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Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent
Laurent at the premiere of Inglourious Basterds.
Born (1983-02-21) 21 February 1983 (age 32)
Paris, Île-de-France, France
Nationality French
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Actress, Model, Singer, Writer, Director
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) unnamed (m. c. 2012/2013)[1]
Partner(s) Julien Boisselier
Children 1

Mélanie Laurent (born 21 February 1983) is a French actress, model, director, singer and writer.

She won the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her performance in the film Don't Worry, I'm Fine in 2006. Laurent further became known to international audiences for her role as Shoshanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, for which she won Best Actress from the Online Film Critics Society and the Austin Film Critics Association and then also starred in one of 2013's top-grossing Hollywood films, Now You See Me.

Early life

Laurent was born in Paris, the daughter of Annick, a ballerina,[2] and Pierre Laurent, a voiceover actor (who dubs the character Ned Flanders in the French version of The Simpsons).[3][4] She is Jewish, and has both Ashkenazi (from Poland) and Sephardic (from Tunisia) ancestry.[5][6][7] Her grandfather survived deportation by the Nazis.[7] Her maternal grandparents were film poster editors.[2] She grew up in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, and was immersed in the arts from birth.[2]

Laurent's acting career began when actor Gérard Depardieu, seeing her while she watched her best friend's father working on the set of Asterix and Obelix, asked her if she wanted to be in films. Laurent replied, "Why not?" and the next week his assistant called her. He strongly advised her not to take drama classes because, according to him, she already had the necessary skills. When Laurent was 16, Depardieu gave her a part in The Bridge, a drama he starred in and co-directed with Fréderic Auburtin.[8] She only played a small role, but it was enough to further Mélanie's interest in acting.[9]


Laurent appeared in 20 films between 1999 and 2009. Playing a depressed 19 year-old who longed for her lost twin brother, she starred in Philippe Lioret's I'm Fine, Don't Worry (2006), for which she won a César Award for Most Promising Actress. In 2006, Laurent and Belgian actor Jérémie Renier were awarded France's Romy Schneider and Jean Gabin Prizes for "most promising actor and actress."[10]

In 2008, Laurent directed and wrote De moins en moins, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a 7-minute film about a patient who, in front of her psychiatrist, "remembers less and less".[11] Laurent also directed À ses pieds,[12] an erotic short film aired on the French television channel Canal+ on 25–26 October 2008, as part of a series of such shorts, called X Femmes, shot by female directors with the goal of producing erotica from a female point of view.[12]

Laurent was scheduled to direct her first play, Mi-cuit cœur pistache (the name of a dessert she particularly likes) in January 2009 at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris. She had to abandon the project during the preparations and rehearsals when she was cast as Shoshanna Dreyfus in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds, a French-language role for which she had to learn to speak English for a few scenes.[13] Her then-partner Julien Boisselier, as well as Marie Denarnaud, Mélanie Doutey and Louise Monot were to act in the production while short movie clips were to be projected on stage, some of them shot at the nightclub Le Baron, which Laurent used to frequent during the writing period.[14]

Laurent also had planned another feature film, Putain de pluie!, whose script she co-wrote with Morgan Perez and which she intended to direct, produced by Alain Attal's Productions du Trésor. Originally set for filming in the spring of 2009, it was postponed because of her work on Inglourious Basterds.[14][15] Knowing that she could speak French and had already acted in French in one of the short films in Paris, je t'aime she offered the first role to Natalie Portman, who declined because of the language of the script.[11] Laurent played the part of the violinist in Radu Mihăileanu's Le Concert—she called it "a smart movie and a popular movie, and I'm glad because French people wanted to watch a movie with classical music."

Laurent was the hostess of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 64th Cannes Film Festival.[16] In 2011 she appeared opposite Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer in Beginners. In 2013 she appeared in the caper film Now You See Me alongside Mark Ruffalo and an ensemble cast, which came out to be a huge commercial success and praised for the performances of the entire cast.

Personal life

Laurent was in a long-term relationship with fellow French actor Julien Boisselier which ended in 2009. She describes recording artist Damien Rice and filmographer Quentin Tarantino as two "masters" in terms of their art.[17] With Rice, she recorded her first album, living between Woodstock, New York and his home in Ireland. Spending time in his home in Ireland inspired her to maintain a compost heap and eat organic food.[2][18]

Laurent married in 2013. Her first child, a son named Léo, was born in September 2013.[19][20]

Laurent has visited a Climate Defenders Camp in the peatlands of the Indonesian Rainforest with Greenpeace activists. She is also one of the Climate Ambassadors for Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum "Tck Tck Tck" Campaign.[21] Laurent has also joined the campaign against overfishing on the invitation of the Blue Marine Foundation, and was cast for the voice-over of documentary The End of the Line. She was also one of the leading celebrities of the campaign Fish Fight France, which aimed (and succeeded) at citizens asking for a new European law lowering the level of fish discards in European seas.[22]


As actress

Year Film Role Director Notes
1998 Les malheurs de Sophie Young Madeleine de Fleurville TV Series (1 Episode: "Retour en France")
1999 Un pont entre deux rives Lisbeth Frédéric Auburtin
Gérard Depardieu
2000 Route de nuit Francesca Laurent Dussaux TV film
2001 Ceci est mon corps Clara Rodolphe Marconi
2002 Summer Things Carole Michel Blanc
2003 La Faucheuse Isabelle Vincenzo Marano
Patrick Timsit
Jean Moulin, une affaire française Young Alice Arguel Pierre Aknine TV film
Snowboarder Célia Olias Barco
2004 Une vie à t'attendre The girl at the factory Thierry Klifa
Rice Rhapsody Sabine Kenneth Bi
Le Dernier Jour Louise Rodolphe Marconi
2005 The Beat That My Heart Skipped Minskov's Girlfriend Jacques Audiard
Les Visages d'Alice Alice David Ungaro Short
2006 Days of Glory Marguerite Rachid Bouchareb
Dikkenek Natacha Olivier Van Hoofstadt Étoiles d'Or for Best Female Newcomer
Don't Worry, I'm Fine Élise "Lili" Tellier Philippe Lioret César Award for Most Promising Actress
Lumières Award for Most Promising Actress
Étoiles d'Or for Best Female Newcomer
Nominated – NRJ Ciné Award for Best Young Talent in a Debut Film
2007 Hidden Love Sophie Alessandro Capone
Le tueur Stella Cédric Anger
Beluga Jean-Marc Fabre
La Chambre des morts Lucie Hennebelle Alfred Lot Nominated – Lumières Award for Best Actress
2008 Paris Laetitia Cédric Klapisch
Voyage d'affaires Hotel receptionist Sean Ellis Short
2009 Jusqu'à toi Chloé Jennifer Devoldère
Inglourious Basterds Shosanna Dreyfus Quentin Tarantino Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated – St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Le Concert Anne-Marie Jacquet Radu Mihăileanu
2010 The Round Up Annette Monod Rose Bosch
2011 Beginners Anna Mike Mills Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Pollen Narrator Louis Schwartzberg
Requiem pour une tueuse Lucrèce Jérôme Le Gris
Et soudain tout le monde me manque Justine Dhrey Jennifer Devoldère Newport Beach Film Festival for Best Actress
Les adoptés Lisa Mélanie Laurent
2013 Night Train to Lisbon Young Estefania Bille August
Now You See Me Alma Dray Louis Leterrier
2014 Aloft Jannia Ressmore Claudia Llosa
Enemy Mary Denis Villeneuve
2015 Boomerang François Favrat Post-Production
By the Sea Angelina Jolie Filming
Eternity Tran Anh Hung Pre-Production

As director and writer

Year Film Notes
2008 De moins en moins Short film
X Femmes Short erotic film (Season 1, Episode 6)
2011 Les Adoptés Star, Director & Co-Writer
2012 Surpêche Short video documentary
2014 Respire Director & Co-Writer




  1. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (1 March 2013). "Melanie Laurent: Quentin Tarantino star is on the right track". The Independent. 
  2. ^ a b c d Le Vaillant, Luc (2009-06-08). "Mélanie Laurent : coup de fougue". Libé Retrieved 2009-08-27. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Mélanie Laurent – Director, Screenwriter, Actress". French movies professional directory. uniFrance. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  4. ^ Mélanie Laurent : Rétrospective. Dailymotion. 2009. 
  5. ^ WENN (2009-08-14). "Laurent is happy to be the 'face of Jewish vengeance'". Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  6. ^ Gorov, Lynda (2009-08-16). "Glorious women". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  7. ^ a b Frétard, Dominique (2007-12-05). "Elles s’appellent toutes Mélanie". Le Monde. pp. 50–53. Retrieved 2010-03-26. 
  8. ^ "Laurent interview with Kaleem Aftab, 'In it for the drama and the danger'" (2 July 2010) The Independent
  9. ^
  10. ^ James, Alison (2006-10-17). "Renier, Laurent win thesp kudos, Pair appear in police thriller 'La Chambre des morts'". Variety Magazine. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  11. ^ a b Antheaume, Alice (2008-05-20). "Mélanie Laurent: "Je vais demander à Natalie Portman de tenir le premier rôle de mon film"". Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  12. ^ a b "X Femmes" à minuit sur C+ (−18)". le blog TV News (in French). 2008-10-25. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  13. ^ Inglourious Basterds Movie Special with Alex Zane, Channel 4
  14. ^ a b Reygner, Laureline (2008-09-25). "La sublime et talentueuse Mélanie Laurent est sur tous les fronts !". Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  15. ^ "Hommage au Producteur Alain Attal en sa présence" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-21. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Cannes 2011 : Carla Bruni, Mélanie Laurent et les films attendus!". Yahoo. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  17. ^ "Interview: Melanie Laurent for Inglourious Basterds". ScreenCrave. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "La vie en vert de Mélanie Laurent". Elle. Retrieved 2009-11-13.  (interview)
  19. ^ (interview)
  20. ^ Xavière Laffont - Figaro Madame (1 October 2013). "Mélanie Laurent a accouché". Madame Figaro. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Inglourious treehuggers dam climate change!". Greenpeace International. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  22. ^ Jérémi Michaux. "Des vedettes pour mobiliser contre les dérives de la pêche industrielle". Le Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Promenade de santé – Mélanie Laurent" (in French), Artistik Rezo, Mathilde Degorce. 2010-02-22.
  24. ^ Mélanie Laurent Enlists Damien Rice for Debut Album Twenty Four Bit. 6 March 2011

External links

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