Ginette Reno rejected by a boy because of her weight at 11 years old

Ginette Reno rejected by a boy because of her weight at 11 years


The wait is over for Ginette Reno fans; they will finally be able to get their idol's autobiography starting Thursday in Jean Coutu stores, some bookstores and on &nbsp ;

In the meantime, Le Journal offers you five exclusive excerpts from the book.

Marie Noëlla Ginette Raynault Reno  

Born Ginette Raynault, the singer became Ginette Reno early in her career. Two names, two identities to better understand the woman and the artist. 

« Marie Noëlla Ginette Raynault. 

It’s me.
Unloved child. Daughter of a possessive and jealous mother, who has love only for her husband, her hero, who will never cease to disappoint her. A good man, but a child in the face of life, who cannot resist a pretty woman and who loses his head and his health in alcohol.  

Ginette Raynault.
This is me, again, with two brothers and two sisters as deficient as myself, raised in a home where violence, verbal and physical, reigns, who will live a lifetime with hundreds of fears engraved in my heart.
And it's always me: wife, wife, divorcee, mother. To variable happiness like the numbers on my bathroom scale.  

Ginette Reno.
It's me too.
Which bears the stage name that my impresario, Jean Simon, gave me. (Before him, I had called myself “Sylvia Roger”… A very star cabaret name.) “Ginette Reno”: a simple name, easy to remember. The Ginette you know. The artist. Singer, songwriter. The actress.
The Reno of the big stages, of the front pages. Unfailing success. Who leads a star lifestyle.  

Ginette. Very short.
My alter ego.
My soul mate.
Open and generous. Who protects me and comforts me.
The one who lives behind the other. Who sees everything. Who feels everything.
Who knows cheaters. Fake friends. Thieves of time and love.  

The excesses. Sorrows. The betrayals. Despairs.
But also special moments. Wonderful encounters.   

The effervescence of creation. Joy larger than life. Ginette.
The one I come to present to you today.  

So that you can know. And understand.  

And love me! » 

A big puppy 

Ginette Reno's love life has never been easy. Here she recalls her first crush on a boy who ultimately rejected her because of her weight.  

His name was Jacques. I was eleven years old. Him… maybe twelve.
Every time I saw him, I felt a little something… As if my heart forgot to beat, for a split second, during which I hoped with all my might that the handsome boy would turn to me. Let our eyes meet. Let him smile at me… But no.

So I took my courage in both hands and told him, as clearly as possible, that I thought he was “good for me” and that I would be happy to “go out with him”.
He answered me, just as clearly, that big doggies didn't interest him. 

And he kindly added, helpful as anything: “My brother Gérald, that don't bother him, fat ones.”  

I have never forgotten that first “love affair”. Nor this first rejection. Because it was the first time that I was unhappy because of my weight.  

Maybe also because it was the first time I decided to go with a boy my age. I much preferred the company of adults. With the young people, I felt apart, I couldn't integrate myself into their games, their conversations. To their carelessness, to their lightness. As if I had already known that life is a fight and that victory is earned.  

And then, all those extra pounds, it was quite recent. I just hadn't realized yet that I had become a big doggy. Until the age of nine, I had had the body of a perfectly normal child. Until my first period turned my life upside down.  

Much too soon.  

At ten years old, I weigh one hundred seventy-two pounds! I have an endocrine problem and I am indisposed every two weeks.  

In fact, it is a disease, Stein-Leventhal syndrome, which is responsible for many strange inconveniences. .. » 

Saint-Jean on the mountain

The evening of June 24, 1975 will forever be etched in Ginette Reno's memory. It was then that the singer delivered one of her most unforgettable performances, rewarded with an 11-minute standing ovation. 

I had just finished an engagement at the Royal York in Toronto, a mythical club where the biggest international stars followed one another, including some of my idols, such as Tony Bennett and Ray Charles.  

After a long night on the road, I arrived in Montreal early, in time for rehearsals for the big Saint-Jean show, which would take place that same evening, on Mount Royal. I hadn't slept for thirty-six hours. 


I have great confidence in the song A little higher , a little further, which I finally obtained the privilege of interpreting, thanks to the kindness of Renée Claude, who was initially to sing it herself. I will always be grateful to him.  

When evening comes, I pace behind the trailer that serves as a dressing room for the artists, lost in my thoughts, each one more negative than the other. , when I see Yvon Deschamps approaching. Yvon is an extraordinary, unique, funny and moving monologue, whose art will “beget” hundreds of comedians who will try to follow in his footsteps. Sensitive artist himself, he can see that something is wrong… 

“What's going on, my Ginette?”  

That's all it takes for me to tell her everything, my pain, my worries… crying like a child. He listens to me in silence, until I calm down a bit, then he says: “Well, me, tonight, I came to hear you, just you!”  

When I go on stage, this June 24, 1975, I am the professional singer happy to do her job, the artist moved to return home, the friend who sings for Yvon, the star who bears the weight of an incomprehensible despair , the woman who gives birth in choking anger, biting into every word, articulating every syllable, as if justifying her entire life.  

And the audience sees it all, understands it all, and cry with me when I shout the last notes of my song. The communion I dreamed of, I have it! We are just one ball of emotion and love! More than three hundred thousand people whose hearts vibrate in the same tune.   

I am entitled to an endless ovation!   

ELEVEN minutes!   

No artist is prepared for that!   


The next day, I am on the front page of all the newspapers. Excerpts from MY song are broadcast on all the news bulletins, on all the radio and TV channels.   

We talk about “triumph”, about “never seen”.    

Of an “innumerable” and “conquered” crowd.   

And of “pride”.   

I will keep this day forever of June 1975 in my head and in my heart. It's one of the best moments of my career. I also know that, that evening, for many, the popular singer changed status. They recognized my talent as an interpreter. » 

Ginette Cadieux 

< strong>In parallel to her career as a singer, Ginette Reno has defended several roles on the big screen. Among these, she remembers that of Laura Cadieux in the film adaptation of Michel Tremblay's work, directed by the one she renamed “the hurricane”: Denise Filiatrault.  

I attended the premiere of It's your turn, Laura Cadieux with pride.   

I love Michel Tremblay's characters. Music by François Dompierre. The beautiful song from the credits. And Ginette Reno who, for two hours, takes herself for Laura Cadieux, to the point of looking like her like a twin sister.   

It's a nice film.  &nbsp ;

Full of wonderful actors, led by a talented woman, Denise Filiatrault.  

But I know that at the start of the project, when Denise Robert, the producer, suggested my name to play Tremblay's fat woman, Denise, the director, got carried away by repeating that her first choice was Manon Gauthier, who already played Laura Cadieux at the theatre. A choice that I have never disputed, on the contrary. The producer insisted.   

The director, convinced that I had nothing of an actress about me (despite Léoloand a course to say the least… eclectic, which she knew perfectly…), required that I pass an audition, for which I received the text the day before. I worked all night to memorize it. In the morning, I was exhausted, but I got the part. They didn't do me any favours.   

I have known Denise Filiatrault forever. We are both Taurus, pighead ascendant. (…) 

Before we started filming, she told me about the five levels of interpretation that an actor must know. I immediately reassured her: it's the same thing when you sing!   

One morning, very early, around five o'clock maybe, we are a few actresses rehearsing when Hurricane Denise shows up, the mood devastating. Everyone is shaking. Not me. I join her at her level: “Isn’t it a bit early for level seven? Didn't you tell me there were five?” Denise immediately asked us to excuse her, and she left. When she came back, we all quietly rehearsed on level one.  

I learned pages of text that we never used. I work like I eat: excessively. And I want to know my character's motivations and my lines at my fingertips. Out of respect for the director, who can therefore lead us to interpret our role as she sees fit.   

Faced with certain situations encountered in the script, certain feelings which seemed to belong as much to Ginette as to Laura, I sometimes asked Denise's permission to try something more personal, to take risks, in front of the camera, which she had gladly accepted. But for the other Denise, it was as if I had wanted to direct in her place.  

She said to me: “Go ahead, tabarnak!”, raising her eyes to the sky, exasperated.   


I still recognized, here and there, when I saw the film, some of my ideas that Denise had retained. My self-confidence as an actress has grown a lot.  

I will end by saying that I still have a lot of admiration for Denise Filiatrault. I won't say too much. It would be repeating what everyone thinks of her. » 

My suicide (monologue) 

< p>Ginette Reno opens with a depressive episode during which Lise Payette helped her get rid of her dark thoughts. < /p>

I am going through a period of depression.
I call Lise Payette, my great friend. I'm sure she'll be able to understand me.  

I tell him that I'm going to shoot myself in the head, that I just want to die!  

I can still hear him on the phone:
“Ah no !
There's going to be blood everywhere!
It's so hard to remove blood stains!
You know it: when your laundry is stained… it's not easy!
And then… we'll have to close the coffin!
There are people who love you, who adore you!
They want to see you one last time in your grave, not in a picture!  

Don't be tragic. Do it, but more gently. Take pills! Sit in front of the TV. Or read a book you like!” 

Because of everything she told me, I no longer wanted to kill myself. » 

►Ginette will sing on the occasion of the grand finale of La Voix, next weekend. She will perform for the first time on TV the piece Plus grand, taken from her new album, in the company of the four finalists of this year . Broadcast: Sunday, April 9, 7:30 p.m., on TVA 

In a meeting-event with Paul Arcand, Ginette Reno will recount the highlights of her career and his personal life, from yesterday to today, in addition to performing some songs from the new album and some of his greatest hits. Broadcast: Sunday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., on TVA