Sophie Marceau

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Sophie Marceau Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


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Last update: 5/7/16

Sophie Marceau is arguably the most talented, and certainly the most beautiful of all french actresses. Apart from her talent and beauty, or perhaps because of them, she is according to ‘Le Figaro,’ also the most popular actress in her homeland.

She was sixteen when she got the Cesar du meilleur espoir, the award for the best young actress. That same year, she paid one million Francs to get out of a contract with the Gaumont Film Company, the first and oldest continuously operating film company in the world. She had to borrow the money. Today she says, “that was a way to show that I exist, that I can choose what I do”.

Marceau is forthright in her opinions, and has displayed an instinctive approach to her long film career. Althougshe enjoyed an impressive spell in English-language productions between 1995’s Braveheart and 1999’s The World is Not Enough’, – in which she played the Bond villain Elektra King – she has since kept her focus on French cinema and had no second thoughts about the decision.

“I didn’t want to spend my time there,” she says of Hollywood. “They didn’t need me either, to be honest. And I’m fine with this part of the world. It’s too tough for me [there]: I’m not in [it for the] competition; it’s terrible for me, I don’t fit in that.”

Resolute in the opinion that European cinema is “more sensitive and feminine” when compared to its “more macho” American counterpart, she further added – during promotional duties in Hong Kong – that;
“We have a lot of female directors. In America there are two: Kathryn Bigelow, and I don’t know the name of the second one.”

While it’s a regular occurrence in Tinseltown for actresses to bemoan that they’re deemed too old for meaningful roles, Marceau says she hasn’t faced the same problem in her home country. “In France, women are more friends to each other [than enemies]. So even at my old age, I’m offered lots of characters and I’m happy about that. But I know it’s not the case everywhere. That’s one of the reasons I would not go to work in Hollywood, anyway, because there’s like a run after youth. Cinema is about attraction and glamour. It’s true that at 50, 60 or 70 years old, you don’t have the same impact on men, probably, than when you’re 20. But I’m not going to change for men. They have to change. It’s not me who’s going to make them change.”

Suitably disillusioned, she added: “I think those guys who always want to hire very, very young, it’s a fit for the part if you’re gonna play Lolita – even a 25-year-old is too old to play the 13-year-old girl. But all the movies are not Lolitas. And the old guys, one day they will be [labelled] old-fashioned if they think that a 50-year-old woman cannot be sexy. As long as [those] men are afraid of women, they will always take women that are younger [for the roles].”

Recommended listening

Recommended viewing

Braveheart (1995)

The World is not enough (1999)