Vanessa Paradis and the horrible story of her beginnings
This Monday, December 5, 2022, M6 is broadcasting “L’Arnacoeur”. A romantic comedy in which Vanessa Paradis this time gives the reply to Romain Duris. If she enjoys a brilliant career, the actress and singer has had a particularly difficult start. At only 14 years old, he had to bear the weight of an invading notoriety, and all its harmful consequences…
Mysterious, secret and yet so popular: in the tricolor media landscape, Vanessa Paradis is one that is not easily identified. If she has long worn the colors of France internationally, in particular through her marriage to Johnny Deppshe has always made it a point of honor to preserve her privacy. Far from the threatening light of the spotlights which almost shattered his childhood dreams. Because everything happened very quickly. After her remarkable appearance on the show “L’école des fans”, at only 8 years old, Vanessa Paradis enjoyed unprecedented success thanks to her title released in 1987, “Joe le taxi”, which sold more than a million copies in France. She was then only 14 years old, and was not at all prepared for the emotional tidal wave that this success implied.
Video. Vanessa Paradis’ Minute
“Joe le taxi”, and the horror of an aggressive public
In the 1980s, the French public then devoted a real fascination to this teenager, with the face of a doll and an already very assertive attitude. At least on stage. Because in real life, Vanessa Paradis worries as success increases. “Joe le taxi” becomes a hitand now he has to deal with public attention. At the time, not everyone was convinced by his talent. The Paradis case divides. “My first song was a big hit. It was everywhere, so much so that it became an annoyance to people. They were saying terrible things about me. Hateful slogans were painted outside my house. seeing me, people were spitting in the street. The situation had deteriorated so much that I was going out with a bag over my head. It was not a pleasant time, “recalled Vanessa Paradis in 2012 in Live magazine.
Despite the success, the teenager is still in school, and must therefore manage this double life, between routine and glitter. Again, she suffered “permanent violence”, as she told in 2022 on the Arte channel: “I lived in the suburbs, I took the RER to go to school in the morning. People looked at me as if I was a caged animal and did not pass any comment aloud next to me […] I was a child, the comments were really monstrous.” Even today, from the height of her 49 years, Vanessa Paradis has not forgotten anything about this incredible violence brought against her: “I was insulted, I was treated of all bird names. They attacked me on my physique, on my music. About my lack of talent. It almost went wrong, but my great luck is to have the parents I have, extraordinary parents who surrounded me so much and gave me a lot of freedom too.
Mom of Lily-Rose and Jack DeppVanessa Paradis knows better than anyone how devastating notoriety can be. She herself takes a lucid look at her beginnings at such a young age: “I was very young, I had a cartoon voice, such a childish voice and then sometimes I sang very loudly, it was excruciating, or else I was singing too softly. I was 14 and at 14, it’s not going well for anyone. You wonder who we are, who we’re going to become, if we’re good enough. It was horrible, horrible. I started this job with a very big success and then as always, when something is successful, there is a snowball effect” she estimated on Arte.
A hypersexualized teenager
This “snowball effect” therefore continued over time. Because after “Joe le Taxi”, all eyes were on Vanessa Paradis, at a time when the public was beginning to hold a strange and disturbing fascination for the “lolitas”these hypersexualized teenagers. At that time, Elsa Lungini is one of those young singers who make people talk. And she hasn’t forgotten anything about the hell that Vanessa Paradis went through, considered by the tabloid press as her rival: “Vanessa was blonde, she had her hair straightened, she wore somewhat short skirts. She moved in a somewhat suggestive way, but it was her way of moving. All of this was misinterpreted, because I think there was jealousy. It was very violent” she confided in 2015.
Video. Elsa Lunghini recounts the ordeal experienced by Vanessa Paradis in her early days
Two years after her hit, Vanessa Paradis enjoyed another success, this time at the cinema, in the film “Noce blanche”, by Jean-Claude Brisseaudied in 2019. And again, the experience was traumatic. On the set, the teenager has to undress, but also manage the toxic atmosphere installed by the director, met a few months before, and with whom the current did not pass: “It was the producer Margaret Ménégoz who arranged the meeting. He came to my house, he was immediately very unpleasant, he pushed me around a lot, and that continued throughout the filming, in Saint-Etienne, he did not spare me at all”, she told Le Monde in 2019. If this role offered Vanessa Paradis the César for best female hope in 1990, history (or justice) unfortunately vindicated her traumas, since Jean-Claude Brisseau was sentenced in 2005 for sexual harassment on two actresses.
Years later, Vanessa Paradis takes a more enlightened look at the “delicate situations” she faced in her early days, even if she considers herself lucky to have “always managed to dodge”: “In my first film, Noce white, I had nude scenes, I was 16, it was complicated. I dodged, she confided to Madame Figaro in 2021. When you start very young like me, there are a lot of things that you don’t know and that you can consider normal when you don’t have the necessary benchmarks. There may be borderline things that I saw and didn’t want to remember.” If she admits having “crossed paths with unsavory characters”, Vanessa Paradis very quickly understood that she would have to protect herself, at all costs: “As I started very young, it seems that I belong to the people , which meant that I had to protect myself more than the others.” The sad reasons for a discretion that has become legendary…
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