Mélanie Laurent Wiki

French director, writer, and an accomplished actress, Melanie Laurent, has over 50 acting credits to her name, and for her versatile acting, has received 29 award nominations and won 20, including the Lumières Award, and two César Awards, the French equivalent to the Oscar.

She gained international fame for starring in the movies “Inglourious Basterds”, “Now You See Me”, and “Oxygen”, among others.

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Early life and education

Mélanie Laurent was born on 21 February 1983, in Paris, France, where she was raised by her parents. She comes from a family of Ashkenazi Jewish and Sephardic Jewish roots. Her mother, Annick, was a ballerina, and her father, Pierre, is a voice actor, perhaps known best for voicing the character of Ned Flanders in “The Simpsons” (French version).

Mélanie had an interest in writing from an early age, and wrote her first play when she was seven years old. Growing up, she dreamed of becoming a famous screenwriter, and she was 17 when she finished her first scenario based on a novel she liked, although no one wanted to film it. However, it seems that this was a good thing, since she later had a big success with this script.

Speaking about her educational background, Mélanie attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 2001, she enrolled at college and graduated, however, she hasn’t shared which university she attended or what she studied.

Acting career

The interesting fact about Mélanie is that she hadn’t dreamed about an acting career, but it seems that destiny had just such a plan for her. While she was visiting the set of the movie “Asterix and Obelix”, actor and director Gérard Depardieu noticed Mélanie, approached her, and asked if she wants to be an actress. He advised her not to take any acting classes, since he believed that she had a natural talent.

Mélanie made her acting debut as Lisbeth in the 1999 movie “The Bridge”, directed by and starring Depardieu, followed by her role as Francesca in the TV movie “Route de Nuit” in 2000.

In the following year, she was seen as Clara in “This Is My Body” before she was cast to play Carole in the 2002 comedy-drama “Summer Things”. Mélanie’s next role came in 2003, when she was Celia in “Snowboarder”, followed by her roles in “Une Vie à T’attendre”, “Rice Rapsody” and “The Last Day”, all in 2004. In 2005, Mélanie had a smart part as Minskov’s Girlfriend in the British Academy Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)-awarded music crime drama “The Beat That My Heart Skipped”.

One of the most significant roles for Mélanie’s acting career, came in the following year,  when she was cast to play Elise ‘Lili’ Tellier in the drama “Don’t Worry, I’m Fine”, which followed the story of a girl Lili who after she returns from holiday, finds out that her twin brother left the house after a violent argument with their father. Her performance in this movie brought her the César Award for Most Promising Actress (Meilleur Espoir féminin), and Lumiere Award for Most Promising Young Actress (Meilleur Espoir féminin), while she was nominated for the Globes de Cristal Awards, France for Best Actress (Mieux actrice).

Most notable roles

In the following year, Mélanie was seen starring in “Hidden Love”, “Beluga”, “The Killer”, and “Room of Death”, while in 2008, she portrayed Laetitia in the romantic drama “Paris” before she was cast to play her most notable role, to date, as Shoshanna in “Inglourious Basterds”. The movie was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, and the stars of this war drama were Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, and Diane Kruger. It had 172 award nominations and 133 wins, including the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Christoph Waltz). For her portrayal of the vengeful theater owner, Mélanie won numerous awards and nominations, including the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress.

Next, she was seen in “The Roundup” (2010), “Requiem for a Killer” (2011), and “Night Train to Lisbon” (2013) before she was cast to play Alma Dray in “Now You See Me”, a mystery thriller starring Mark Ruffalo, Common and Jesse Eisenberg.

In the following years, Mélanie was seen in “Boomerang” (2015), “Eternity” (2016), “My Son” (2017), and “Return of the Hero” (2018).

Mélanie starred in the 2021 science-fiction drama “Oxygen”, followed by her role as Geneviève Gleizes in “The Mad Women’s Ball”, a thriller drama based on the novel “Le Bal Des Folles” by Victoria Mas, which she also co-wrote and directed.

Worth mentioning is the movie “Breathe” – although it wasn’t Melanie’s directing debut, it was the movie based on her first written scenario adapted from the novel “Respire” by Anne-Sophie Brasme, which won two awards and 10 nominations, including Atlanta Film Festival Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature.

Love life, husband, and children

Despite the various rumors about her love life and relationships, Mélanie manages to mostly keep her personal matters under wraps. Some rumors were saying that she hooked up with Ewan McGregor (2010) and Bradley Cooper (2011) but neither one of them commented on these assumptions.

What we do know, is that from 2005 until 2009, she was in a relationship with Julien Boisselier, a French actor. When the two broke up, Mélanie was romantically linked with Damien Rice, an Irish singer, however, it seems that this love story was short-lived.

In 2013, Mélanie revealed that she is married, however, she refused to share her husband’s name, but it is known that they have two children together, a son, Leo, who was born in September 2013, and a daughter, Mia who was born in 2019.

As someone who prefers to keep her life secret, Mélanie rarely speaks publicly about her husband and children. She and her family live in Los Angeles, California.

Age, appearance, and net worth

The trademark of this 39-years old actress is her natural blonde hair and green eyes. Speaking of her physical appearance, she weighs around 110lbs (50kgs) and is 5ft 2ins (1.57m) tall, with vital statistics of 36-25-35.

According to IMDB, for her role in “The Roundup” Mélanie had a salary of 100,000 euros ($100,000), while for her role in “Now You See Me”, she was paid around 571,000 euros ($570,000). There is no information about her salary for “Inglourious Basterds” but it is known that the movie earned worldwide a gross of over $320 million.

Speaking of Melanie’s net worth, it’s been estimated at over $8 million.

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