My compliment –

A woman guaranteed to stand the test of time

On paper, the same face eight times with perfect facial features. The woman remains smooth and smiling from her 20s to her 90s. Pascale Montpetit called this brushed aluminum illustration Woman, guaranteed to stand the test of time. And like many others, I fell under the spell.

Published at 9:30 am.


Before attending the Conservatory of Drama, Pascale Montpetit studied fine arts. Although she has been drawing for 45 years, she has long kept her production private. It was only with the pandemic that the actress, “looking for a window on the world,” began publishing her creations on social networks. A year ago she had her first exhibition and at the same time learned to accept the idea that she had talent.

“These people who weren’t my friends didn’t buy my drawings to make me happy,” she says, almost embarrassed. That was probably because they really liked it. »

Between sips of tea, I reassure him that there are many things to appreciate about his work. Personally, it's his way of portraying the woman's condition that upsets me. I have the impression that her files weigh on the wounds that are the fear of age, the pressure of external scrutiny and the desire for freedom of choice. I was also curious to learn more about their approach as International Women's Day approaches.

She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Montaigne wrote: 'When I dance, I dance. When I sleep, I sleep.” When I draw, I draw! I don't want to say anything, I'm having fun.

— So the painting “The Underside of the Female Cast,” which depicts a woman as a piece of red meat, means nothing? »

A woman guaranteed to stand the test of time


Behind the scenes of the female cast

Pascale Montpetit bursts into laughter before letting out a comfortable “Good…”.

She explains to me that she draws her nudes from live modeling workshops. After a three-hour session, she often comes up with a particular pose. She then brings this body onto the stage as if her work were a theater scene. And yes, his journey sometimes colors the picture.

“We’re on a train that never stops,” she remembers. When you're young you don't think about it, and that's fine, but in my sixties I started to realize that I was changing. »

As an actress, I do image work. I can't say the picture isn't important! Casting is used to find the right image. I am not annoyed.

Pascale Montpetit

She adds that the typical heroine is often under 40 years old. One day the woman plays mother or neighbor, that's life.

  • Brushed aluminum woman guaranteed to stand the test of time


    Brushed aluminum woman guaranteed to stand the test of time

  • Final cuts


    Final cuts

  • stage animal


    stage animal


Wouldn't things be different if we saw more films like the great Good Luck to You, Leo Grande? In this fiction by Sophie Hyde, Emma Thompson plays a 56-year-old widow in search of the pleasures of the flesh. Baring her naked body, she reveals a beauty, a vulnerability and a thirst for existence that takes your breath away.

“What strikes me is that all naked bodies are beautiful,” Pascale Montpetit answers me. However, there are many girls who find themselves in a civil war between body and mind. Maybe it's the same with men, I should talk to them more about it… When I designed the brushed aluminum woman guaranteed to stand the test of time, I had just watched the documentary Sois belle and Shut Up by Delphine Seyrig. I told myself that what we want is impossible. Both for the viewer and for what is seen. We don't want to grow old at all and that's just not possible. »

However, we can slow down the process.

Pascale Montpetit was also recommended cosmetic procedures if she wanted to avoid losing roles.

“Honestly, if I could invest $30,000 and be sure of the outcome, I would,” she admits bluntly. If I could make a pact with the devil to get younger again, I would do it too! »

Although getting older does bring advantages, such as feeling more comfortable in the eyes of others. It's a hard-won freedom to be able to say what you think.

Pascale Montpetit

Speaking of freedom of expression, Pascale Montpetit took part in the 12th edition of Combat against the language of wood in 2022. In her issue, she emphasized that if you multiply the age of dogs by seven, the same is true for actresses. At 63, Pascale is actually 441 in the eyes of the industry. Note that she finished this number all over again. A boldness that I find in her illustrations, even though she believes she “remains harmless” in her art.

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The young queen

“I think a lot more than I show!” I don't want to bother anyone, but I want to be seen. »

While no one dreams of being invisible, women often become invisible. I admire Pascale Montpetit's resistance.

“Do you feel free as a woman?

— Yes, as far as you can be free as a human being. We are all neurotic and snooty. And that doesn't stop the fact that there are still obvious inequalities. Injustice is my limit.

— Tell me, can you have a good mood every day and at the same time be against injustice?

— I have a vital impulse that cannot be denied, but to be happy you have to be very smart. We have to turn our backs on certain things, make constant micro-adjustments, and tell ourselves that sometimes it's worth it to have the wind in your face. »

I love her so much.

To see Pascale Montpetit's works, you can visit her joint exhibition with Angelo Barsetti from May 22 to 28, 2024 at Galerie Espace in Montreal.