“I, without children I would have been someone else”

Singer and actress have always admired Marilyn Monroe. Sixty years after her disappearance, Vanessa Paradis slips into the skin of her idol in evoking the cult movie misfits, Under the lens of Anton Corbijn. Before resuming his theatrical tour MomMiss Chanel shares her fascination with the American star.

What do young girls dream about? On the walls of her bedroom, in Villiers-sur-Marne, near Paris, Vanessa Paradis hung pictures of Romy Schneider and Marilyn Monroe. She wasn’t really the goddess of her age, but adolescence wasn’t like the others, I knew by heart Caesar and Rosalie And blonde men prefer, He became an instant star at the age of 14 by taking us to Joe’s taxi. Reviews of XX . Most Popular Platinum BlondeAnd The century has never left the mind of a person who has become a beloved pop star and powerful actress, as relaxed in drama as in comedy. It seemed obvious to us to offer her slip in the skin of her (indomitable) idol to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the disappearance of one name sufficient to identify him, Marilyn, dead in Los Angeles on August 4, 1962, in circumstances that never made clear, drug overdose, suicide Assassination (our guest leans toward the latter hypothesis).

She chose Vanessa Paradis misfits (misfits, by John Huston, 1961), a depressing film of illusion and twilight in which Monroe plays an overwhelming truth, broadcasts her ill-fated state into a famous spectacle, and a weak, pallid character lost in the burning expanses of Nevada. On the white sands of the Fontainebleau Forest, Anton Corbijn recreates the set of this black-and-white cursed film using more realistic-than-life Vanessa Paradis platinum. She crossed the stellar photographer and director with her when she was 20, and then again last year when he photographed her at the Chanel Spring-Summer Haute Couture show, of which she is an ambassador. They really wanted to meet on an extraordinary occasion. engine !

Madame Figaro . How was this passion for Marilyn Monroe born?
Vanessa Paradis. I must have been about five or six years old when I found a book in my parents’ library, it was an autobiography, the kind of book with a few pictures in the middle pages. I was so amazed by the hallucinogenic beauty of this woman that I knew nothing about. Pictures led me to movies, and then to movie recording. Marilyn Monroe never got out of my head again. I watched his films over and over again, and later read every autobiography, watched every documentary. Love is inexplicable. There is beauty and femininity and grace and tenderness, and at the same time something tragic that we feel and feel. Everything attracts me, everything makes me happy, her appearance, her smile, the way she moves. And this amazing modernity at the time. There is something about her that we have never seen anywhere else: this connection to the body, this freedom of the body without ever being vulgar, a completely resolute body, but she hasn’t given up on childhood either.

Do you remember the first movie you saw with her?
probably Blonde men preferI’ve always loved musicals, and the Howard Hawks movie is a little girl’s dream, with its artistic colours, costumes, and songs. I also saw a lot river of no return And Some like it hot certainly. I found out later misfits and lesser-known films, such as bothering me tonight who is already an extraordinary, fair, powerful, and totally annoying actress as an unbalanced babysitter. And then there’s the singer, of course, she venerated Ella Fitzgerald and you can hear her: She’s a divine jazz singer, with a velvety voice and gorgeous vibrato. when i listen to her lazy, From Irving Berlin, I am intrigued.

Everything attracts me, everything makes me happy, her look, her smile, the way she moves

What brings you the dark side of Marilyn Monroe?
I’m thinking of crumbs, a collection of intimate writings published long after his death, a very intrusive book, but one that enlightens us on his spirit and intellect. We discover his depth, his sensitivity, his narrowness, his fears, his doubts, his fear of madness. He was a tormented soul that never stopped progressing and achieving himself.

They say you have a lot of Monroe stuff.
I’m not a collector, but I have a few things given to me. A pair of shoes eg fancy white shoes. We have the same shoe size, and sometimes I wear them, take a few steps and put them away, because I’m so afraid they will be marred. I also have a jacket, cloak, and hat that I wear occasionally, but very rarely because they are invaluable to me. Once she wandered around the villa she owned in Brentwood and where she died. It took me a long time to decide to go there, and I was so moved to discover from abroad this humble farm, her only home, where she did not live long, my poor darling, only a few months.

I lived in Hollywood, the home of cinema. Is it something that brings you closer to her?
When I lived there, I had a very family life: children, school. There was no Hollywood thing in my lifestyle, I went to dinner quite a bit, and only attended the Oscars twice. It was great to see so many famous actors, it was my dream of American cinema but not my dream at all, because I didn’t aspire to be a part of it. Perhaps because it takes so much ego, it means being available just for that, and maybe shooting movies you don’t want to make so you can reach those you target. There was no reason to embark on this obstacle course. Younger, however, after filming white weddingMy first movie, I did some improbable casting like a movie Inappropriate suggestionfor the role of Demi Moore! It didn’t make any sense at all, and in retrospect I find it very strange. I quickly put the kibosh into this kind of experience, and I have no regrets about it: it has made a splash in France.

Vanessa Paradis, cover story

Monroe has been manipulated, and according to some, has been manipulated. Is there a way to properly deal with the excesses of fame?
Manipulative, I do not like this word; What is certain is that she was a good communicator, but I don’t know if that was part of a strategy. She was smart and knew how to use her image. Weapon picture. Chez Marilyn is also an invitation to be seen and loved. Then there is context, the 1950s, and country, America. The actors belonged in the studios, were stuck, and emancipation began in the following decade. Marilyn, her career began at the end of the 1940s, and perhaps her body and seduction allowed her to destabilize her interlocutors and, in a certain way, be heard and existed. She was still able to impose something very extraordinary at the time: the freedom to be yourself, in the broad sense, the affirmation of the sensual body.

When you started, you were labeled as a woman – a child …
The context is really different, it’s not the same era, not the same culture, not the same difficulties. But Monroe’s problem is still a problem today: the place of women in society and the workplace. As far as I’m concerned, it’s true, when I started my career, I was first considered a child woman and singer with no really talent. We were wondering what I was doing there. The success was so overwhelming that it had nothing to do with what I could offer. It took a while for me to prove that there was something worthwhile inside of me. Marilyn Monroe, during her life she did not know the recognition she deserved. It happened then. However, she did everything to get ahead, went to live in New York, approached Lee Strasberg, and set up her own production company, things that were quite unconventional at the time, but we continued not to take them seriously.

Video, Vanessa Paradis, Cesar for Best Young Hope (1990)

Did you have to suffer from image distortions?
The picture, we certainly take it from you, but we also give it, we play with it. It is an exchange. I’m from the generation of music videos and record covers, everything went through that, it was a way to introduce yourself to the world. At first it may hurt, you can’t stop people from talking, judging and sometimes unfair, yes you hurt sometimes, but in the end what’s left is your business, the heart and core of your business. To succeed, I had to stick to tangible things: music, concerts, movies. The rest is part of the game: to be loved, not to be loved. As for recognition, it is essential, but not only in technical professions. Every work deserves attention and, if possible, appreciation.

She loves Marilyn Monroe and Romy Schneider, two actresses who were said to have been set ablaze by cinema…
Through life, even if the cinema did not put things in order. They are two women who lived a complex life, childhood and love. And in the case of Marilyn, an aggravating circumstance, the time has come when the actors were completely dependent on drugs without measuring the disastrous effects on health. What I do know is that I had two wonderful parents, who gave me love and trust, loved me, surrounded me, and accompanied me. I’m not saying you can’t live without this prerequisite – you can choose families other than your own – but it’s much easier to start living feeling supported. Being an actress is terribly destabilizing, you’re screened on a giant screen, dependent on other people’s wishes and when you’re not wanted, it’s over…

Perhaps she was going to meet a man who would love her for what she is?

Anything else catching on about Marilyn?
In the drama of her life, she lost all the children she had given birth to. Mom, maybe she was going to live another life. I, without children, would have been someone else. I don’t think women have to have children to be fulfilled, but I’ve always wanted to have them, and they shaped the woman I am today.

How do you imagine Marilyn Monroe if she lived?
I can’t imagine her as a mature woman, let alone an old lady. She was 96 years old. In 1962, at the time of her death, she had projects, a production house. She was a woman ruled by her heart: perhaps she would meet a man who would love her for what she was?

Vanessa Paradis is touring in September with the play Mom, dand Samuel Ben Sheetrit.

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