Marianne James talks about her difficult beginnings in the cinema

Marianne James Screenshot

The 61-year-old singer and actress spoke about her childhood but also her career – punctuated by ups and downs – on the show “Un dimanche à la campagne” carried by Frédéric Lopez.

The Sunday meeting is back for a season 2. And for this first edition, the main lines remain unchanged. The same house in the countryside, Frederic Lopez while officiating and a motley set of guests. For this September 3, the host of France 2 receives the singer Black M, the Paralympic swimmer Théo Curin and the singer Marianne James .

The latter, known for her intransigence in the TV hook “Nouvelle Star” and her distinctive voice, is launching her new show halfway between performance and a singing mastercl. However, before becoming a reference in jazz and an essential television figure, his path is not all mapped out.

Read alsoFrédéric Lopez takes us behind the scenes of “A Sunday in the countryside”

If she cut her teeth at the International Conservatory of Music in Paris, the profession did not immediately recognize her talents. “I was a little bit of a star in Montélimar, in Paris I am nothing at all anymore.” Installed in the city with her sister, she spends her days at the conservatory, gives lessons in her 18m2 studio, plays at the Les Blancs Manteaux theater in the 4th arrondist of the capital but does not plan to make a career as an opera singer. “The auditions don’t work. People don’t understand that I do opera, jazz, that I’m a guitarist. Too tall, too dark, too old, too young… It was never okay.”she recalls.

“I was afraid”

Marianne James tries, in parallel, the cinema. “The first role I was offered, as an extra, was a role. The second thing I was offered was to play a concierge. The third one offered to me is a . The fourth I’ve been offered is a concierge.” From the start, the cinema does not accept it and vice versa. “I confront myself with balls with all this profession, whether it is television, cinematographic, theatrical etc. The only thing that works is the street, but I hadn’t gone up to Paris to beg.”she annoys. After three years of trying, she finally decides to pack her bags and go back to her parents.

I hadn’t gone up to Paris to beg

Marianne James

However, his mother does not see things the same way. “It takes ten years to make a career, you have had three, you have seven left, you go back”, she told him at the time. And finally the miracle occurs some time later when meeting Véronique Vola. From this meeting was born a duo, composed of a pianist and her diva. Marianne James then takes on the features of a German singer and “completely insane” who will not leave her for almost eleven years.

It was on the death of his father that his career took a new turn. Worn out of being just this character imagined from scratch, she decides to take a sabbatical and does nothing. Until the day when… La Six offers him to host the show “Nouvelle Star”. “I was scared at first […] I say yes to television but I quickly understand that doing this is the thing that will save me from Ulrika. Television, or I get eaten by it. Either I eat it myself, and I ate it.

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