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Promising young actress and director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre has long put her spirited temperament to use in her work that often focuses upon social matters and human relationships. Lancôme meets this distinguished-looking trailblazer as she reveals her Parisian lifestyle and family-inspired Paris habits.
Actress and director
As a Parisienne born and bred, do you have any typically Parisian habits?
For me Paris is the most walkable city in the world. There’s a very poetic melancholy in wandering throughout its old neighborhoods and little streets without any real goal in sight. My favorite walk takes me down to the riverbanks along the Seine, past the Musée D’Orsay, right up to the BNF (French National Library), stopping to daydream at the edge of the Île de la Cité.
Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris. Tel: + 33 1 40 49 48 14.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), Quai François Mauriac, 75013 Paris. Tel: +33 1 53 79 59 59.
Do you have any Paris happy places?
I get a lot of happiness from the city’s green spaces. I really love Catherine-Labouré garden, a small and tranquil hidden park that’s on Rue de Babylone. In the summer I take a good book and stretch out on the grass and enjoy the sun until closing time. My second love is a little less cut off from the rest of the world: the famous Tuileries. Especially at the beginning of the summer when the carnival rides are all set up. I’ve been every year ever since I was little and always see the same rides, it’s a tradition I never miss.
Jardin Catherine-Labouré, 29 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris.
Where do you go to get inspiration for your work?
I often work from the café near my house, Coutume Café. It’s lovely and you can get some of the best coffee in town there.
Le Coutume Café, 47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris. Tel: + 33 1 45 51 50 47.
You travel a lot for filming, what do you miss most about Paris when you’re gone?
The bridges and the views that they offer. My favorite is le Pont des Arts, when I was a teenager I enjoyed a few crazy nights there!
Are there any scents that evoke Paris to you?
The smell of rain on old stone.
Do you have any particular Parisian Proustian involuntary memories of Paris?
The smell of my parents’ house: a mix of wood and amber.
Name three places that sum up Paris in your mind.
I think I must have a real fascination with imposing monuments, they encourage you to think about things…
Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris. Tel: +33 1 44 13 17 17.
Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre, 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris, 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris.
Where do you go to relax and recharge?
Les Bains du Marais, for their steam rooms. I meet friends there. It’s a bit of a girls’ cliché but I love it. Les Bains du Marais, 31-33 Rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004 Paris. Tel: +33 1 44 61 02 02.
You travel a lot for your acting and directing work, could you see yourself living in any other city than Paris?
I spend half my time in New York for work. I’ve lived there before too. The balance of the two cities is perfect for me.
What makes you happy?
Laughter, love and creativity.
What do you do to boost your mood?
Sport. I do three things a week: swimming, running and boxing.
Do you have a good luck charm, or a special thought that keeps you going each day?
One of my grandmother’s gold bracelets.
Loving and being loved.
Name a film that always makes you smile.
Amélie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Name three favorite energy-boosting songs.
Bad Girl by Lee Moses, Our love will never go by Bo Didley and Judge not by Bob Marley.
What do you do to clear the mind?
I head to my vacation home in Brittany, some fresh coastal air is always reinvigorating for me.
How do you beat the blues?
By going for a swim in the ocean whenever I can. Otherwise, I go for the tried-and-tested square of chocolate technique.
When did you last get the giggles?
With Joséphine, a childhood friend I’m still growing up with. She’s the funniest person in the world to me. We always laugh when we get together or when we chat, which is pretty much every day.
Do you have have any Parisian icons?
Sonia Rykiel and Simone de Beauvoir.
How would you describe the typical Parisienne?
As an elegant woman who boasts a mysterious, slightly insolent side, in a long trench coat and striped shirt at Café de Flore.
Café de Flore, 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris. Tel: + 33 1 45 48 55 26.
What makes you feel very Parisian?
I have a real love of Paris, but Paris suffocates me when I spend too much time there. I miss Paris when I’m abroad. I’m always happy to take off and travel, but always relieved to come home.
If you could take just one beauty product out on a night what would it be?
Invariably, a lipstick.
What’s your favorite French dish?
A blanquette de veau veal stew.
What do you cook for friends and family?
Chicken with really good mashed potatoes.
Do you follow a particular diet?
I juice detox with fresh juice. As a rule I try and do two or three days at a time. It has become a habit of mine especially when I’ve eaten a lot or had a lot of rich food.
Do you have any favorite treats?
Chocolate, in all shapes and sizes.
Are there any old French traditions you miss?
Sunday lunch with the family. We’re all spread out across the world now, so it’s becoming a rare occurrence.
What’s a typical Parisian attitude for a night out?
Detached, mysterious… with a very nonchalant way of strolling and bedroom eyes!
Laure’s Paris address book
Where do you go:
For lunch with friends?
The unbeatable Café de flore, the chic Mexican taco restaurant La Candelaria, Italian restaurant Le Sardegna a Tavola, the summer drinking spot Rosa Bonheur, the Argentine restaurant and butcher shop l’Unico, or the very formal yet good Chinese Lao Tseu.
Candelaria, 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris. Tel: +33 1 42 74 41 28.
Sardegna a Tavola, 1 Rue de Cotte, 75012 Paris. Tel. : +33 1 44 75 03 28.
Rosa Bonheur, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, 2 Avenue des Cascades, 75019 Paris. Tel: +33 1 42 00 00 45.
L’Unico, 15 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris. Tel : + 33 1 43 67 68 08.
Lao Tseu, 209 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris. Tel: +33 1 45 48 30 06.
Kin Liou on Rue du Bac, it’s a superb antique store with pictures, lamps and candlesticks. It’s perfect for unique pieces. Also, Ciné-Images Gallery on Rue de Babylone, you can find an irresistible selection of bygone movie posters there.
Kin Liou, 81 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris.
Ciné-Images Gallery, 68 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris.
For lunch with the girls?
Japanese bento at Nanashi.
Nanashi, 31 Rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris. Tel: +33 1 40 22 05 55.
The Conran Shop, a real Ali Baba’s cave for interior design pieces.
The Conran Shop, 117 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris.
Photos: Hannah & Joël