“I suffered, I paid dearly”

Mélanie Laurent long victim of a violent attack: “I suffered from it, I paid dearly” – REUTERS / Reinhard Krause

This Monday, November 7, 2022, France 3 broadcasts “Basterds Inglourious”, Quentin Tarantino’s cult film with a five-star cast, including a Frenchwoman: Mélanie Laurent. If she managed to find a chosen place within the French and American industry, the actress spent moments of doubt, especially trying, against the background of a media lynching in good and proper form. Years later, the trauma is still so vivid.

It’s one of those we don’t present anymore. at 39, Melanie Laurent is a well-known and popular actress, and her career is already based on numerous successes on the big screen. Dedicated, passionate and sensitive, each of her projects always arouses a lot of interest, whether before or after behind the camera as a director. But this fame was also built on pain. Because so many celebrities have to face intense criticism for what they do or who they are, Mélanie Laurent has long been the target of an intense and unrelenting smear campaign. being listed, without anyone really knowing why or by whom, on the list of the most annoying stars.

Video. Minutes by Mélanie Laurent

Self-centered Mélanie Laurent?

If the contours of this public denigration are still so blurred, it is because it first took place on the Internet, a realm of anonymity. The year 2014 marks a turning point. A video was called up on Youtube “Mélanie Laurent – Summary of self-centeredness in interviews” then paints the portrait of a self-satisfied actress, very confident in her talent and abilities. In any case, this is what the montage, consisting of several parts of decontextualized interviews, asks you to think. The message is as clear as it is thick: Mélanie Laurent is terribly self-centered. Social networks then took over the compilation and the phenomenon reached unprecedented proportions. The actress then seems doomed to carry this label of self-centered diva, even though no echo of her behavior on the movie screens goes in this direction. The internet machine has done its job. But this is obviously not without consequences. If Mélanie Laurent continued to shine on the big screen, even winning a second César in 2016, she has not forgotten the blow she suffered.

“I suffered from it at one point but I looked for it so much I couldn’t blame people. But it took me a long time to figure it out, I had to get out of it to get back to myself .” she declared in 2018 in the columns of Télérama. Looking back, Mélanie Laurent tries to explain the inexplicable ferocity of her haters with her omnipresence at the time: “The video on social networks was due to my ultra-media presence. It was a combination of circumstances and I can understand the allergy that I have. caused a lot of things that I had launched or accepted to come out at the same time (…) My singles album with Damien Rice, my role as hostess at Cannes and Respire, my second film as a director.” However, the actress says she has done everything to protect herself from online hate. Starting with never watching the famous YouTube video. “I paid dearly for it. Everyone has been talking to me about it for three years! To move forward, I prefer to keep the eggs,” she told Télérama, admitting she had felt “hurt” since. “No one gets (his) defense in the media”. But Mélanie Laurent is not lying and knows that behind this situation hides a sexism that does not say its name: “This kind of abuse rarely happens to men”.

“We are allowed to exist, but we have no room for mistakes”

From the time she gravitates in the (ruthless) universe of the seventh artMélanie Laurent has identified all the scars in the industry and has never hesitated to denounce the sexism that rages there. As in 2021, in the columns of Femina: “I believe in eco-feminism. We oppress women as much as we oppress nature. There is something in the strength of nature and in the strength of women that we do not understand and that we want to own. We destroy nature by trying to tame it, and we fear women who think, lead, dream, live. In many countries, the nightmare is not “somewhere else unfinished for them. And #MeToo has not solved the problem of violence against women and children, which broke out in the first closing, on the other hand, in the cinema we managed to impose ourselves, to have more and more choices, but the feminist movement, which has managed to move these lines, you should never forget what is happening to others”, she declared with conviction.

Video. Mélanie Laurent “pushes” mother, rare secrets for her children

If she considers herself lucky to have been able to do her job as a director in France, a nation where women directors are allowed to “grow differently than other countries”, Mélanie Laurent makes a bitter assessment of the place of women in the profession. : “The difference in pay remains as absurd as the position of names on a cinema poster. Criticism of a successful woman will also be harsher. We are allowed to exist, but we have no right to be wrong. And you also have being a good mother, listening to your husband… There’s still work to be done!” Exactly, the actress knows what she’s talking about. Mother of a daughter, Mila, and a son named LéoMélanie Laurent becomes “aware of some realities” alongside her children: “I’m happy to have a little girl. She has character, she already talks a lot, but her energy has nothing to do with that of boys her age hers. She can stand impatiently in the face of a child who is restless in every direction in front of her. It’s amusing, finally, since it’s anchored in us: women keeping calm in the face of men’s hysteria. This observation breaks my heart because , when girls come out of the calm that we have always known them, when they dare to move and keep their voice, we try to shut them up, to anesthetize them. ‘children’ she analyzes, before being more optimistic about the future: “But, fortunately, there is a new generation of ecologists and feminists. Change will come through them.”

Read also:

>> Mélanie Laurent did not like the sex scenes in “La vie d’Adèle”

>> Mélanie Laurent denounces the misogyny that persists in cinema: “It’s there, all the time”

>> Nicolas Bedos clashed with Mélanie Laurent: “This ultra-talented girl … whom I absolutely loved”

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