Roadrunner Director Gives Tragic Details About Anthony Bourdain's Last Days

After Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in a French hotel room in 2018, fans of the "Parts Unknown" host wanted to find a reason they could pin on this tragedy. His girlfriend, Italian actress Asia Argento, said as much in her first public interview after Bourdain's suicide. "I understand that the world needs to find a reason," she told DailyMailTV a few months after Bourdain's death (via Daily Mail). "I would like to find a reason, too." Unfortunately for Argento, the world — or at least certain online trolls — pinned the blame on her.

A few days before Bourdain's death, an Italian tabloid published photos of Argento kissing another man (via Grub Street). "I understand that people wanted to blame me because he was so deeply loved, and he entered in the hearts of so many people," Argento told DailyMailTV. But she and Bourdain led mostly separate lives, Argento went on to explain, and they both had sex outside their own relationship. "I cannot think of Anthony as somebody who would do an extreme gesture like this for something like that," she said.

Morgan Neville, director of the new Bourdain documentary "Roadrunner," which premieres in theaters this Friday, revisits Bourdain's last days and the circumstances leading up to his suicide. Some critics who have gotten an early look at the film think it comes close to laying the blame, once again, on Argento, according to The Wall Street Journal.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Roadrunner director: Many factors contributed to Anthony Bourdain's last days

Reviews of the new Anthony Bourdain documentary "Roadrunner," summarized in The Wall Street Journal, said director Morgan Neville's treatment of Bourdain's girlfriend Asia Argento was irresponsible and exploitative. More than that, one reviewer wondered if people who see "Roadrunner" will come away thinking Argento was to blame for Bourdain's suicide. But Neville doesn't see his own movie that way.

"I'm not saying she caused his suicide," Neville told The Wall Street Journal. "I was merely trying to paint a picture, I think accurately, of the different factors in his life that were going on, and there were many of them." Neville went on to say that as shocking as Bourdain's suicide was, it wasn't surprising. "He's somebody who had been self-destructive for decades. He was a heroin addict, he had addiction after addiction and joked about suicide forever," he said. "I think he was just too removed and remote and didn't ask for help."

In an interview with Grub Street, however, Neville did pin Bourdain's motivation for killing himself on a specific emotion. "I want to be careful about how I say this, but for him to feel that he had staked himself so far out on the limb to be made to feel like a chump so publicly," he said. "That was the thing — not heartbreak. Humiliation." After so publicly and ardently supporting Argento in her fight against Harvey Weinstein, Bourdain likely had those feelings after the tabloid leaked the photos, according to an advanced copy of "Roadrunner" Mashed received.

Others spoke out for Asia Argento, too

One friend in particular spoke out for Argento very soon after Anthony Bourdain's suicide, Rose McGowan (via Deadline). Apart from defending her friend when so many fans of the writer and television host were blaming Argento, McGowan spoke out about something the public did not know at the time. "I know before Anthony died he reached out for help, and yet he did not take the doctor's advice," McGowan said. "And that has led us here, to this tragedy, to this loss, to this world of hurt." Because Bourdain sought help and did not follow the advice of his therapist, fans and the public should not simply blame Argento for an ongoing issue he faced despite her actions.

"Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame. Anthony's internal war was his war, but now she's been left on the battlefield to take the bullet," McGowan wrote. Within "Roadrunner," there's footage of Bourdain in a therapy session that does help fans understand that this was a much larger issue than simply the photos of Argento with another man.

In Roadrunner, a therapy session for Bourdain hints otherwise as well

Though some are continuing to argue the point that it appears to be Argento's fault for the tragic events, the footage of Anthony Bourdain in therapy tells a wider story of his struggles that's presented in "Roadrunner." In the session, Bourdain was filmed lying on a couch in the office. During a brief segment, Bourdain explains to the therapist that at times he wants to harm himself or other people. Given that he had joked about suicide for so long and had admitted to a therapist that he wanted to cause harm to himself or others at times, his suicide shouldn't be blamed on a single person, including Argento.

The tragic ending to Bourdain's life was likely years in the making, and certainly not one individual's fault. If there's one thing "Roadrunner" can impart to viewers, it's that Bourdain suffered a lot and often throughout his life. He seemingly grappled with big questions and saw heartbreaking things happen during his travels. While no one should feel so alone or depressed as Bourdain did, it is something fans may continue to have trouble accepting.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.