Vanessa Paradis on aging: “With the age that I am, I guess there are more roles”

Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis is currently promoting her role as a very overbearing mother in Cafe de Flore (a “decades spanning saga“), and she’s doing the publicity rounds in New York. Many people stateside often believe that Vanessa gained her (relative) notoriety through her long-term relationship with Johnny Depp, but Vanessa was famous in France for several years (as a film star and musical artist) before she met Johnny. She even won the equivalent of a French Oscar (a Cesar award) before Depp rocked her world (both up and down), so to speak. So now Vanessa, in the aftermath of their breakup, pushes forth with her professional life, and from the looks of her IMDb profile, she’s got a number of acting projects in the chute. Here are some excerpts from her recent interview with the Daily Beast:

Vanessa Paradis

She’s in NYC filming a Woody Allen movie: “I’m thrilled to be in New York because it was the city of my 20s–of freedom. I was working since I was 14 in France, and coming here as an unknown, walking through the streets, there’s an amazing energy and light in the sky. I’m so happy to be here.”

On her split with Johnny Depp: “I don’t sell my private life, and nobody knows the truth or has done a proper journalist’s work on that situation. Nowadays, people speculate, but nobody knows! I have my children to protect. There are children involved, so it’s really no one’s business but the family.”

On playing an overprotective mother in Cafe de Flore: “All parents are [overprotective]. When somebody hurts your child, you become a war machine. You couldn’t kill, but you want to. We have the gut feeling, you know? You love and you fear for them, and it’s all here [points to her belly]. I understand that. But Jacqueline is in a very different situation because she gave birth to a child with Down syndrome, and back then, the life expectancy of a child with Down syndrome was 25 years, so this woman is completely driven by love and fear, and she forgets who she is as a human being.”

On being a child star: “It was crazy to grow up in front of the cameras and speak to people when you’re not ready to speak at all. I loved singing, so it was amazing and cruel at the same time. When you’re 14 years old, you’re not a finished human being, so defending your ideas from critics is difficult.”

She’s taking on more work: “It just happened like that! With the age that I am, I guess there are more roles. I didn’t decide to act more but a lot of interesting roles just came at once. Since I’m turning 40, I can play the love interest, the mom, or the friend. When you’re younger, it’s all about ingenue roles.”

On becoming a mother: “What changes with motherhood is that you’re not No. 1 in your life anymore. Suddenly, someone counts more than yourself. It makes you a better person, less selfish and more aware of others. The biggest love of your life is born, and it’s the one love that never fades, but keeps growing stronger.”

[From Daily Beast]

I love Vanessa’s sentiments on aging in the film industry, which are quite similar to Winona Ryder’s statement (in response to her recent career resurrection) that she’s “psyched for 40.” That’s an admirable attitude. I wish I were psyched for 40 too, but yeah, I’m not really that evolved with just three more years to go. But I totally get her statements about motherhood. Once one sets their sights upon their own child for the first time, well, the rest is history.

Even though Vanessa will always be inextricably linked to Johnny Depp by their two children, she will always be a huge presence in France even without (and perhaps in spite of) his association. I happen to believe that she is perfectly lovely. Sure, she has some bad angles, but don’t we all?

Vanessa Paradis

Vanessa Paradis

Photos courtesy of WENN

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36 Responses to “Vanessa Paradis on aging: “With the age that I am, I guess there are more roles””

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  1. Micki says:

    I believe she’ll get lots of roles-in France. The physical appearance is important but not a reason number one for getting a role. I think the European actresses have the privilege to age naturally and still be cast.

    • Bubbling says:

      yes, you can really notice that in French and Spanish movies…actually all European movies, you can see that the actors aren’t dental veneers traumatized.

      • UNF Joan Jett! says:

        That is one of the many reasons why I hate it when Hollywood spit out remakes of European movies.

      • Micki says:

        Although I live in Germany I’m fan of the English films and especially TV series. The English go to great lenghts to show “real” people. So much that when the series are sold to US market they get a “re-do”.I’ve read somewhere that the English “losers” are so depresigly “real” that they get better looking doubles with better cars and homes and friends and career prospects to make them “palatable” for the viewers.
        I was laughing my a$$ of. But it’s true. There are some trully unattractive actors with good resumes, getting work constantly.

  2. Shelley says:

    “Sure she has some bad angles”??? lol
    I can’t say I ever liked her, since I was team Johnny and Kate, but I love how she has handled this whole break-up

  3. savedbykittylitter says:

    I like her and what she says she seems so smart unlike someone *cough cough* and sure she is got bad angles and bad pix but who hasnt? I know you think she is ugly but I find her imperfectly beautiful!

  4. bammer says:

    I first heard of her because of her relationship with Lenny Kravitz.

    • lovely says:

      She and Lenny were SO HOT together google their pics if you never seen them , they dated about 4 or 5 years but they never wanted to make it official there were rumors in france that he wanted to marry her but she didn’t want to! :/ however Lenny in 2009 said he regrets their split and that she was the perfect woman and he wanted to see her again and talk, WOWZERS wonder what are his thoughts on her split with Johnny! he also said in that interview that she met Johnny through him

  5. Bird says:

    I think she is so so gorgeous and sexy. Love her.

  6. RN says:

    I watch a lot of French films for language practice and she is one of my favorite actresses. I love the fact that people in France are allowed to age and be physically imperfect on film. It’s a testament to their culture that she’s not complaining about roles drying up for her at her age.

  7. mln76 says:

    I like the ‘angles’ sentiment. She has a real european face-sometimes delicate and stunning and other times a bit rough and raw….give me that over the plasticized American Barbie type face filled with botox and reconstructed to blandness any day of the week.

  8. pretty vanessa says:

    THE LAST PICTURE, I’M IN LOVE so gorgeous! and you can check out her Joe Le Taxi vids and you will see she looks the same no plastic surgery on her ! she is one of my favs french girls

  9. OhDear says:

    She seems so levelheaded and thoughtful.

  10. Amy C says:

    She sound totally class here.

  11. San says:

    Cafe de Flore is one of the best films i’ve seen in a long time.

  12. athina says:

    she said that nobody knows the truth or has done a proper journalist’s work on that situation(the break up)that goes for you if you like and respect her stop writing about the cause of the break up.i feel sorry for the kids.imagine how it feels like to have all people talking rude about your dad

  13. MJsinAustin says:

    I love her. Class Act. Johnny – i used to love too, now all I see is bloated mid-life crisis and bloated ego.

  14. Sugar says:

    I. Love. Her.

  15. Lotta says:

    I’m from Sweden and I knew who she was way before I heard of Johnny Depp. She was kind of a european IT-girl when I grew up.

    I really like and respect her.

  16. Michelle says:

    Love her comments on her breakup. If Stewart & Patterson said THAT, I’d have much more respect for them.

  17. Aboveall says:

    So no cheating scandal? no “I’m a bitch”? No “midlife crisis”?
    Geez! what a dissapointment

    C’mon Vanessa gives us something scandalous about your breakup, to our entertainment!

    They were always such a boring couple. Living their “private life” nah nah, with their children whose face nobody knows. nah, nah!

    They have to be ended by “boring reasons” too. Maybe they didn’t have sex anymore as the 98% of long lasting couples around the world!

  18. Issa says:

    Think she gorgeous! She doesn’t have a frankenface like the botoxed to oblivion women in Hollywood. Love the little lines around her eyes, think it makes her look natural and relatable.

  19. Miffy says:

    Love her. I love her comments on being a child star, she has an amazing way of being realistic without painting herself a victim.

  20. nikko says:

    I dont’ like. Typical french woman. I’m glad her and Johnny broke up, never like him w/ her. This is the best she’s look; when she was w/ Johnny she always look unkept.

  21. Sarah says:

    I saw Cafe de Flore a while ago. It’s such a great movie, although really disturbing. I adore Vanessa. I first heard of her back in the ’90’s when she came out with an English album. I think I still have Be My Baby on my ipod somewhere. Johnny Depp turned out to be such a stereotypical Hollywood douchenozzle. His loss.

  22. Mazunte says:

    I love this interview. Classy woman. She is very unique and interesting looking.

  23. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    Puleeeaze! More roles for women in movies at age 40? Boy is she ready for a wake up call. Or maybe she will be one of the rare exceptions (she has just gotten a few roles) because she looks amazing. Personally I prefer the actresses who speak the truth about discrimination in hollywood even if they are one of the lucky ones – like Meryl Streep is always sticking up for actresses and not pretending that age discrimination against women doesn’t exist – even if it doesn’t exist for her.

    I knda think Vanessa is a bit of a dingbat/ airhead with her comment.

    • Lou Lou says:

      She doesn’t make movies in Hollywood. She makes European films, the rules are different there. She’s not a dingbat, there are just cultural differences. Not everyone worries about the American standards of life!

  24. Lena says:

    Really like her and glad we’re getting to see more of her in movies. She’s going to be around for a long time–her look is kind of lovely and quirky at the same time. Playing next to Woody Allen in “Fading Gigolo” will put her out there in the US. She’ll probably be a success. And I’m glad she’s such a protective mom. I think it must have been hard on her being with JD and having a strained transatlantic relationship.

  25. Sophie says:

    Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have a mutually beneficial relationship. She’s good for his press and he’s good for hers. The only digging that exists on Johnny and Vanessa’s breakdown is on a discussion board thread “Tea on Johnny Depp and Vanessa.” Good reason for them to protect their kids, they should.