At sixteen my hair turned really dark after Christian Marquand sent a message that said: I prefer you as you were. I couldn’t remember what I looked like, it seemed years ago, although it wasn’t, but I was glad to start all over again. I emerged with a chocolate coloured mane. Then very soon I began filming “Les Parisiennes”.
   I was in the studio canteen one morning when Vadim arrived with a group of friends. There was a lowering of voices, a waiting to see what would happen. Vadim sent one of his friends to say he wanted to talk to me. Zigzagging past the tables to get to his in what now was silence and a multitude of eyes, I felt unusually tall, my schoolgirl socks were woolly and sensible, my shorts — too short by far. I stood to attention while he looked up at me like a responsible brother: “I saw you sing at the Olympia and told Marc he should use you in his film.” Marc Allegret had given Vadim his first break when he took him on as his assistant. I thanked him. I wondered if I should explain about France Roche, I hesitated, we were not alone, and then Vadim asked, “How are you?” Why is it that I always resist seizing the opportunity? What floated into my consciousness at that moment was my agent’s recent gruesome death. He had shot himself in the head. I had never known anyone who had died. The image of his hand on the trigger kept coming back, and I heard myself say “Formidable!” - which means “Great” in English.
   The impression Vadim had of me early on, that I became ‘bigheaded”, mellowed as he looked back in time. If his young girl had become detached - that was because I was quietly in shock. I was guarding myself. Later he wrote that he chose me for his film because I was the best. The effect it had on me was to make everything right. This gift from him is one that I cherish dearly.
   From the very beginning Catherine Deneuve moved naturally about the set as if this were home. Enchanting, spontaneous, perceptive, she was probably the most beautiful girl Johnny had met up until then. Film was new terrain for Johnny Hallyday. He was careful, feeling his way, a little gauche and charming. Most of these professional people, although helpful and kind to him, couldn’t help but see Johnny as a teen singer with a following that was useful for the film. It turned out that Johnny had screen presence, and he had dreams, and when Johnny has dreams he follows them through.