French actress and former fashion model Emmanuelle Seigner became famous and gained acclaim after playing a supporting role in Nicola Garcia’s drama Place Vendôme (1998), starring Catherine Deneuve. For her brilliant effort, she was handed a 1999 César nomination. She also has utilized her mysterious beauty to outstanding effect in movies like Jean-Luc Godard’s Détective (1985), Roman Polanski’s dark supernatural thriller The Ninth Gate (1999), François Hanss’ Corps à corps (2003) and Os Imortais (2003). Her more recent and upcoming film credits include And They Lived Happily Ever After (2004), Backstage (2005), Four Last Songs (2006), Vie en rose, La (2007) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2008).
The 5’ 8” tall actress is also well-known for her her-profile nuptials to internationally legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski. The two exchanged wedding vows in 1989, a year after Polanski gave her a part in Frantic. They have two children, Morgane and Elvis.
Childhood and Family:
Emmanuelle Seigner was born on June 22, 1966, in Paris, France to a famed photographer and a journalist. She comes from a family of actors. Grandfather Louis Seigner and aunt Françoise were both members of the celebrated Comédie Française. Her grandfather was also Managing Director of the company. Her sister, Mathilde Seigner, is also an actress. Emmanuelle was educated at a Catholic convent school, and started modeling when she was 14 years old. Later, she added acting to her endeavors.
On August 30, 1989, Emmanuelle tied the knot with the Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski. They welcomed their first child, daughter Morgane Polanski, in 1993, and their second, child, son Elvis Polanski, was born five years later, in 1998.
Emmanuelle Seigner burst into the fashion scene at the age of 14, taking advantage of her beauty. She reached international status as a professional model and, with her unusual beauty, the burgeoning cover girl finally made a transformation into acting. In 1984, Seigner had her first taste in front of the film camera with a bit part in the Christopher Frank romantic drama Year of the Jellyfish. Her film career soon gained impetus when she landed roles in Jean-Luc Godard’s crime Détective (1985), which starred Johnny Hallyday and Nathalie Baye, and Pierre Granier-Deferre’s drama Cours privé (1986), in which she portrayed the part of a young girl named Zanon. In 1988, diminutive director Roman Polanski gave the actress a part in his thriller feature Frantic, playing the missing wife of Harrison Ford. Polanski and Seigner got married a year later.
After a performance in Mario Monicelli’s Il Male oscuro/ Dark Illness (1990), Seigner reunited with her husband for 1992’s drama Bitter Moon, where she shared the screen with British actors Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott Thomas. She went on to have supporting roles in Claude Miller’s Le Sourire/The Smile (1994), the comedy Pourvu que ça dure (1996) and the Christopher Lambert vehicle Nirvana (1997). She also costarred in Michel Deville’s La Divine poursuite/ The Gods Must Be Daring (1997), along side Antoine de Caunes, and Ian Sharp’s RPM (1998), with David Arquette.
However, it was Seigner’s scene-stealing performance in the 1998 drama Place Vendôme that put the actress on the spotlight. Under the direction of Nicola Garcia, she received a César (the French equivalent of the Oscar) nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film starred Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Pierre Bacri. She rounded the decade with remarkable works in Polanski’s The Ninth Gate, starring Johnny Depp, and the American production Buddy Boy (1999), playing a mysterious neighbor, Gloria.
Entering the new millennium, Seigner could be seen making her TV movie bow in Fernando Krapp m'a écrit cette lettre (2000), a comedy /drama costarring Niels Arestrup. She returned to cinema the next year with supporting turns in Laguna and Streghe verso nord/ Witches to the North, opposite Paul Sorvino and Gérard Depardieu. In 2003, she was cast in the starring role of Laura Bartelli, a stripper who flees the seamy world of men’s clubs only to discover a horrible secret about her husband, in Corps à corps. The same year, she offered an impressive performance in the António-Pedro Vasconcelos-directed action Os Imortais.
Seigner then teamed up with actor-director-writer Yvan Attal in the drama And They Lived Happily Ever After (2004), starred as singer Lauren Waks in the musical Backstage (2005) and appeared with Stanley Tucci, Rhys Ifans and Hugh Bonneville in the Spanish-UK production Four Last Songs (2006). More recently, she played the supporting role of Titine in Vie en rose, La (2007). She is set to star in the drama film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2008), opposite Mathieu Amalric.