As Maripier Morin is running around, trying on dresses and joking with colleagues over lunch, I am able to take a few minutes of her time to catch up with how her extremely busy life is going, just as she is preparing to host Quebec’s Gala Artis the following weekend. She talks candidly to us about how she stays grounded and sane, her new movie, her lingerie brand, and more.
By Rebecca Kahn
Are you and your new husband, Brandon Prust, still having trouble finding time where you’re in the same city? How do you stay close and connected despite the distance? Well, I feel like we love each other more when we’re not in the same city, actually (laughs). I’m joking, but we do long distance really well because when we’re separated, when we’re both in our cities, it’s time for us to be focused and to work as much as we can, and then when we’re together, it’s our us-time. So, I feel like we balance work and our relationship really well now.
And, with your busy schedules and unpredictable lifestyles, do you think children will be an option for you in the near future? We’re giving ourselves like a two- or three-year window to start planning our family and thinking about the first baby, but obviously it’s clear in our minds that we want children. It’s just now is not the perfect time yet.
You’ve been very vocal about how your success is thanks to your agent, Patrick – what’s your professional relationship like with him? How does he help you succeed and be the best you can be? Well, depending on what 30 minutes of the day you’re talking to me: [it could be when] I want to rip his head off, or the next 30 minutes, [when] he’s my favourite person on planet Earth (laughs). So, it’s funny, we’re so close and we share so much, and the fact that we’re best friends and we also work together, it’s obviously sometimes a challenge, but I feel like our relationship is so based on a huge shot of love, that it makes everything else easier.
You started out as a television host, then went into reality TV, and now you’re staring in Denys Arcand’s new movie La Chute de L’empire Americain. Has it been difficult for you to adapt from one type of TV to the next? And how do you channel such a variety of personalities in your acting and modelling? I think that it was tough for me to go from being a TV host to an actress, but I took acting lessons for a good two and a half months. So that helped me do the transition and really get into character, but it was definitely a huge challenge, probably one of the biggest in my career, but it was such a fun process to create this character, and to see her come to life… And to work with Denys was insane – I mean, he’s such a living legend. He’s basically the pope of Quebec cinema. He accomplished so much – the only Canadian director who won an Oscar. It was really a blessing and an honour to get to work with him.
And now, you have your own lingerie brand – you design the lingerie and the artistic direction of the brand? Was this something you’d been wanting to do for a while? It was a great surprise because when we started working with Blush initially, it was to create something for my bridesmaids, and then speaking with Tiffany from Blush, she was like, “Why don’t we do a full collaboration while we’re at it?”… Blush has so much history and they’re so good at what they do; they’re extremely professional…They were also very keen to listen to what I had to say, and building the line based on what I wanted and what I like to wear, and what I thought that girls would be interested in wearing. So, we basically created a line for the normal girl who doesn’t have small boobs or big boobs but has boobs that fluctuate through the month and are not always perfect, so it was quite cool to get to do this.
How do you find time and energy for all of your business avenues and projects? What keeps you sane and grounded? It’s funny because my therapist says, “The only way of staying sane when you’re on the verge of a mental break down, is fun.” So, it’s really important to balance working like crazy, but also make time to have fun with your friends, with your loved ones, and to still have a social life. Otherwise, you go batshit crazy.
You’ve also been very vocal for your love of Canadian designers – who are your top three Canadian designers and why? Well, obviously I have to say UNTTLD because they’re so talented… They’ve dressed me on several occasions, including the CAFAs, but also they’re making a custom dress for me for the award on Sunday, and I cannot wait to wear that – it’s going to be a masterpiece. Second, I would say, Denis Gagnon, who I always loved. He also made my bridesmaid dresses for my wedding. And I really like Sid Neigum.
You were actually just crowned as social influencer of the year at CAFA this year! What has your experience with social media been like throughout the years? Well, it’s been a big year for us because we launched the platform Maripier Morin back in November, and it was just so much work for Patrick and I, and Carolyn Brown who works with us. So, getting that title less than six months after we launched it was a huge accomplishment for us because it means that people got on board with us and are appreciative what we put together and all the effort behind the platform. I think it was a great recognition, and it was a good pat on the back for all of us.
You’ve mentioned it’s important to be authentic on social media and show to your young fans that you’re not perfect. Do you think all celebrities have an obligation to do similarly? I think that sometimes kids idolize that life or that lifestyle, and you have to be as real and honest as possible, otherwise you can lose yourself in it, and project an image that is totally wrong. The kids have to know that it’s not always easy and you have to work like an absolute maniac to make it happen and that there’s a lot of effort behind it all, even if it doesn’t look like it… And you have to be careful also of what you post and what you do and your art direction because you are an influence on kids and you want to teach them right.
In this photoshoot, you embody various strong women icons from the ‘60s. Who are your strong women icons that inspire you in your day-to-day life? My mom, obviously; she’s not a personality, but she is one herself. And she’s a great example. She raised us – me and my brothers – to be proud and strong and hardworking. So, I think she’s one of the most powerful women I know.
Is being a celebrity in your 30s any different than being one in your 20s? I think I have a lot more self-confidence. I doubt myself a lot less. I think that being in my thirties, you have that liberty of not always questioning myself: “Am I doing the right thing?”, “Am I in the right place?”, “Do I belong there?” – all these questions that I was constantly asking myself when I was in my twenties. Now, I have why eyes on the prize, and I think it would be dangerous for anyone to get in my way because I’m really focused and dedicated. And not in the way that I would step on people to get where I want to, but in the way that I feel unstoppable.