Independent from Long Beach, California on January 31, 1960 · Page 109
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 109

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 31, 1960
Page 109
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NOW IT'S BRIGITTE'S SISTER by LLOYD SHEARER Parade West Coast correspondent HOLLYWOOD. H ow DO THE brothers and sisters of celebrities feel about tlieniselyes and life? Do they feel handicapped, frustrated, challenged, helpless, defeated, muddled, or unlucky? Perhaps there's an answer in Mijanou Bardot, 21, (see cover) sister of France's famed Brigitte Bardot. Mijanou was in Hollywood a few weeks ago making her American film, debut in a cheapie entitled The ·Sexpot Goes to College (see photo, right). In this film she plays a French exchange student who writes a book on sex and becomes notorious. Mijanou plays the role with no feeling, no perception, no understanding. At one point in the production she suffered a breakdown "because," as she explained to me in French, "I do not understand English too well. All the lines in the script have to be translated for me, and, frankly, I don't know if I should have taken this part." "Why did you?" I asked. "For the money?" Mijanou shook her convertible top negatively. Like her sister's, her hair has been converted from bru- -nctte to blonde. "No," she said flatly. "I do not need money. Brigitte and I--we don't come from poor stock. My father is a wealthy industrial engineer. I have money in my own right. ;I have already made five films in France. I get as much as $25,000 a film." Taking a back seat to her famous sister Brigitte on a French movie set, Mijanou Bardot looks pensive. Mijanou is making her American film debut in The Sexpot Goes' fo College. "I doubt that very much," I said. "They're only paying you $10,000 for this picture." A well-turned girl (5 feet 5, 36-23-36), Mijanou gave me a provocative Gallic shrug of her shoulder. "I do not care to discuss money," she said. "Americans like to discuss money. I like to discuss art." "How about discussing truth?" I suggested. Mijanou smiled. "The truth," I said, "is that they are using you in this film to exploit the Bardot name, n'cst-cc pas?" Vive la Difference Mijanou's smile faded. "Perhaps they arc," she conceded, "but one never knows. That is the curse of having a famous sister. One doesn't know if they arc hiring you for yourself or the family name. Certainly, I am no Brigitte. I am built as well as she. But she is more sexy than I am. And completely different, too. She pouts. I do not. She is like a baby, laughs when she's happy, cries when she's sad. I am much more mature and introspective. I hide my feelings. Now my feelings are mixed; And it is all your fault." ""My fault?" ' "Yes," Mijanou asserted. "It is you who have raised the question I have always hidden from myself. I was in bed for nine months before I came to Hollywood. I broke my leg in a skiing accident at L'Alpe d'Hucz, and lots of times when I was recuperating I would think about life and love and other serious subjects, and I would say to myself, 'Mijanou, are you anyone in your own right? Will you ever be anyone? Or will you always be Brigitte's younger sister, the next best thing to the original?" " I asked Mijanou if she had ever answered the question truthfully. "We French are a very practical people," she explained. "And if someone will pay me $10,000 a month to .act because I am Brigitte's sister, I would be a fool not to. In the beginning I did not want to become an actress. I went to school at the Convent de Lubeck, and I was never taught anything about dramatics. But some French producers talked me into playing a part in Club des Femmes and it came out all right. Besides, one does not have to know how to act ' to star in motion pictures. Look at Lana Turner, Jayne Mansfield. Look at Brigitte. She is not a great actress. She became a star by getting in and out of a towel. In films it is personality, not talent, that counts. "If you want the truth, I will give you the truth. Yes, they brought me to Hollywood because I am Brigitte Bardot's sister. They cannot get Brigitte. They cannot afford her. Besides, she does not want to come to Hollywood. So they get me. And you are right, they exploit the name of Bardot. And I exploit them for $10,000 for four weeks'work. In Hollywood, c'est la vie. We exploit each other, n'est-ce-pas, monsieur?" Sadly, I shook my head. "I'm afraid so," I said. ·

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