Interview : Alexandre Arditti – Photos : Marc Montezin
She made her film debut at the age of nine under the direction of Pascal Thomas, Alain Resnais and Jean-Paul Rappeneau; shot with François Ozon, Claude Chabrol or Claude Miller; gave the answer to the greatest, from Juliette Binoche to Daniel Auteuil via Charlotte Rampling, Nathalie Baye or Catherine Deneuve. Discreet, radiant and a bit mischievous, Ludivine Sagnier is often where you don’t expect him to be. Including in Corsica, the time of a few days of vacation, where we had the pleasure of meeting her in the paradisiacal setting of the Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa, a charming Relais & Châteaux nestled along a beautiful sandy beach, facing the bay of Porto-Vecchio. The opportunity to discover an actress curious about the world and others, who has never stopped traveling the planet since her adolescence. Corsica, Brazil, the United States, its most beautiful trips, its dreams, its relationship to luxury… For Voyages et Hôtels de Rêve, Ludivine Sagnier gives us under the sun and with elegance, a certain philosophy of travel.
Between you and Corsica, it’s a long story, but is it the first time that you have set down your suitcases in the south, in Porto-Vecchio?
Ludivine Sagnier: Indeed, I have always loved Corsica, I have been there several times on vacation, but more in the north, by boat with friends, or for the “Calvi on the Rocks” music festival. This is the very first time that I have discovered the south of the island, in particular the region of Porto-Vecchio which is magnificent. The landscapes are superb and very different from the north. We are doing this interview at the Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa, with our feet in the sand, facing the bay.
What do you like here?
L.S. What a magnificent place, this calm, this view, the sea, the smell of pine trees … I am in love, this is one of the most endearing hotels I have ever stayed in. My first impression, which is often the right one, is only confirmed throughout the stay: here, all the senses are involved, you just have to forget everything and let yourself be carried away by the lapping of the sea …
Any particular favorites?
L.S. First of all, the sublime view of the sea and the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio, which strikes you as soon as you arrive; but also the beautiful hotel beach with its golden sand, a rare luxury that we never tire of. The cozy comfort of the rooms and this cozy side, nestled in the pine forest, with special mention for the astonishing cabin perched in the trees, an unusual place to stay with your loved one! Finally, the gourmet restaurant, La Table du Cala Rossa, where you can feast under the stars, a real treat, especially as I am quite greedy and I love Corsican gastronomy!
A vivid memory on the Isle of Beauty?
L.S. A wedding ten years ago, on Girolata’s side. I remember something lyrical, an incredible party that lasted three days, something grand and surreal with gunshots in the bush, a medieval tower, the opera …
“Corsica is a special feeling, and at the same time very familiar…”
How do you feel when you come to Corsica?
L.S. It is a truly exotic island, where you sometimes feel like you are abroad while people speak the same language as us. It’s a special feeling, and at the same time, it’s very familiar. I feel good there and have always been very well received.
How do you relate to travel?
L.S. Little one, my parents didn’t travel much. But I remember, for example, that my grandmother traveled the world during her retirement, so I was force-fed slides on each of her expeditions! It certainly gave me a foretaste of what traveling could bring in terms of fulfillment and discovery at a very young age. Maybe that’s why I left when I was only 13 to cross Brazil with my best friend!
Tell us about this original journey…
L.S. We both crossed the country, while adults came to pick us up from airports, bus stations… Often long stages punctuated by several hours of bus in this country the size of a continent, all in rather “roots” conditions, especially 25 years ago … At the time, my friend spoke fluent Portuguese, me only a little bit, but my parents were not at all worried. Looking back, I will never let my daughter do this today! (laughs).
Since then, have you had a special relationship with Brazil?
L.S. Brazil is indeed a country that has meant a lot to me since childhood, but also later, and then I met my husband there. I have always felt comfortable there, loved what it brings in terms of energy and change of scenery.
Other destinations that appealed to you?
L.S. In the same vein, I backpacked Mexico with my friends, Iceland also quite young, and I was also often in the United States. I really liked New York, although I am enjoying going there a little less now. Now I would like to discover the interior of the country, for example states like Montana, with this very natural side. I also fell in love with Portugal: Lisbon, the pretty charming pousadas, the port, the sausage with figs, it really is a very pleasant country!
Do you travel more professionally or for pleasure?
L.S. Both! I discovered the world quite young through my job promoting films. When we have a film that works, we are invited everywhere to defend it. I have traveled around the planet a lot: in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, North America, to Australia. I also liked discovering destinations that I would not have chosen myself such as Ukraine or Estonia. I have very eclectic tastes: islands, mountains, big cities …
Do you have strong tastes in terms of destinations?
L.S. On the contrary, I have very eclectic tastes: the mountains, the islands, the big cities … Lately, I’ve been more focused on Africa. My last family trip, for example, took me to Bamako in Mali, as well as to Burkina Faso. I took my three children under my arm and we landed with friends. Mali is a magnificent country, even if the comfort remains necessarily quite basic: cold water and rice with all meals! But like me, my children know how to adapt.
Exactly, are you attached to a certain level of comfort when traveling?
L.S. Because of my job, I am often used to traveling in a rather luxurious way, but at the same time sometimes also more “roots” in a private capacity. It all depends on the circumstances and the purpose of my trip, I adapt very easily. I like the idea that there isn’t just one way to travel. Of course, I also like luxury, palaces, but that is not a determining factor.
“I like the idea that there isn’t just one way to travel. “
What is real luxury for you?
L.S. For me, real luxury would be, for example, a pretty, ultra-comfortable chalet in the mountains. I’ve never experienced it so this is what would make me want the most today. A kind of fantasy with a fireplace, animal skins… (laughs). I love the mountains in winter and summer, for skiing or even bivouacking with children, animals, landscapes … I love nature a lot, I do a lot of mountain hikes when I have the chance.
The destinations you dream of discovering?
L.S. I dream of visiting Easter Island, it’s my biggest travel dream! But also South America starting with Chile, Peru, the Andes Cordillera … On the other side of the planet, Asia on the Vietnam side, Laos and Cambodia or even New Zealand for its incredible nature, or why not Iran, a destination that is opening up and a magnificent country it seems according to my Iranian friends. Conversely, India is not particularly attractive to me, it is a complicated destination. Closer to home, I would love to discover Israel, although other destinations in the Middle East like Dubai or Oman have left me with a mixed impression due to the contrast between tourism and local life.
“Easter Island remains my biggest travel dream”
And in France, where do you like to spend time to recharge your batteries?
L.S. In the south. I love the Mercantour Park, in particular the Vallée des Merveilles, I do many hikes there in the summer because I own a house in Mougins. I love Provence and the Côte d’Azur, but I prefer the hinterland, which is quieter than the coast. This is my summer anchor, the landscapes are sublime. I like to put my bags there and take a few trips to the Italian coast and even to Tuscany. The food is also delicious in all of these regions, which is also often a very important selection criterion for me when I travel (laughs).
Hotels that have marked you during your travels?
L.S. Le Royal Palm, a reference to Mauritius. Or in the same vein and still in the Indian Ocean, the Naladhu in the Maldives, a small intimate retreat ideal for a romantic trip. Two great places to get away from it all, because I think it is always important for a couple to take the time to travel together, especially when you have children. Closer to home, the Etangs de Corot, a stone’s throw from Paris, a perfect place for a weekend in the countryside and for beautiful walks in the forest. My parents got married there, it’s all the more romantic for me! Your next trip? In Greece, on a small secret Cycladic island whose name I would not mention!
Make-up & Hairstyle: Maya Benamer-Letourmy
Styling: Béatrice Lang
Celebrity Marketing : Ritter Consulting
Acknowledgments: Grand Hôtel de Porto-Vecchio