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After success with 'Good Will Hunting' (he shared a Best Original Screenplay Oscar with co-star Matt Damon) and a deluge of commercially successful but creatively dull blockbusters, Ben Affleck emerged as a smart director of thrillers and, as an actor, has mostly taken on more low-key roles. His recent turn as Batman was an exception.
Younger brother of Ben, who first made an impact as a wayward sibling in 1997's 'Good Will Hunting', Casey Affleck is now regarded as an actor's actor – one of the most distinctive talents working in American film. His choices balance mainstream films like 'Tower Heist' (2011) and 'Interstellar' (2014) with more esoteric projects such as 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' (2007) and 'Ain't The Bodies Saints' (2013). He directed his friend Joaquin Phoenix in the mockumentary 'I'm Still Here' (2010).
Writer, director and actor Desiree Akhaven has made her name as a significant presence among a new wave of female filmmakers with her hilarious feature debut 'Appropriate Behavior'.
His early films were slapstick, his work rate is prodigious, his more recent output is varied, but no one can deny Woody Allen's position as an auteur and one of the most important American directors since the 1970s. His greatest film is open to debate, but he has long reckoned it to be his lovely, bittersweet 1985 comedy drama 'The Purple Rose of Cairo'.
Mathieu Amalric, born in 1965, is a French actor and director best known internationally for his performance as the lead Bond villain in Quantum of Solace (2008), and his critically acclaimed roles in 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' (2007) and in Steven Spielberg's epic 'Munich' (2005). He won the Best Director Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival for his film 'On Tour'.
'The X-Files' may have made Gillian Anderson a household name, but her film and television work since underpins her versatility. The best of it is her doomed Lily Bart in Terence Davies' 2000 adaptation of Edith Wharton's 'The House of Mirth' and the TV adaptation of 'Bleak House'; riveting as Lady Dedlock.
Jean-Hugues Anglade made his screen debut in 1983 in Patrice Chereau's 'L'Homme Blessé' as a troubled young man discovering his own homosexuality. He then appeared in Luc Besson's 'Subway' (1985) and Jean-Jacques Beineix's 'Betty Blue' (1986). The film's acclaim established Anglade as a symbol of the generation of French actors who exposed their flesh and the troubled souls of their characters. He made his directorial debut in 1997 with 'Tonka'.
A British stage and screen actor. The one-time Bond Girl (2008's 'Quantum of Solace') has been a distinctive presence in the British films 'The Disappearance of Alice Creed' (2009) and 'Tamara Drewe' (2010) as well as appearing in larger Hollywood blockbusters.