Sonia Benezra speaks about life as a bilingual TV personality in Quebec
Having spent 30 years in the broadcast industry, Quebec TV personality Sonia Benezra joined Global News Morning as a guest host alongside anchor Laura Casella and weather specialist Kim Sullivan.
Benezra was the first person hired as a VJ on MusiquePlus in 1986, winning four People’s Choice Awards and three Gemini Awards in her career.
She hosted the Sonia Benezra Show on TQS and over the course of her career, has interviewed a long list of celebrities that include Al Pacino, Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson, Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Tina Turner.
Benezra has hosted shows in both English and French.
Global News asked Benezra a few questions to get to know her a little better and find out what she’s up to now.
What projects are you working on now?
I released my autobiography a year ago called Je ne regrette presque rien.
I took a sabbatical after being on air for 30 years straight.
WATCH BELOW: Global’s Laura Casella and guest co-host Sonia Benezra to talk to Denis Vokmirovic about La Récolte, a Montreal restaurant featuring seasonal and locally-sourced food.
Are there any differences between hosting shows in French compared to English?
It takes a lot more words in French to say what you need to say compared to English.
I always felt like a bridge between the two communities.
I always thought it was so unfortunate the French were not aware of what the English community was doing and the English community is not aware of what the French community is doing.
What is it like interviewing celebrities? How do you stay focused?
I think that the best way to do a good interview is to go in prepared and be ready to go somewhere the artist takes you.
To do a good interview, you have to listen to what the person tells you.
I’ve never gone in with general questions, I’ve gone in with specifics and that appeals to the artist, being prepared is really appealing.
WATCH BELOW: Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire from the École Polytechnique de Montréal Corporation talks to Global’s Laura Casella and guest co-host Sonia Benezra about choosing the Order of the White Rose.
What have you learned from interviewing so many people?
Most people, no matter what they’ve accomplished, are actually very fragile.
Most artists that I’ve interviewed have insecurities.
I always try to talk about human aspects.
There’s a fragility, insecurity that exists in most artists, which everyone can relate to.
I’m much more interested in what’s perceived as flaws.
WATCH BELOW: Global entertainment columnist Jay Walker joins Kim Sullivan and guest co-host Sonia Benezra to talk about Cirque du Soleil and Merry Montreal.
Celebrities do a lot of interviews. How do you keep it interesting for them?
I like to be specific. I’ll find something that I can relate to, I always find that makes the interview interesting.
If they’re going through something that’s really delicate, I broach it before the interview so they’re not blindsided and they really like that.
My style is not an aggressive style, it’s more heartfelt.
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