Cecile de France
Actress (July 17, 1975).Cécile de France was born Cécile Defrance in Namur in 1975. She showed an early talent for acting and started theatre lessons aged 15. Two years later, she left for Paris, where she worked as an au pair (and performed fire-eating tricks in the street) while studying drama with Jean-Paul Denizon. She passed the entrance exam for the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts et techniques du théâtre (the French national theatre academy) in 1995 and spent three years studying at its sites in Paris and Lyon. Her student performances had come to the notice of the “agent to the stars” Dominique Besnehard, of the Artmedia agency, who signed her on her graduation (and who still represents her). Her film career began meteorically with the role of Laure in Richard Berry’s romantic comedy L’art (délicat) de la séduction opposite Patrick Timsit, then in Cédric Klapisch’s L’Auberge espagnole where she played the Belgian gay friend of Romain Duris in Barcelona. The film was nominated for six Césars in 2002, but in the end won just one: Best Female Newcomer for Cécile de France. In 2004, she made her Hollywood début as Monique La Roche in the Disney remake of Around the World in Eighty Days starring Jacky Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2005, she won the Romy Schneider Prize for the Best Female Newcomer and was Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cannes Film Festival. She worked with Klapisch on Les poupées russes, the sequel to L’Auberge espagnole, and won the 2006 César for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. She is very much in demand and has made 22 feature films in 6 years, as well as appearing in 11 theatrical roles. Her son Lino was born in 2007.