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Vanessa Paradis talks about protecting her children from fame

09/08/2007 at 02:35 AM ET

Vanessa_paradisSinger Vanessa Paradis, 34, gave Weekend Knack, a Belgian magazine, an interview about her life and about her new album, Divinidylle, where her son Jack, 5 1/2, also contributes. Here are some excerpts from the interview,

In that song, Jackadi, your son is singing along. Was that your idea?

Yes. On my previous disc my daughter sang along. He needed his own song, I thought. It’s a beautiful souvenir for when he’s older. We’ll always have little Jack on tape.

That is something that strikes in every article and interview with you: your holy devotion as mother and family woman. In the same articles it’s always your own short childhood that’s given as the reason. Like you need to keep up with the family love you missed back then.

Everybody likes to believe that, yes. How many times do I have to repeat this: my childhood was fantastic. And why is it so different that I am so devoted to my family? Like you have to be a bad mother when you’re a "celebrity".

Again: I had incredibly many chances. And beautiful experiences that I don’t want to trade for anything. Was life sometimes hard on a teenage who experienced both sides of fame so soon? Yes. Of course it was. Were there moments that I dreamt of a ‘normal’ childhood. Of course. But I don’t want to be dramatic about that. I realize how unique my path has been. And I’m thankful for that. Even though I had to say goodbye to the childish carefreeness very early.

Is that something you want to protect your own children from? Fame coming too fast?

Because I make sure they’re photographed as less as possible, you mean?

That too. But mostly: how would you react when your daughter comes up to you in two years saying that she wants to sing. Or act?

Well. I don’t know. I presume I would support them. Look, now I indeed keep them away from the cameras, because I don’t want our children to be forced to share in our fame against their will. They didn’t ask for that. Not yet. The day that they will decide for themselves to do things that might bring them into the spotlights, then I won’t stop them.

When my daughter tells me she wants to sing, that’s fine. And then all I can do is try to protect her from the mistakes I made. I can only try to support her the best I can. Of course I hope she waits as long as she can, and that she stays a child as long as possible. But I won’t forbid it. I mostly want to be friends with my children.

You live in the south of France, but also for long periods in Los Angeles. A preference?

For my children I secretly choose France. Even though Los Angeles is great too. We raise them bilingually anyway, so for them it doesn’t really matter. Only, in the south of France you can live much more anonymously. And that’s a bliss, especially when the children are still young.

You are getting married this summer?

God, we’ve been married for so long already! Can you be more married than having children together then?

Vanessa and partner Johnny Depp, 44, also have daughter Lily-Rose, 8.

Source: Weekend Knack via vanessaparadis.info

Thanks to CBB reader Inge.

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Showing 26 comments

Sarita on

I love her answer to the marriage question! That is so true, children are the biggest commitment you can make.

ZaraB on

What a treat to read an interview with Vanessa Paradis – I absolutely love her!! She sounds like a wonderful, devoted and very down-to-earth mum.

I absolutely agree with her comment on marriage. My partner and I have been together for over seven years and are planning to have children together very soon, but have no plans to get married. To me, children are a far bigger commitment, as they’re for life. Johnny Depp’s been married once before and engaged four or five times, so clearly doesn’t make any difference to his commitment to Vanessa and his children!

I do like the idea, however, of getting married after having children, so they can share in the day as well. I’m sure Vanessa and Johnny’s wedding will be beautiful.

Aracely on

Wow. You can tell in several spots that she really didn’t care for the tone of that interview. It’s a shame, really, that the interviewer tried to lead her so much in certain questions. I’m sure she would have given lovely answers, instead of sounding so defensive.

popi on

Hmmm. I’d make a nuance, children are not the biggest commitment, but probably one of the biggest commitment. Some couples has lasted for years, are very strong and childfree.

daphneesmith on

So nice to hear from her! I don’t think I’ve ever read an interview with her. She and Johnny are great together, and their family is close and beautiful, they live part-time in the South of France (where I’ve lived too)what more can one ask for? Great interview, thanks.

Roger on

The album she did with Lenny Kravitz (he produced) is really quite good. I’ve been a fan of Vanessa since buying it years ago.

Elizabeth on

Very interesting interview. She wasn’t willing to let that journalist lead her around by the neck. I admire her spirit, but wonder if most readers are subtle enough to catch on, or just walk away thinking she’s a word that rhymes with witch. She and Johnny seem a little too thoughtful to just blithely shake off the distortions of fame. I have to wonder if that doesn’t make life a wee bit harder for them. Makes me grateful for my anonymous life!

danielle on

no, you have not been married for so long. having children is a commitment, but it is not marriage.

Candace on

I simply do not understand how people can all-of-a-sudden ignore 6,000 years of recorded history, with marriage being how a family unit WORKED. I think that we will someday see how big a mistake it was to push it aside. (****let the games begin**** :)

Sarita on

What commitment does a marriage hold when you can just as easily get a divorce. Marriage doesn’t mean anyhting more than having a stranger telling you are commited to each other. Commitment should come from within not from a piece of paper.

Having children is not being married, it is a far bigger commitment than that.

Tanya on

I think its a bit sad that we almost never get to see their children, Lily Rose and Jack. I understand they don`t like the papparazzis, thats why they moved to south France. But its a bit weird how they manage to protect them so much against fame and photographers, when most celeb babies are seen far more often,no matter where they live. And I understand thats why the interwiever asks about Lily Rose wanting to act or sing when shes about ten years old, because that way we would get to see lots more of her. And maybe her brother too.

Lola on

I love Vanessa but sometimes I can’t stand when she is a bit rude to interviewers.

Diana on

I’m personally a fan of marriage because mine has been great so far. And I support all types of marriage — I believe it is an amazing commitment between two people.

I do find it odd that so many celebrities these days get pregnant and have kids while they are still basically in the dating stage. I’m thinking more of people like Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams (not Vanessa and Johnny Depp, who appear to have a very commited longterm partnership).

I don’t know, maybe celebrity marriages have become such a farce that they all figure “Why bother?”

ZaraB on

So do you think that Vanessa and Johnny’s commitment to each other is less just because they haven’t signed some piece of paper?

Do you believe that Johnny Depp’s two year marriage to Lori Allison years ago was more significant than his relationship with Vanessa Paradis, who he’s been with for nine years and has two children with?

The most committed couples in Hollywood that I can think of are all unmarried – Johnny and Vanessa, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robinson, Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham…

Katie on

Johnny has joked that he doesnt want to marry her because it would ruin her beautiful surname! Either way its completely irrelevant, from wat I hav seen, as a fan of them both, they are more in love and devoted than any other couple I can think of. For them marriage is another invite to unwelcome publicity and speculation.There are some lovely pics of their kids on youtube, along with the song La Ballade De Lily Rose,which vanessa wrote 4 her, its beautiful! If they ever split it really will make me question a lot of stuff, for me as an 18 year old Vanessa is a true role model

Andria on

I think the “rudeness” come from the language difference. She speaks English very well, but it’s not her first language and she didn’t learn it well until her teens. Some of the more harsh answers I think are more an issue of her trying to clarify the question, or just a style difference because of her knowledge of the language. I lived in Italy for 6 years as a kid (military dad). I speak Italian very well now, but there are little conversational nuances that if you haven’t mastered make you sound harsh, or crass, or just different. I think it’s obvious in her quotes that this is part of the issue.

Sasha on

Andria I totally agree, I was thinking that the text was translated perhaps as well? Anyway I feel that (unless they’re hurting someone) they have every right to live their lives the way they want, married or not, children in public or not.

Cory on

Do we know if the interview hasnt been translated from French? Since the mag is Belgian? I dont think she sounds too harsh and that she hasnt mastered the nuances of the English languages yet, I think it might be just the translation from French to English with this interview.

Sarah on

The song Jackadi is very pretty and sweet, and little Jack is ADORABLE, he sings ‘popeye the sailor man’ and the beginning its so cute.

Sarita on

The magazine is in Dutch, so it could be that the interview was in English or French and then translated to Dutch for the magazine and after that translated to English from Dutch for this site.

It could definately lead to a different tone I think.

But I don’t think she sounds rude myself!

kathy on

She such a good mother on how she take care of them from the paparazzi and don’t want them rush things till that time comes and about marriage question.She is awesome lady.

kathy on

She is a wonderful mother and wonderful partner for Johnny.she so awesome

Val on

A bit rude? If this were the only interview I’ve ever ready from Vanessa – I would never be interested in her again – I am only a bit interested because of Johnny –

keke on

i love johnny depp but i can’t stand his girlfriend vanessa paradis i’m sorry but why didn’t he have children with a native american like his self,i mean she’s cool but it’s just the fact that johnny didn’t go with his own race!,no offense but she don’t look that good or healthy she looks like skin and bones,i liked the way she looked in her teens and eary twinties like on that video DE LA TAXI and sunday mondays,but now she don’t look like much,i don’t think lily-rose is his anyways i don’t care what nobody says either,he need to break up with her.GOD BLESS

keke on

i mean joe le taxi!,sorry

mary Randi on

Hello,I am glad to see some of the readers agree that having babies does not a marriage make and that people still value marriage. I recently read Judges 19 20 21 in my Bible. It describes what a concubine really is.
God is sovereign and people who choose to live together out of wedlock will someday have to answer to God.
God has called me to pray for Lily-Rose as if she were my own daughter. My prayers are so she can come to know Jesus Christ as her savior even though there may be few oppoirtunities in the face of a Hollywood lifestyle.
Thank you

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