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Hélène de Fougerolles : Under the sun in Saint-Tropez !
By Alexandre Arditti – Photos : Marc Montezin
She made movies with famous directors such as Patrice Chéreau (Le Reine Margot), Cédric Klapisch (Le Péril jeune), Matthieu Kassovitz (Assassins) and Jacques Rivette (Va savoir), a role for which she received the Romy Schneider Prize in 2001. Originally from Brittany, the lovely Hélène de Fougerolles was also part of the “La Plage” adventure, shot in Thailand with Leonardo di Caprio in 1999. More recently, the beautiful Hélène de Fougerolles burst onto the screen in the Balthazar series, before signing a nice success bookstore with a very personal book, Don’t worry, mum, you’ll be fine. A great traveler at heart, it was at the Château de la Messardière, one of the most famous palaces in Saint-Tropez, that we had the pleasure of meeting the actress for a glamorous and ultra-relaxing weekend. facing the Big Blue. Interview under the sun exactly!
Are you a frequent traveler?
Hélène de Fougerolles: Yes absolutely, I love to travel and I travel a lot, it’s part of my life. I started young, all alone with my backpack! When I was 17, I went to visit Greece, then two years later, I set sail for New York without speaking a single word of English or knowing anyone there… I found myself a waitress, then I took classes at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute.
Are you more the type to leave at the last minute or organize everything months in advance?
HDF: I am lucky that my job allows me to leave at short notice. It is not uncommon for me to take advantage of a week off between two shoots to fly to the other side of the planet, but not necessarily for very long stays. A week can be enough, no need to stay three months there to enjoy a great trip. I also love my job for that!
What are the countries from which you brought back the most beautiful memories?
HDF: In Asia, I would say Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Bali or even Vietnam where I went alone to celebrate my birthday a few years ago. I woke up in the early morning on a junk in Halong Bay, it was magnificent… In South America, Venezuela or Colombia, which I visited when Ingrid Bettencourt was held prisoner by the FARCs. I was not very reassured! And when it comes to paradise islands, the Maldives…
Are you fond of beautiful hotels?
HDF: I had the chance to discover superb establishments thanks to my job, but I also like to travel more simply, sometimes with Le Routard in my pocket. Until the age of fifteen, I spent my holidays in a fort in Brittany where we went to fetch water from the well so I knew how to adapt. That said, I still need a modicum of comfort, and I don’t want to share my bathroom with ten people either! (laughs)
For you, what is luxury?
HDF: Luxury is above all my freedom! You don’t necessarily need a lot of resources, but the main thing is to be able to escape, meet others, live beautiful moments… I appreciate luxury but I don’t seek it in itself, it all depends on the circumstances.
Are you more of a trek or a transat?
HDF: A bit of both. Let’s say that I alternate swimming and idleness with visits, markets, photos, but I’m not the type to go to the mountains for endless walks either…
You also like to travel alone, what does that bring you?
HDF: It’s true, in this case, I leave with my painting and I paint, I take photos, I wander around the markets; I like smells, colors, I recharge my batteries a little like that, in short, I forget everything! Sometimes I may even be a little too careless, I don’t always realize the danger. During a shoot in Gabon, I got lost all alone in the suburbs of the city, it could have been a bit risky… Same in South America, Venezuela or Colombia where you have to be careful all the same: guards monitor the hotels and it is highly inadvisable to walk around unaccompanied. In Asia, on the other hand, I never felt any sense of insecurity.
A particularly striking foreign shoot?
HDF: For Le Raid (by Djamel Bensalah with Lorant Deutch, Roschdy Zem, Gérard Jugnot and Josiane Balasko, released in 2002, Editor’s note), we left for no less than three and a half months in New Orleans, then in Venezuela, where I took the opportunity to learn Spanish. A great memory. These days, it is rare that we leave for such a long time for a shoot! You stay a few days in Saint-Tropez at the Château de la Messardière.
What inspires you here?
HDF: The hotel is really magnificent, perched on the hills in the heart of a 10-hectare park planted with pines and olive trees, and overlooking the mythical beach of Pampelonne. The view is extraordinary, facing the Big Blue. It is one of the most chic palaces in Saint-Tropez but the atmosphere is particularly relaxed, pleasant to live in, you really feel at ease there. As for the staff, what kindness: they have the sun in their voices!
Your favorites during this dream holiday?
HDF: The gourmet restaurant and its chef, David Millet! I loved the menu, varied, inventive, giving pride of place to the Mediterranean with bold little touches of herbs, flowers and the neat presentations. The sommelier, an enthusiast, also made me want to taste some pretty local wines, I who am not a great specialist… Finally, the hotel has a large swimming pool heated to 29° for the chilly, a spa with the Valmont and Cinq Mondes logo to be pampered without forgetting a beautiful private beach on Pampelonne – La Tropezina – where it is so pleasant to taste grilled fish with your feet in the sand while basking in the sun… A program that allows to enjoy the best of Saint-Tropez in peace!
In France, where do you like to pose your suitcases for a weekend away from Paris?
HDF: Of course, I love Brittany, where I come from, even if I need the sun to recharge my batteries. I recently discovered Aix-en-Provence where I often stay lately. People seem happy there, it’s a little more beautiful life but I loved this city: in the south, there is this art of living with the sun, the markets, the vegetables, the small villages …
Thanks to the Château de la Messardiere – Celebrity Consulting: Ritter Consulting
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