- French movie star celebrates anniversary with new film starring former first lady Bernadette Chirac
- She has tattoos, has posed for Playboy and likes to listen to rap with one of her granddaughters
One of the eternal ladies of the French seventh art – the divine Catherine Deneuve, turned 80 years old, but age has not left an imprint on her creative energy. At the beginning of October, her latest film – “Bernadette” – was released, in which she accepted the challenge of transforming herself into the former French first lady Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the late President Jacques Chirac. And on the eve of her birthday, another book was published, dedicated to her life and career, under the title “Once upon a time Deneuve”.
The future beauty was born on October 22, 1943 in Paris with the name Catherine Dorleac. Both her father, Maurice Dorleac, and her mother, René Deneuve, are actors. Her sister Françoise Dorleac also became one of the most promising young stars of French cinema. Many claim that she is the great talent in the family, but life left her too soon – she died in a car accident on June 26, 1967, when she was 25. In order not to be constantly compared to her, Catherine, who is only a year younger, takes his mother’s maiden name. When she and Françoise play in the musical “The Ladies of Rochefort”, René convinces her daughter to change her name, because there was no way people would say “Dorleac and Dorleac”. “However, the truth is that I would prefer to keep my real surname,” the star recently admitted in an interview for French television.
On the big screen, Catherine Deneuve asserts herself with her unique elegance and her way of being
speak quickly but very clearly
An excerpt from a conversation with the director Jean-Paul Rapneau, with whom the actress worked in the film “Life in the Castle” (1966), was released in the documentary on “Arte” TV. Rapno recalls their first meeting like this: “I have to apologize for something, and that is that I speak fast, maybe even too fast, and that will probably make it difficult for you,” she told me. Catherine came from a family of 4 girls where the one who spoke the fastest was also the one who was heard the best. Then he started pouring out the words at his own speed, which became the speed of my films. She set the tone for the actresses after her,” recalls the director.
A little known fact is that although she embodies French sophistication, Deneuve has not remained indifferent to the fashion of tattoos and has two body drawings done during one of her trips to Polynesia. One is of a turtle, a symbol of strength and protection in Polynesian culture. The second is on the front of her leg and also features a tribal motif, the meaning of which no one knows.
In 1965, when she was 22, the delicate blonde caught the eye of
Roman Polanski, who persuades to pose naked
for the cover of “Playboy” as part of the promotion of their joint film “Disgust”. The photographer who comes to photograph her is her future husband, David Bailey. In 2018, the TV program “Supplement to the survey” contacted him and asked him to tell about this memorable meeting. “When I saw her, I said to myself: ‘She’s too short for me.’ At the time, I only dated top models. However, Polanski insisted: “You are made for each other”, and asked me to photograph her for “Playboy”. That’s how we met. Roman was right. She was very French, very bourgeois. And I was a rebel. And that mix of opposites worked really well.” Witnesses to their marriage were her sister Francoise Dorleac and rock monster Mick Jagger. Unfortunately, married life lasted only two years, although the divorce was announced after 7. This is actually the only marriage of the French star.
The beauty was previously in a relationship with director Roger Vadim and they have a son Christian, born in 1963. Deneuve’s other highly publicized romance was
with the Italian seducer Marcello Mastroianni,
from whom their daughter Kiara was born in 1972. Her two children have made the actress a happy grandmother of 5 grandchildren. One of her granddaughters, Ana, taught her to listen to rap and even took her to a concert by the French rapper Necfeo. More recently, the most deeply guarded secret of French showbiz was also revealed – that the film legend had a brief love affair with France’s No. 1 rock idol, Johnny Holiday.
Fans are constantly chasing her for selfies with her, but she hates these kinds of photos and considers them awful. He says he belongs to the generation that didn’t grow up with a phone as a third hand. On the other hand, the multiple winner of “Cesar” loves to sing. “Once I was traveling in a taxi and when it was time to get off, the driver said to me: ‘I shouldn’t be taking money from you, you’ve been singing to me the whole time. Today only you and the Italian workers are singing”. I had a lot of fun. I also sing on the street, all alone or even when I’m in someone’s company. My daughter Chiara is annoyed,” laughs Deneuve.
Another great passion of the movie diva is cigars. In 2019, however, she suffered a mild ischemic stroke on set, which sent her to the hospital, and she hasn’t touched tobacco since. The ordeal was excruciating for her, and she recovered for nearly a year. Before this shock, however, she was a heavy smoker and destroyed several packs of cigarettes a day. Her biographers claim that, on the other hand, she did not follow any diets throughout her life.
The director with whom the star most preferred to work at the beginning of her career was Jacques Demy, who actually forced her onto the big screen. Luis Buñuel reveals the depth of her diverse talent, entrusting her with complex psychological roles, starting with the cult tape “Daytime Beauty” and ending with “Tristana”.
Truffaut wrote specifically for her the role in “The Last Metro”, and after this film she became so famous that she was chosen to be the face of Marianne (the national symbol of France). The meeting with André Tescine finally cemented her status as a cinematic greatness worthy of universal admiration.
The strangest episode of her filmography (quite eclectic, by the way) is the role of a 3,000-year-old vampire in Tony Scott’s 1983 erotic horror thriller Predators. Her screen husband is none other than David Bowie.
To this day, Deneuve does not stop shooting with a frequency that can be envied by all her young colleagues, although after the stroke she threatened that she would not accept more than 2 films a year.