Caneele, who had never before acted --- and shared the prize with debuting thesp Emilie Dequenne from the Dardenne brothers' Palme d'Or winning "Rosetta" --- makes amusingly candid observations about the glitter of Cannes, having never traveled beyond her corner of Northern France before director Bruno Dumont type-cast her in the grimly working class "Humanity."

Caneele, who had never before acted — and shared the prize with debuting thesp Emilie Dequenne from the Dardenne brothers’ Palme d’Or winning “Rosetta” — makes amusingly candid observations about the glitter of Cannes, having never traveled beyond her corner of Northern France before director Bruno Dumont type-cast her in the grimly working class “Humanity.”

Caneele makes amusingly candid observations about the glitter of Cannes and her subsequent promotional trips to Japan and to Taiwan during a deadly earthquake. Since Dumont had given up his seat so Caneele and her new husband could enjoy a real honeymoon, he initially was terrified he’dsent them both to their deaths.

Caneele worked in a vegetable canning factory for two and a half years, and particularly enjoyed operating a forklift. Signing up at the unemployment office on her return from a “Humanity”-related trip, Caneele said she’d accept any job, but was told she had to specify her profession.

Upon returning from her journey’s Caneele recounts how she again found herself out of work. Since she had worked in a vegetable canning factory when she was “discovered” by Dumont, she drew up two different resumes. One said she sorted vegetables and, uh, “won the Prix d’interpretation feminine a Cannes 1999 .” The other said she’s an actress.

“For the time being,” she writes, “both versions have proved equally useless.”

Caneele’s 27 days of shooting put a strain on her relationship with husband-to-be, Josian. And when his first exposure to the film was a cassette of unedited rushes on which Severine appeared in three sex scenes, he was not pleased.

Two days later, Josian was frosty on the Croisette, wondering how the film got picked in the first place, since “As a general rule, the Cannes Film Festival doesn’t program porn!”

Caneele adamantly states that a body double was used for genital close-ups. And seeing the film at Cannes with the gala audience, Josian apologized.A sort of Cinderella who by her own account is perfectly happy to have attended the ball and gone back to her modest everyday life in the stark region where she grew up, Caneele reports that one journalist put forth her name as a candidate for the new bust of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic that graces hundreds of town halls and for which Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot previously posed.

In view of the winner, Laetitia Casta’s, much-publicized defection to England for tax purposes, the mayors of France would have been better off with solid, self-reliant Caneele.

Book is not yet translated into English.

Aux Marches Du Palais

Production

BY SEVERINE CANEELE (PUBLISHED IN FRANCE BY MICHEL LAFON , 211PGS, 105 FRANCS ($ 14.68)) Aux marches du palais" (On the Steps of the Palais) is the engagingly written and down-to-earth autobiography of Severine Caneele, the unemployed factory worker and first-time performer who shared a best actress award at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival for her role in the controversial Grand Jury Prize winner "L'humanite" (Humanity).
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more