Jean Reno discusses his career and his role in the film Léon: The Professional (1994).

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Jean Reno discusses his career and his role in the film Léon: The Professional (1994).

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11 January 2005 (USA)  »

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This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD for Léon: The Professional (1994), released in 2005. See more »

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Jean Reno: The Man From Casablanca
18 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the most interesting facts I learned about actor Jean Reno is that he didn't grow up in France but the exotic, famous city of "Casablanca" in Morroco. He did speak French, but only started feeling like a Frenchman after his Army stint in Germany.

He also got a little bit lucky in his career when he met 22-year-old beginning film director Luc Besson. The two hit it off and Besson had Reno star in his first four films. By the time, "The Big Blue" was released in 1988, Reno had risen to star status in Europe. After that, he let it get to his head and was out of work for 18 months. He never made that mistake again.

His career revival came with "La Femme Nikita," a fairly small role as a "cleaner" (hit man) that, of course, led to the role that now made him famous worldwide, that of "Leon" in "The Professional" (1994).

The last half of this documentary comments about his role as the star of "Leon: The Professional." It was interesting to hear Reno comment that it was important to show "Leon" as a mentally-slow individual because that made audiences relax and realize he wasn't the type who was going to sexually take advantage of the young girl in the movie who moved in with him. (I am referring to the 12-year-old played by Natalie Portman.)

Reno comes across as a very down-to-the-earth guy who hasn't - and won't let - fame change him.


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