Sheila O'Connor (Pénélope in LA BOUM) is 56 years old: 'Poisoned gift', Alcohol, Salary and 'AIDS period'

You probably know her as 'Pénélope', Vic's (Sophie Marceau) best friend in 'La Boum'. Sheila O'Connor turns 56 on May 4! What becomes of her? How did she experience success? Secrets of the unforgettable redhead...

  Sheila O'Connor (Pénélope dans LA BOUM) a 56 ans : "Cadeau empoisonné", Alcool, Salaire et "Période sida"

Remember, she was camping Penelope , Vic's girlfriend (played by Sophie Marceau ), in La Boum . After this mythical role, the actress appeared less on the big screen, but became scriptwriter and wrote some children's books such as The Hundred Fleas of Nicolas or The Mystere of Queen Amaya . But even more than 40 years after the film's resounding success, Sheila O'Connor continues to be recognized on the street and sign autographs . What do you know about the star of the 80s, who turns 56 on May 4, 2022? the after Boom , them ' holidays ', l' alcoholism , death threats, odd jobs... Discover the secrets of the flamboyant redhead who marked an entire generation.

Sheila O'Connor: childhood and first role

Sheila O'Connor was born to a French mother and an Egyptian father (with an Irish surname). Since her childhood, she dreamed of becoming an actress. With her best friend, when they only have 13 years , she puts herself at the head of get a movie role , scans the ads and decides to pass the casting For the movie The Merry Ones holiday colonies . Mission accomplished: Sheila O'Connor becomes Caroline in Michel Gérard's feature film.

Sheila O'Connor was to play Vic in La Boum

After this first step into the universe of the seventh art, the teenager is presented to Claude Pinoteau , who is preparing his film La Boum . In the beginning, it's Sheila O'Connor who is chosen to play the main role of the feature film , that of Vic. But Sophie Marceau is spotted a few weeks before the shooting and changes the situation. It is finally she who becomes the heroine of the film, while the flamboyant redhead camps her best friend, Penelope .

Despite this (significant) last-minute change, Sheila O'Connor feels no bitterness. ' The movie probably had all this success because everyone was in their place , and me, I wasn't ready to be a star “, she confided to the French press in the 90s.

Sheila O'Connor, mocked because of her fame

But if the actress is delighted with this success, she must suffer the consequences on her personal life. In high school, she is constantly mocked , even by teachers. ' I had worked well on my national science test (...) I had finished before the others, I was very calmly waiting for it to ring and the teacher, while we were in control: ' Sheila, are you dreaming of your next movie poster? ', and in front of everyone ', she recalled on February 25, in the emission of Faustine Bollaert , It starts today .

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Sheila O'Connor, threatened with death

Worse, this experience also earns him death threats . ' In the mailboxes, we received threatening letters with skulls (...) the former social networks were the mailbox (...) we manage strangely, we say to ourselves 'why am I triggering this? It's a nice movie “, she was surprised in the issuance of France 2 .

Sheila O'Connor: her salary in La Boum (and that of Sophie Marceau)

Sheila O'Connor, a guest on the TPMP People show on March 12, revealed the salary she had received in the two films of La Boum . ' 10,000 francs and 30,000 francs, gross , ladies and gentlemen ', she let go. As for Sophie Marceau, she would have received 30,000 francs for the first part and 70,000 francs for the second, Sheila O'Connor believes.

' We have to bring that back in constant francs “, however, specified the host Matthieu Delormeau, also a graduate in economics. According to estimates, the interpreter of Penelope would therefore have been paid the equivalent of 5,000 then 10,000 euros . As for her former playmate, she would have received approximately 13,000 euros, then 24,500 euros for the second part of the film.

Sheila O'Connor was addicted to alcohol

But for Sheila O'Connor, fame has certain perks. ' Is I underage entered places that were forbidden to minors . And I even had unforgettable evenings at the Palace. It was the party . And I admit that a little later, I took advantage a little, drink too many shots . I partied a little too much “, she recalled in It starts today.

For a while, the young woman even developed an addiction to alcohol: ' Between 17 and 22, I was addicted , but really. I drank a lot of alcohol. And besides, me, I needed a lot to start feeling an effect. Therefore, I was drinking triple the normal . Besides, I surprised some of them.

Sheila O'Connor 'did stupid things' in 'full AIDS period'

​​​​​ Sheila O'Connor spent her early youth on a dangerous slope and spent her time ' do stupid things ', according to his confidences to Faustine Bollaert. And to explain: ' We wake up next to a stranger while we are in the middle of period like , but we haven't heard of it yet. '. Fortunately, the actress manages to get out of the rut without burning her wings: ' I've always been saved by the bell '.

Sheila O' Connor

Sheila O'Connor toured with Luchini and Bruel

After the shooting of La Boum , in 1980, then La Boum 2 , in 1982, Sheila O'Connor landed the role of Maud in P.R.O.F.S. , by Patrick Schulmann, alongside Patrick Bruel and Fabrice Luchini . Then, she turns again with the director of La Boum , Claude Pinoteau, the time of a small role in snow and fire , in 1991.

Sheila O'Connor: why La Boum was a 'poisoned gift'

Despite a few roles on television, the flamboyant redhead does not manage to hold her own. Her experience in Claude Pinoteau's famous film was pleasant, but she gave her a label difficult (if not impossible) to remove . ' It was a bit of a Poisoned gift (...) It opened other doors for me, in the sense that from the public (...) I receive a lot of tenderness. But on the work side I really had to roll up my sleeves “, she regretted on February 25, in the program presented by Faustine Bollaert.

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Sheila O'Connor dreamed of an 'Isabelle Huppert career'

However, Sheila O'Connor did not lack ambition. ' I was only offered Penelope roles while I was dreaming of career at Isabelle Huppert . I really liked those actresses. I really liked women like Sandrine Bonnaire, Juliette Binoche... I love to make people laugh, but after a while you get tired “, she explained in It starts today .

What became Sheila O'Connor?

After her short-lived success in the cinema, Sheila O'Connor had a few jobs, such as secretary or hostess , then decides to launch as short film director , such as Margaret , in 1995, Abdel has an appointment, in 2000, or Duo , in 2012.

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Equally screenwriter and storyteller , the interpreter of Penelope in La Boum knew how to reinvent itself. Recently, she co-wrote with director Christian Monnier the screenplay for What a Tourne A Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon , with Céline Mauge, Philippe Rebbot, Jules Sitruk, to discover at the cinema on May 25.