Sophie Marceau

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Sophie Marceau
Sophie Marceau Cabourg 2012.jpg
Sophie Marceau in 2012
Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu

(1966-11-17) 17 November 1966 (age 54)
EducationLycée Élisa Lemonnier
  • Actress
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
Years active1980–present
Known for
Height5.7 ft (174 cm)
  • Benoît Maupu (father)
  • Simone Morisset (mother)
AwardsSee below

Sophie Marceau (French: [sɔfi maʁso]; born Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu, 17 November 1966) is a French actress, director, screenwriter, and author. As a teenager, Marceau achieved popularity with her debut films La Boum (1980) and La Boum 2 (1982), receiving a César Award for Most Promising Actress. She became a film star in Europe with a string of successful films, including L'Étudiante (1988), Pacific Palisades (1990), Fanfan (1993), and Revenge of the Musketeers (1994). Marceau became an international film star with her performances in Braveheart (1995), Firelight (1997), and the 19th James Bond film The World Is Not Enough (1999).[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born 17 November 1966 in Paris, the second child of Simone (née Morisset), a shop assistant (d. 2016[2]), and Benoît Maupu, a truck driver.[3][4] Her parents divorced when she was nine years old.[5]

Film career[edit]

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 movie, not only in France, where 4,378,500 tickets were sold, but also in several other European countries.[6] In 1981, Marceau made her singing debut with French singer François Valéry on record "Dream in Blue", written by Pierre Delanoë.[7] She rejected the main role in a soon-to-be controversial film, Beau-père, in which she would have played as a teenage girl who seduces her step-father for a sexual relationship.[8] The role was eventually played by Ariel Besse.

In 1982, at age 16, Marceau bought back her contract with Gaumont for one million French francs.[9] She borrowed most of the money. After starring in the sequel film La Boum 2 (1982), Marceau focused on more dramatic roles, including the historical drama Fort Saganne in 1984 with Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve, 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'Étudiante (The Student) and the historical adventure film Chouans!. That year, Marceau was named Best Romantic Actress at the International Festival of Romantic Movies for her role in Chouans![10]

Marceau, at the
Molière Awards, 1993

In 1989, Marceau starred in 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.[10] Throughout the 1990s, Marceau began making less-dramatic films, such as the comedy Fanfan in 1993 and Revenge of the Musketeers (La fille de d'Artagnan) in 1994—both popular in Europe and abroad. That year, she returned to the theatre as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion.[10]

Marceau achieved international recognition in 1995 playing the role of 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 her string of successful films with William Nicholson's Firelight, filmed in England, Véra Belmont's Marquise, filmed in France, and Bernard Rose's Anna Karenina, filmed in Russia. In 1999, she played Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the villainess Bond girl Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough. In 2000, Marceau teamed up again with her then-boyfriend Andrzej Zulawski to film Fidelity, playing the role of a talented photographer who takes a job at a scandal-mongering tabloid and becomes romantically involved with an eccentric children's book publisher.[10]

Marceau at the premiere of Arrêtez-moi, 2013

In recent years, Marceau has continued to appear in a wide variety of roles, mainly in French films, playing a widowed nurse in Nelly (À ce soir) in 2004, an undercover police agent in Anthony Zimmer in 2005, and the troubled daughter of a murdered film star in Trivial in 2007. In 2008, Marceau played a member of the French Resistance movement in Female Agents, and a struggling single mother in LOL (Laughing Out Loud). In 2009, she teamed up with Monica Bellucci in Don't Look Back about the mysterious connection between two women who have never met. In 2010, Marceau played a successful business executive forced to confront her unhappy childhood in With Love... from the Age of Reason (L'âge de raison).

In 2012, Marceau played a 40-something career woman who falls in love with a young jazz musician in Happiness Never Comes Alone. In 2013, she appeared in Arrêtez-moi (Arrest Me) as a woman who shows up at a police station and confesses to the murder of her abusive husband several years earlier.

She was selected to be on the jury for the main competition section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[11][12]

Author and director[edit]

In 1996, Marceau published the semi-autobiographical novel, Menteuse (the English translation, Telling Lies, was published in 2001).[13] Marceau's work was described as "an exploration of female identity".[5]

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 directorial effort, following her nine-minute short film L'aube à l'envers in 1995, which also starred Godrèche.[14] In 2007, she directed Trivial, her second feature film and in 2018 Mrs Mills.

Personal life[edit]

Marceau with then partner Christopher Lambert at the premiere of Skyfall, 2012

From 1985 to 2001, Marceau had a relationship with Polish director Andrzej Żuławski.[3][15] Their son Vincent was born in July 1995. In 2001, Marceau separated from Żuławski and began a six-year relationship with American producer Jim Lemley. They have a daughter, Juliette (born June 2002 in London).[3]

Marceau also had a relationship with actor Christopher Lambert beginning in 2007, with whom she appeared in the films Trivial and Cartagena.[16] They announced their separation on 11 July 2014.[17] In 2016, Marceau was for about 10 months in a relationship with the chef and restaurant owner Cyril Lignac.[18][19]

Marceau is a classically trained cellist, as seen in the 1999 film Lost and Found. She is bilingual (French and English).[20]

Honours and awards[edit]



Year Title Role Notes
1980 La Boum Vic Beretton The Party
1982 La Boum 2 Vic Beretton The Party 2
1984 Fort Saganne Madeleine de Saint-Ilette
1984 Joyeuses Pâques Julie Happy Easter
1985 L'amour braque Mary Mad Love
1985 Police Noria
1986 Descente aux enfers Lola Kolber Descent into Hell
1988 L'Étudiante Valentine Ezquerra The Student
1988 Chouans! Céline
1989 My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days Blanche Mes nuits sont plus belles que vos jours
1990 Pacific Palisades Bernardette
1991 Pour Sacha Laura For Sacha
1991 La note bleue Solange Sand The Blue Note
1993 Fanfan Fanfan Fanfan & Alexandre
1994 Revenge of the Musketeers Eloïse d'Artagnan La fille de d'Artagnan
D'Artagnan's Daughter
1995 Braveheart Isabella of France
1995 Beyond the Clouds The Girl in Portofino Al di là delle nuvole
1997 Anna Karenina Anna Karenina
1997 Marquise Marquise du Parc
1997 Firelight Élisabeth Laurier
1999 Lost & Found Lila Dubois
1999 A Midsummer Night's Dream Hippolyta
1999 The World Is Not Enough Elektra King
2000 Fidelity Clélia La fidélité
2001 Belphegor, Phantom of the Louvre Lisa Belphégor – Le fantôme du Louvre
2003 Alex & Emma Polina Delacroix
2003 I'm Staying! Marie-Dominique Delpire
2003 Les clefs de bagnole La clapman The Car Keys
2004 Nelly Nelly À ce soir
2005 Anthony Zimmer Chiara Manzoni
2007 Trivial Lucie / Victoria La disparue de Deauville
2008 Female Agents Louise Desfontaines Les femmes de l'ombre
2008 LOL (Laughing Out Loud) Anne
2008 De l'autre côté du lit Ariane Marciac Changing Sides
2009 Don't Look Back Jeanne #1 Ne te retourne pas
2009 Cartagena Muriel L'homme de chevet
2010 With Love... from the Age of Reason Marguerite alias Margaret Flore L'âge de raison
2012 Happiness Never Comes Alone Charlotte Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul
2013 Arrêtez-moi La coupable Stop Me
2014 Quantum Love Elsa Une rencontre
2014 The Missionaries Judith Chabrier Tu veux ou tu veux pas
Sex, Love & Therapy
2015 Jailbirds Mathilde Leroy La Taularde
2015 A Spiritual Matter Viktoria Une histoire d'âme
2018 Mrs Mills Helene Madame Mills, une voisine si parfaite
2021 Everything Went Fine Emmanuèle Tout s'est bien passé

Writer and director[edit]

Year Title Notes
1995 L'aube à l'envers
2002 Speak to Me of Love Parlez-moi d'amour
2007 Trivial La disparue de Deauville
2018 Mrs Mills Madame Mills, une voisine si parfaite


  1. ^ German, Yuri (2008). "Sophie Marceau". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  2. ^ (retrieved 2017-02-02)
  3. ^ a b c "Sophie Marceau Biography (1966–)". Film Reference. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Sophie Marceau: Fatal attraction". The Independent. 21 June 2008.
  5. ^ a b Billen, Andrew. "Lies and loves of ma belle Marceau" in Sunday Herald, 10 June 2001.
  6. ^ "Box office for The Party". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  7. ^ "François Valéry et Sophie Marceau–Dream in Blue". Discogs. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  8. ^ ""Les bonheurs de Sophie Marceau: deux films, 15 millions d'admirateurs et la gloire à 16 ans"". France-Soir (11990). 5 March 1983.
  9. ^ Janis L. Pallister; Ruth A. Hottell (2005). Francophone Women Film Directors. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-8386-4046-3.
  10. ^ a b c d "Sophie Marceau". Net Glimpse. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 1 December 2007.
  11. ^ "The Jury of the 68th Cannes Film Festival". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  12. ^ "Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Guillermo del Toro Join Cannes Film Festival Jury". The Wrap. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  13. ^ Marceau, Sophie (2001). Adriana Hunter (ed.). Telling Lies. New York: Orion Publishing. ISBN 978-0753814314.
  14. ^ "L'aube à l'envers". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Sophie Marceau fait le bilan". Gala (in French). Prisma Média. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  16. ^ Atkinson, Michael. "Exile cinema: filmmakers at work beyond Hollywood" in SUNY Press, 2008, pp. 82-86.
  17. ^ "Sophie Marceau interview" (in German). Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  18. ^ Yannick Vely: Sophie Marceau et Cyril Lignac, c’est fini. Paris Match, 23 November 2016 (French)
  19. ^ Sophie Marceau soll sich von Cyril Lignac getrennt haben. 30. November 2016 (GeRman)
  20. ^ Sophie Marceau at Cours Florent (retrieved 2021-04-14)
  21. ^ "Awards for Sophie Marceau". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 31 October 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Frédéric Quinonero: Sophie Marceau – La belle échappée. Éditions Didier Carpentier, 2010
  • Sophie Marceau - Le cinéma au féminin. JFN Kiosque (special edition), 2009 (excerpts (Google))

External links[edit]