Priscilla at the movies
Télé 7 Jours, N°2253 (August 2003)
[Interest rating of article: 3-/5]
Disclaimer: This article was quite challenging, so hopefully the translation doesn’t make too big of blunders. One sentence I left out ’cause I couldn’t understand it at all.
Picture caption: Priscilla plays the role of a naughty teenager causing trouble. – Custom-made?
In her 13 years, the mini pop Lolita has broken all records of precocity. After having conquered the tweens, Priscilla worked with Christian Clavier and Arielle Dombasle.
Hysterical about having the latest model mobile phone, euphoric and critical about pictures of Jenifer and Lorie in teen magazines – so 13 years. Priscilla is a girl of her time like millions of others. Just a few slight differences: in just two years this baby starlet has already sold more than one million records* – albums and singles – and filled the Olympia concert hall twice. Yet at the table in this small restaurant near the Palace of Versailles, eyes sparkling at the arrival of a sauerkraut that measures three times her own size, “Prissou”, like everyone calls her, is kind but slightly… tiring for those who interview her!
She, however, has a reason to have stage fright, our teen idol.
Not even afraid of superstars
For three weeks, the young singer has been filming her first feature film, Albert est mechant, under the direction of Hervé Palud, who directed Un Indien dans la ville. And not with just anyone! For her first role she plays Chelsea, the granddaughter of Michel Serrault, and also co-stars with Christian Clavier and Arielle Dombasle. Impressive? “Not really”, she says with a stunning assurance. “But, but, but, my dear… They are iconic figures”, points out Annie, her mother, as to excuse the boldness of her “baby”. This may be the strength of Priscilla. The teen pop star is afraid of nothing. Her only apprehension on the set is how to pronounce pauvre instead of povre in her southern accent…
The debut of Priscilla is similar to the plot of a Disney film. Our heroine has been singing from the age of 8. At a family function in Nice, her hometown, she grabs the microphone and sings with great emotion “L’hymne à l’Amour” by Édith Piaf to the amazed audience – funny repertoire for a kid who has not finish surprising. “She already had a natural impressive vibrato”, remembers her mother proudly. Excited by the talent of her niece, an aunt decides to apply her in the cast of Drôles de petites champions**, the show presented by the duo Bataille and Fontaine. Bingo! Not only is the little doll selected but she is noticed by a wise producer who works for the same label as Britney Spears, who Priscilla worships. The beginner will even be given the opportunity to meet her idol in New York for a private meeting. “Prissou” is immediately adopted by talented composers who had worked with Mylène Farmer and Vanessa Paradis.
Hooray for merchandising
And, in 2001, she released her first hit, “Quand Je Serai Jeune”. With her rhinestone tops, bell-bottoms jeans and embroidered candy pink sneakers, Priscilla became the idol of all tweens who see her as a big sister or a new best “trendy” friend (Lorie already outdated?). Priscilla on DVD, the Priscilla book, the choreography of the latest hit by Priscilla on CD-ROM, “Tchouk Tchouk Musik” mobile phone ringtone – the producers of the Lolita have filled the insatiable demands of the young audience with gadgets. This summer you can’t avoid the blonde mane and mischievous little face of the girl. The only thing missing is for her to fall in love with Jonathan from À la Recherche de la Nouvelle Star [French version of Pop Idol]. The circle would be complete.
* It’s interesting to me that she supposedly sold over a million records with her first two albums (and their singles) alone. It’s just something I never thought about. Selling an average of 500,000 records per album is massive, even when 80% of the sales came from (physical) single sales, and shows how popular she was. Also her third album was very successful, and according to her French Wikipedia page, the record sales for that album + singles were about 400,000. They don’t cite any sources, though, so who knows where they got those numbers from.
** This version is a bit different from a previous article, where Priscilla said she got the idea herself (to apply for the TV show).
Unfortunately the movie wasn’t as big of a success, commercially or critically. I recently found a DVD rip of it in my archives, and it looks very low-budget. It seems more like a TV movie than a theatrical release. Well, at least it got Priscilla some experience on a movie set, another feather in her cap.