Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vanity Fair: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the New Jackie-O

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy sits down with Maureen Orth in an interview for Vanity Fair magazine, the September 2008 issue. The following excerpts are taken from that interview:

...While her husband’s ratings are in the cellar, she is getting raves for her beauty, class, and elegance. When the couple visited the Queen of England in March, for example, the British gushed over her perfect curtsy and her demure, Jackie Kennedy outfits. “She’s imaginative, clever, educated. She knows how to behave,” says designer Karl Lagerfeld, who often used Bruni as a model. “She speaks many languages. It must be an embarrassment for the wives of other heads of state to see this beautiful creature who can wear anything and speak like that.”

In 1975, when the Red Brigades were kidnapping wealthy individuals, Carla’s family moved to Paris, where she attended an Italian school and received a French baccalaureate. Her parents expected her to continue her studies, but she soon tired of the 37 Métro stops it took to get to classes on art and architecture, and she couldn’t wait to be on her own. So when her brother’s girlfriend, a model, told her to try modeling, she made her move. “What I wanted was to be free, independent of my parents,” says Carla. “Modeling is a fast-acting job—right away you get to work, and you learn in two or three months by working.” That became her pattern: take on a big challenge, learn fast, and land on top.

She also learned to take on men. “Carla is the hunter, not the hunted,” says a man who knew her in her teens. “She is a female womanizer.” Carla herself says she was very much influenced by the works of Simone de Beauvoir and France’s original bourgeois bad girl, Françoise Sagan, who championed sexual freedom for women. “I think it is a major duty for a woman to be independent.”

Carla had a truly regal quality, and designers liked her because she was easy to work with. “She was full of life and wit. She was beyond polite,” says Karl Lagerfeld. “So many, like Linda and Christy, had periods of being moody and difficult. She was always perfect.” Designer Jean Paul Gaultier agrees: “She’s clever, super well educated, and very focused. She is like the heroine of a book or a movie.”

As she left modeling, in 1997, Carla, who up to then had been considered the least educated and least artistic member of her family, began analysis, she says, to get over “my narcissism” and to prepare herself for the next stage in her life. She quietly began writing song lyrics, never imagining that she would one day perform them herself. But Bertrand de Labbey, the music agent and producer, convinced her that she should, and he also got her to write songs for the hugely popular singer Julien Clerc, who recorded several of them. When Carla made her first album, she asked one ex-boyfriend, Louis Bertignac, to produce it, and another, Leos Carax, to direct the videos. Quelqu’un M’a Dit (Someone Told Me), delivered in a sexy, breathy voice, came out of nowhere to become a smash-hit CD that sold two million copies. Once again she was pleasantly surprised that old boyfriends had come through for her. “Sometimes the desire, the passion, makes you fight, but when that goes completely, you have only the good part of it,” she says.

About Sarkozy, her husband, “I was in love at first sight,” Carla confesses. “I was really surprised by him, by his youth, his energy, his physical charm—which you could not actually see so much on television—his charisma. I was surprised by everything—his poise, and what he said, and the way he said it.” Carla asked Sarkozy for a ride home and gave him her number.

Since her marriage, Carla has been casting off her wild, bohemian side. “I think monogamy is not an idea, it’s a fact,” she says today. Moreover, she has proved to be a great asset to her husband, for, like Ronald Reagan, she always knows which are the flattering camera angles. “She makes the president more desirable, more modern. France needs modernity, talent, cleverness. It’s like Jack and Jackie. Like Rainier and Grace Kelly. A new worldwide couple!” I ask Carla how she likes being compared to Jackie Kennedy. She answers, “She was so young and modern, and of course unconsciously I would project myself more like Jackie Kennedy than, for instance, Madame de Gaulle, who would be much more like the classical French woman behind her husband.

Her fantasy at 40 is to give birth to a baby at the Élysée. “I’d love to have children with Nicolas. I hope to, if I am young enough. It would be a dream.” Nevertheless, she has ruled out fertility programs. “If it comes, I’d be the happiest person in the world, but if it doesn’t come, I’m not going to tempt the Devil.” Lighting another slim cigarette, Carla says, “If life doesn’t give me another child, well, it has given me so much already.”

source/photos: Vanity Fair, Sept 2008

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let us know your thoughts. xo

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin