Who is a most iconic European pornstar? There are many names, but one is boldest. Brigitte Lahaie is a true legend. She was one of the first women who become an erotic star. Now is nearly 40 years after end her erotic career and every month 3 million people search her name on the Google. Brigitte Lahaie is a legend because she is not only beautiful but an even woman with high intellect and positive attitude to sexuality. Brigitte Lahaie is real queen of European porn cinema.
[nextpage title=”Erotic Queen”]Brigitte Lahaie was born on 12th October 1955 in Tourcoing near the coastal city Calais to the family of bank clerk. Her real name is Brigitte Lucille Jeanine Van Meerhaeghe and is Dutch decent. Her surname means in the Dutch language: From behind the Hedge. It is the even reason why she chooses pseudonym Lahaie because it means The Hedge in the French language. She has a harmonic childhood but very strict upbringing. She always loves horses and movies. Her favorite movie is famous french movie White Mane. She never was school girl who was learning so much. After high school, she left Calais with her sister and try to live in few cities of France but finally end in the Paris a soon she get the opportunity to become an erotic star. She describes her beginnings with her words:
“In the beginning, my working life was very unglamorous. Living in a small flat with my sister Anette and working in a shoe shop. Originally I wanted to be a model. I answered adverts. But they always said, no. I was too short, and my breast was too big. That’s funny to think it now. Eventually, I was offered a part in a film. But a not typical film. It was 1976, and low budget producers in France were all moving to the newly legalized area of hardcore pornography.
I was very surprised. I don’t even know that porn movies ever existed. But I wasn’t shocked. I saw what was going on and I thought well, why not? I was very young and naive. But you must remember it was after ’68 (In May 1968 was student’s strikes and riots in the Paris), and things were supposed to be very different. In fact, it was pretty boring. It was the revolution of my own to make porno movies.”
Famous Jean Rollin discovered her and shot first film Vibrations Sexuelles (1976) with her. But the first experience of Brigitte was not positive: “I first did nude photo’s and then one day they suggested to do a porn movie. I did it because I was curious as well for financial reasons. It was hard, and I didn’t want to do it again, but after two, three months I came back here and started doing some. It took a long time for me to decide to go for it really, but since I had left my job and no longer got monthly payments, there were real money problems.”
On another hand, she had an excellent relationship with Jean Rollin and made many movies together. She is saying about him only best: “With Jean, it’s a real story of friendship. I think Jean loves me a lot. He immediately believed in my talent, or at least in my charisma, and he promised me from the first meeting to give me a real role.”
Her next movie was Belles d‘un Soir (alternative title Suprêmes jouissances) from french porn movies pioneer and director Claude Mulot (pseudonym Frederick Lansac). This film was about three girls seeking emancipation. Claude Mulot was always trying to incorporate deeper thoughts to his movies. This movie is the paraphrase of Buñuel’s Belle de Jour from 1967. In this film three heroines trying to escape bonds of traditional phallocentric society. The story of the three girls who had enough of male chauvinistic piggery and set up a little chauvinistic instead. Martine Grimaud character offer idea to live free independently on the men. No more sexual stress and humiliation. First, they leave their phallocentric jobs. They together pool money resources and rent a luxury apartment in the center of Paris. They start to have the same behavior as Playboy men. They fuck what they want. They even hire a poor male servant and sexually “abused” him. Every fun ended when girls spent all money, and they reverted to their old roles. Claude Mulot hides in the movie many hidden messages and tries to show women’s: “right to pleasure”. There is an interesting point in the film. When the women initiate sex is a scene amusing and beautiful and when is started by men it is unpleasant and abusive. Intreseting fact: This movie was edited by later famous XXX director Gerard Kikoine.
Her third movie was Parties Fines. One of earliest films of legend and very productive director of French Golden Era – Gerard Kikoine. This movie telling the story from 1930 and depicts sexual adventure of baroness Brigitte Lahaie and submissive servant Maud Carole.
These three movies are Brigitte Lahaie’s earliest. Sources are various in the terms which of these three films was Brigitte Lahaie’s debut. We think it was Vibrations Sexuelles because Jean Rollin discovered Brigitte but we will research this topic further.
There is even information her first movie was Africa Erotica from 1970 where she used her first pseudonym Brigitte Simonim (name what she uses in the mainstream cinema). Some sources were saying she was making this film when she was 15 but it is nonsense. Her scene was added to the movie in 1978 in movie re-release. Probably was made sometime in the year 1977.
It is even good to point French government raised taxes on the pornography movie in 1976. Every foreign movie if want to go to distribution in France must pay flat tax 300 000 francs (it was 75 000 USD in 1977 and 300 000 USD in 2016). Domestic French movies producers must pay 66% tax. Porn cinemas going to bankrupt and quality of movies go down.
Brigitte Lahaie had very productive time from 1977 to the June of 1980 when made around fifty movies. Here is a list of the most famous:
“Je suis à prendre”/ “I am your to take” (1978) : A classic X cinema, one of his best films according to her. Became cult especially for a scene turned under a horse (and not with). Directed by Francis Leroi, who has devoted his whole life to cinema X and erotic.
“La Clinique des Phantasmes” / “Rx for Sex” (1978): The fifth and last time that Brigitte Lahaie plays in a film by Gérard Kikoinne, one of the most talented in the genre. Stuffed with humor, the “Clinique des Phantasmes” proves that pornography can be very funny.
“I burn everywhere” / “Je brûle de partout” (1978): Signed Jesus Franco, not a good memory for Brigitte. A film shot in Portugal in a hurry. Jesus still has a little time, he wants to shoot a second movie, but the actress refuses and wants to return to France. Angry, our two friends will not be together until ten years later.
“La Grande mouille” / “Parties of Hunting in Sologne” (1979): One of the four films in which Brigitte Lahaie shares the poster with another well-known but less experienced actress: Marylin Jess. At the helm, Claude-Bernard Aubert, one of the mastodons of this golden age of the X. This director, also known as Burt Tranbaree, will lead a total of ten times, Brigitte Lahaie. Nobody will do better.
“Le Journal érotique d’une Thailandaise” / “The Erotic Diary of a Thai” (1980): This work by Jean-Marie Pallardy has the peculiarity of existing in two versions: soft and hard. Playing the role of Claudine, Brigitte Lahaie will no longer see Pallardy again, persuaded of the unworthy intentions of the latter. It is a pity, to see her playing in ” White Fire” or ” Overdose ” could have been very pleasant!
“Les Petites écolières” / “The Little Schoolgirls” (1980): Last X by Claude Mulot (pseudonym Frédéric Lansac), but also last X by Brigitte Lahaie. The genre is running out of steam, and it has nothing more to prove: “it’s time to move on”. Young Marylin Jess, 21, can take over.
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The transition to “traditional” cinema did not happen overnight. Although her last film X was in June 1980, Brigitte Lahaie had already begun the transition two years earlier. It was thanks to Jean Rollin, in “Les Raisins de la Mort”, when she made her first non-pornographic film. The current passes rather well, although Brigitte wonders if she will live up to it. The result is finally conclusive, despite a shooting made difficult because of the cold. Brigitte does not think for a moment to leave the cinema X, taking this film was like a game of thinking that in any case, she will never be a “real” actress.
It was a year later, in “Fascination”, always with Rollin, that Brigitte Lahaie began to realize its potential. The role is written especially for her and her performance leaves nobody marble, starting with Jean Rollin .
At the same time, she obtained a role in ” I… comme Icare” by Henri Verneuil. Unknown to the great French cinema, she is retained on casting, without anyone knowing who she is. She plays the role of a prostitute … who ends up hanging. It does not end there and continues the small appearances, notably in “New Generation” by Jean-Pierre Lowt-Legoff in 1979, in “Diva”, by Jean-Jacques Beineix in 1981 and “Pour la peau d’un Cop” in the role of a nurse. This last role, it gets it by a friend who knows well the actor-director, the genius Alain Delon.
For Jean Rollin, Brigitte Lahaie still has more roles in “La Nuit des Traqués” (1979) and the lesser known “Les Echappées” (1981).
Having stopped the pornographic cinema, she nevertheless continues to unveil her charms in erotic films of the early 80s, in this case, “Paul Raymond’s Erotica” and “Illusions within Young Girls”.
Until the mid-1980s, she continued to alternate erotic films (“La France Interdite”, “Education Anglaise”, “Joy et Joan”) and small roles (“N’oublie pas ton père au vestiaire”, “Antoine et Julie “,”Les Brigades Vertes “). So far, the films where Brigitte Lahaie held a significant role did not shine for their excellence, as the following films will reveal themselves, how to say … “different”.
She was in “Brigade des Mœurs” by Max Pecas, one of the rare old X’s (more casual) not to had directed the actress. She appeared later in “On se calme et on boit frais à Saint-Tropez”, his latest film. In “Brigade des Mœurs”, Brigitte played a second role, Alexandra. During the same period, Claude Mulot, a friend of Pécas who knew Brigitte well in the past, played her in ” Le Couteau Sous la Gorge “.
Michel Caputo is not outdone and offers her what is to date his only real first role as mainstream movie outside. It was a movie in “L’Exécutrice”. She embodies Martine, a cop with methods to say the at least muscular.
It is since the filming of this film that it is said that ultimately, it would not be worse than another in action movies. Jesus Franco, reconciled, contacts her for movie “Dark Mission, les Fleurs du Mal”, a good B-movie with Christopher Lee, Christopher Mitchum and Richard Harrison where she killed many people. His boyfriend of the time, René Chateau, convinced the potential of the Iberian director, convinces the latter to shoot ” The Predators of the Night” the following year. She meets with Helmut Berger (she will end up accepting the manners), Caroline Munro and Florence Guérin (already crossed in ” Le Couteau Sous la Gorge”).
She also shows that she loves humor, playing a prostitute in “The Devil Rose” by Pierre B. Reinhard, alongside Roger Carel, a frantic comedy that has for France under the occupation. After that she returned to the René Chateau, he was able to show great support for Brigitte, notably by publishing many of her films, and by creating “L’Anthologie du Plaisir”, a compilation of her best X.
Once again Brigitte wants to move on, she realizes it by playing in “Henry and June” by Philip Kaufman, with Fred Ward and Uma Thurman. The film was shot in 1990 in France, she succeeds in obtaining a small role, that of a prostitute in the Paris of the thirties. She was only 34 years old but already thinks of a new conversion. She had already written her biography “Me, la scandaleuse”, and was rarer on the big screen.
She has not seen again until 1997, when she appeared in “Les Deux Orphelines Vampires”, of the indefatigable Jean Rollin . She dedicates herself to the writing of romance novels (“The model woman”, “The meaning of life”), and participates in the Grosses Têtes by Philippe Bouvard on RTL . That followed a talk show on cable (yes, on XXL) and the publication of books on sexuality. Not forgetting her past, she takes control of her show on the website of television Canal+.
In 2002, Brigitte returned to the cinema in “The Bride of Dracula”, in a role of a diabolical woman that suits her so well. The seventh film with Jean Rollin.
From 2001 she started her radio show “Lahaie, l’Amour et Vous” about sex and relations on the radio station RMC / Radio Monte Carlo. Year 2002 was very important for her because she finally get married with her life love Patrick.
Her radio host career was very successful. In the 2012 she commented Summer Olympics Games in her home radio station. The change was made in the year 2016 when radio canceled her show. But she moved to the new radio station RadioSud when you can hear her from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm.
Hello Brigitte, what are you currently doing?
Absolutely, I’m every day on the radio, live to help listeners better live their sexuality. This is my fight from the beginning, helping that sexuality is better to accept in France. I first claimed it with my body by making X, today I use other weapons. I also write books, I have other projects, other activities more punctual, in short, I have never worked so much in my life!
You make yourself more discreet in the cinema. We have seen you recently in “Calvaire” by Fabrice Du Welz. Why this distance with the cinema, whereas at the beginning of your career you turn up to twenty films a year, although it was something else?
I long wanted, hoped to become an actress in its own right but French cinema sucks me. In order to prove that I was able to play, I even got on stage for cabaret shows. It was a difficult but constructive experience. Today, I mourned my film career. I think I am an actress at least as good as most but the desire is not quite there. In fact, I was a victim of my physique, I think I am made to play different roles of what could have been proposed to me.
Is there a chance to see you again in a big role?
I do not say definitively, but I put certain conditions. I am lucky today to practice a job that I love, to earn a good living while remaining incredibly free, and this freedom I want more than anything. So the game is worth the effort. A role that suits me, a director that suits me. In short, I react as a star when I am not one in this field so it is complicated and there is little chance indeed that I am seen again in a big role in the cinema.
Which film (s) are you most proud of in hindsight?
Undoubtedly my participation in “Henry and June” by Phil Kaufman. A tiny little role but a great encounter. He had taken me in sympathy and during the six days of filming, I stayed by his side. He explained why he was taking an extra shot, for example. And then, I will remember all my life of his compliment on the last day of the shoot. He compared me to Jessica Lange who was at that time, my favorite actress. But with all this distance, I recognize that there are some X movies that I am proud of, such as “I Am to Take” by Francis Leroi or “Indécence 1930” by Gérard Kikoin.
With which people did you most enjoy working?
Finally, I might say Jean Rollin but I also liked filming with Burd Trambaree.
Your original name is Van Meeraeghe. For your career, you change it and become Brigitte Lahaie …
It seemed normal at the time not to keep my real name, first of all, because it is quite unpronounceable but above all out of respect for my family. To make X in 1976, it was still playing with the devil. In that period, some people in my family were very shocked.
In some films, you are credited under the name of Brigitte Simonin: why this choice?
During a certain period, just during and after my career in the X, I was living with a man who really wanted to marry me. It was a way for me to prove my affection. It was later, when I was living with René Chateau, that I took over my pseudonym Lahaie. He told me that it was the only way to show that I was assuming my past and he was a thousand times right. Besides, I owe him a lot because he has a real knowledge of the media.
What do you think about current pornography?
Today’s porn has nothing to do with that of my beginnings or even that of the 90s. The environment evolves, not necessarily in good. The motivations of directors and producers are mercantile. Those of my time chose this genre out of taste, to overthrow bourgeois society.
Are people more open today than they were fourty years ago?
Women have advanced a lot on their ability to talk about their pleasure. On the other hand, the sexuality of couples still stuck. The cinema is very revealing of our manners. Before, when there was a scene of sex, you could see a gentleman who was beating a woman with blows. Today we see scenes where the man passes between the thighs of the woman, or the woman rides on the man. It’s a good sign.
And the success of Fifty Shades of Gray is also a good sign?
It fell from my hands! I found that it was badly written, it’s Barbara Cartland a little sex. At the same time, it corresponds to what women dream because if they are apparently more liberated today, they are still waiting for a man to reveal their orgasm with his magic wand …
Are they subject to this?
I have read that 80% of women use their intimate toys only with their partners. It’s crazy, is not it? Me, if I use a sex-toy, it’s because I’ve been alone for a week. But if I have my guy, I do not need it …
How does one become an actress of X at the age of 21?
You have to be a little kamikaze! (Laughter) I had known only two men, I was a shoe salesman, I dreamed of being a model, and one day I came across an ad that was looking for women with strong chests. I said to myself, “Well, it’s for me! ”
I was shown a video and was told: “this is what we expect”. I could have left, I stayed for three and a half years.
What made you stop?
It was starting to ruin me. And again, in my day, it was less hard. I was made to do what everyone else did in the room. At most a few scenes of orgies … But this experience of X has allowed me to put sex back in its place. For example, I would not leave a man because he had a sexual relationship with another. It is not insignificant, but it does not deserve to be broken a life.
Can be a feminist by making X?
Yes. Moreover, many feminists would do well to make X! (Laughter)
Do you have children?
No. I was lucky to have men who were asking for children. But I was always sure of myself. When I was 20, it was not to distort my body, then at 32 years old, I seriously asked myself the question and realized that I did not need this to make sense of my life. I may be sorry to die, but for now, no.
This is the famous myth of the mother and the whore, you preferred to decide?
Until 45 years, I was rather a whore, but today I became a mother since I give birth to people. I have no rivalry with other women, even the youngest, I am at peace. Somehow, I became a midwife.
After four years in pornographic cinema (from 1976 to 1980), Brigitte Lahaie attempted a breakthrough in so- called “traditional” films. What did not please the great names of the French film art, who have let him know?
There is a story about Philippe Noiret who categorically refused to co-present a show alongside you on Canal +. Can you say more about it?
“We are taking slaps. At the same time, I understand … After all … He did not want his name to be mingled with mine. Why not. But it’s true that I got a lot of slaps like that. And the case of Noiret is not isolated. Other big names of the cinema refused to rub shoulders with Brigitte Lahaie after its passage in the porn. André Téchiné refused to shake my hand at a festival, ” she adds. I could name a lot of names. Jean-Claude Briali who said things not very pleasant about me. It is true that at one time, it hurts a lot and then we harden, we recover and today, that’s it, I’m cured. And that’s the main thing!”
What do you think about sexual fidelity?
“Faithful, I was not at 20 years, not 30, nor 40. I had an incredible number of lovers. For me, it was not a question of betraying those who loved her, but rather of trying many things. I was always experimental! When I met a man, I needed to sleep with him to understand how he worked. I also regret not having kept small notebook to make statistics!”
Say us more about your marriage and your husband?
I agreed to marry Patrick because he had trouble finding his place in our history. At first, it was not obvious. For me, fidelity is not paramount. Out of love, I committed myself. I earlier considered marriage as an obstacle to my freedom, but now I am happy and flourishing with my union with Patrick. We left Paris for a lovely home in the Yvelines. My husband understands that when I am on horseback, I do not need to take lovers.
How much did you earn per day in a time of your porn career?
At the start in 1977, a fee of FF700/day (700 USD in 2016) and I reached FF 5000/day (5000 USD in 2016) in 1980 before quitting the X business.
Did you happen to have pleasure?
Yes absolutely, not always but often, I was going through with the job.
Is it a therapy?
Yes, first I lost weight, and all my female colleagues were sexually free and also psychotherapy is very expensive, in the porn business we were paid, so we win on the 2 sides.
Do you regret you were making sex on the camera in the porn movies?
I’m very proud of what I did. I think, especially for a woman. It’s hard to affirm your liberty, your “right for pleasure”. I think if more people go in this way, maybe the next generation people can be freer about sex.
Do you have some interesting story about meetings with fans?
It is funny. When I have been signing autographs, and some of these people have nude pictures of me. And they keep them all covered up in brown paper, and they asked me “do you mind?” and they embarrassed and very shy. That’s funny because it’s proof that people are not so free.
What is a most incredible place where do you have sex?
I made love in cars, planes, trains and boats. I did it once in car Place de la Concorde at 23h but the car had tinted glasses. Also once for a film in a Rolls Royce (Erotika). On the plane it was between Barcelone and Ibiza, in second class, you see once can stay ordinary, it was after the film Emmanuelle that, maybe, gave me the idea.
I had read that you make love in an elevator?
Oh yes, this is my favorite place!. Probably because it is the place where the risk to be exposed is the highest, but preferably, ladies, wear a dress, much easier than pants.
Do you have a trick to block the elevator?
Well just use the button STOP.
[fts_twitter twitter_name=@BrigitteLahaie1 tweets_count=6 show_retweets=yes cover_photo=yes]
Aka: Brigitte Lahaye, Brigitte Simonin, Fanny, Brigitte Bordeaux
Real Name: Brigitte Van Meerhaegue
Place of Birth: Tourcoing, Nord, France
Date of Birth: 12/10/1955
Film Career: 1976-1980
Height: 1,73m / 5’8”
Official Site: BrigitteLahaie.fr
- Belles d’un soir (1977)
- Sarabande porno (1977)
- Les Plaisirs fous (1977)
- Parties fines (1977)
- La Perversion d’une jeune mariée (1977)
- Le rabatteuse (1978)
- Auto-stoppeuses en chaleur (1978)
- Couple cherche esclaves sexuels (1978)
- La Maison des phantasmes (1978)
- Secrétaires sans culotte (1979)
- Maîtresse pour couple (1980)
- Secrets d’adolescentes (1980)
- Les Petites écolières (1980)
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