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Maïwenn Cannes 2011 2 croppped.jpg
Born (1976-04-17) 17 April 1976 (age 39)
Les Lilas, France
Occupation Actress, film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Luc Besson (1992–1997)
Jean-Yves Le Fur (2002–2004)
Children 2

Maïwenn Besco (born Maïwenn Le Besco [maj'wɛn lə bɛsˈko]; 17 April 1976) is a French actress, film director and screenwriter.

Life and career[edit]

Besco's mother ushered her into the entertainment industry at a young age, an experience later chronicled by Le Besco in her one-woman shows "Le Pois Chiche" and "I'm an Actress". Maïwenn Le Besco starred in several films as a child and teenage actress, notably as "Elle as a child" (the child version of the lead role played by Isabelle Adjani) in the hit film L'été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer, 1983). In 1991, due to her difficult relationship with her parents, she decided to use only her given name professionally.[1]

She met director and producer Luc Besson in 1991. The two later began a relationship, after which Maïwenn, having lost her motivation as an actress, interrupted her career for several years. She lived in Beverly Hills raising the daughter she had with Besson at the age of 16.[2] During this period, she only appeared in a supporting part in Léon, in which she was credited as Ouin-Ouin.[3] She also directed the film's making-of. Perhaps Maïwenn's most internationally-seen film role was her appearance as the alien Diva Plavalaguna in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997).

After her breakup with Luc Besson, Maïwenn returned to France and resumed her career as an actress. She performed as a standup comedian in an autobiographical one-woman-show, and reentered the movie business after several filmmakers saw her comedy routine in Paris. She appeared in several notable movies, including the horror film Haute Tension (English title: High Tension), in which she starred opposite Cécile de France. In 2006, she directed her first feature film, the semi-autobiographical Pardonnez-moi.

Her 2011 film Polisse won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[4] Her 2015 film Mon roi was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Maïwenn gave birth to daughter Shanna in January 1993 with husband Luc Besson, when she was 16 years old.[6] They were still married at the beginning of filming for The Fifth Element (1997), during which Besson left her for Milla Jovovich.[7] Maïwenn later had a son, Diego, with her second ex-husband, Jean-Yves Le Fur.


Maïwenn in 2009 at the Deauville American Film Festival.



Theatrical writer[edit]




  1. ^ Maïwenn tout court, M, le magazine du Monde 7 October 2011
  2. ^ Maïwenn Le Besco interview, Tout le monde en parle, France 2, 29 September 2001
  3. ^ Full credits on IMDB
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Awards". Cannes. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Shanna Besson
  7. ^ The Fifth Element, Special Features of both the Ultimate Edition DVD and the remastered Blu-ray Disc.
  8. ^

External links[edit]