The Concert - Melanie Laurent profile

  • The List
  • 7 July 2010
The Concert - Melanie Laurent profile

Melanie Laurent

21 February 1983

Born and raised in Paris, Melanie Laurent has Obelix to thank for her acting career. Gerard Depardieu was playing the comic strongman in the movie adaptation when he spotted a 14-year-old Laurent hanging out on set and handed her an audition, and subsequently a role, in his 1999 directorial effort The Bridge. She certainly comes from good film stock; her dad is a voiceover artist who gives The Simpsons’ Ned Flanders a Gaelic reworking and her maternal grandparents designed movie posters. Mum is a ballerina. Her biggest role to date was starring in Quentin Tarantino’s World War 2 bonanza Inglourious Basterds.

What’s she up to now?
Laurent plays a virtuoso violinist with a mysterious past in The Concert. The music act is not just confined to the silver screen as she is currently also working on her debut album, which is being produced by her boyfriend Damien Rice. She’s just finished playing Ewan Mcgregor’s girlfriend in Mike Mills’ Beginners. She has also directed a short film that was selected for Cannes and a porno for Canal Plus as part of the X Femmes project.

What she says about: luck playing a part in her career
‘When I was little I wanted to be a singer and a director. The actress thing just appeared because of Depardieu and if I didn’t meet him maybe I would be another person today.

What she says about: making a porn film
‘The strangest thing is the first ten minutes when you have to say some weird and very strange lines to your porn actor. After that, the difficult part is just the mise-en-scene. It’s just like making any movie. It’s almost like dance in the way you have to direct bodies and I was very proud of the result. I wanted to make some beautiful shots, and for me it was great training as a director.

Interesting fact
Her grandfather survived deportation by the Nazis and now gives advice to Laurent on Jewish characters she should play.

The Concert is on selected release from Fri 9 Jul.

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