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Four years younger than her equally gifted sibling Dakota, Elle Fanning has appeared on the screen since the age of two. Roles in a number of TV shows and films led to an outstanding performance as a depressed film star’s daughter in Sofia Coppola’s 'Somewhere' (2010). She brought levity and warmth to the film, balancing out the film’s portrayal of a venal Hollywood. It’s exactly that quality that made her so compelling as the lead in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 'The Neon Demon' (2016). She exuded the perfect amount of sweet naivety in 'Super 8' and 'We Bought a Zoo' (both 2011) and was captivating opposite Alice Englert in Sally Potter’s 'Ginger & Rosa' (2012). A starring role in 'Maleficent' (2014) and one of the impressive ensemble of '20th Century Women' (both 2016) further highlights Fanning’s considerable range.
An actor with an intense screen presence, Michael Fassbender’s career is dominated by his collaboration with artist-turned-filmmaker Steve McQueen. Playing Bobby Sands in 'Hunger' (2008), Brandon in 'Shame' (2011) and Edwin Epps in '12 Years a Slave' (2013), the actor has shown an extraordinary ability to lose himself within a character, both emotionally and – most notably in the director and star’s first collaboration – physically. As comfortable in a blockbuster franchise as he is low-key indie dramas, Fassbender is one of the most popular and admired stars to emerge over the last decade. Highlights amongst his many roles include taking over Ian McKellen’s mantle as Erik/Magneto in the X-Men franchise (three films to date). He impressed at the genius behind Apple in 'Steve Jobs' (2015), bristled with the right modicum of moodiness as Rochester in 'Jane Eyre' (2011), made his character in 'Fish Tank' (2009) both sexy and ultimately repellent, and was the reason for seeing 'Prometheus' (2012). He returns to the role of David in Ridley Scott’s 2017 sequel 'Alien: Covenant'. In Justin Kurzel’s visually dazzling 2015 Shakespeare adaptation, he made his Macbeth more grief-stricken than power hungry. But it’s when he is playing quieter characters that his talent really shines. In both 'Slow West' and the wonderful 'Frank' – a rare comic outing whose final, moving scenes profit from understatement – he is the soul of each film.
Ralph Fiennes was born in Suffolk, United Kingdom in 1962. He has been honored with two Oscar nominations, the first for his role as a Nazi commandant in Steven Speilberg's 'Schindler's List' (1993), the second for 'The English Patient' (1996), which established Fiennes as one of the most talented British actors. Fiennes made his directorial debut in 2011 with a modern version of Shakespeare's 'Coriolanus'.
Cécile de France was born in Namur, Belgium in 1975. She moved to Paris at seventeen to study theatre. After she graduated, she was offered several important roles in films such as 'L'auberge Espagnole' (2002), which earned her the César Award for most promising actress. Her international breakthrough came with 'High Tension' (2003). She has worked with many important directors including Claude Chabrol and the Dardenne brothers.
Rupert Friend was born in 1981 in Oxfordshire. Friend made his acting debut in 'The Libertine' (2004) opposite Johnny Deep, for which he was named Outstanding New Talent at the 2005 Satellite Awards. He is also known for his role as Prince Albert in 'The Young Victoria' (2009), as Mr Wickham in 'Pride & Prejudice' (2005) and as CIA agent Peter Quinn in the award winning television drama 'Homeland'.
Noted wit, raconteur, actor, writer and comedian, Stephen Fry made his name in the Cambridge footlights before teaming up with Hugh Laurie to headline their own successful TV series. He has directed one feature to date, 'Bright Young Things' (2003), a faithful adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 'Vile Bodies'. His acting career is long and varied. He debuted in 'Chariots of Fire' (1981) and excelled as two versions of the odious cad Melchett in the second and fourth series of 'Black Adder'. He played the eponymous host in 'Peter's Friends' (1992) which also starred Laurie. The two then embarked on a successful adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories. He was excellent as Oscar Wilde in 'Wilde' (1997) but his role in 'Gosford Park' (2001) felt out of place. More recently, he played Mycroft Holmes in Guy Ritchie's 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' (2011) and is splendidly grotesque as the Master of Laketown in the second and third Hobbit instalments (2013/14). He also played the ungainly husband of Chloë Sevigny's character in Whit Stillman's delightful 'Love & Friendship'.