As with many stars of the silver screen much of the acting talent that has emerged over the years from France got its start in the theater. It is not uncommon to see successful stage actors, musicians or dancers progress and diversify into film and many French artists have experienced added success from their work in Hollywood and the American movie industry in general. Many French artists have preferred to work in Europe and have mainly or exclusively appeared in French language films but let’s look at those whose work may be more familiar to the mainstream audience.
One of the most successful artists to have accomplished this transition is Juliette Binoche who has garnered success across the arts appearing on stage as an actor and dancer as well as being a published author! Initially she found success in her native France staring in the 1985 drama Rendezvous, which cemented her as a star in her home land, and later went on to launch an international career with her role in The Unbearable Lightness of Being in 1988. She has been awarded numerous accolades and received nominations for such outstanding films as The English Patient and Chocolat to name but two. To her credit Binoche has successfully alternated between English and French speaking roles both in film and still occasionally on the stage and is recognized as one of Europe’s true leading ladies of the modern era.
Similarly of this era, Clémence Poésy is a French actress and model who began her career as a child actress. Born in Meudon France she studied drama and went on to progress from the stage to both film and television and is probably most recognized for her role as Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter movies and Rana in 127 Hours.
Caroline Eugenie Lagerfelt
This actress was born in Paris in 1947 and spent much of her time in Sweden. She began her career working in theatre and later had a very successful career in television but has also appeared in some notable films throughout her long career. She may be most known for appearances in some long-standing soap operas in the United States but also turned up in movies like Minority report in 2002 Poseidon in 2006 and All The King’s Men in the same year.
Surely one of the most well-known names to hit the movie theaters and to have originated in French theatre is that of Gerard Depardieu. Born in 1948 in Châteauroux France he became a household name following performances in Cyrano de Bergerac and Green Card but had already received acclaim for roles in French films some ten years prior to those more main stream performances. Like many of his French counterparts Depardieu has been successful in alternating between French and English-speaking roles as well as expanding into other artistic areas returning to stage and radio performances. Certainly, many of the great French artists have a knack for being true to their artistic selves and not being afraid to demonstrate this through more obscure projects! Long may this continue.