“I say what I think even when it would be better if I shut my mouth”

With her daughter Roxane, Valérie Damidot has just released the comic strip “36 15 ma vie” (Michel Lafon editions), the second volume of a hilarious autobiography. She was the guest of the Festival Des Livres Des Artistes in Paris, on Saturday July 2nd.

Paris Match. Is it important for you to be at the Festival Des Livres Des Artistes and to meet the public?
Valerie Damidot. It’s even essential to meet the public, whether for a book, for a film… It’s always good to have the public’s opinion live. There, I started a one-woman show and I love it because at the end of the show, people tell you what they liked or didn’t like. Besides, I’m here for a book written with my daughter, it’s great.

Exactly, how do you work with your daughter?
She can draw and I can tell stories. So we accumulated our forces. We had made a first volume on my childhood, in the 70s. This is my adolescence. And I think we will continue. We love working together. And then she has an incredible talent for drawing so it’s great. Working with family is what I prefer. So as long as we do, here we go (laughs).

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How to explain that the book remains, while cinemas and museums suffer?
I think the book is still the last place where you can imagine the sets, the cast yourself. Cinema is magnificent and I’m very sad that cinema is running out of steam and it’s a shame, but the book still allows you to escape. You take your book, you put yourself in a corner, you hold yourself well and you can imagine yourself what you are doing, what you are reading. You are the director, so I find that the book is a much freer dream object than a film.

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Words matter

What book will you take with you on vacation?
I read a lot in the summer. So there, I can’t wait to read the second volume of the Victor Caranne series written by Max Monnehay because she’s a girl I adore. She has released a book that also takes place in a region that I love, Brittany, which is called “Somb” and so there is the sequel to “I am fire”. I love all detective novels, especially those shown in other countries. I love all Henning Mankell’s books especially because it takes place in Sweden. I like when the plot is set in different countries where you see the way they investigate, their way of life. I like. So I read a lot of thrillers in the summer. Many, many, many.

You have just caused controversy on Twitter by claiming that Marine Le Pen is far-right. Is it important for an artist to commit?
Yes, I find. Everyone is free to do whatever they want. But I find that we are still in a somewhat pivotal moment in our democracy, in our Republic. I think words matter. Afterwards, it’s also my character to say what I think, even when I should keep my mouth shut (laughs). But yes, I had a good “shitstorm” there… Afterwards, there were a lot of people who defended me and who agreed with me and who stepped up to the plate. A lot of people, obviously on the far right, felt, I don’t know, like they were being scorned, like I said a bad word, when I didn’t say a bad word. I just put the church back in the center of the village, as my mother said. At some point, you shouldn’t be afraid of words, you shouldn’t be afraid of what you are. I still have a friend who wrote to me on WhatsApp telling me that my name was trending on Twitter and that he thought I was dead (laughs).

Source- https://www.parismatch.com/People/Valerie-Damidot-C-est-mon-caractere-de-dire-ce-que-je-pense-meme-quand-il-faudrait-mieux-que-je-ferme-ma-gueule-1815329