by Charlotte VanBevere
More than just a “minute blond”, a long conversation with a brunette who decided to live in complete freedom. Limits, Frédérique Bel has none. Compliance isn’t his thing, either. That doesn’t stop the actress, Cannes red-carpet star and jeweler in her home renovation, from being “a trilobite” as she says to French cinema: her films are like the three sections of “What the Good”. Lord did we? ‘, are successes. “I’m so glad I’m still in the last bastion of humor”Frederick smiles.
Our conversation begins with a (virtual) tour of his house. A true graceful and colorful museum, elegantly designed and inspired by the architectural marvel that is Pierre Cardin’s Maison Bulle. “I studied fine arts, I have a passion for Valentin Schlegel, who made the house of Jeanne Moreau, whom I met. And also Pierre Cardin, whose house I love. I always told myself that one day, when I had a house, I would. It was also confinement that made It’s possible, and I would never have done it if I didn’t have that much time.. Frédérique Bel has reshaped everything, from the carved central staircase to the kitchenette. “I bought a little grandmother’s house in its original condition, which has not changed much since 1860. My site manager and team left during the reservation. Only one worker remained. Needed someone to direct it. I decided and executed. I painted the molds and cut them. In the end, it looked like something And he himself was very surprised that he had not done this before..
This house tells us a lot about the actress. In particular, his desire not to do like everyone else. “I’m all for darkening the dark corners and brightening the light corners. Most people do the opposite.. His personality is expressed through colors and a desire for depth. “I practice feng shui. The first thing you see when you open the front door is reputation. Fame, it should be the color of fire, like red, orange or yellow. I chose a slightly fluorescent orange for this ladder (see next page, editor’s note) that represents my ascent.”. It’s beautiful, and funny too, as you comment, a designer refrigerator door opens to … toilets, where a pacman statue lights up.
Each room has its own world: the colors of the balcony and its staircase, green and pink, remind us of Hollywood and the prestigious Beverly Hills Hotel. As for the bedroom, it looks like “At the bottom of the water. Because I love diving”, she laughs. And metals too. Frédérique is a fan of stone processing and its decoration is made of beautiful stones. “When people are sitting here, they can’t move because there is a very beautiful energy that comes from minerals. There can’t be, for example, ghosts here…there because it’s a very old house, but they don’t stay”. We fantasize about a lot of fears and recurring headaches to make this magical place what it is today… but the actress assures us that no. “I have a very healthy relationship with decor and renovation. I saw my parents buying improbable houses, some kind of disgusting barns which they had turned into little mansions. I want to say: If I can do it, you can too! “.
The owner’s tour is over, we say he gave us some unexpected clues about the character of the actress. In particular, this relationship with metals, for feng shui: does it tell us about the desire to live more calmly, outside of filming locations? kick in the water. Because in the Frederic Bell family, we are mother to daughter spiritual. “My mom is a healer, my older sister is a mediator, my younger sister is a shaman and a yoga teacher and I, if I weren’t an actress, I would have been a clairvoyant because I draw cards well, until I was two years old. We are a very spiritually developed family. I think we choose our family in life….”
image credit: William Bochardet
Usually we say we choose our friends, not our family…
What matters most to me in life is freedom… and I have chosen a very free life. Of course, if you’re too free, bad things happen. In my childhood and adolescence, I was very left out and suddenly an early adult. I have always pursued the same goal, the spiritual, which is not sanctioned by society. This allows me to move away a lot from society, which has laws that go against humans. All people rush to it, tick boxes, and we end up with cliches. That’s how I feel anyway listening to people… In my life, I’ve never had to worry about anyone other than myself. I have a dog who has a handful of his food a day of course, and my sister and niece have helped. Today I can live anywhere and do anything … besides, my job is almost anything! (He laughs)
But are we really free in the world of cinema?
Indeed, it is an intermittent job. You work and then you don’t work for months and it helps. I’m not someone who runs after work. I wouldn’t say I don’t have ambition, but it’s relatively calculated: to make a living out of my job. I thank Heaven every day, as a Buddhist, for having this ability to work while enjoying. And besides, it’s my nature. And I have no ego.
Judging, as an actress, is part of the job. At the Cannes Film Festival, the rise of the steps is under intense scrutiny. You’ve walked this red carpet a lot and you always find yourself in the top 10 of the most beautiful outfits in American Vogue…
It’s very strange because I don’t recognize myself in the French mentality. That is, when my girlfriends succeed, I am not jealous; When someone has ambition, I don’t find it negative… This kind of social hierarchy in France, this range of values we feel, I don’t recognize myself in, unlike courage and perseverance has been highlighted in some Anglo-Saxon countries. No wonder American magazines praised me! Love the whole look on the red carpet, like I wore an Audrey Hepburn dress in a yellow dress and a red hat by Julian Forney… She revived her fashion house! I know Cannes offers a great view.
But how do we make sure we don’t fall for “too much” on the red carpet?
I tell a story in my behavior and what I wear. I’m my stylist, I apply my makeup, my hair, and I choose my jewelry. It is a passion. I do that in feature films, too. A lot of stylists only copy other looks… It’s funny because I remember a dress from Paul Ka: I made a little white dress, in a Balmain-inspired style, with the hairstyle and somewhat of Deauville’s “Blade Runner” look. Pictures moved and Amber Heard took the dress back – I wonder if it wasn’t mine yet…she was wearing the same shoes, they were so pretty! Eight months later, hairstylist Virginie Evira made her look exactly the same! Sometimes it can be too much, like when I had the Xéna Warrior look, with the scales on the dress, only the wand was missing! At the upcoming Cannes Festival, I’m going to have a flamenco look and my second look will be spatial with a Jean-Claude Guitrus costume…
How do you choose designers?
I like leather, tight stuff, and I like crazy stuff. There are homes you can no longer go into, and what’s the point of wearing the brands everyone else is wearing? I don’t want to be the numbers who dress like the reality kids or the Kardashians. I love discovering brands, being somewhat of a pioneer. It’s also part of my DNA to be a bit of a “girl”—even if I don’t really like that word—to get into style. One day, I myself passed by gems by Avakian, Lebanese people who are not very good at any French woman. They tell me that French actresses get up the carpet too fast and look down and have bad hair. The Americans climb on the rug for 15 minutes…so I do a pose between two Americans who take the time…and take the time too! (smiles) In France, there is something “we won’t do much.” But yes, you have to do a lot! It’s part of the game, and I don’t apologize for anything. They tell me I make cases out of it… and I love it! I have my personality, and I’m lucky to have a nice body and wear whatever I want.
image credit: William Bochardet