"I don't want to project the image of a glamorous girl." Virginie Ledoyen
French actress and model Virginie Ledoyen received praise after portraying Suzan in Francois Ozon's 8 Women (2002), where she was garnered a European Film Award. She first came to prominence with her starring role as Valérie Sergent, the pregnant young hotel worker in Benoît Jacquot's A Single Girl (1995). Her significant performance in the film handed her a nomination at César (France's version of the Oscar). In 1998, she won a Paris Film Festival Award after portraying the title character in the Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's musical comedy Jeanne and the Perfect Guy (1998, opposite Mathieu Demy). Outside of her native country, Ledoyen is well remembered for playing Françoise, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, in Danny Boyle's adaptation of Alex Garland's novel The Beach (2000).
Off screen, 5' 5¼ inches tall Ledoyen is a fan of Francis Ford Coppola and Stanley Kubrick. She is a humanitarian who is active as a secretary general of Pour le Tibet, a charitable organization that brings medical aid to Tibetan centers in North India and the Himalayas. As for her private life, Ledoyen is the mother of a daughter named Lilas (born on September, 29 2001)
LeDoyen, whose favorite actors are Anna Karina and Isabelle Huppert, will play roles in the upcoming Holly (2005), Doublure, La (2006) and Seed of Contention (2006).
Dostoevsky’s Avid Reader
Childhood and Family:
"My parents never had trouble with me. I went to school and I worked well. I wasn't the best student but I was okay. I was quite sage." Virginie Ledoyen
Daughter of Bernard (salesman) and Olga (restaurant manager), Virginie Fernandez (who later took her paternal grandmother's maiden name Ledoyen as her stage name) was born on November 15, 1976, in Aubervilliers, France. Virginie’s parents divorced and her mother remarried shortly thereafter. She has a younger brother Michel (production assistant).
Being raised in the fashion city of Paris, Virginie began modeling when she was a baby and appeared in several television commercials when she turned three. At age nine, an Italian director was impressed by her photo shoot and landed her a film role. At about the same time, she attended a special school for the performing arts, l'Ecole du Spectacle. In her teenage years, with her acting experiences both on screen and stage, Virginie considered acting as a career choice.
Off screen, Virginie gave birth to her beautiful daughter Lilas on September 29, 2001. While not working, she enjoys gardening and basketball. She is also a passionate reader of Dostoevsky and Henry Miller.
Jeanne and the Perfect Guy
Born to be a performer, Virginie Ledoyen began modeling as a baby and appeared in a number of television commercials by the time she was three years old. Her modeling jobs led to film work in 1987 when she landed her first film role as Berthe in Exploits of a Young Don Juan (1987). The same year, she also got her first taste of the stage when she appeared in a production of "L'affaire du courrier de Lyon." In 1988, she played Joëlle in the television miniseries "Vie en panne, La."
Ledoyen decided to pursue acting professionally and made her return to the screen in 1991 by playing the title character of a cute 12-year-old, who becomes the witness of her grandfather’s murder, in director Philomène Esposito’s Mima (1991, opposite Nino Manfredi) and playing the supporting role of Gabrielle, along with Marcello Mastroianni, in The Children Thief (1991). She then found herself acting with Jean-Hugues Anglade and Jacqueline Bisset in Elie Chouraqui's The Groundhogs (1993), joined Benoît Jacquot in the French television miniseries "Vie de Marianne, La" (1994), played Charlie Léger in Loose Screws (1994) and made her television movie debut in Règle de l'homme, La (1994). She netted her first big break with the starring role of troubled French adolescent Christine in Olivier Assayas’ Cold Water (1994).
After Sur la route (1995) and Sensuels, Les (1995,TV), Ledoyen received critical acclaim starring as Valérie Sergent, the pregnant young hotel employee, in Benoît Jacquot's A Single Girl (1995). For her bright performance, she earned a César nomination for Most Promising Young Actress in 1996. In addition to the film being a surprise hit in America, she was said to have "natural screen presence" by the New York Times. She then costarred with Sandrine Bonnaire and Isabelle Huppert in Claude Chabrol's A Judgment in Stone (1995).
The following years saw her team up with Hong Kong director Edward Yang in Mahjong (1996), appear in Ma 6-T va crack-er (1997), star as young musician Johanna in Héroïnes (1997) and reprise her title character in the feature Marianne (1997).
Ledoyen’s next breakthrough arrived when she was cast as Jeanne in Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau's musical comedy about AIDS, Jeanne and the Perfect Guy (1998). Playing a young woman who finds her perfect guy in a man who happens to be HIV-positive, opposite Mathieu Demy, Ledoyen won the 1998 Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actress.
The same year, fans could watch her break into the Hollywood scene with her American film debut in James Ivory’s A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998, portraying a young mother who gives her son up for adoption), rejoin Assayas in the romantic ensemble drama Late August, Early September (1998, portrayed a young designer) and star as petty criminal Cécile Maudet, opposite Guillaume Canet, in In All Innocence (1998).
Returning to her modeling roots, Ledoyen finished the decade by signing a contract with L'Oréal Paris as their commercial spokesmodel and attending Cannes as the L’Oreal’s representative.
In the new millennium, Ledoyen attracted the attention of a wide American audience when she starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Danny Boyle's adaptation of Alex Garland's novel The Beach (2000). The film was not a hit, but Ledoyen’s performance as Françoise, a young woman in search of a utopian paradise, launched her as a legitimate star. She next costarred with John Malkovich and Gerard Depardieu in the French miniseries version of "Misérables, Les" (2000) and acted in All About Love (2001).
The actress again drew accolades for playing Suzon in Francois Ozon's 8 Women (2002), in which she took home a European Film for Best Actress in 2002. She went on to play roles in such wide screen movies as Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose (2003), starred with Rupert Everett in Bon Voyage (2003) and played the lead character in Saint Ange (2004). Ledoyen will also be seen in the forthcoming Holly (2005), Doublure, La (2006) and Seed of Contention (2006).