Catherine Deneuve was born in Paris, France, the third of four daughters to Renée Dorléac (a retired stage actress) and the second of three daughters to Maurice Dorléac (now deceased). She made her screen debut in The Twilight Girls (1957), where she was credited as Catherine Dorléac. She began using her mother's maiden name professionally in 1960, in order to differentiate herself from her up-and-coming actress sister, Françoise Dorléac.
Although raised Catholic, Deneuve began to defy convention at an early age. In 1961, the 17-year-old starlet left home and moved in with Ukranian director Roger Vadim, who at 33 was twice divorced and almost twice her age. He was also her mentor, and directed her in Vice and Virtue (1963). On June 18, 1963, she gave birth to their son, Christian Vadim, at the age of 19. Within a month after that, the relationship was over and they broke off contact (he had five wives and four children, and died in 2000).
Deneuve's breakthrough came the following year with the excellent musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), in which she gave an unforgettable performance as a romantic middle-class girl who falls in love with a young soldier but gets imprisoned in a loveless marriage with another man; the director was the gifted Jacques Demy. She followed this up with a riveting performance as a schizophrenic killer in Roman Polanski's suspense classic Repulsion (1965).
On August 19, 1965, the 21-year-old Deneuve married British photographer David Bailey after a brief courtship. The marriage was soured by mutual infidelities as well as a language barrier (he did not speak French and she was still in the process of becoming fluent in English), eventually ending in an amicable divorce. They remain friends, but Deneuve has shunned the idea of marriage ever since.
Meanwhile, she played a married woman who works as a part-time prostitute every afternoon in Luis Buñuel's masterpiece, Belle de Jour (1967), then reunited with Demy for another musical, The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), which co-starred her elder sister, Françoise Dorléac. Shortly before the film's release, Dorléac was killed in a fatal car accident at the age of 25, leaving Deneuve devastated. Working continuously despite her grief (or perhaps because of it), she reunited with Buñuel for Tristana (1970) and gave a great performance for François Truffaut in Mississippi Mermaid (1969), a kind of apotheosis of her "frigid femme fatale" persona.
Following her separation from Bailey in 1970 (they officially divorced in 1972), Deneuve began an intense relationship with Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. With four onscreen pairings, they became Europe's golden couple. On May 28, 1972, Deneuve gave birth to their daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, at the age of 28. The relationship with Mastroianni ended in 1975, but the two remained friends up until his death from pancreatic cancer on December 19, 1996, with Deneuve present at his bedside.
For the most part, Deneuve showed little interest in pursuing a Hollywood career. In her first two American films, she was paired with Jack Lemmon in the romantic comedy The April Fools (1969) and Burt Reynolds in the crime drama Hustle (1975). Though the reviews were decent, both films met with lukewarm box office. To increase her exposure, Deneuve became the face of Chanel No. 5, causing sales of the perfume to soar in the United States.
Deneuve's magnificent work in Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980), as a stage actress in Nazi-occupied Paris, was a career milestone and won her a César Award for Best Actress. Deneuve's third foray into Hollywood came in 1983, when she starred in Tony Scott's The Hunger (1983) as a stylish, seductive bisexual vampire living in Manhattan who sets out in search of new blood. The film became a cult classic, and her erotic love scene with Susan Sarandon unintentionally made Deneuve a lesbian icon, so much that she would later have to threaten legal action to stop the lesbian magazine Curve from using "Deneuve" as the original title. In 1985, her status as a beauty icon was cemented when her profile was chosen as the model for Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic seen on French coins and stamps. Later, she debuted as a film producer with Strange Place for an Encounter (1988), but has not ventured back into the profession since.
Deneuve's unchanging beauty and controlled acting skills were perfectly showcased in the romantic melodrama Indochine (1992), in which she played an upper-class plantation owner who falls in love with a young French naval officer (Vincent Perez) in 1930s Vietnam. The film won both the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foregin Film during the 1993 awards season, while Deneuve won her second César Award for Best Actress and, at the age of 49, received her first Academy Award nomination, making her one of the distinct few to be nominated for a non-English-speaking performance.
She was very good in André Téchiné's My Favorite Season (1993), and had more high-caliber leading roles in The Convent (1995) and Place Vendôme (1998). Lars von Trier cast Deneuve in his musical drama Dancer in the Dark (2000), opposite eccentric singer Björk. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. The following year, she made another rare return to Hollywood with a starring role in The Musketeer (2001), a France-based epic adventure.
Now in her late fifties and a grandmother, she continues to work at a steady pace, notably and most recently in this year's acclaimed musical 8 Women (2002). Although the elegant and always radiant Deneuve has never appeared on stage, she is universally hailed as one of the "grandes dames" of French cinema, joining a list that includes such illustrious talents as Simone Signoret, Isabelle Huppert, Jeanne Moreau, and the younger Juliette Binoche.
|David Bailey||(19 August 1965 - 1972) (divorced)|
Platinum blonde hair
Deep sultry voice
1995: Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#38).
An archetype for Gallic beauty, her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989.
October 1997: Ranked #89 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
Catherine is the third of four daughters born to the French actors Maurice Dorléac and Renée Deneuve (whose name she uses).
She liked Breaking the Waves (1996) by Lars von Trier so much that she wrote a personal letter to him, asking him for a role in a film of his. The result of this is her part in Dancer in the Dark (2000).
Has never performed in the theatre due to stage fright.
1994: Festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France.
Had a brand of perfume named after her.
She speaks fluent Italian and French, as well as semi-fluent English and German.
1994: Vice president of jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
Former mother-in-law of singer Benjamin Biolay.
Designer of glasses, shoes, jewelry, and greetings cards.
1988: Member of the international jury of the Shangaï Television festival.
Her performance as Séverine Sérizy in Belle de Jour (1967) is ranked #59 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
She had a relationship with François Truffaut in the 1970s. When the relationship failed, Truffaut had a nervous breakdown. Deneuve attended his funeral in 1984 and later appeared in 8 Women (2002) with Fanny Ardant, who was Truffaut's partner at the time of his death and the mother of his youngest daughter.
2006: Head juror of the Venice Film Festival.
She and Marcello Mastroianni made five movies together: One Hundred and One Nights (1995), Liza (1972), Don't Touch the White Woman! (1974), It Only Happens to Others (1971), and L'événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la lune (1973).
2005: Guest of Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2005.
"Me and Catherine Deneuve Split up" is a song by Eton Crop.
Song "Catherine Deneuve and the Deus ex machina" is sung by band Kelly and the Kellygirls.
Juan Antonio Canta sings a song called "Catherine Deneuve".
As of the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), she ties, with Mae Marsh (most of whose performances amount to cameos), as the most represented actress with 7 films. Included are the Deneuve films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Repulsion (1965), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), Belle de Jour (1967), Tristana (1970), The Last Metro (1980) and Dancer in the Dark (2000).
She has four grandchildren. Her grandsons are named Igor (b. 1987) and Milo (b. 1996), and her granddaughters are named Anna (b. 2003) and Lou (b. 2010).
Would have starred in "The Short Night" for director Alfred Hitchcock, but the project was canceled during its pre-production stage in 1979 due to Hitchcock's declining health (he died in 1980).
During an April 2011 interview with Charlie Rose, Deneuve was asked if there were any roles she wanted but never got the opportunity to play. She replied that she was interested in the prospect of playing Eva Peron and Anna Karenina.
Named the 2012 recipient of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Chaplin Award [January 11, 2012].
Is one of 12 French actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert, Colette Marchand, Leslie Caron, Simone Signoret, Anouk Aimée, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Bérénice Bejo and Emmanuelle Riva.
People who know me know I'm strong, but I'm vulnerable.
I'm lucky. I'm getting older with some directors who are getting older.
I don't see any reason for marriage when there is divorce.
To work is a noble art.
A star remains pinned on a wall in the public imagination.
But being a film actor is very different from, say, a theater actor. You get involved with a character after spending a long time waiting, and this demands a lot of energy and concentration. So I am very involved with the character, but I have to leave it as soon as it's finished. And also, you always have to be at the right level when it's time to shoot, which is not always the best time for the actor. Sometimes, if you're shooting a complicated scene, you have to stay in a position and wait for the technician to do his job, and then you have to be where you're supposed to be, right on the spot. You don't rehearse all that much on films. If I think of the amount of time I spend on set compared with the time spent shooting, it's ridiculously short.
But that's what I like about film - it can be bizarre, classic, normal, romantic. Cinema is to me the most versatile thing.
Directors have to push me because I never start [high] and then need to be pushed down; I have to be pushed up. Not all the time, but often.
I find sometimes that it's more difficult to do very simple, low-key films, like I've done with André Téchiné. Sometimes, at the end of a shoot with him, I feel very down, like I'm leaving something because these are low-key but novel characters. But when you do films like Repulsion (1965) or musicals, where you have to play someone so far away from yourself, what I do is I come in the morning and get involved in the character, but I'm always very pleased to leave it at night and have my life. No, I don't live that much with the character. I find it hard enough having to spend so many hours with the character during the day. Because you don't act all the time and you spend a long time waiting, but you still have to support this character all day long.
[on her looks] I know that if I didn't look the way I looked, I would never have started in films. That, I remember, and I know I have to accept it.
I like to be directed, it's true. If I didn't like that, I'd do something else. Being an actor means being an instrument for someone else.
I'm not always the nicest person to meet, because I forget very easily that I'm an actress when I'm not working. I live very normally, I go out with my friends, we go to the movies, I queue, we go to restaurants. Then if something happens to remind me that I'm an actress then I become a little different and things become a little heavy. I like the advantages; I know it's not right but I like being famous when it's convenient for me and completely anonymous when it's not.
Interestingly, people who have come to visit me on set - which I don't like - they're very surprised and say that I'm not the person they know. I'm not available to them, I cannot go off with them, I cannot get involved in their conversations, so they get the impression that they're seeing someone else. I tell them, yes, I do love to see them after a shoot, but during the shoot, I am with the people I work with. They ask, how can I stand being on a set waiting for so long, and that it must be so boring. And I have to explain that to wait, for an actor, is not at all like someone who's waiting to see the doctor. It's not the kind of wait where you get bored. Even if I try to think about something else while I'm waiting, I am living with the film, with the scene. But I do often feel tired during the day, and I'm lucky because I can go to sleep very easily, for even 10 to 15 minutes, even if I'm in costume or under a wig, so I do.
Interviews are written by someone else - the journalist makes the decision to add or take things away and I couldn't recognize my voice, or anything of myself in that.
What I don't like is close-ups, unless the actor is in the camera with me. I have to feel his presence. If I have to feel the presence of the camera before my partner's, it's very difficult. I love to do very long and complicated scenes. I like to have this impression that we are all working together, where you can see all the technicians and everybody is really doing the same thing at the same time. With close-ups, of course you have the crew there, but most of them are just around and it doesn't involve that many people.
[on Gene Kelly] It was mostly an aura about him. For me he was Hollywood. The way I'd imagined it as a child.
[on Jean-Louis Trintignant] I adore working with him. He's so generous, he doesn't play only for himself, but for his partner. He's also concerned with everyone on a set. That's why the technicians have great respect and tenderness for him.
[in 2008] I find cinema still very interesting. For me, to see a film, and to see a film and to be shown a story with actors that I like or actors that I don't know, it's always a discovery. I'm a great fan of films and I still go to see films in theaters. Even when I'm working, I try to see films. It's a desire, and it's something very important in my life. It's still something that I'm looking for, you know? It's like listening to music - it's part of my life.
My relationship to character is made up of mental things that you should not put words to. To do so would be immodest. The most decisive moment of my work around a character happens as we are shooting. That moment is so tense, so exhausting that once it is over, I need fire doors between the set and me. Back in my dressing room or in the hotel, I shut myself off, because the state I am in on set is too exhausting.
When we are filming, I can concentrate very quickly, but it does tire me out. It throws me into such a state! A trance-like state. So, what I need is either a trick for a calm type of trance or a sleepwalking trick.
I am incapable of working by myself without a director, without someone to coach me. But that doesn't tally at all with my idea of what a film character should be. I have to soak in what will happen on set, that day, the location, the light... I need to know what happens before in the story. To me, that is the most important thing: to relate to a character in relation to where we are in the film. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I have never done any real character parts. Even with Tristana, which required a bit of character acting. But Luis Buñuel and I would talk off set, we had dinner together. The same is true of André Téchiné. We meet up but we always wind up talking about something else. And even though we have ended up talking about something unrelated, something useful has still come out of it. We have a conversation about something else but, at the same time, we are aware of what surrounds us, why we are here-the questions are very present in our head. But it is never straightforward. No, it is never straightforward.
[About Michael Mann] I watched Miami Vice (2006) again. I hadn't really liked it the first time round. But even so, it's a whole other way of filming, it's fascinating. There is a force, an incredible energy to it. His films are very long, but there are no gratuitous shots. When he decides to film the nape of an actor's neck, there is a real tension. It's there, it's not at all . . . an effect. It's surprising. He makes you feel the weight of things.
I was supposed to make a film with [Alfred Hitchcock]. It was set up north too, just like the Torn Curtain (1966). It was going to be a spy story. At the time it was still only a synopsis. I had lunch with him in Paris and he died some months later. I would have loved to work with him.
I do prefer to start without any intention at all, rather than arrive with my own idea. I am incapable of deciding what a character is. At the same time, from the moment I have accepted the part and read the script, I know that things will circle in my mind. It won't happen all the time but nor will it ever stop entirely. But I am not obsessed, I don't have any trouble getting out of character, at night. I am always happy when filming and I am always happy to leave at night - it's true that there is always a kind of a nervous fatigue. Which I know is hidden away somewhere during the shoot. There are some things that fall into place without me doing anything. I know that now.
I am shocked when people talk about me and sum me up as: blonde, cold, and solemn. People will cling on to whatever reinforces their own assumptions about a person.
Why should I go to the States to do a film I wouldn't consider in Europe, just because it's English-speaking?
I wouldn't want to be a young actress today. They are not allowed to be individual in their look. The film industry now is closely related to fashion, and actresses walking on the red carpet have to look like supermodels. In my day we had to look fantastic for a special event, but now an actress has to look perfect all the time because they know that if they don't, someone will take a picture, it will fly around the world on the internet and they will be finished. As a result, there is no individuality. They all look the same, like Barbie dolls.
I am a feminist through experience not choice. I was a feminist from a very early age because I am from a family of women, so it comes naturally to me. Over the years I have been involved with various causes for women.
My daughter is adorable. We are very close. Some people don't get on with their daughters and that is very sad. I am so glad and grateful that we have a good relationship. Working with her [in Beloved (2011)] was wonderful.
I think the best decade of my life was between 40 and 50. Forty was the turning point for me as an actress.
The way a woman ages has much to do with genetics. My mother has very good bone structure, which I have inherited, and it certainly helps. My mother also gave me my two most important beauty tips - to be careful of the sun and to drink lots of water. Have I had surgery? Ah! That is very personal. I have no comment on surgery.
I could never have been a model in the way actresses today are expected to be; I was never thin enough. I love a wonderful meal at the end the day and a good burgundy. I try to be careful but I am not American - I am not always worrying about calories and working out.
I like men who have a light spirit. It's OK to be serious about your work but in everyday life it's difficult to find men who are very alive and positive. In life I like people who are cheerful.
I have no fear of aging. I am still working. When you are young you suffer and worry so much more - everything is so important and serious, but with time things get better.
[in 2012] My mother turned 100 this year. She lives alone in Paris; very independent but near to me, and she is quite incredible. She has a very good head; she still plays bridge, she still wins. Longevity may be in my genes but I don't know if I will live to be 100 because I have not had the same lifestyle as my mother - she never smoked. It may be different for me.
[on smoking] It's great. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed of it either. It's getting harder and harder in Europe. I light up from time to time, and that's when everyone flashes a camera at me. Those are the only shots anyone ever wants to use. So i'm described as an inveterate smoker.
|Indochine (1992)||FRF 2.7 million|
|Place Vendôme (1998)||480.000 euros|
|Night Wind (1999)||381.000 euros|
|Belle maman (1999)||610,000 euros|
|Pola X (1999)||274.000 euros|
|Marcel Proust's Time Regained (1999)||305,000 euros|
|Est - Ouest (1999)||274.000 euros|
|8 Women (2002)||457,000 euros + 9% of the gross|
|"Dangerous Liaisons" (2003)||1,8 million euros|
|Princesse Marie (2004) (TV)||610.000 euros|
|The Stone Council (2006)||215,000 euros|
|The Big Picture (2010)||€250,000|
|Les yeux de sa mère (2011)||€300,000|
(November 2007) She visited Argentina to receive a honorary award in the San Luis Cine International Festival.
(May 2008) Honored at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival
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