Sophie Marceau

Sophie Marceau (French pronunciation: [sɔfi maʁso]; born 17 November 1966) is a French actress, who has appeared in 35 films. During her teens, Marceau achieved popularity with 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 played the main antagonist, Elektra King, inThe World Is Not Enough (1999).

Early life

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.

Career

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 and Japan.

In 1981, Marceau made her singing debut with French singer François Valéry on "Dream in Blue," written by Delanoë.

Early film career
In 1982, at the age of 15, 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 Joyeuses 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 Pygmalion.

International success
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 Anna Karenina. 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 (1999). Marceau teamed up again with her then-boyfriend Andrzej Zulawski to film La Fidélité in 2000.

Author and director

In 1995, Marceau wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Menteuse (engl. translation Telling Liespublished 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:

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).

Personal life

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 Żuławski and became involved with producer Jim Lemley and later gave birth to her second child, Juliette, born in Paris in 2002.

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