The whole flirtatious, passionate and exciting, Béatrice Picard was happy to grant us an interview and lend themselves to a photo session on the occasion of his 91e anniversary, which it celebrates on July 3. The great actress, who will have to take a break from theatre because of the postponement of the room in which she was scheduled to play this summer, no plans at all to retire and plans to remain active!
Mrs. Picard, you are as dynamic as ever. What is your secret?
I think it’s because I’ve never stopped. At the time, our children, we do not send in a day care at six months. Then, when I was working, someone came to help me at home. He had to prove that we were capable of doing everything — being a good hostess, knowing how to cook, clean up in the house — to be able to do this job-there more. You know what I heard more often? “Those poor children!” I answered: “Madam, me, instead of quantity, I give the quality.” When women began to work a little bit, they occupied positions of secretaries, among others, until the wedding. And if they continued after that, it was sporadically.
And you were not married at the time. This had to be a scandal.
We have made it quite discreet. I talked to my fiance for a long time, and then the small ones arrived, and I was told: “Ah! I didn’t know you were married!” Me, I laughed, I said nothing, and everyone thought we were.
This situation was it viewed in your family?
It took a lot of time before my parents accept it. They told me that there was something, it is I who may suffer the consequences. “And if you’re stuck, we will be there.” Me, I was doing my life. Jacques had two children, and at the beginning, they were with us, so I found myself with four children all of a sudden! But it was okay.
In your case, remember that you’ve said yes at the age of 75 years!
Yes, I am married to a true (“with the journalist, Andre Trudelle, 2004”)! It keeps you young, in fact. André and me, we were playing bridge, then we stayed for a year. We did meet two families to announce our engagement, and then the following year, we married. We did this as in the old time. Unfortunately, it is deceased, it will be 10 years in September.
Would you consider you remarry?
You never know what can happen. I don’t live in function of this. The solitude does not frighten me. On the contrary, I research sometimes because I am very busy, and not just by the work. I also like that in normal time, go to the opera, theatre, concerts. I also have a lot of friends with whom I have plans, because I think that it takes to keep in shape. I had to be at the Théâtre de Rougemont this summer and I had something else that was to follow. So I have 92 years old when I will play the next summer! I’ve always blagué by saying that I was going to play on stage at the age of 100 years. It’s going to perhaps end up getting!
And why not?
It is sure that I still have the sacred fire, but, if it became a little bit tedious, a chore, I think I would stop.
You are in good health. You happens to think of the dead?
I no longer believe, as when we were young, heaven and hell. But there may be something more ethereal that can live. It emits waves, then why do these waves only would they not other waves, with which I had contact? I don’t know, it may not be that at all. Especially, I would not like to become impotente. I have always been so active all my life, I believe that I wouldn’t support it, then I take the means to stay active. I walk in the morning, for about 30 minutes, since I have the right to get out of the residence where I live. One of my sons said to me one day that I needed to take the time to rest up a bit: “You are given a piece of the collection, now, it is necessary that you take care of it!”
You have also always travelled a lot.
Yes. I had always wanted to see Machu Picchu, and four years ago, I trained to go up a mountain. Young, I still made a lot of trekking. Finally, it has been cancelled because there were not enough people, so I decided to go to Japan instead. It was in April. It was wonderful to see the cherry blossoms! But then, I’m going to calm me down a little pom-pom. It was my last beautiful great trip, but, with Andrew, we would go every year. We went among others to Morocco, Portugal and Greece.
Your career spans 70 years. What are you most proud of?
It is to have lasted. I managed to overcome anxiety by preparing myself well, telling me that I knew what I had to do. I’ve always been a perfectionist. The father of my children always asked me: “Why accept you on everything?” And I told him that if I had been expecting the nice role, I would not have played during this time! It is necessary that every little thing that we do to make us move forward. I’ve never said no to a role. And if I felt that I piétinais, I was going to, by example, to follow dance lessons to stimulate me. Recently, I had a little trouble with my hands, so I decided to take piano lessons. One day, I played in a tele-theater. An actress had told me he refused the role because she did not find him interesting. I had answered: “It is because of me, I’ll make it interesting…”
And side family, you will be in new great-grand-mom soon, isn’t it?
I have six great-grandchildren, and a seventh who has come to be known as Charlotte. I am so glad, because it was an array of boys, I had a great-granddaughter!
- Béatrice Picard will play in the play Eight women, whose performances at the Théâtre de Rougemont were delayed until 2021. Godmother of the Little Brothers since 2007, she invites us to take care of our elders (petitsfreres.ca).