Women want him.
Men want to be him.
Frilly just wanted to interview him.
In a surreal Pudding questionnaire ‘special, Friday columnist Frilly Keane grills Monday columnist Julien Mercille (above).
Who is the man behind the pillow-lips and insouciant ‘elite’-bashing?
What are his wants, needs and regrets?
And is there more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?
Frilly Keane: Would ya be a tay or coffee man?
Julien Mercille: I never drink coffee. Maybe I had five cups in my life, I never got used to it. Sometimes I drink tea when I’m trying to adapt to my new Irish culture but not so often. It’s green tea usually.
That stuff any good at hangovers?
I’m never hungover because I can’t do more than 3 pints.
A question fit for a President, tighties or boxers?
I shouldn’t reveal this for fear that commenter Anne would jam the comments section with too many comments.
She’s my best customer.
OK, I’ll let you two work.
You should be nicer to Anne, you might get onta’ the most commented top table. So tell us sum’ting your Monday readers don’t know about you.
I’m a private person so it may be better to keep some things private…
Nope. It’s good to share.
OK then, I have a sister.
What’s your secret ambition?
Have a weekly column in a national newspaper, preferably next to Dan O’Brien’s column to give it balance.
Dan O’Brien has a weekly column? Jays, they’d give anyone a weekly column these days, so what would you write about?
About the same topics I write for Broadsheet. Maybe more focused on Dan to entertain readers.
Entertaining is a bitta’ve a stretch tbh…
Where are ya from and where’ll you end up?
I’m from a mid-size town in Quebec, Canada. I’m facing a dilemma as to where I want to end up really. I’ve realised over time that it doesn’t really matter where you end up, as long as you’ve enjoyed the journey.
So you speak French, do you do the accent n’all?
Yes, French is my mother tongue. The accent is very different than European accents though. Sometimes the French from France have a hard time understanding me.
Your Clinger of Choice and who’s the crush you’d like to fondle on the dance floor?
This is very difficult to reveal to tens of thousands of readers due to my political ideas. My crush I’d like to take to the dance floor would be Lucinda Creighton — it’s so sad she’s in the wrong party. Maybe I could convince her to join People Before Profit if I choose a really long clinger: November Rain or Stairway to Heaven, or both if needed.
First thing you do on a Saturday morning?
Reading the news and prepare my breakfast which is usually cereal.
Wha’! Not even a nudge?
What does that mean?
I’ll leave the Frill-Drillers answer that. Historical figure or famous person you identify with? Or Envy? And why?
Gerry Adams. Kidding, I wouldn’t want to scare any of the Young Fine Gael commenters. In general, writers and thinkers from the Enlightenment.
Ah yeah…Me too, love their stuff…
Yes, the Enlightenment, those who believed in human rights and freedom.
Dinner time – who are the guests and what would ya’put in front ov’em?
Among friends who could be known by Broadsheet readers: Peter McGuire (Irish Times journalist), Kitty Holland (Irish Times journalist), Aoife McLysaght (scientist), Sinead Gibney (IHREC), serving aubergine bake and Aperol Spritz.
FFS. Not even jelly n’icecream, or a bitta Swiss roll for afters?
For dessert, something with maple syrup, maybe berries.
Your concept of Heaven?
I’m not religious but if you mean an earthly paradise, somewhere abroad where I can read and write with no distraction and get a good meal in the evening.
My idea of heaven is a heated smoking area, and hell is a wedding invitation… What TV reality show would you like to be on?
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It’s really funny, five gay guys come find a straight guy and they get him clothes, renovate his house and show him cooking tricks, so I’d benefit from all that. Or else a cooking competition show like Iron Chef or Hell’s Kitchen, to learn some cooking tricks.
After learning about Aubergine Bake and watery wine for dinner, I should’a known. Biggest regret in life so far?
Probably not having started to write for the media earlier.
Does every answer have to be about work?
Work is a big part of my life, but since I like it, it’s never really work.
What’s your greatest fear?
I don’t have too many big fears.
Stump up or else I’ll say you have a fear of butter, dickie-bows and redheads.
I fear that Bodger will never redesign Broadsheet.ie as he promised he would…
Friday night pints, what’s your sup?
I’m not a big drinker, especially by Irish standards. Sometimes when people do rounds I end up with 2-3 pints in front of me and then I give them to others who are more in need.
No surprise… lemme guess… pints of Coors Lite Shandy.
Usually I have Guinness or Smithwicks.
That’s handy, I’m a Smithwicks drinker too. Any favourite blog?
Here are some of the main things I read in terms of news. In Ireland, Michael Taft’s blog Notes on the Front is excellent and in the mainstream press so are the Sunday Business Post and the social affairs section in the Irish Times. I also look at every column written by David McWilliams and I monitor his development as a leftist writer. Fintan O’Toole is good but he should try to be less literary. Outside Ireland, the Financial Times (London) is the best paper in the world in the mainstream, followed closely by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Then there’s The Guardian for more critical perspectives. In the alternative press, I read many things; regulars include Truthout, Juan Cole, Jacobin, and everything written by Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot, two US economists.
I didn’t make the cut, ‘ ara wha’ harm … hardly my kinda’ company. Do you have a favourite filum?
Probably Star Wars is the one I’ve watched the most often. Johnny Depp was amazing in Pirates of the Caribbean. Recently, Spotlight and Suffragettes were good. I’ve watched all the Vietnam War movies when I was a student in the United States.
Do you or have you, ever re-gifted?
Sometimes when I have friends over for dinner, they bring food or drinks that I don’t really like, and so I bring them as my contribution to other friends’ dinner parties.
Of course they bring their own grub! They bloody have’ta. What’s on the telly that you can’t miss?
I rarely watch TV. Sometimes I watch Vincent Browne but since he hasn’t invited me in a while now I’m inclined to want to make his ratings go down a bit.
You should lobby’em for your own show, you’d be great craic, a ratings poll topper.
What Superhero would you be?
Invisible Woman. I’ve always wanted to be invisible. I could make my way in the parliament and spy on whatever they’re doing, like during the night of the bank guarantee.
Have you some gender fluid notions you’d like to share, like why does it matter if you’re a man or a woman if you’re invisible? Sur’ there’s plenty Women in your line of work that are treated like they’re invisible, you should ask them about it …. you might want to pick another Superhero after that conversation.
You don’t know your superheroes. There’s an Invisible Woman but no Invisible Man.
Bollox, you don’t know your telly, an annuder thing… you don’t know your HG Wells. BTW, since you mentioned him earlier, Johnny Depp is the newest Invisible Man.
Do you have a favourite joke or funny story?
Yes but they’re better told in person.
Eh, no. I wouldn’t.
Frilly Keane’s column appears here every Friday. Follow her on Twitter: @frillykeane