It all started with a classified ad and a bet for Brigitte Fossey’s career. The little girl’s mother and aunt had indeed seen an ad in the local newspaper. The ad was looking for an older girl, and both had made a bet that she could be taken.
When they arrived at the casting, the two women would have finally deflated, but Brigitte Fossey would then have insisted on participating. We know the rest! She was chosen by René Clément to play the little Paulette of Forbidden Games, alongside Georges Poujouly. The plot of this drama takes place during World War II.
War at the height of a child in 10 films, from Jojo Rabbit to La Vie est belle
Born in Tourcoing in 1946 from parents who were teachers, Brigitte Fossey had an early start in the cinema since she was only 5 and a half years old when the Forbidden Games were filmed in 1951. The little girl is not only precocious as a actress: she learned to read and write at the age of 3 and a half … When she had the opportunity to work on this film, she was already reading fluently and read the script on her own!
Brigitte Fossey was also passionate about literature from a very young age thanks to her first experience in cinema. She then went to the conservatory, followed the lessons of Tania Balachova and the internships of Lee Strasberg. She considers René Clément as “her childhood pygmalion”.
Let us specify, for the anecdote, that the parents of the little Paulette, whom it saw disappear at the beginning of the film during the bombings of June 1940, are embodied by the parents of Brigitte Fossey. At the time, René Clément had preferred to transcribe on the screen the real family framework of the very young actress to give her confidence and make her understand that it was not a question of reality but of cinema.
Forbidden Games won Brigitte Fossey an interpretation award at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. Forbidden Games also won the Golden Lion in 1952, and the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1953.