The renewed focus on Anthony Bourdain’s life as a public figure is not surprising, considering the release of his latest documentary. Roadrunner is a film that explores Anthony’s life and family in an unvarnished way. It includes some details from his teenage daughter that fans are naturally curious about.
Ariane Bourdain is Anthony’s only child he had with his second wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain. Despite the documentary’s attempts to paint a comprehensive picture of Anthony, Ariane is not present in it. In the documentary, Anthony carries his child when she was younger. The footage offers only a small glance at who this person has grown up to be now.
Ariane’s teenaged years are undocumented so it is left up to the viewers’ imagination as they wonder what she looks like. In fact, the reason why Ariane has only a limited time on screen is due to Ottavia’s agreement she made with Anthony before he died.
Director Morgan Neville said: “Tony and Ottavia had always decided to keep their daughter out of the public eye and so even though Tony’s gone, I think that was something that Ottavia still believes, and I get it. We used a bunch of shots of his daughter when she was younger, but now that she’s a teenager, it just felt crossing the line to really do it.”
About Roadrunner’s ending, Morgan wanted to include some footage of Anthony’s family in the present day. “But when I explained this idea I had for Ottavia at the end, as kind of just checking in with people in the film, she sent me that video. And it was great. It was a chance to feel like they’re still here, and they’re still moving on.”
Although Ariane was not featured prominently in the movie, it does features interviews with people close to Anthony, including his wife, brother, friends, and colleagues.
The film explores who Anthony was, including his magnetic personality and struggles with depression. Anthony Bourdain is best known for his TV shows about food, but before he was a personality on screens big and small Anthony had already established himself as an author. He is the author of Kitchen Confidential, which details his time working in restaurant kitchens. His book quickly became a best seller for its candid and honest portrayal of this industry that often goes unnoticed by those outside it.
In 2018, Anthony died by suicide. Anthony is one of the world’s best-known food personalities and Roadrunner attempts to get at what made him such a beloved special person.