Sophie Marceau, born 17 November
1966, is a French actress, who has appeared in 35 films. During her teens,
Marceau achieved popularity by her debut films La Boum (1980) and La Boum
2 (1982), for which she received a César Award for Most Promising Actress.
In addition to her French language films, she has worked in international
films such as Braveheart (1995) and as a Bond Girl in The World Is Not
Marceau was born Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu in Paris, France, the second
child of Simone (née Morisset), a shop assistant, and Benoît Maupu, a
truck driver. The family lived a working-class existence that left Marceau
with generally fond memories of childhood. During the week, she helped at
the family restaurant. She spent weekends with her family in La Cabane, a
small house in Vert-le-Petit in the department Essonne. Her parents
divorced when she was nine.
In February 1980, Marceau and her mother came across a model agency
looking for teenagers. Marceau had photos taken at the agency but did not
think anything would come of it. At the same time, Françoise Menidrey, the
casting director for Claude Pinoteau's La Boum (1980), asked modeling
agencies to recommend a new teenager for the project. After viewing the
rushes, Alain Poiré, the director of the Gaumont Film Company, signed
Marceau to a long-term contract. La Boum was a hit not only in France,
where 4.5 million tickets were sold, but several other European countries
In 1981, Marceau made her singing debut with French singer François Valéry
on "Dream in Blue," written by Delanoë.
In 1982, at the age of 16, Marceau bought back her contract with Gaumont
for one million French francs. She borrowed most of the money. After
starring in the sequel film La Boum 2 in 1982, Marceau focused on more
dramatic roles, including Fort Saganne (co-starring Gérard Depardieu and
Catherine Deneuve) and Joyeuse Pâques (Happy Easter) in 1984, L'Amour
Braque and Police in 1985, and Descente aux Enfers (Descent Into Hell) in
1986. In 1988, she starred in L'Etudiante (The Student) and Chouans!. That
year, Marceau was named Best Romantic Actress at the International
Festival of Romantic Movies for her role in Chouans.
In 1989, she starred in Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours (My
Nights are more Beautiful than your Days), which was directed by her
long-time boyfriend Andrzej Zulawski. In 1990, she starred in Pacific
Palisades and La Note Bleue, her third film directed by her companion. In
1991, she ventured into the theater in Eurydice, which earned Marceau the
Moliere Award for Best Female Newcomer.
Marceau began making less-dramatic films, such as the comedy Fanfan in
1993 and La Fille de D'Artagnan in 1994 — both popular in Europe and
abroad. That year, she returned to the theatre as Eliza Dolittle in
Marceau achieved international recognition in 1995 as Princess Isabelle in
Mel Gibson's Braveheart. That year, she was part of an ensemble of
international actors in the French film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
and Wim Wenders, Beyond the Clouds.
In 1997, she continued with William Nicholson's Firelight, filmed in
England, Véra Belmont's Marquise, filmed in France, and Bernard Rose's
She played Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999). She became a
villainess Bond girl by playing Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough
Marceau teamed up again with her then-boyfriend Andrzej Zulawski to film
La Fidélité in 2000.
In 1995, Marceau wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Menteuse (engl.
translation Telling Lies published in 2001), in which the narrator is a
beautiful actress who is confident in her beauty and talent and yet
insecure. The unnamed narrator takes the reader into a world of memories,
fantasies, and impressions, but never reveals herself completely.
Marceau's work was described as "an exploration of female identity".
Marceau describes what the narrator is going through:
It's the day of separation, and from that second she realises she has
gone, like an everyday lifetime with memories coming back. Because she's
in the middle of something new that hasn't been yet, and something done
already. How time can be elastic; how it can betray you, be capricious and
play with you.
In 2002, Marceau made her directorial debut in the feature film Speak to
Me of Love for which she was named Best Director at the Montreal World
Film Festival. The film starred Judith Godrèche. It was her second effort
at directing (she made the nine-minute short film L'Aube à l'envers in
1995, which also starred Godrèche).
Marceau had a 17 year relationship with director Andrzej Żuławski, who is
26 years her senior. Their son Vincent was born in June 1995. In 2001,
Marceau separated from Zulawski and became involved with producer Jim
Lemley and later gave birth to her second child, Juliette, born in London
in 2002. Since 2007 she has been dating actor Christopher Lambert.
"Acting is wonderful therapy
for people. Instead of suffering for yourself, someone will do it
"I need the seasons to live to the rythm of rain and sun. In town,
It's like you can hardly make the difference between night an day. "
"I hate those kisses, you know, American kisses, with the tongues
out. They're disgusting. I can't look, it's like porno!"
"What is he, 13 or 11? Perhaps I could play his nanny." Upon hearing
Leonardo DiCaprio is a big fan.
"It's so attractive, too attractive. Your writing becomes more real
than your reality. Acting is contained - you act for three months,
then leave it - but writing is the act of creation. Writing is
dangerous." After writing her semi- autobiographical novel Telling
Lies, published in 2001.