Cinema Blue Talks to Beatrice Harnois
This interview was first published in Cinema Blue No. 5 circa 1976. It is reproduced here as published.
As proof positive of her indisputable talents, Beatrice has worked for every major director of the new Paris porno circuit. From the new King, Jean-Francois Davy, in both Exhibition, and the movie it grew out of, ‘Les pornocrates’ (Top Shots) plus the other successful Gallic export to the States, Claude Mulot’s ‘Pussy Talk’, to the top two veterans in town, Jose Benazeraf and Max Pecas. The reason they all sign her is as simple as her porno-gimmick. She can handle acting as eminently well as cock. Feast then, your eyes. And your ears. . .
Yeah, feast your eyes… All hail Harnois, the hard-core princess (too young, too tender, to be queen) of the best of the fledgling Paris blues. Harnois. . . hardcore. The words are close enough. Extremely compatible in action. She may want to quit the scene, but for now you’ll not find anyone, male or female, more definitively joyful in open sex-play than the bewitching Beatrice. Which is why New York is calling upon her impeccable services…
There is a moment mid-way through ‘Pussy Talk’, when one tires of the Franco-serious approach to this tale of a talking women’s lib pussy, upbraiding hubby for his lazy fucking, and where when one is even slightly bored with the swinging melon-breasts and similarly heavy (if ever open) thighs of leading lady Penelope Lamour. It is at that precise second that the pussy recounts its early sex-life and the heroine’s randy youth is enacted in graphic flashbacks by Beatrice Harnois. . .
I congratulate director Frederic Lansac (Claude Mulot to family and friends). His timing is absolute perfection. So is Beatrice Harnois. Her arrival saves the movie. A revelation, she is. A succulent little honey. Why, even that whoariest of porny loop standbys, the schoolmaster screwing a pupil, takes on glossy new vistas when petite Beatrice is the seducer. As Variety’s chief porno critic, Frank Segers, noted in New York, Beatrice alone is worth half the price of admission.
I couldn’t agree more. Same goes for all her hot films.
So forget Claudine Beccarie. If you can, she’s in just about every blue film in Paris, particularly the worst. Forget Penelope Lamour (ex-Claudine Giret), however fulfilling she is during the rest of Pussy Talk. Forget even Frederique Barral, a stunner in ‘Exhibition’, Lasse Braun’s ‘Sensations’ and Benazeraf’s ‘Les deux gouines’ (with Beatrice). Forget them all. Because Beatrice Hamois, 20 going on 16, leaves them standing. She is the best actress, and I underline actress, in French hard-core.
She is petite. Tres petite. Exactly 1m 54cm. tall. And staggers into our date on the highest heels she can buy. The round little head is wrapped in a woolly cap. Everything else is typically Paris youth: blouson and jeans. The face is familiar somehow
Hours before I twig it: there’s a lot of Maria Schneider about her. Facially. Super-facially, if you will. Beatrice though, is one girl who can cope with her image and her inherent sexuality. Sure, she’s had lovers. And of both sexes. But there’ll be no misfortunes and a cried-off career for her, even if she does aim to quit porno this year.
On-screen she is Lolita and Candy incarnate. In the living, balling, rolling, fucking, sucking, swallowing, groaning, orgasming flesh. The biggest natural turn-on-treat in sight. By comparison, La Beccarie is what she really is. A nice enough looking chick, using her body to furnish a home and a future, and never seeming to enjoy her work, her sex, at all. The bigger sensation to come this year, Sylvia Bourdon (Beatrice’s co-star in ‘Candice Candy’) is something else again. Older, and living to the fullest the exact life she ‘plays’ on-film, a complete hedonist, and more vicious than agreeable in her sex games.
Beatrice, then, has the field to herself. Not that she craves it. Or wants it. Having worked through the list of all the worthwhile directors, she’s ready to quit swinging the blues. ‘Tis a pity. . . Radley Metzger in New York has her in his latest project. If he ever finishes it, that, says Beatrice, will be zat.
‘My trouble is being a beginner in movies just as the porno period began. My first film was, ‘ow you say eeet? Straight? Erotique, yes. But kept to le minimum. So it did not do well, of course. They decide to add some sex. Well, okay, some porno. They call me back and alors. . . If from the start one has signed a contract to do certain things, and if it happen one is asked to do something extra, then one does it, non? I felt obliged to agree. Since then, porno is all that is being made. Or all that is offered me. I don’t really like le hard-core.’
Sure doesn’t look that way, I had to tell her. ‘Mais alors, I am acting, non? I can never get what you say, excited, shooting the sex. No, the ambience is very good, never clinical. But I cannot get. . . carried off. . . away. . . by the sex. I am just pretending. I can’t do anything else. But I do it, if I have signed to do it. And I try to do it well, oui? Because I want the work. I was young, a beginner. I required experience in films, compris? I need that. I also, of course, needed the money. But now I have reached the stage where I must stop. Five porno films last year, that’s enough.
‘My boyfriend never goes to see my films. Except for one. Well, he was the publicity man on the first film I make. This one he was obliged to see. He’s not exactly jealous, but he does not like me doing these films. Nor do I. But I give up for me. Not for him. I wish to be what I set out to be. An actress. Erotic films? Mais oui. Okay. But no more ze pornographic my agent is helping me to find more. . . straight?. . . films. I’ve been talking to director Yves Boisset about ‘Line meurtriere’/’Murderess’, for example.’
She has to finish the Metzger film, first, though. When we met, she’d just returned to Paris after only two days of Big Apple exteriors and a day inside, on a set for a two-girl set-to. ‘Problems began and it’s postponed for about two months now. The story— funny scenario!—is a young French girl, about 16, arriving in New York, a bit lost, until meeting this man who becomes her tutor. He teaches her all the joys of sex. But for him, sex is mechanical. No feeling! So she, in turn, teaches him: there is more to sex than sex. L’amour, pour exampel. They fall in love and we see all their sexual scenes, bien sur, and then. . . well, she becomes a prostitute for him.
‘Ironique, non? Because many people say porno-acting is prostitution. For me, it’s not likethe prostitution in the streets. But, oui, a girl does prostitute herself—sell herself —in these films all the same. She is being paid to do sexual things, non?’
In France, her favourite film is ‘The 1001 Perversions of Felicia’, directed by Max Pecas. It’s also Beatrice’s first top-starring role and she’s succulence personified as the young Australian schoolkid seducing a married couple. First the wife, then hubby; finally both together!
Felicia is, oui, 14, I think. She has problems, non? A bit sauvage. She finds everything shitty, boring. She is sly, cunning, perverted. Hurts people on purpose. Deep inside, she might have some good. . . I’ve only seen certain sections of the film, but I love it because. . . well, because of Max. If anything goes wrong, he never gets angry, just calls me into a corner and explains things. Very patient. A gentleman, non? Sure, a lot of sex in the film—in the hard version, anyway. For once there was a good story, too. Plausible. The other films I make, they cut half the story, leaving a film with no coherent storyline, only close-ups of cunts and cocks. I don’t like this’.
More male chauvinism than plausibility, I suggested, that a schoolkid of 14 seduces a married couple? ‘Well, okay, I don’t think that in real life, a girl of 14 would stay with .some of her mother’s friends and make love with both of them. Ha, ha! All this is cinema. What I mean about the story is that, on-screen, it works, non ?’
That it does. Due to Beatrice’s performance as the bad-tempered little bitch of a kid. Horny as hell, she looks an engenue. With the devil in her soul. Vice in her blood. A portrait from life,
‘What, me like zat. Jamais! Never! At 14, I was still in my convent boarding school. I did not know about sex. It was not until I left school— at 16 — that I made love for the first time. Since then, oui, many men. I don’t know the number. And yes, some girls too. In the films, of course. And sometimes in threesomes with my boyfriend. I prefer les hommes. Impossible to explain. I am just less obsessed by women. But sure, I love sex. Why not ? I adore soixant-neuf, et a!.’