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'Enemy' of the People

20 August 2010 7:06 AM, PDT | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

Among France's great younger actors, Vincent Cassel gained a fan base for portraying his nation's disenfranchised. Playing a rageful character living an aimless existence (the drama "La haine") or playing a literally lifelong criminal (the action film "Dobermann"), Cassel excelled at the quintessential angry young man. But those who have observed the skills underpinning his characterizations should not be surprised to learn that Cassel first trained at a circus school in France, at age 16, and that his earliest performances were as a street dancer and acrobat. Of course those skills came in handy for his role as the bendy burglar François Toulour in the "Ocean's" franchise. But Cassel's brilliant tour de force acting is now fully on view: "Mésrine: Killer Instinct" opens Aug. 27 in Los Angeles and New York after already winning Cassel a host of best-actor awards. (Part two of the saga, "Mésrine: Public Enemy No. 1," follows »

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1 item from 2010


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