Christine Rollard is an araneologist, a specialist in spiders and a teacher-researcher at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris. For AlloCiné, she analyzes some cult cinema sequences and reveals the truth about certain preconceived ideas.
On the occasion of the theatrical release of Vermines, we spoke with Christine Rollard, teacher-researcher at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and author of around fifty publications on spiders. Nicknamed “Madame Spider”, the French araneologist welcomed us into her laboratory, a sort of cabinet of curiosities, where spiders are queens.
Christine Rollard deciphers film scenes with arachnids for us: the sequence with Arachne in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the one with Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Sam Raimi’s Spider-man, the scene of the mygale from Maman I missed the plane, the bathroom sequence in Vermines by Sébastien Vaniček, but also the scene where the heroes of Minuscule – Les Mandibles du Bout du Monde are trapped in a web.
Misconceptions about spiders
In this long interview, the specialist explains to us what is true or not, possible or not and discusses the many and often false ideas received about spiders. What is the largest known spider? Do giant spiders exist? Do we really swallow spiders in our sleep? Can they lay eggs under our skin? Is a spider bite fatal for humans? Do all spiders weave webs?
Christine Rollard also returns to the bad image of arachnids in the human imagination and explains to us that it is a very Western fear. Like sharks with Jaws, the spider suffers from a bad image largely because of films and a certain disconnection with nature in our societies.
After this interview you will be knowledgeable about spiders!