Valérie Lemercier: “I knew that if I wanted to be an actress, I had to leave my village”

By Sandrine Blanchard

Posted today at 03:45, updated at 14:04

Actress and director, Valérie Lemercier chose Celine Dion as the subject of her sixth feature film. At 57, the comedian with three Molières directs and interprets Aline, astonishing biopic on the life of the singer from Quebec. The film will premiere on Saturday, September 25, as part of the Festival du Monde, and will be released in theaters on November 10.

I wouldn’t have made it here if …

… If my parents had not taken me, very young, to the theater in Rouen and Paris. Still, I didn’t like what I was shown. Each time, the artists arrived from the back of the room frumpy, pretending not to like to have an effect. When I was little, I didn’t understand why they didn’t appear from the back of the stage with a golden dress.

As a child, I listened to records by Mistinguett, Georges Milton, Bourvil, Joséphine Baker, people from another era. I don’t know why I had these records, but I enjoyed them. I loved the music hall and the people who liked to make an impact. That’s kind of why I have a passion for Celine Dion: she has an effect.

But you also liked the shows of Jérôme Deschamps…

I had asked my parents to see Rabbit hunter. It was the first time that I discovered a contemporary show that spoke to me, with real people who don’t pretend. I liked the absurd, the documentary side of everyday life, the sense of detail and the little things. Later, in my shows, I found that the very private little things that only made my sisters laugh were, oddly, the ones that worked the best, the ones that made them laugh the most.

Read also Valérie Lemercier, Edgar Morin, Cyril Dion… Dialogue between eight guests of the Festival du Monde

You say that you have in common with Celine Dion shyness in childhood and the question “Am I pretty?” “…

It wasn’t even a question for me. I knew for sure that I was not pretty. But it was not a drama. I said to myself: “I’m going to have imagination and not rely on seduction, love. I will do something else with my life. “

And as a teenager, you join the Rouen Conservatory …

My three sisters and I all made music. When I was 12, as a birthday present, I asked and got to stop playing the violin. I found that too ungrateful. When I was 14-15, I was a boarder at the Lycée Jeanne-d’Arc, in Rouen. The conservatory was next door and I discovered there was a drama department. I passed the competition. One evening, when my parents were out, I wrote on the frosted glass of the front door of the house that I had succeeded.

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