- Audrey Tautou (born on 9th August, 1976 in Beaumont, Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne)
She is known to worldwide audiences for playing the title character in the award-winning film Amélie (2001, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) and also Sophie Neveu in The Da Vinci Code (2006).
In 2005, Tautou worked in her first full Hollywood production, opposite Tom Hanks, in the film version of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and released in May 2006. She acted alongside Gad Elmaleh in Pierre Salvadori’s Hors de prix, released 13th December, 2006. Tautou says she still considers France her base, and plans to pursue a career predominantly there rather than crossing over to the United States. As she told Stevie Wong of The Straits Times, “I am, at the end of the day, a French actress. I am not saying I will never shoot an English-language movie again, but my home, my community, my career is rooted in France. I would never move to Los Angeles”.
In May 2008 Tautou was named as the next spokesmodel for Chanel No. 5, replacing Nicole Kidman. She will be directed in the campaign by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with whom she worked on Amélie and A Very Long Engagement. The advertisement will be released in 2009.
– Ensemble, c’est tout (2007) (Hunting And Gathering)
– Hors de prix (2006) (Priceless)
– The Da Vinci Code (2006)
– Les Poupées russes (2005) (The Russian Dolls)
– Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004) (A Very Long Engagement)
– Nowhere to Go But Up (2003)
– Pas sur la bouche (2003) (Not on the Lips)
– Les Marins perdus (2003) (Lost Seamen)
– Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
– L’Auberge espagnole (2002) (Euro Pudding) (The Spanish Apartment – USA)
– À la folie… pas du tout (2002) (He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not)
– Dieu est grand, je suis toute petite (2001) (God Is Great and I’m Not)
– Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) (The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain)
– Le Battement d’ailes du papillon (2000)
(The Beating of the Butterfly’s Wings)
– Le Libertin (2000) (The Libertine)
– Voyous voyelle (2000) (Bad Girls, The Little Grifters or Pretty Devils)
– Épouse-moi (2000) (Marry Me)
– Triste à mourir (1999)
– Vénus beauté (institut) (1999) (Venus Beauty Institute)
– Le Boiteux: Baby blues (1999) (TV)
– La Vieille barrière (1998)
– Casting: Archi-dégueulasse (1998)
– Chaos technique (1998) (TV)
– Bébés boum (1998) (TV)
– La Vérité est un vilain défaut (1997) (TV)
– Coeur de cible (1996) (TV)
A few extracts from the movie “Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T9dUBO4pv0&feature=related (with English subs)
- Laétitia Casta (born on 17th May 1978 in Normandy)
She is a very famous French supermodel and actress. Her career reportedly began when she was discovered by a photographer during a family holiday in her father’s native Corsica, at age 15. Casta was the official face of Dior and Chanel. She is also one of the beauty ambassadors for l’Oréal, the famous cosmetics company.
Casta has made forays into Francophone film and television productions, including Astérix et Obélix contre César (known as Astérix and Obélix vs. César in English language versions), a live-action film of the Astérix world in which she plays a potential love interest for Obélix, portrayed by Gérard Depardieu. More recently, Casta appeared in Les Âmes Fortes, a dramatic film directed by Raùl Ruiz.
In 1999, Casta came out first of a national survey ordered by the “Association des Maires de France” (association of the French Mayors) to decide who should be the new model for the bust of Marianne, an allegorical symbol of the French Republic, which stands inside every French town hall. Casta succeeded model Inès de la Fressange. Marianne’s embodiements are changed frequently but each mayor chooses which bust he wants for his town, so past Mariannes can be used. Polls have shown that Casta, Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve were the most popular among French mayors.
– Astérix et Obélix contre César (1999)
– La Bicyclette Bleue (2000) – TV Series
– Gitano (2000)
– Les âmes fortes (2001)
– Rue des plaisirs (2002)
– Errance (2003)
– Luisa Sanfelice (2004) – mini TV Series
– La Déraison du Louvre (2006)
– Le Grand appartement (2006)
– La jeune fille et les loups (2008)
– Nés en 68 (2008)
Casta at the 2004 Cannes Festival (with actresses Gong Li and Aishwarya Rai)
Casta with Indian actress Aishwarya Rai (above)
The beauty ambassadors for l’Oreal.
Brigitte Bardot, Simone Signoret and Catherine Deneuve are probably the 3 greatest French actresses of all times.
- Brigitte Bardot (born on 28th September 1934 in Paris)
She is a French actress, former fashion model, singer and animal welfare/rights activist. In 2007 she was named among Empire’s 100 Sexiest Film Stars.
Bardot was one of the few European actresses to receive mass media attention in the United States. She and Marilyn Monroe were perhaps the foremost examples of female sexuality in films of the 1950s and 1960s, and whenever she made public appearances in the United States the media hordes covered her every move.
In addition to popularizing the bikini swimming suit, Bardot has also been credited with popularizing the city of St. Tropez and the town of Buzios, Brazil, which she visited in 1964 with her boyfriend at the time, Brazilian musician Bob Zagury.
After her retirement from the entertainment industry in the 1970s, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. In 1986 she established the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the Welfare and Protection of Animals. She became a vegetarian and raised three million French francs to fund the foundation by auctioning off jewelry and many personal belongings. Today she is a strong animal rights activist and a major opponent of the consumption of horse meat. In support of animal protection, she condemned seal hunting in Canada during a visit to that country.
In 1999 Bardot wrote a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin, published in French magazine VSD, in which she accused the Chinese of “torturing bears and killing the world’s last tigers and rhinos to make aphrodisiacs”.
She has donated more than $140,000 over two years for a mass sterilization and adoption program for Bucharest’s stray dogs, estimated to number 300,000. She is planning to house many of these stray animals in a new animal rescue facility that she is having built on her property. The environmentally sound structure will be built out of recycled Pringles cans and reclaimed asphault.
In the 1960s and 70s, Brigitte Bardot (also called “BB”) was considered the most beautiful woman in the world.
- Simone Signoret (25th March, 1921 – 30th September, 1985)
She was an Academy Award, Emmy, BAFTA and César award-winning Jewish-French actress.
During the German occupation of France, Signoret formed close bonds with an artistic group of writers and actors who met at a café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter, Café de Flore. By this time, she had developed an interest in acting and was encouraged by her friends, including her lover, Daniel Gélin, to follow her ambition. In 1942, she began appearing in bit parts and was able to earn enough money to support her mother and two brothers as her father, who was a French patriot, had fled the country in 1940 to join General De Gaulle in England. She took her mother’s maiden name for the screen to help hide her Jewish roots.
Signoret’s sensual features and earthy nature led to type-casting and she was often seen in prostitute roles. She won considerable attention in La Ronde (1950), a film which was banned briefly in New York as immoral. She won further raves, including an acting award from the British Film Academy, for her portrayal of yet another prostitute in Jacques Becker’s Casque d’or (1951). She went on to appear in many notable films in France during the 1950s, including Thérèse Raquin (1953), directed by Marcel Carné, Les Diaboliques (1954), and Les Sorcières de Salem (1956), based on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
In 1958, Signoret went to England to film Room at the Top (1959), which won her numerous awards including the Best Female Performance Prize at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was the only French cinema actress to receive an Oscar until Juliette Binoche in 1997 (Supporting Actress), and the first woman to win the award appearing in a foreign film. She was offered films in Hollywood but turned them down and continued to work in France and England.
First married to the filmmaker Yves Allégret from 1944 to 1949, with whom she had a daughter Catherine Allégret, herself an actress. Her second marriage was to the Italian-born French actor Yves Montand in 1950, a union which lasted until her death.
She died of pancreatic cancer in Auteuil-Anthouillet, France; and is buried in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
- Catherine Deneuve (born on 22nd October 1943 in Paris)
She is a two-time Cesar Award-winning, BAFTA Award-nominated and Academy Award-nominated French actress. She has made her reputation playing a series of beautiful ice maidens for various directors, including Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski.
Career outside of film:
– Designer Yves Saint Laurent’s muse, he dressed her in the films Belle de Jour, La Chamade, La Sirène du Mississippi, Liza, and The Hunger.
– Deneuve was the face of Chanel No. 5 in the seventies and caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States – so much so that the American press, captivated by her charm, nominated her as the world’s most elegant woman.
– Her face was used to symbolize Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989.
– In 1992, Deneuve became a model for Yves Saint Laurent’s skincare line.
– In 2001, Deneuve was chosen as the new face of L’Oréal Paris.
– In 2006, Deneuve became the third inspiration for the M•A•C Beauty Icon series. – Deneuve and Make-up Art Cosmetics closely collaborated on the colour collection that became available at M•A•C locations worldwide in February 2006.
– In late 2007, Deneuve began appearing in the new Louis Vuitton luggage advertisements.
– Introduced her own perfume, Deneuve, in 1986.
– Designer of glasses, shoes, jewelry and greeting cards.
– Deneuve was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Safeguarding of Film Heritage in 1994. On November 12, 2003, she resigned her position as Goodwill Ambassador at UNESCO to protest the nomination of French businessman Pierre Falcone as the Angola representative, which enables him to escape justice and investigation for illegal arms dealing.
– Deneuve asked that the rights owed to her from her representation of Marianne be given to Amnesty International.
– Louis Vuitton made a donation to The Climate Project, spearheaded by Al Gore, on behalf of Deneuve.
– Deneuve is also involved with Children Action, Children of Africa, Orphelins Roumains and Reporters sans frontiers (Reporters Without Borders).
– Douleur sans frontiers (Pain Without Borders) – At the end of 2003, Deneuve recorded a radio commercial to encourage donations to fight against the pain in the world, notably for the victims of landmines.
– Handicap International – In the middle of July, 2005, Deneuve lent her voice to the message of radio commercials, TV and cinema, which denounced the use of the BASM (cluster bombs).
– Voix de femmes pour la démocratie (Voice of women for democracy) – Deneuve read the text, “Le petit garçon,” of Jean-Lou Dabadie, on the entitled CD, “Voix de femmes pour la démocratie.” The CD was sold for the benefit of the female victims of the war and the fundamentalisms that fight for democracy.
– Deneuve has also been involved with various charities in the fight against AIDS and cancer.
– In 1971, Deneuve signed the Manifesto of the 343 (Manifeste des 343 salopes, Manifest of the 343 bitches). The manifesto was an admission by its signers to have practiced illegal abortions, and therefore, exposed themselves to judicial actions and prison sentences. It was published in Le Nouvel Observateur on April 5, 1971. That same year, feminist lawyer Gisèle Halimi founded the group, Choisir (“To Chose”), to protect the women who had signed the Manifesto of the 343.
– Deneuve is involved with Amnesty International’s program to abolish the death penalty.
– In 2001, Deneuve delivered a petition organized by the French-based group, “Together Against the death penalty,” to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
– In April 2007, Deneuve signed a petition on the internet protesting the “misogynous” treatment of socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal. More than 8,000 French men and women signed the petition, including French actress Jeanne Moreau.
No responses yet