Interview: Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Serge and Jane Birkin, on her wild childhood and her sister’s death

The daughter of France’s sauciest couple has always struggled with the glare of publicity. As Charlotte Gainsbourg releases her most confessional album, she tells Elizabeth Day about her wild childhood and, for the first time, how she still struggles with the untimely death of her sister [ . . . ]

More: Interview: Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Serge and Jane Birkin, on her wild childhood and her sister’s death

Charlotte Gainsbourg Finds Her Own Voice


When Charlotte Gainsbourg was 4, her mother took her and her half sister to see “Jaws.” “I don’t know why,” the French actress, singer and style icon, 46, said recently. “Maybe she was drinking a little. And then in the theater, she suddenly realized how traumatizing it was.”

Sipping green tea in a corner booth at the cafe of the Marlton Hotel, casual yet chic in a white T-shirt and jeans, Ms. Gainsbourg recounted her mother’s reaction to watching her young children take in the 1975 killer-shark blockbuster. “She just put her hands on our faces,” she continued. “So the sound is what I kept. It’s part of me.” [ . . . ] Full story at NYTimes

In “Rest”, Charlotte Gainsbourg explores the sharp edges of grief

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG is full of nervous energy, switching from sitting on the sofa to the floor, pouring streams of green tea. It has been nearly eight years since the release of her last studio album, the critically acclaimed “IRM”, and her long hair has since been lopped off into a bob. She will release “Rest”, her new album, on November 17th, and is starring in two upcoming films—“The Snowman”, an English-language crime drama, and “Promise at Dawn”, a French adaptation of a novel by Romain Gary.Notoriously shy, she is still no stranger to exposure. Her parents—Serge Gainsbourg, France’s most revered musician, and Jane Birkin, an English actress and singer—courted the tabloid obsession with their scandalously chic family. Ms Gainsbourg began her music career aged 12 with “Lemon Incest”, a duet with her father (the sort of thing which would make less avant-garde tweenagers combust with embarrassment). Even now, at 46, she appreciates her father’s attentions as an artistic collaborator. “I like touchy subjects and things that make you uncomfortable,” she says. She remembers being in the spotlight with him fondly. “The way for my father to tell me that he loved me was through the media. He wasn’t very outgoing in private; he disguised his feelings much more.”

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