You know, as a French speaker, a thing I absolutely love about my three favourite actresses is the fact that they all spoke French. And quite well! Of course, the main reason why I love this is because I makes me feel closer to them.
Let’s start with Audrey. As we all know, Audrey is often associated to Paris. It very probably was her favourite city and many of her films were shot in the city (Sabrina, How to Steal a Million, Charade, Funny Face, Paris When it Sizzles and Love in the Afternoon). So, the fact that the lovely lady could speak French very well is not really a surprise. Audrey was born in Brussels, Belgium, but also had English, Irish and Dutch origins, but it’s overall her natural talent to learn languages that allowed her to speak very well, not only French, but also English, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian.
Let’s listen to her speaking this beautiful language now.
Of course, we all remember this beautiful scene in Sabrina when she sings Edith’s Piaf, “La Vie en Rose” to Humphrey Bogart.
The main and only reason why Grace Kelly learned French is due to the fact that she married Prince Rainier III and became the princess of Monaco in 1956. As Monaco’s main language is French, she had to learn it in just a few months. And, the following video will prove us that she did pretty well! Luckily for those who don’t speak French, this one has English subtitles.
She has such a lovely voice!
Of course, we also remember this scene in her last film, High Society, where we can also hear her speaking French. Of all Grace Kelly’s acting career, this scene has always been a favourite of mine.
Finally, with the life she had, Ingrid Bergman had no choice, but to have the facility to learn many languages. Born in Stockholm, her native language was, obviously, Swedish. We can hear her speak this beautiful language in her early films. Ingrid could also speak German and starred in German films as well at the beginning of her career. When Ingrid moved to US to start a Hollywood career, she, of course, had to learn English very quickly. Later, when she moved to Italy to star in Roberto Rossellini’s films (and marry him), the lady couldn’t speak Italian. Of course, she learned it during her long journey there. As for Roberto, he couldn’t speak English, Swedish or German. So, the two lovers first communicated in French, before Ingrid eventually learned Italian. In a French interview, Ingrid explains that she wanted to learn French while she was in Hollywood, because her heroin, Jeanne D’Arc (Joan of Arc in English) was French. She also starred in French plays in Paris, like Thé et Sympathie.
Listening to Ingrid speaking French is a delight, especially because she still has this Scandinavian accent, which makes it absolutely adorable. Let’s now listen to these two interviews, the first one being conducted by Judith Jasmin, an important French-Canadian journalist. In this interview, it’s important to notice that Ingrid says that Paris is her favourite city.
If you don’t understand French, I hope you could at least appreciate the beauty of the language through these videos. But, who knows, maybe, one day, just like Audrey, Grace and Ingrid, you’ll learned my native language too. 🙂