On March 7, 1991, Celine Dion appeared in the French Canadian miniseries Des Fleurs Sur La Neige, broadcast on the French Canadian channel Radio-Canada in Quebec. This miniseries, consisting of four episodes (4 x 47 min), was Celine's very first acting experience.
It is the true story, adapted from an autobiographical novel of the same name, written by Elisa Trudel when she was 28 at its release in 1985.
Céline holds the leading part of the series, the young Elisa Trudel : beaten and deceived physically and psychologically by her parents during sixteen years, raped by her father-in-law, this second child, of a family of ten, is removed from it thanks to the effective intervention of her school director. After a difficult period of adaptation in other houses, the brave teenager discovers bit by bit the outside world. Élisa leaves early the school to find a first work in a restaurant. Later, she finds her "charming prince", and manages to surpass herself not to reproduce the same errors on her own child. The series start out in the courtroom, where Elisa's case is being heard.
The first broadcasting takes place on March 7, 1991 but it receives however a rather tepid reception, mainly because of the melodramatic side of its history. As for Céline, touched by the scenario, she invested all the work and the concentration necessary for the realization of this project, demonstrating that she was able to embody a person so different from her, and of giving her all the intensity wanted in her credibility. Proud of the result, Céline often reminds that she well intends to renew the experience and to make cinema in the future.
Besides playing in the series, Céline Dion performs as well, Prenez-moi, the theme song.
"After the release of Unison, Céline Dion tells, three years to the day after the release of Incognito, I agreed to play in a mini broadcast series, Des Fleurs Sur La Neige. I held the role of a young woman, Élisa, abandoned very young by her mother, beaten by an alcoholic father, raped by her father-in-law, deceived by a rough and nasty husband... A true, unbearable story.
During some weeks, I then lived contrary to my fairy tale, every day in the hells. I was not anymore the singer who got ready to conquer the American market; I was a poor undone and unfortunate girl, without resource, without future, without the other project than that to escape a dreadful environment.
The shooting was painful. At first, there was a fear of entering the skin of a person so pathetic, so threatened and wounded. I had to learn to walk the bent back, to keep lowered eyes, to speak in a low voice quite, to behave like a victim.
There was as well, especially at the beginning, a certain hostility on behalf of the comedians taken out of the theater schools, who considered me as an intruder and who, till the end, refused to consider me as one of them. That helped me, in a way, to enter Élisa's skin, so rejected and disdained by her circle of acquaintances. To play up to the end. To live really her hell.
I turned many very violent scenes, morally but also physically. When it was necessary to cry, I really cried; when it was necessary to suffer, I suffered. After some days, I was really covered with overalls, I had the broken heart, I was afraid of everybody. It was terrible. But I liked the experience. And, for this day, I dream to make cinema. To interpret a character, to enter the skin and to give her a soul, is a unique and magnificent experience." - Celine Dion (Translation from Ma Vie, Mon Rêve)