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Willem Dafoe, born in 1955, is an actor with more than 80 titles to his name from a career spanning over three decades. In 1985 he starred in 'To Live and Die in L.A.' and the following year in Oliver Stone's 'Platoon' (1986), the latter earning him an Oscar nomination, which cemented his position as one of Hollywood's most talented character actors. He is known outside of the US for his collaborations with Lars von Trier.
By any standards, French actor Anaïs Demoustier’s work rate since 2000 has been nothing short of industrious. She has appeared in over 40 features. Her break came with Michael Haneke’s dystopian 'Time of the Wolf' (2002). Subsequent roles in 'Belle épine' (2010) and 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro' (2011) increased her appeal. She broke through internationally with Malgorzata Szumowska’s 'Elles' (2011), playing one of two prostitutes studied by Juliette Binoche’s journalist. She also impressed in Claude Miller’s 'Thérèse' (2012). In François Ozon’s 'The New Girlfriend' (2014), she plays a young woman, best friend to a victim of cancer, whose attempts to console the woman’s widower find her discovering a surprising secret.
To describe Catherine Deneuve as an icon of French cinema is only to hint at her importance as an actor over the course of the last 60 years. To discuss every film is impossible, but each decade has produced roles that have indelibly marked her imprint on the medium, both in France and internationally. Deneuve shot to fame as the adorable shop assistant in Jacques Demy's blissfully romantic musical drama 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' (1964). Three years later, she would reunite with Demy, starring alongside her sister Françoise Dorléac and Hollywood legend Gene Kelly in the melodious 'Les Demoiselles de Rochefort' (1967). Between these sublime confections, she was a woman losing her mind in a London apartment in Roman Polanski's nightmarish 'Repulsion' (1965). She was both the object of sexual fantasy and a sexual fantasist in Luis Buñuel's 'Belle de Jour' (1968) and went on to work with the director again in 'Tristan' (1970), a film that even Alfred Hitchcock was speechless at. Deneuve won a new generation of admirers playing a centuries-old vampire in Tony Scott's feature debut 'The Hunger' (1983), while her award-winning performance in Regis Wagnier's '>Indochina' (1992) cemented her position as the grande dame of French cinema. Her roles in Leos Carax's 'Pola X' (1999) and Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark (2000) highlighted her willingness to tackle unconventional roles, while 'Potiche' offered her the rare opportunity to indulge in farce.
Born in France in 1948, Gérard Depardieu is one of the most prolific actors in film history, appearing in over 150 films since 1967. After his breakout film role came in ‘Going Places’ (1974), he appeared in a diverse mix of films, becoming a leading actor in the 80s and 90s. He is known for ‘Jean de Florette’ (1986), ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ (1990), ‘La Vie en Rose’ (2007), and 'Welcome to New York (2014).
An art student who aspired to be a musician but was spotted in a Paris street by a casting director and subsequently pursued a successful acting career, Romain Duris is as much at home playing romantic leads as he is angst-driven rebels. The casting director approached him for a role in Cédric Klapisch’s 'Le Péril jeune' (1994) and he has continued working with the filmmaker, appearing in a further four films, often opposite Audrey Tautou. He also formed a fruitful partnership with Romany director Tony Gatlif, starring in 'Gadjo Dil'o (1997) and 'Exils' (2004). His international breakthrough was as a property owner’s henchman son who dreams of becoming a concert pianist in Jacques Audiard’s much admired 'The Beat That My Heart Skipped' (2005). 'Heartbreaker' (2010) and 'Populaire' (2012) highlight a lighter side to Duris’ screen persona, while 'The New Girlfriend' (2014) finds him breaking new ground in François Ozon’s smart, gender-bending comedy drama.