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He had been acting in film and television for a decade before Matthias Schoenaerts' break came with 'Bullhead' (2011), a visceral examination of masculinity in crisis. 'Rust and Bone' (2012) followed and with it roles in international productions. Schoenaerts can be charming or malevolent. He is an actor of subtlety who can engage his sizeable physique in more imposing roles. He adds colour to roles in 'The Drop', 'A Little Chaos' and 'Suite Française' (all 2014), but excels in 'Far From the Madding Crowd' (2015). In 'Disorder' (2015), like his character in 'Bullhead', he is an uncoiled spring. An ex-soldier protecting a wealthy businessman's family, it's soon made clear that he may pose a greater danger to them than any unknown assailant. He is equally impressive in 'A Bigger Splash' (2015), one of his finest roles to date and a fine showcase for his range as an actor.
Kristin Scott Thomas was born in 1960 in Redruth, Cornwall. She gained international fame in the 1990s for her roles in the British classic comedy 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' (1994) and her intense performance in Anthony Minghella's 'The English Patient' (1996). Thomas, who is fluent French speaker, has been a prominent figure in French cinema, starring in films such as the immensely popular 'I've Loved You So Long' (2008).
Toni Servillo, born in 1959, has been described by Italian Vogue as 'the most versatile actor in the history of Italian cinema'. In 1977 he founded a theatre company, where he spent the next three decades working with many renowned directors. He made his feature film debut in his forties, in Paolo Sorrentino's 'One Man Up' (2001). Since then, he has collaborated on many Sorrentino films, including the Oscar winning 'The Great Beauty' (2013).
Léa Seydoux was born in Paris, France in 1985. She began acting in her native French cinema, gaining much acclaim for her breakout role in 'The Beautiful Person' (2008). She has since appeared in many Hollywood productions including 'Inglorious Basterds' (2009) and 'Midnight in Paris' (2011). Seydoux was awarded the Palme d'Or for 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' (2013) - one of only 3 women to ever be awarded this accolade.
One of the most striking British actresses, known for her androgynous, otherworldly beauty, Tilda Swinton was born in 1960 and is a Cambridge graduate. She began her career in Derek Jarman's art films, and has more recently lent her talent to the mainstream, including 'The Chronicles of Narnia' (2005),'Michael Clayton' (2007) which won her both an Oscar and a BAFTA, and 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' (2011).