Invited on RTL, this Thursday, September 22, Judith Elmaleh presented A queen, his first novel inspired by a family secret “crazy” according to his brother Gad Elmaleh.
His mother, paternity, his ex-girlfriends… To write his shows, Gad Elmaleh was often inspired by those close to him. This time, it’s his sister, Judith Elmaleh, who tells the story of his family with A queen (published by Robert Laffont). In this first novel, she retraces the journey of her grandmother, forcibly married at 14 to her uncle. Invited on RTL, this Thursday, September 22, the director remembered the day when this secret was revealed to her: “We put a nice dress on her, she was brought to a party. She loved this party. And at the end of this party, she said to her mum: ‘I would like to go back, I’m a little tired’. And she said to him: ‘No, you will not be able to return and you will stay'”. “She stayed there all her life. She was married, she hadn’t understood that this party around her was her wedding“, she continues.
A few months later, the teenager becomes pregnant without realizing it: “At that age, at that time in Morocco, we do not know his body, nor the body of a man, nor what was going on in the secrets of their room”. Married to this man, the young lady “is also a second wife” since he is already married to a woman ten years his senior who cannot have children. Present alongside his sister on RTL, Gad Elmaleh listens carefully to this uncovered story “quite late”. “We lived in a crazy family anyway”loose the 51-year-old comedian with a smile before trying to understand his family tree.
Gad Elmaleh cropped by his Grandmother, “a feminist before her time”
“All my childhood, we said that my grandfather’s first wife was my great-grandmother“, explains the actor. “That is to say, my grandfather married a woman who said to his niece: ‘Come marry my husband’. And for me, this woman, who was the first woman, was my great-grandmother when not at all. It was just my grandmother’s tent.” retraces Gad Elmaleh. Before causing a giggle in the studio: “If there are questions, you write to us”. For the former companion of Charlotte Casiraghi, this grandmother was “a feminist before her time”.
So when he tells her of his wish to marry a woman “who like you, will make dumplings, like you will make couscous”, she castigates him: “Are you looking for a wife or are you looking for an employee?” “It’s a slap, she put me back in place!”, he admits. Judith remembers one of her sage advice: “When I got married, my grandmother told me: ‘If you’re not happy, you’re leaving’. This sentence stuck in my head. Not that I wanted to obey her, but she gave me permission to do so, this freedom that she did not have“.
Photo credits: RTL screenshot