Sarodj Durocher Bertin has had a great number of beauty pageant titles to her name, including Miss Haiti and Miss HispanoAmerica. But, she’s never wanted to be a beauty queen that snatches a title then disappears in partial or total oblivion.
A lawyer by profession, Bertin has her own foundation, Sarodj For a Purpose. Acting is the latest dare she’s given to herself and it’s been an obsession with her for a while now. Her latest film is One Night in Vegas, whose cast includes Jimmy Jean-Louis. The helmer of the film is none other than director and producer John Uche, known for his work in the Nollywood and Ghallywood film industries.
One of the things that Sarodj Bertin does each year is put together a calendar to raise funds for her foundation. She discussed the calendar and shared her thoughts on a variety of topics.
How are you doing today?
Great, thank God! I am really happy, because we are just starting a new year full of new opportunities! [Smiles]
What was it like putting together the latest edition of your calendar?
The whole process has been really exciting, and I’m very pleased to see how the calendar has been well received every year. I really enjoy doing it; it’s like my baby! I’m present in every stage, and that makes it more personal. My photographer is Hector Placeres and my designer Joel Reyes. This is the second year that I’ve worked with them, and making a dream project come true with the same team creates a bond that makes you feel like we are a big family. Every one of us is fully committed with every part of the calendar. That makes me feel happy and incredibly proud. As the previous ones, this edition has been shot in Haiti, because the main purpose of the calendar is promoting my beautiful country. The next edition (2015) will be different, because we are planning to find twelve models in Haiti. I want to do it this way, in order to give the opportunity to Haitian talent to show themselves to the world.
What’s the latest with your foundation Sarodj With a Purpose?
We still are waiting for the papers of our land, so we can start building. After we start the project, then we will have some fundraisers activities probably in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Santo Domingo, and Haiti.
As someone who has practiced law for some time, what are some principles that you’ve learned in that career, that you’ve find are applicable to other aspects of your non-law professional life?
I believe everything you learn in life is a plus, and makes you grow. By practicing law, I’ve reinforced my principles and beliefs in the importance of responsibility, honesty, loyalty, punctuality, privacy, and objectivity.
Have you ever been a victim of lookism?
Physical attractiveness is associated with good things in our society; therefore, I believe that sometimes it could open a few doors for you. But if you just have the look, and not the spirit, the door will not stay open. I have not been victim of lookism, that I know [of], and I think we have to be careful with stereotypes of any kind.
So, you are in a new movie One Night in Vegas.
One Night in Vegas was a great experience for me. I loved shooting this movie, because I loved the story and I loved the team. All of them were so nice between each other that we became really good friends. The name of my character in the movie was Francesca, and I loved playing her. When I read the story, I started to imagine her past life, her family, her goals, her education…etc. All of that helped me a lot in understanding her and the difficult situation she was in. And for many days while I was shooting, I wasn’t Sarodj, I was Francesca! [Smiles]
At one point or another, we’ve all heard variations of, “I don’t have any friends.” Or stuff like, “I’d rather be friends with guys, than fellow females.” Or, “Friendships with other girls is too much drama”. How can girls stand up for the sisterhood and reject such thinking?
I think the first thing to do, is to always start from zero. You cannot start a good friendship if you are thinking about someone that betrayed you in the past. Not everyone is the same… So, let’s give ourselves the chance to find nice and real friends.
No one is perfect. No one leads a perfectly jovial life 365/24/7/60. What is the best way to deal with obstacles and setbacks—and adversity overall—in life?
Nothing is easy; and if it was, we wouldn’t appreciate it. Therefore, just believe in yourself, and do what you want to do. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t! Work hard, and if you fail, just stand up again, and continue…
You’re doing more and more movies. Is there an actress whose career you’d like to pattern your own after? What do you hope to accomplish as an actress?
I’m passionate about acting! I admire a lot of actors, but two actresses I really love are Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Angelina Jolie.
Is singing—cutting a record—an ambition of yours as well?
Not really, but I do like singing… You never know, right? [Winks]
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of everything I’ve accomplished so far in my life, because it opens my mind to a new and bigger aim!
What are some things that are on your list of things to accomplish that you have yet to accomplish?
My acting career, which I am actually working on; the start of the construction of the technical professional center for orphans; and to develop new merchandise as an entrepreneur. After I get where I want, then I will think of something else. [Smiles]
[Photos: Marine photo is an outtake from the latest edition of the Sarodj Bertin calendar. Sarodj and Jimmy Jean-Louis on the set of the film One Night in Vegas. All photos provided by the subject]
Be sure to connect with Sarodj! Connect on Instagram by CLICKING HERE. Keep up with Sarodj’s latest tweets by CLICKING HERE. Visit her website and learn more about her foundation and how you can help by CLICKING HERE.