News, Culture & Society

Inside the head of… Carla Bruni

The 49-year-old former supermodel and singer – a one-time girlfriend of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton – is married to ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She has a daughter, six, with Sarkozy, and a son, 16.

What is your earliest memory?

My mother’s skirt. I clearly remember the feeling of happiness in my mother’s arms.

Carla Bruni: ‘My most treasured possession? A beautiful handwritten letter my father gave me from the poet Paul Verlaine’

What sort of child were you?

Shy and affectionate. I don’t know why I talk so much now – something must have reversed when I was a teenager.

Tell us a secret about yourself.

Sometimes if I wake up at night, I go down into the kitchen and I drink a beer. Even when it’s almost dawn. It’s so nice.

Which living person do you dislike?

I’m not so crazy about the Korean guy, although I like his hairstyle.

Have you ever cheated death?

One day, I didn’t get to the airport on time and missed a TWA flight from New York to Paris. The plane crashed.

Who would be your dream dinner date?

Catherine the Great of Russia [1729-1796] would be very interesting. She was such a fascinating woman and had such a powerful hold on such a vast country.

What is your most treasured possession?

A beautiful handwritten letter my father gave me from the poet Paul Verlaine.

When was the last time you cried?

I went to Milan for the tribute to Gianni Versace in September. They got the models from my time together again: Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen. I was very moved: tears and smiles.

Who would you like to say sorry to and why?

My kids. Because with children you give them life and you give them death. I’m so glad they’re here but sorry it might get hard for them. I hope it doesn’t.

What has been the most romantic moment you’ve experienced?

When I met my man. It was at a dinner party and we went home together, forever. I thought moments like that only existed in fairy tales. It was love at first sight.

What one law would you change if you could?

I would make loneliness illegal.

What is the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I recently heard a doctor on the radio talking about taking care of the vocal cords and, for some reason, she mentioned my voice and described it as ‘a non-voice’. I’m not Adele, I know, but that was so mean.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My hair. It’s always flat. I was hoping my children would get their fathers’ hair but they didn’t, they got mine. Sorry again, kids.

Who would play you in a film of your life?

Someone in between Audrey Hepburn and Anna Magnani. You have to aim high.

Your most embarrassing moment?

At Cannes once, I used the bathroom during this big dinner. I walked back through the room with my dress tucked into my panties. Everyone was staring at me and smiling. I was thinking: ‘I must look really good tonight.’

What is your most unappealing habit?

I’m almost done with it but sometimes I still smoke a cigarette.

What is the best and worst thing about being famous?

The best is that people recognise and approach you and the worst is that people recognise and approach you.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever had?

My father used to say: ‘Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone.’ 

Carla Bruni’s new album, ‘French Touch’, is out on Decca Records. She performs at the Union Chapel, London, on Dec 9. 


Last film you saw?

La La Land with all the family in a movie theatre. I love musicals and it was romantic and nostalgic, I loved it.’

Last book you read?

La Chatte by Colette, the French writer. She was crazy about her cats but her last one inspired her so much.

Last gig you went to?

Last month at the Olympia in Paris, I saw Sylvie Vartan, a legendary French singer, from the sixties. She’s a friend of mine, so I’m biased, but she was so good.



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