GWENDOLINE HAMON, Feb 7, 21
Actress & Author,
WHAT KIND OF FOOD YOU CAN NOT RESIST ?
GH : "The pot au feu! A simple meal that reminds me the gentleness of a grandmother and the warmness of a reunited family"
HOW DO YOU MAKE BEAUTIFUL A TABLE ?
GH : "I do love vintage and singular objects. For example, I've got a water carafe baroque style that represents a dog and I love to put it on my dinner table. I have small vintage silver Empire style knives. I use silver cutlery everyday, small vintage salt shakers in silver as well and I put colored candles with ancient chandeliers. To male it short, I love to dress my dinner table with a mix of objects that reflect myself. And I never put a plastic water bottle on my table! "
YOUR MOTTO ?
GH : "I always want to " see the glass as half full". And also " what is beautiful is what we love" is a replica that comes out of a theatre play of my grandfather."
Her grandfather was Jean Anouilh,a French dramatist whose work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1944 play Antigone.
YOUR MADELEINE DE PROUST ?
GH : "There are several: tasty, visual and odorous! The Cannelés and the Florentins of my childhood... the Cannelés from Chez Fredelian, the not to miss cake shop in Cap Ferret where my grandparents used to have a house and the Florentins from the tearoom La Chaumière in Villars sur Ollon in Switzerland where I used to go every year when I was a child. And the Bavette à l'aïoli, flank steak cooked by my father over a wood fire. I do not like meat very much but I could enjoy 25 pieces of this one. The smell of freshly cut grass gives me a sense of well being and same with the landscapes of my childhood (Senegal in Africa, Cap Ferret and Switzerland)"
GH : "I feel comfortable everywhere and in any social environment. I know how to behave and deeply love "others" wherever they come from as long as they are human and that the moment I share with them is fulfilling. We all should enjoy the real moments.
Regarding my style, I can wear accessories or a very elegant outfit and take the metro all day, or walk home after a party with high heels. For interior design, I also like the decorative mixes, very old paintings and African art or modern photos and heterogeneous objects living together in a very colorful atmosphere with warm points of light. There is in the French woman a simplicity and a naturalness that is part of her DNA. One day, at JFK airport, a man approached me saying "you, you are French, I can tell immediately, as you are not excessively sophisticated like the American women. You do have a sense of naturalness and chicness. " Today, I'm still busy beaming with pride."
A NOSTALGIC THEATRE PLAY EXPERIENCE ?
GH : "When I was acting in a play by Sacha Guitry directed by the famous actor Jean Paul Belmondo at the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris. Every week, Alain Belmondo his brother was coming to see us in backstage and I was spending hours to chat with him. This great theatre company had became like a family to me all the year long that was a success and we had such fun laughing together. I was playing the role of the famous actor Jean Pierre Marielle's daughter and we shared wonderful scenes together. There was the famous actress Françoise Fabian that I loved very much. Agathe Nathanson, Pierre Vernier, François Vincentelli were all my theatre mates and I was sharing a lot with them. The play was staged by Bernard Murat who I was really impressed by. It is such a great memory..."
YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN YOUR GRAND FATHER'S (Jean Anouilh) THEATRE PLAYS?
GH : "It's hard to choose because even the small roles in Anouilh's theatre plays are interesting and have a strong personality. But I would say that the characters who shout their truth to the world with their neurosis, complexes, fear, beliefs and naivety win out. I can't quote them all, there are too many, he wrote 50 plays!"
A WOMAN WHO, FOR YOU, EMBODIES FRENCH ELEGANCE ?
GH :"I am thinking of Catherine Deneuve, for her elegance over the past decades, but beyond her beauty, her lovestories and her career choices, she always has defended a great right to freedom of speech, she acts with the boldness, the intelligence and the freedom that symbolize the real French woman. I believe a woman can be chic and involved at the same time ."
DO YOU PREFER TO WRITE OR PLAY COMEDY ?
GH : "They are two radically different exercises. Being an actress forces you to live through the eyes of the others, the judgment of others, the decisions of others which is not pleasant and quite unsettling. But it is true that interpreting, blending in with someone else's personality turns me on and transcends me. I love this inner work of research and the moment I let go off the machine. While writing is extraordinary because it is an introspection, we do not restrain ourselves, we are independent of our time, of our words, we are at our own service and at the service of the future reader who will read the book or not. "