Spotlight on Lea Seydoux - All About the Bond Actress
Welcome to our first chapter in our Spotlight Series! Everyone is fully aware of French Film Princess Audrey Tautou and Inception's uniquely sultry Marion Cotillard, but there's a whole treasure trove of France's marveilleux talent pool to explore. In this very special series, we'll be shining light on different French power players that are taking over cinema right now, referencing some of their best work, and including some fun biographical facts!
By: Nicole Mathieu
1. Léa Seydoux was born in 1985, and grew up in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Her full name, Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier De Clausonne, is actually a bit of a mouthful that can give the Queen of England a run for her money.
2. Her first career choice wasn't actually acting. She dreamed of being an opera singer as a child and even studied music at Conservatoire de Paris.
3. She is one of seven children. Her older sister, Camille Seydoux, is her stylist.
4. Her family is made up of French film royalty. Her grandfather is the chairman of Pathé and her great uncle is the CEO of Gaumont, another large studio. Her great great grandmother and grandfather were barons.
5. She's a former American Apparel model, appearing in the 2011 campaign entitled "Pantytime!"
6. Her first Louboutins (at age 12) were a gift from a family friend... Christian Louboutin
7. She had to go to summer camp in Maryland for six of her childhood summers to "improve her English"
Now let's get to our top picks for this classy madame.
A Beautiful person/La belle personne (2008)
Starting off with a bang, Seydoux's first full length feature, directed by the well-known Christophe Honoré, earned her her first César nomination for "Best Actress", which she won. At Canne, she received the Chopard Award for "Best Upcoming Actress". The high school drama perfectly showcases her sensual, wistful allure, so characteristic of the classic French girl transplant. American Apparel campaigns and music videos behind her, the actress is firmly put on the cinema map.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
A self professed lover of being a small role in a great film instead of vice versa, she is a glamorous and stylized bohemian art seller from another time that certainly makes her mark working with major filmmaker Woody Allen, among big cast members like Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams.
Farewell My Queen/Les adieux à la reine (2012)
As you may know, we love a good period film, and this one is a gem. Taking place in Versailles, you'd be crazy to not want to watch a movie during the Marie Antoinette era on the eve of the French Revolution in the late 18th century. Seydoux plays young Sidonie Laborde, a servant to the queen and the film is shot through her perspective. Head over heels in love with her queen, Laborde is a particularly curious character with seemingly no past and some hard truths coming her way.
Blue is the Warmest Color/La vie d'adele (2013)
The Palme d'Or honor usually goes to the director, but for this eye-popping lesbian romance drama, the prize also went to its two stars, Seydoux and her co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos. If you haven't had the pleasure of this on-screen emotional roller-coaster, Seydoux does a tragically beautiful job of creating distance between her art-filled sophistocated world and the blue collar background of her new amoureuse, which is the true theme of the bittersweet story.
Saint Laurent (2014)
Seydoux gets a vivacious and colorful opportunity to play Yves Saint Laurent's jewlry and accessories designer who served as a constant inspiration to him, including being the guiding light that produced his famous see-through glasses. Loulou de la Falaise is a lighter and more refreshing take on her usual doom and gloom performances, which don't get us wrong - we love, but it's always exciting to see versatility.
The Lobster (2015)
In this bizarre dystopian drama with a healthy dose of perverse humor about single people forced to live in a hotel where they're given a deadline to find a new relationship or be turned into an animal of their choice, Léa offers a pop of badass-ness as the leader of the rebel cause, housed in the woods. It's fun to see Seydoux practice her English skills, and although this isn't actually a French film, we're massive Yorgos Lanthimos fans and it's quite frankly a must see.
If Americans weren't familiar with the captivating young French actress until this point, they certainly came to know her in 2015. In a long line of iconic Bond girls, Lea Seydoux was overwhelmed at the big shoes she had to fill, but it took nothing more than the charms of Daniel Craig to put her nerves at ease. According to The Telegraph she says,"It was always that 'wink wink' feeling between us. The chemistry was strong. I hope the audience can feel that." Can't wait until Time to Die, coming February 2020!
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