Are French Canadians French or Canadian? Do they understand sarcasm, or do we not understand theirs? And why do they make such horrible outerwear choices? Though Marie-France Roy is a hippie who lives in British Columbia now, she can't hide her French Canadian-ness. Not that she wants to. Besides having a funny accent, MFR is one of the best female snowboarders in the world. She can hang in the streets and handle her business in the backcountry. She's also incredibly kind and has a good sense of humor. If she isn't already one of your favorites, after you see her in this year's Rome movie, she will be.
Hello. I was expecting your call earlier.
Well I don't get up till, like, noon.
[Laughs] Oh, you said mid morning! Good morning. What are you doing?
I'm writing a product review for the Banshee Bungee, even though I'm too old to actually use it.
JP Walker is still hitting rails, and he's like 34.
Yeah, but he's "The Don."
You could be The Don, too... Actually, I hope I'm not still hitting rails when I'm 34.
You have a college degree, right?
Yeah, in Applied Ecology, but it's been like six or seven years so I need some kind of refresher. I was partying way too much back then.
Applied Ecology sounds pretty hippie-ish.
Yeah, well that describes me pretty good. I don't really look very hippie, but I can sound pretty hippie.
I think you sound pretty French.
[Laughs] That's pretty awesome. I haven't lost my accent completely.
Is it called French Canada because the French still have rule over the land?
I think we have independence -- we rule our own boat! They want to separate from the rest of Canada.
Like Texas? They want to be their own country?
Yes, they want to be their own country.
You have the word France in your name -- are you some kind of royalty?
Um, no I don't think so.
So if you were born in Edmonton, would your name be Marie-Edmonton?
[Laughs] No, I think it would be Sandy.
Is Edmonton by the beach?
No! Because of the oil in the sand, the oil sand.
Oh, duh, the oil sand. But now you do live by the sand, on Vancouver Island. And you spend your winters in Whistler -- are you some sort of über pro with houses everywhere?
No, definitely not. I rent in Whistler. I live in this loft, and my bedroom doesn't even have walls. Last year I was just sleeping on my brother's futon all winter.
What projects are you working on this winter?
I'm filming for the new Rome video all winter, it's called "The Shred Remains." It's great. The crew is awesome and all those guys are really supportive. I was just on a rail trip in Minnesota with them. It's really hard because I haven't hit handrails in two years. And I broke my neck filming with Absinthe, so I'm coming off an injury too.
Does that make you hesitant to hit things, or are you just pumped to go out and get tricks?
A little bit of both. I feel stronger everyday, and I think about it a lot less. On my first trip in November it took me a while to jump on the rail I was hitting, but now I feel really good and don't think about it anymore.
How did you get involved with the Absinthe crew?
Two years ago I saw Annie Boulanger somewhere and she started talking about how she wanted to film with another girl, and she said she was going to ask if I could film with them. I was just thinking that it was never going to happen, but she kept pushing for it and asking. Finally it happened, Oakley stepped in and played a big part, too, but it's all because Annie pushed for it. Thanks to Annie and thanks to Oakley for supporting the project!
Did she teach you a lot about snowboarding in the backcountry?
Yes, she has been out there for so long, and she is so sick. She has so much experience that when I would point out a line she would be able to tell me if it was to flat or doable. She can read the terrain so well. I still have so much to learn, but she really helped me, and it was great start to pushing my snowboarding in the backcountry.