endure in the movie is very much based on the real Philippe's constant battle with pain. 'Phantom pain my ass,' says Philippe. 'It's very real. It's a neurological pain. Scalding and corrosive. Constantly on fire. I cry because I am in actual pain, not because I'm sad.' -The Telegraph
Fact Vs Fiction Coronavirus
Did Philippe try to commit suicide?
Yes. As he explained in his memoir A Second Wind, he tried to commit suicide once in 1993 by wrapping his oxygen tube around his neck and jerking backwards. 'It is quite common this reaction, when the pain gets too bad. I attempted it because I felt guilty that I was going to be a burden on others who had to look after me,' said Philippe. 'It was unbearable because I was always in charge and then all of a sudden I was dependent, especially on a wife who was ill.' Philippe says that he no longer thinks about suicide. 'I would be very sad if I had succeeded in killing myself 19 years ago, because I have enjoyed the 19 years that came after that,' he told The Telegraph in 2012.
Did the streetwise Abdel really learn to appreciate fine art like Kevin Hart's character does in the movie?No. While he never stopped making fun of the fine art (paintings) that Philippe admired, Abdel did take a liking to some of the classical music Philippe listened to. In turn, Philippe learned to enjoy some of the pop music that Abdel liked. This is emphasized in the movie as we see Dell (Kevin Hart) humming along to The Marriage of Figaro and Phillip (Bryan Cranston) jamming to Aretha Franklin.
Is Philippe a religious man?
Yes. Philippe Pozzo di Borgo is a Christian. Though not included in The Upside movie, Philippe has a strong faith and even had a small chapel included when he had his house built. -The Telegraph
For how many years did former convict Abdel Sellou care for Philippe Pozzo di Borgo?
Abdel Sellou, who is renamed Dell and portrayed by Kevin Hart in the movie, worked as Philippe Pozzo di Borgo's caregiver for ten years. “According to [his memoirs], I have changed his life,' Philippe stated. 'That may be true, but in any case, what I am certain of is that he changed mine.” -Mirror Online
Have any other movies been made about Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou?Yes. The Upside is largely based on the 2011 international hit The Intouchables, which is one of France's biggest box office successes. That film led to other retellings of their story around the world, including the 2016 Argentinean movie Inseparables and an Indian film titled Oopiri (2016).
Did Philippe remarry?
Yes. In the decades after he lost his first wife Béatrice to cancer, Philippe remarried, tying the knot with a Muslim woman named Khadija. He met her while on a trip to Morocco with Abdel, who also met the woman he would marry. 'Abdel and I finished our collaboration when we both found our soul mates,' said Philippe. 'We finished our time together without sadness or difficulty.' -Le Figaro.fr
Philippe and his wife have three daughters; two are hers biologically and the other they adopted. He moved from France to his wife's home country of Morocco where he currently resides. -The Telegraph
Philippe and Abdel Documentary & Related Videos
Fact Vs Fiction Lesson Plans
Peer deeper into The Upside true story by watching the documentary below that focuses on the relationship between Philippe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou.
Finding reliable, accurate information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is becoming more convoluted each day, especially when it comes to social media. With an overwhelming amount of information, it can be difficult to decipher fact versus fiction. Craig Martin, a professor and associate dean at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, is the course coordinator for the comprehensive infectious diseases course in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. He is busting myths and sharing truth about COVID-19 and its impact your community.
Fact or Fiction: The coronavirus can spread through the air and on surfaces.
Martin: Fact. Every time you sneeze, cough or even speak, you expel tiny droplets of air. Those droplets are either inhaled by others (if you are in very close contact) or they land on surfaces. Since the virus can survive outside the human body, someone else can contract the virus by contact with those surfaces.
Fact or Fiction: Thenovel coronavirus COVID-19 lives on surfaces for 48-72 hours.
Martin: Fact, and possibly longer. For this reason, disinfection of all surfaces is extremely important. High-touch surfaces are particularly vulnerable to contamination.
Fact or Fiction: Everyone who contracts the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has the same symptoms.
Martin: Fiction. As with many infections, symptoms can vary among those infected. Not everyone will have a fever, but most patients will have cough and upper respiratory symptoms, like a cold.
Fact or Fiction: Symptoms of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 appear immediately or else you're not infected.
Martin: Fiction. In fact, symptoms are likely to take several days to appear and you are highly likely to be contagious before you even know you're sick. This is why social distancing is so important, even for those who feel healthy.
Fact or Fiction: Speaking of social distancing -- this means I cannot go outside at all. I must stay inside to stay safe.
Martin: Fiction. You are not at risk for contracting the virus by taking walks outside, as long as social distancing is maintained. Physical health and exercise are very important, and we all need to take care of ourselves. Go take a walk.
Fact or Fiction: Young, healthy adults are safe and shouldn't be concerned about contracting the disease.
Martin: Fiction. No one is totally safe. While we are mostly concerned about the elderly and those with chronic health problems, young people can be affected as well. Beyond that, it is important for us to think about our friends and loved ones. Staying home is inconvenient and it compromises our way of life, but it is vital to protect my parents, your parents, our grandparents and friends with heart and lung disease. This is a time for us to step up and protect our most vulnerable.
Fact Vs Fiction Worksheets
Fact or Fiction: Gargling warm water or salt and vinegar eliminates the virus from your system.
Martin: Aboutthe creative archive. Fiction. The only truly effective way to avoid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 infection is to avoid exposure.
Fact or Fiction: A hot bath can keep you from contracting the virus.
Martin: Fiction. Hot baths are great, but their benefits are probably only comfort-related. They cannot prevent COVID-19.
Fact or Fiction: Drinking water will prevent infection.
Martin: Fiction, but drinking water is still important -- crucial, in fact. Not because it will prevent infection, but because your body requires adequate hydration, and this is especially important when you are sick. It will not prevent infection but may help limit some of the serious effects of illness.
Fact or Fiction: The virus is heat resistant.
Martin: Very high heat (think boiling) will kill the virus. Warm weather (think summer) may reduce the virus's spread, but we will have to wait and see.
It's important to listen to health care experts and find trusted news sources who you know are giving up-to-date information about the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on your community, which is changing day by day, hour by hour. Martin believes the best sources of information is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov. Locally, Martin suggests tuning into the press conferences that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and his staff are holding each day. You can also find Kentucky data at kycovid19.ky.gov.