Tonight I’ve watched the movie “Don Juan ou Si Don Juan Était une Femme'” (1973), directed by Roger Vadim, with Brigitte Bardot as the female version of Don Juan. It’s save to say it’s not one of the highlights in her acting career. The movie is basically about Bardot having sex with different people. One of those people is actress Jane Birkin. The ironic thing about it is that at the time Birkin had a relationship with Bardot’s ex, Serge Gainsbourg. In 1969, Bardot and Gainsbourg recorded the duet “Je t’aime…moi non plus”. The song was originally written for Bardot. Because the song could hurt Bardot’s image, the song was never released (not until 1986) and Gainsbourg re-recorded it with Birkin.
Some quotes from Jane Birkin:
“I met Serge through taking a role in a French film called Slogan. To begin with, he didn’t like me because my French wasn’t very good and he’d been hoping that Marisa Berenson (Death in Venice, Cabaret) would get my role. Everybody told me he was a mad, bad, dangerous Russian, but after a dinner together I discovered he was very charming. He was still in love with Brigitte Bardot and I was still in love with John, but little by little we healed each other’s wounds. He was 20 years older than me, but looked much younger. He used to say he loved the ambiguity of my body, a girl that looked like a boy, and with that in mind he made me sing an octave higher.”
“Initially I didn’t want to sing ‘Je t’aime…’, but I was so jealous that I wouldn’t let another girl get inside a telephone booth with Serge and sing it with him. Serge said to me he was frightened of large breasts and loved my petite body, but I didn’t know whether to believe that because he had just been with Brigitte Bardot and she had a very different body to mine.”
“I later starred as Bardot’s lover in the film Don Juan. It’s a terrible movie, but I took it up for the charm of being in bed with Bardot. I can tell you that every portion of her body is absolutely perfect. I should know: I had a good look!”
“The film was directed by her ex-husband, Roger Vadim, who made her cry, saying she wasn’t as beautiful as she used to be. I’m sure that because people judged her solely on her looks and she was slagged off for getting older that it turned her into a crazy person who belongs to the National Front and only talks to animals. Serge was very sweet to her; he was a very forgiving man.”
Altough Bardot is my style icon numero uno, Birkin’s also a fashion icon, because of her laidback and casual looks, like wearing a wicker basket instead of a handbag, faded denim, “I don’t care”-hair, belted sweaters and overknee socks. And she’s also part of fashion history because Hermès named one of their bags after her.
Early modelling job for Vogue magazine, 1966
With Serge Gainsbourg
With Brigitte Bardot
Wearing Ossie Clark
Great dress and shoes!