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Benoît Poelvoorde in 2013.
22 September 1964 |
|Years active||Since 1983|
His mother was a grocer and his father a driver, who died when Poelvoorde was still a minor. He attended the Jesuit Boarding School of Godinne before he left home at 17 to take classes at the Félicien Rops Technical Institute in Namur (Belgium) where he met Rémy Belvaux. He developed a passion for theater and became noted for his atypical interpretations. Not only was he was destined to become a draughtsman, he also developed professionality as a photographer. During his graphic design studies at the École de recherche graphique in Brussels, he also became friend with André Bonzel and, together with Rémy Belvaux, realized in 1988 Pas de C4 pour Daniel Daniel, his first movie, a student short film (which he co-directed and co-wrote). It was a stylized trailer for a mock-spy film.
In 1992, Poelvoorde, Delvaux and Bonzel directed together their first long feature C'est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog internationally) originally a low-budget school graduation project (1992) and a kind of cynical "noir" movie, inspired from the famous Belgian series "Strip-Tease" which went on to become a critically acclaimed cult movie. The film received the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC).
Poelvoorde subsequently starred in two series on the French pay-channel Canal+ and several movies such as Les Randonneurs, Le Boulet and Podium, which made him famous in France and Belgium. In 2001, he starred in Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert, a funny and touching movie about one of his passions, bicycling. In 2002, he received the Jean Gabin Prize, which recognized the most hopeful young talents. Poelvoorde became a member of the Cannes Film Festival Jury in 2004, on Quentin Tarantino's request, a big fan of Man Bites Dog, who presided over the Jury, that year.
In 2008, his performance in the movie Astérix aux Jeux olympiques won him critical acclaim by both film critics and the public at large. His recurrent character as a pretentious person and a sore loser that he masters to perfection has drawn comparisons between him and the beloved French comedian Louis de Funès. Poelvoorde does not confine himself to goofy characters, he also played tortured roles. He has starred in 2009 as Etienne Balsan in Coco avant Chanel by Anne Fontain, with Audrey Tautou; as Jean-René in 2010 with Isabelle Carré in a charming comedy by Jean-Pierre Améris Émotifs anonymes about two extremely shy persons who fall in love, and also as August Maquet in L'autre Dumas by Safy Nebbou, alongside Gérard Depardieu and Dominique Blanc, a movie about the creative ghostwriter, Maquet, whose played a crucial role in the production of French writer Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. In 2011, he won the Audience Award at the Magritte Awards.
|1992||C'est arrivé près de chez vous ("Man Bites Dog")||Ben||Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel|
|1997||Pour rire ("Just for Laughs")||the innocent||Lucas Belvaux|
|1997||Les Randonneurs ("Hikers")||Éric||Philippe Harel|
|1998||Les convoyeurs attendent ("The Carriers Are Waiting")||Roger||Benoît Mariage|
|2001||Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert ("Ghislain Lambert's Bicycle")||Ghislain Lambert||Philippe Harel|
|2002||Le Boulet ("Dead Weight")||Francis Reggio||Alain Berberian|
|2003||Rire et Châtiment ("Laughter and Punishment")||the first aid instructor||Isabelle Doval|
|2004||Podium||Bernard Frédéric||Yann Moix|
|2004||Atomik Circus, le retour de James Bataille ("The Return of James Battle")||Allan Chiasse||Didier Poiraud and Thierry Poiraud|
|2004||Narco||Lenny Bar||Tristan Aurouet and Gilles Lellouche|
|2004||Aaltra||the motocross layman||Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern|
|2005||Entre ses mains ("In His Hands")||Laurent Kessler||Anne Fontaine|
|2006||Jean-Philippe||Bernard Frédéric||Laurent Tuel|
|2006||Selon Charlie ("Charlie Says")||Joss||Nicole Garcia|
|2008||Astérix aux Jeux olympiques ("Asterix at the Olympic Games")||Brutus||Thomas Langmann and Frédéric Forestier|
|2008||Louise Hires a Contract Killer||Guy, the engineer||Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine|
|2009||La Guerre des miss ("Beauties at War")||Franck Chevrel||Patrice Leconte|
|2009||Coco avant Chanel ("Coco Before Chanel")||Anne Fontaine||Étienne Balsan|
|2009||Bancs publics (Versailles Rive-Droite) ("Park Benches")||the customer at the wardrobe||Bruno Podalydès|
|2010||L'Autre Dumas ("The Other Dumas")||Auguste Maquet||Safy Nebbou|
|2010||Mammuth||the competitor||Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern|
|2010||Les Émotifs anonymes ("Romantics Anonymous")||Jean-René Van Den Hugde||Jean-Pierre Améris|
|2010||Kill Me Please||Monsieur Demanet||Olias Barco|
|2011||Rien à déclarer ("Nothing to Declare")||Ruben Vandevoorde||Dany Boon|
|2011||Mon pire cauchemar ("My Worst Nightmare")||Patrick||Anne Fontaine|
|2012||Le Grand Soir||Benoît Savelli aka "Not"||Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine|
|2013||Une histoire d'amour||the banker||Hélène Fillières|
|2014||Three Hearts||Benoît Jacquot|
- 2009 : A Town Called Panic
- Benoît Poelvoorde at the Internet Movie Database
- Benoît Poelvoorde at AllMovie
- (French) Theatre acting career summary (from L'Annuaire du Spectacle on the Centre de recherche et de documentation littéraires et théâtrales de la Communauté française de Belgique web site)