Rie Rasmussen

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Rie Rasmussen
Born (1978-02-14) 14 February 1978 (age 46)
Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Actress
  • director
  • writer
  • model
  • photographer
Modeling information
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hair colorBrown (natural)
Blonde (dyed)
Eye colorBlue

Rie Rasmussen (born 14 February 1978) is a Danish actress, director, writer, former model and photographer. She is best known for her acting roles in films Femme Fatale (2002) and Angel-A (2005).


Rasmussen was discovered by a modelling scout at the age of 15, while on a family holiday in New York,[2][3] and moved to New York from Denmark shortly after.[4][2] Her initial dream was to be an animator for Disney films.[5][2]

She later moved to California, United States where she attended the Hollywood Film Institute film school as a writer-director.[3][6] Whilst attending, Rasmussen was an acquaintance of American filmmakers Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson.[6]

Her film industry breakthrough came in 2001, when she was recommended by her friend, American actress Rebecca Romijn, for the role of model Veronica in the erotic thriller Femme Fatale.[7] Rasmussen was given the role after director Brian De Palma was impressed by short stories she had written about her life experiences.[citation needed] He praised Rasmussen's walk as an "amazing piece of movement."[7]

After Femme Fatale, Rasmussen approached French director Luc Besson with a film she wanted to have produced. After initially rejecting the idea, Besson eventually produced Rasmussen's first short film Thinning the Herd,[8] which screened in competition at the 2004 Festival de Cannes for the Palme d'Or du court métrage. Thinning the Herd was an official selection of more than 20 film festivals around the world, including the Quentin Tarantino Film Festival in Austin.[9][10]

In the same year, she wrote and directed her second short film, Il Vestito, which was presented at the Taormina Film Festival.[4]

A year later, she was cast in Besson's Angel-A in the title role, her first leading role in a feature film.[8] She plays an angel who saves a suicidal Parisian.[11] Although Rasmussen plays Frenchwomen in her two major acting roles (Femme Fatale[12] and Angel-A), she did not speak French. Feeling the pressure of acting in a foreign language, she spent 3½ months learning French for the film. Many French viewers were surprised to discover Rasmussen hadn't been speaking the language for years.[11] However, Rasmussen's limited fluency affected her ability to improvise with co-star Jamel Debbouze.[8]

In 2009, she wrote, directed, produced and starred in her first feature film, Human Zoo. It is loosely based on the story of her adopted Vietnamese sister struggling to acquire citizenship.[13][5][6] Set against the backdrop of the conflict in Kosovo, Rasmussen plays a Balkan refugee illegally living in Marseille. The film highlights the problems with immigration and learned aggression, and unfolds in a non-linear storytelling structure with scenes of extreme violence.[14][15] Rasmussen filmed with French cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, who shot Femme Fatale and Angel-A.[6]

Human Zoo was officially selected at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival, opening the Panorama section,[15] and was hand picked by Quentin Tarantino to have its US premiere at Los Angeles' New Beverly Cinema.[13][5]


In addition to her acting work, Rasmussen is an accomplished visual artist. Her oil on canvas pieces are erotic celebrations of the human form. Her book of art and photography, Grafiske Historier (Graphic Tales) was published under the pseudonym Lilly Dillon (a character from the novel The Grifters by Jim Thompson, one of her favorite American writers).[16] As a photographer her images have been published in prestigious magazines such as Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, and Vs.

She has named photographers Guy Bourdin, Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Klein, Steven Meisel and Robert Mapplethorpe as influences.[2]


Rasmussen was discovered by top scout Gail Simon Chafik who introduced her to Ford Models.[citation needed] Rasmussen's role in Femme Fatale attracted attention to her in fashion circles, and she was chosen as the face of Gucci under director Tom Ford.[4][5][17]

Her fashion debut was modelling for Victoria’s Secret in 2001.[4] She has worked with fashion houses including Donna Karan, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi.[17]

Rasmussen credits her modeling experience as a valuable asset in her career as a fashion photographer.[2] She has described her approach to modelling as portrayal of a character, saying it is very much like acting.

While working as a model she continued to write scripts and short stories, and directed smaller surf-skate videos.[18] Most of her sketches and photos published in Grafiske Historier are from her time travelling the world or shooting magazines.

Personal life[edit]

Rasmussen grew up in an extended Danish family with nine brothers and sisters.[4] She is bisexual.[19][20]

In 2010, she publicly accused fashion photographer Terry Richardson of exploiting young models.[21]

Rasmussen has a daughter, Ellie Rose, born on 6 May 2016.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter) As herself Filmed on location at Paris Fashion Week
2002 Femme Fatale Veronica Laurent First acting role
2003 Nobody Needs to Know Associate producer
2004 Thinning the Herd[10][22] Lucy Fuir Anthology film short segment; writer, director
2004 Il Vestito[4] Short film; writer, director
2005 Angel-A Angel-A First leading role in a feature
2009 Romance the Dark[5] Writer, director
2009 Human Zoo[23] Adria Shala Writer, director
2012 Chester French - Black Girls[24] Music video
2013 1%ERS[25] Tatiana Short film


  1. ^ "Rie Rasmussen - Model Profile - Photos & latest news". Models.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Boddie, Alexandria (8 March 2018). "Life on Both Sides of the Lens: an Interview with Rie Rasmussen". Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  3. ^ a b Sterling, Wayne; Moskovic, Stephan (26 April 2010). "Rie Revisited: A Portrait". Models.com. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rasmussen, Rie (9 March 2010). "Rie Rasmussen". Vogue Italia. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d e Otto, Jeff (16 November 2011). "Rie Rasmussen Talks 'The Human Zoo' & Learning From Brian De Palma & Luc Besson". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  6. ^ a b c d mrbeaks. "Mr. Beaks And Rie Rasmussen Candidly Discuss Her Fascinating Debut Feature, HUMAN ZOO! Check It..." Aint It Cool News. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  7. ^ a b Femme Fatale (2002) – From Dream to Reality Featurette, retrieved 13 February 2024
  8. ^ a b c Keefe, Terry (April 2007). "LUC BESSON: The Hollywood Interview". Venice Magazine. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  9. ^ "The Screening of the Short Films in Competition". Festival-cannes.fr. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  10. ^ a b "THINNING THE HERD (THINING THE HERD)". Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  11. ^ a b Keefe, Terry (April 2007). "Rie Rasmussen Earns Her Wings". Venice Magazine. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  12. ^ Chang, Khun-Chan (James) (14 November 2002). "Femme Fatale is fatal to movie goers". Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  13. ^ a b Radish, Christina (12 November 2011). "Director Rie Rasmussen Talks HUMAN ZOO". Collider. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  14. ^ Felperin, Leslie (7 February 2009). "Human Zoo". Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  15. ^ a b "Human Zoo - Panorama 2009". www.berlinale.de. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  16. ^ Wayne (2009). "Lilly Dillon's Grafiske Historier". Models.com. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  17. ^ a b "Great Dane". British Vogue. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  18. ^ Weintraub, Steve (17 April 2007). "Rie Rasmussen Interviewed – ANGEL-A". Collider. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  19. ^ Vilkomerson, Sara (22 May 2007). "Rie Rasmussen: The Good, the Bad, the Gorgeous". Observer. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  20. ^ Enke, Anne (1 September 2010). "Rie Rasmussen | Steven Klein | Vogue Italy Mar 2010". Anne of Carversville. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  21. ^ "Terry Richardson speaks up". ELLE. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  22. ^ Thinning the Herd by Rie Rasmussen, retrieved 19 February 2024
  23. ^ Human Zoo at IMDb Edit this at Wikidata
  24. ^ Chester French- "Black Girls" [CLEAN VIDEO] [OFFICIAL], retrieved 19 February 2024
  25. ^ "Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 19 February 2024.

External links[edit]