- 16 Aug 17
To kick off our Legends Series of special interviews with iconic cultural figures – to mark Hot Press' 40th anniversary – Mark Hogan boarded planes, trains, automobiles, and a boat on the Seine, in search of an interview with French screen icon, Béatrice Dalle. The interview, along with an exclusive photoshoot on the Seine, is published in Hot Press, in stores now.
In a world exclusive, the grand dame of French film grants Hot Press an interview, revealing all about her remarkable life, including:
– shoplifting her wedding dress – twice! – from a high-street fashion store
– stealing body parts from corpses and eating an ear while on acid
– Eric Cantona
– Being banned from the US
– Sex and drugs
– Becoming an sex symbol overnight
In 1986, Béatrice Dalle changed cinema forever. With the controversial, Oscar nominated Betty Blue on she became an international sex symbol overnight, and the ‘poster girl’ on teenage bedroom walls across Ireland.
She oozed the sensuality of a modern day Monroe-Bardot combo, but not unlike her onscreen characters, she also had a darker side. Fast-forward more than 30 years, and Hot Press embarks on a sojourn to Paris in an effort to track down France's real-life femme fatale for a one-on-one en Français.
In the fascinating interview, Béatrice opens up about the early days of her career, and how her expensive tastes led to a run in with the authorities at an early age:
"I thought to myself, 'Why go shoplifting in shitty stores? If I get caught it will be the same'. So, I went to great shops and dressed like a princess. On the day of my first wedding I had no money, so I went to Chantal Thomass' and I stole a dress, but the security guy saw me and called the police. They took the dress and I spent the whole weekend in jail. I was getting married on the Monday at 3.30pm, but I wanted that dress. So, I went back to Chantal Thomass’ and I stole it again, successfully this time! So, if Chantal Thomass hears this, well, I stole her dress twice to be beautiful on my wedding day."
On stealing body parts from corpses::
"When I was a teenager, I was fascinated by death and I still am today. With friends, you know, it was quite easy to go into hospital morgues; we would go in and take pictures with dead bodies and steal stuff! It’s not that big of a deal. In Saudi Arabia, there were articles in newspapers saying that because I had offended dead people’s integrity, I was worse than the Kouachi brothers, you know, the guys behind the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks. I have not killed anyone, so this needs to be put back into perspective. It was a kid’s screw-up, we took drugs, we took acid, we did all sorts of nonsense, but it’s not a big deal!”
“There’s so much censorship and everything is forbidden! You can’t smoke, you can only eat vegan, you can’t eat gluten, you can’t fuck anymore because there’s AIDS, you can’t talk anymore. For f*ck’s sake! In the 1990s, you had the right to do anything!"
"The best experience – and I’ve taken every drug available – is heroin. Of course, it has an impact on your health and on your work, as it’s the only thing that matters. But drugs open your eyes. Look, it’s no coincidence that so many of the great musicians have taken drugs. They don’t give you talent – but if you already have it, the drugs can open new perspectives which you would not have found otherwise."
And on the great Eric Cantona:
Dalle talks of working with Catona on You And The Night: "It was unique. I know Eric since 1997. When you work with one of your closest friends and you have somewhat of a sex scene, it’s weird." [Picture a nearly naked Cantona on all fours in a dungeon, as Dalle lashes her whip]. She continues, "He is such a poetic man. When we saw each other in London, while he was still at Manchester United, everyone in the street would stop to look at him. Women would put their children in his arms. We would go to a club, both of us are dancing and the entire club would stop. It was unbelievable.”
You can still buy our latest issue of Hot Press - which features an exclusive interview with The Coronas and a special on Cork City - in stores now! Or you can order direct from hotpress.com.