Sylvie Testud

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Sylvie Testud
Sylvie Testud 2011.jpg
in 2011
Born (1971-01-17) 17 January 1971 (age 43)
Lyon, Rhône, France
Occupation Actress, director, writer
Years active 1991–present

Sylvie Testud (born 17 January 1971) is a French actress, writer and director. Her film career began in 1991 and she has since won two César Awards for highly acclaimed performances.


She grew up in the La Croix-Rousse quarter of Lyon.

In 1985, when she was 14, she saw Charlotte Gainsbourg in her role of the complex young girl in L'Effrontée, a film directed by Claude Miller, identified with Gainsbourg, and so took drama classes in Lyon with the actor and director Christian Taponard. In 1989, she moved to Paris and spent three years at the Conservatoire (CNSAD). In the early and mid 1990s, she landed her first small roles in films like L'Histoire du garcon qui voulait qu'on l'embrasse, directed by Philippe Harel, and Love, etc., directed by Marion Vernoux. In 1997 she had great success in Germany with Caroline Link's Jenseits der Stille for which she learned German, sign language, and the clarinet. In 1998 she had her first major role in French cinema playing Béa in Thomas Vincent's Karnaval. In 2000 she starred in Chantal Akerman's La Captive, an adaptation of La Prisonièrre, the fifth part of Marcel Proust's A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. In 2001 she won the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her portrayal of Christine Papin, one of the Papin sisters, in Les Blessures assassines (English title: Murderous Maids), The story concerned a young servant woman found guilty of the murder, with her sister's help, of her employer's wife and daughter; it had made sensational headlines in France in 1933.[citation needed]

In 2003, she published the autobiographical book Il n'y a pas beaucoup d'etoiles ce soir, with anecdotes of her day to day life as an actress. The French edition featured a cover designed by her sister Ghislaine.[citation needed]

One of her most noted performances was as the star of the film Stupeur et tremblements, adapted from the novel by Amélie Nothomb, for which she was awarded a César and a Prix Lumière for best actress in 2004. She plays a woman struggling with the difference in culture between the Japanese business world and the western, Belgian world, from which she comes. In 2005 or 2006[clarification needed] she returned to her native Lyon (to the Théâtre de la Croix Rousse), where she played the rôle of Edith in Philippe Faure's adaptation of Stefan Zweig's La Pitié dangereuse. She starred in 2007's two-time Academy Award-winning film La Vie en Rose, as Momone, Edith Piaf's best friend. In the 2008 film Sagan, she portrayed the writer Françoise Sagan, earning unanimous praise for her hauntingly accurate portrayal and for which she was again nominated for the César for best actress.[citation needed]

She was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre national du Mérite in March 2009.[1]

She has a son, Ruben, born on 15 February 2005, and a daughter Esther, born in January 2011.[2]

In 2012, she participated in Rendez-vous en terre inconnue.

Selected filmography[edit]


Year Title Role Director
1995 Those Were the Days Sylvie Didier Haudepin
1996 Beyond Silence Lara Caroline Link
1998 Karnaval Béa Thomas Vincent
The Misadventures of Margaret the young nun Brian Skeet
In Heaven Valeska Michael Bindlechner
1999 Annaluise & Anton Laurence Caroline Link
2000 La Captive Ariane Chantal Akerman
Drug Scenes (episode "Lucie") Lucie Guillaume Nicloux (episode)
Sade Renée de Sade Benoît Jacquot
Murderous Maids Christine Papin Jean-Pierre Denis
2001 I'm Going Home Ariel Manoel de Oliveira
2002 Everyman's Feast Sophie Fritz Lehner
A Loving Father Virginia Jacob Berger
2003 Fear and Trembling Amélie Alain Corneau
Sole Sisters Tina Pierre Jolivet
2004 Words in Blue Clara Alain Corneau
2006 La Vie en rose Mômone Olivier Dahan
2007 La France Camille Serge Bozon
2008 Sagan Françoise Sagan Diane Kurys
2009 Lucky Luke Calamity Jane James Huth
Le Bonheur de Pierre Catherine Martin Robert Ménard
Vengeance Irène Thompson Johnnie To
Lourdes Christine Jessica Hausner
2010 The Round Up Bella Zygler Roselyne Bosch
Mumu Ms. Mulard Joël Séria
2011 L'Ordre et la Morale Chantal Legorjus Mathieu Kassovitz
2012 The Scapegoat Bela Charles Sturridge
2013 Pour une femme Anne Diane Kurys


Year Title Notes
1998 Je veux descendre Short film
2012 Another Woman's Life


  1. ^ "Décret du 14 novembre 2008 portant promotion et nomination". JORF 2008 (266): 17476. 2008-11-15. PREX0823631D. Retrieved 2009-03-14.  (French)
  2. ^ Paris Match, 26 January 2011

External links[edit]

  • Sylvie Testud at the Internet Movie Database
  • Sylvie Testud at AlloCiné (French)
  • Sylvie Testud at
  • CSOJ - Alain Badiou Sylvie Testud appears on French television's program Ce Soir (En direct, channel 3) in conversation with militant philosopher Alain Badiou. The topic of this episode is "Faut-il réinventer l'amour?". Ms. Testud appears 46:18 minutes into the program and is in conversation with Badiou and the program host for about 24 minutes (no commercials, this show is in French).