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He wants to make a distinction between his second wife, Rampling, and the third Mrs Jarre, but even so. "In my opinion, British women are more romantic than French ones." I ask if he thinks the Brits have a romantic notion of the French as louche and liberal.
"There is," he continues, "that famous image of the French woman, sitting in her car, putting on her lipstick in the mirror." He acts out the scene for my benefit. "I think the garden of my neighbour is nicer," he says. As he acknowledges, "First of all, it's ridiculous to make generalisations, but it's fun." He fans the flames by adding: "I understand more when I travel why people believe that the French are arrogant." We are cour-rantly perched in the Met Bar, empty on a sunny afternoon. Or perhaps beyond the element of ageing rock star ridiculousness, he is, in fact, rather nice.
If we happen to be wearing some sort of lipstick and have a haircut that’s not basically shaved or ridiculously long, we’ll get compared to Amelie Poulain.
I didn’t expect living in France to be easy when I moved to an isolated smallholding in the Limousin from London via Baltimore, six years ago. My cultural experience of the country amounted to just one week’s skiing and a day-trip to Dieppe.
I was a city girl adrift in the countryside, without so much as a pair of wellies to my name.
The composer Jean Michel Jarre is known for his smouldering back catalogue of women as much as his platinum-selling electro-pop.
As he puts it in his nonchalant Gallic way: "I have shared my life with three actresses." There was, of course, our very own Charlotte Rampling, then Isabelle Adjani, to whom he was briefly engaged, and now Anne Parillaud, star of Nikita, and ex-wife of auteur Luc Besson.
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This is normally a good thing, as Audrey Tautou is the patron saint of French women getting laid in England; if her name is mentioned in a conversation, it’s, as I believe you call it, in the bag.