Your new movie Outre Tombe - in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
True story : In the seventeenth century, Catherine Lapeyre was wrongly accused
of being a witch according
to the register of the bishopric of Agen France. She was juged and
found guilty by a College of Ecclesiastic and beaten to death.
Who I play is Catherine Lapeyre raised
from the dead. She is lost in the space-time without knowing how she
came back to Earth, a wasteland. She walks and walks through the
country and just finds ruins, but never find any human beings. She
wanders and feels terribly alone.
did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how does one
prepare to play a revenant even?
I drew upon the fulfillment of wanting to do it.
Actually I have always been interested in the paranormal and all this. This
character is a part of me.
Outre Tombe's director Alexandre Mathis, you have made several
movies of late - so what's your collaboration usually like, and
particularly on this movie, and how did you two first meet even?
I have known the producer/director Alexandre Mathis for about 45 years. Our first
get-together was for in
interview and then we lost sight of one another for about 40 years. I was curious and
wondering what had happened to him. On the internet I found
out he wrote
books so I called his editor, left my number, and he called me
back right away. He invited me and we talked and talked about life and movies. He is a movies historian and said he would
like to make a film with me.
Were started a few months later with
little bits of films as Outre Tombe and Vampyr, Lady Usher and others.
Pamela as photographed by Alexandre Mathis,
few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
The atmosphere of the shoot was quite intense,
especially at the beginning. I relived my dreams like a young girl.
$64-question of course, where can Outre Tombe be seen?
OutreTombe is a feature film and
is now being assembled.
I don't know where it will be seen, DVD I
And specialized experimental cinemas.
future projects you'd like to share?
I have other projects with Alexandre Mathis.
I would possibly play in others films.
What made you want
to become an actress in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
What made me want to become an actress? It's
a little hard to explain. I had a miserable childhood without a normal
family. My mother was old, ugly and ill in a wheelchair. She always
talked about my older sister who married a GI after the war and was
living in the US. I felt my sister who was very pretty was my real
mother. When I saw American actresses in magazines I imagined that my
mother was like that. So cinema was a kind of a family for me and a
normal way of life. I also took refuge in different characters in the
life to escape to my bad treatment.
As far as I know, you've gotten
into film via being a dancer at the Folies Bergère - care to
elaborate, and how did you become a dancer in the first place, and how did
it prepare you for being an actress?
I became a dancer at the Folies Bergère after
training. I was one of the first places. The choreographer put me there not very long after my arrival. I don't know why. Girls who've
been there for long time were jealous. So my life with them was hard.
Can you still
remember your first time in front of a camera, and what was that
My first steps in front of camera
were great. At the age of 15 I was sent to an
employment agency in Fontainebleau by my mother. I was so sad and said to
myself if only it could be playing in a movie. As I walked on
the sidewalk I saw a group of people watching me. A man broke
away and approached me: "Hey Miss, would you be
interested playing in a movie?" Oh yess! I was tall
for my age maybe he tought I was older.
A few monts later he wrote my mother
to ask for a main role for me on TV. She refused !
Over the years, you've made quite a few
movies with cult director Jess Franco - so what was it like working with
him, and how did you get involved with him in the first place?
I used to leave my pictures in producers' offices. I got involved with Jess Franco by Robert
de Nesle who was his producer.
Between shooting I loved to tell
ghosts stories to the other actors. For me it was like a
theater scene. They all were very fond of them and left the
cinema tray so at the moment the director was going to say
"action", they were all gone!
I liked Jess as a director, as a
person he was very involved in his work, very educated very
intelligent, a musician too, very good pianist. We talked
about the paranormal and UFOs.
Quite a few of the movies you've made back when are of the
erotic variety - so has it ever bothered you to appear nude in front of a
Being nude in front of a camera did not bother me for I was used to after modelling for photographers or
painters. My first pose (dressed) was for Patricia Highshmith at the age
of 14, for painting.
past films of yours you'd like to talk about?
When I was an extra in Les
Fugitifs, Gerard Depardieu was one of the first role, he
was close to me but we didn't talk. That day I was late and
didn't have time to eat breakfast so I was very hungry.
When we went to the restaurant, I devoured the pickles on the
table. So the memory I have of that one is not Depardieu but the
I was also an extra in Scorpio at Orly Airport. Alain Delon was there, he
looked at me. He called a guy and they both seemed to talk
about me. After a moment, the guy came by me asked my telephone
number without saying why. I don't know if it was him or for
Alain Delon. The day after I moved so I'll never know if one
of them called me.
of your films from the 1970s and early 80s have become cult items. Did you
ever expect for any of them to have such longevity, and do you have an
explanation for this?
I never expected my films would have a such
longevity. My explanation is that sex and nudity are taboo and what is
taboo is in the same time kind of sacred. I am quite sure that if I
had played in "normal" films they would'nt have become cult.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
From what I know, took a break
from acting from the early 1980s to only recently - why, what did you do
in the meantime, and what drew you back, ultimately?
Why I got out of acting in the eighties? Some producers and directors of
"normal" movies considered Jess Franco's actresses
or actors untouchables. That's pretty much the reason. I was surprised that artists were so prude and had a
What I drew me back ultimately?
Alexandre Mathis's proposal to make films together.
In the meantime I did odd jobs. I even insured deaths.
would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to
bring your characters to life?
My technique to bring my characters to life
is to enter it. I know life, people and all that. I can play a
stuck-up old bat, a whore or a lady.
Actresses (and indeed
actors) who inspire you?
I don't see any actresses or actors who
inspire me, I am just myself.
Your favourite movies?
I like The Night
of the Living Dead, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, La Vérité
(Henri-Georges Clouzot), Inspector Harry, Close Encounters of the
Third Kind ... these are just a few of my selection of films.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I deplore sentimental films without
an ounce of philosophy or humour.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
I only have Facebook.
for the interview!