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Léa Seydoux

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Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux
Seydoux at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival
Born Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier de Clausonne[1]
(1985-07-01) 1 July 1985
Paris, France
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier de Clausonne (born 1 July 1985) is a French actress. She began her acting career in French cinema, appearing in films such as The Last Mistress (2007) and On War (2008). She first came to attention after she won the Trophée Chopard Award for Female Revelation of the Year at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her performance in The Beautiful Person (2008).

Since then, she has appeared in major Hollywood films including Inglourious Basterds (2009), Robin Hood (2010), Midnight in Paris (2011) and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011). In French cinema, she was nominated for the César Award for Most Promising Actress for a second time for her role in Belle Épine (2010) and was nominated for the César Award for Best Actress for the film Farewell, My Queen (2012).

In 2013 Seydoux came to widespread attention and was awarded the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in the widely acclaimed film Blue Is the Warmest Colour. She also received the Lumières Award for Best Actress for the film Grand Central (2013). In 2014, she was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and starred in the films Beauty and the Beast, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Saint Laurent.

She will appear in The Lobster and in Diary of a Chambermaid, with both films projected for release in 2015. In October 2014, it was announced she has been cast as Madeleine Swann, the next Bond girl in Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, scheduled for release in October 2015.[2][3]

Early life

Seydoux at the 2009 Venice Film Festival

Léa Seydoux was born in 1985, the daughter of businessman Henri Seydoux and philanthropist Valérie Schlumberger. She was born in Passy, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, but grew up in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement. She has five younger siblings and an older sister, Camille, who works as her stylist.[4] Her parents are both of part Alsatian German descent. Her father is a great-grandson of businessman and inventor Marcel Schlumberger, while her mother is a granddaughter of Marcel's brother, Maurice Schlumberger.[5][6] Seydoux's parents divorced when she was three years old and they were often away,[7] her mother in Africa and her father on business, which, combined with her large family meant that she "felt lost in the crowd... I was very lonely as a kid. Really I always had the feeling I was an orphan."[8] Through her family involvement in media and entertainment, Seydoux grew up acquainted with prominent artists such as photographer Nan Goldin, musicians Lou Reed and Mick Jagger and footwear designer Christian Louboutin.[8] For six years, she went to summer camp in America, at the behest of her father, who wanted her to learn to speak English.[9][10] She had a strict Protestant upbringing,[11] but she is not religious.[12]

There were no actors in my family; I was the first. When I decided to become an actress, it was my choice. People said no, but I did it. I was able to do what I wanted, but it was not logical.

 — Seydoux dismissing suggestions that she won her first acting roles because of her family connections.[7]

The Seydoux family is widely known in France. Her grandfather, Jérôme Seydoux, is the chairman of Pathé;[13] her granduncle, Nicolas Seydoux, is the chairman of Gaumont Film Company;[13] her other granduncle, Michel Seydoux, also a cinema producer, is currently the chairman of the Lille-based football club Lille OSC; and her father is CEO of the French wireless company Parrot.[8] Despite Seydoux's connections, her family initially took no interest in her film career and did not help her.[7][8] As a child, she had no desire to act. She instead wanted to be an opera singer,[12][14] studying music at the Conservatoire de Paris.[15]

Her mother Valérie Schlumberger is a former actress-turned-philanthropist and the founder of the boutique CSAO (Compagnie d'Afrique du Sénégal et de l'Afrique de l'ouest), which promotes the work of African artists. Seydoux once worked as a model for their jewellery line Jokko. Schlumberger, who lived in Dakar, of which Seydoux is the "godmother."[8][12]

Seydoux describes her youthful self as short-haired, slightly disheveled, and widely viewed as a bit strange: "People liked me, but I always felt like a misfit."[11] Still concerned for her shyness in adulthood, Seydoux has admitted to having had an anxiety crisis during the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[16]



Seydoux at the première of Sister in April 2012

Seydoux says that as a child she wanted to become an opera singer, studying music at the Conservatoire de Paris, but eventually her shyness compelled her to drop the idea.[17][18] It wasn't until the age of eighteen that she decided to become an actress.[19] One of her friends was an actor, and Seydoux has said: "I found his life wonderful, I thought, 'Oh my god, you can travel, you're free, you can do what you want, you're the boss.'"[9][20] She then fell in love with an actor and decided to become an actress to impress him.[9] She took acting classes at French drama school Les Enfants Terribles,[13] and in 2007 she took further training at New York's Actors Studio with Corinne Blue.

In 2005, Seydoux appeared in the music video for Raphaël's single "Ne partons pas fâchés". The following year, Seydoux played her first major screen role as one of the main characters in Sylvie Ayme's Mes Copines. She starred in Nicolas Klotz's short film La Consolation, which was exhibited in 2007 Cannes Film Festival.[21] In these years, she also did her first work as a model for American Apparel, posing for their Pantytime campaign,[22] and had a role in the films 13 French Street and The Last Mistress.[17]


Seydoux first came to attention in 2008,[23] when she appeared in Christophe Honoré's The Beautiful Person, a role that earned her the 2009 Chopard Award from the Cannes Film Festival for "Best Upcoming Actress" and a César Award nomination for Most Promising Actress.[17] In 2009 she had a major part in Jessica Hausner's Lourdes,[17] and a small role in her first Hollywood movie, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. In 2010 she starred alongside Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, playing Isabella of Angouleme; other 2010 work includes Louis Garrel's Petit Tailleur, and Rebecca Zlotowski's Belle Épine, which earned her a second César nomination of Most Promising Actress.

Seydoux promoting the film Blue Is the Warmest Colour at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Seydoux auditioned to play Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but the part ultimately went to actress Rooney Mara.[18] Seydoux recalled in an interview: "I got upset, but I don't think I'd be able to do anything to get that part. It was totally against my nature. I worked hard, but Lisbeth was almost anorexic. I wasn't like that".[11] Seydoux was chosen, however, to play Gabrielle in Midnight in Paris, by Woody Allen, whom she calls one of her favorite directors of all time. There was no casting – Allen was shown pictures of three French actresses and from all he chose Seydoux.[11][13] In 2011 she participated in another Hollywood production, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, in which she played the assassin Sabine Moreau alongside stars Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner.

After Mission: Impossible, Seydoux returned to French cinema, starring in Le Roman de Ma Femme and Roses à Crédit in 2011, and Farewell, My Queen and the critically acclaimed Sister in 2012. Also in 2012, Seydoux played roles in Blue Is the Warmest Colour by Abdellatif Kechiche, and Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski, both exhibited at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.


In 2013, Seydoux was nominated for Best Actress at the 38th César Awards for her role as Sidonie Laborde in Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen. Later that year at Cannes, Blue Is the Warmest Colour won the Palme d'Or and the jury, headed by Steven Spielberg, took the unusual move of awarding the prize not just to the director Abdellatif Kechiche, but also to the film's two stars, Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.[24][19]

In 2014, Seydoux won the Best Actress award at the 19th Lumières Awards for her role in Blue Is the Warmest Colour and Grand Central. She was also nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and the César Award for Best Actress in the same year.

Seydoux co-starred with Vincent Cassel in Beauty and the Beast, a romantic fantasy film directed by Christophe Gans. Her other 2014 films are—The Grand Budapest Hotel, a Wes Anderson film; and Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent, in which she played the role of the titular designer's muse Loulou de la Falaise.

Seydoux at the Lumières Award in January 2014.

She will appear alongside The Lobster; and star opposite Vincent Lindon in Diary of a Chambermaid, a film adaptation of Octave Mirbeau's novel Le Journal d'une femme de chambre. She has also been cast as Madeleine Swann, the next Bond girl in Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, with filming reported to begin in December 2014.[3]


Seydoux has modelled for numerous magazines and brands, but sees herself "always as an actress",[15] not as a model.[14][25] She participated in the Levi's television advert "Dangerous Liaison", and has been seen in several photo editorials, including for Vogue Paris, American Vogue, Numéro, L'Officiel, CRASH, Another Magazine and W magazine. Seydoux advertised for Prada's 2012 Resort line; and is the face of its 2013 campaign (directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola) for the fragrances Prada Candy and Prada Candy L'Eau,[13][26][27] and the campaign for Prada Candy Florale perfume in 2014.[28] She fronted the 2013 campaign for French jewellery line Didier Dubot and appeared in rag & bone's Fall 2013 campaign with Michael Pitt.[29][30] She also appeared in a nude pictorial for French men's magazine Lui.[7] In addition, Seydoux and her Blue Is the Warmest Colour co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos were featured in Miu Miu's 2014 resort ad campaign.[31]

Personal life

Seydoux has said that the filming of Blue Is the Warmest Colour made her question her sexuality: "Of course I did [question it]. Me as a person, as a human being... It's not nothing, making those scenes. Of course I question myself. But, I did not have any revelations."[8] Her boyfriend is "not an actor, he's not famous at all."[8]


Year Title Role Director Notes
2006 Mes copines Aurore Sylvie Ayme
2007 La Consolation Camille Nicolas Klotz Short film
2007 The Last Mistress Olivia Catherine Breillat
2007 13 French Street Jenny Jean-Pierre Mocky
2008 On War Marie Bertrand Bonello
2008 Les Vacances de Clémence Jackie Michel Andrieu TV movie
2008 Des poupées et des anges Gisèle Nora Hamdi
2008 The Beautiful Person Junie Christophe Honoré Trophée Chopard Award for Female Revelation of the Year, an independent award presented at the Cannes Film Festival
Nominated—César Award for Most Promising Actress
Nominated—Étoiles d'or du cinéma français for Female Revelation
Nominated—Lumières Award for Most Promising Actress
2009 Lourdes Maria Jessica Hausner
2009 Des illusions The subway's girl Etienne Faure
2009 Inglourious Basterds Charlotte LaPadite Quentin Tarantino Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Central Ohio Film Critics Association for Best Ensemble
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
2009 Plein sud Léa Sébastien Lifshitz
2010 Robin Hood Isabella of Angoulême Ridley Scott
2010 Petit tailleur Marie–Julie Louis Garrel Short film
2010 Sans laisser de traces Fleur Grégoire Vigneron
2010 Belle Épine Prudence Friedmann Rebecca Zlotowski Nominated—César Award for Most Promising Actress
2010 Roses à crédit Marjoline Amos Gitai
2010 Mysteries of Lisbon Blanche de Montfort Raúl Ruiz
2011 Midnight in Paris Gabrielle Woody Allen Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated—San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Performance by an Ensemble
Nominated—Alliance of Women Film Journalists for Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest Award
2011 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Sabine Moreau Brad Bird
2011 Time Doesn't Stand Still Elle Asa Mader
Benjamin Millepied
Short film
2011 Le roman de ma femme Ève Jamshed Usmonov Nominated—Prix Romy Schneider
2012 Farewell, My Queen Agathe-Sidonie Laborde Benoît Jacquot Cabourg Film Festival for Best Actress
Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
2012 Sister Louise Ursula Meier Cabourg Film Festival for Best Actress
2013 Blue Is the Warmest Colour Emma Abdellatif Kechiche Palme d'Or
CinEuphoria Awards for Best Supporting Actress - Audience Award
CinEuphoria Awards for Best Duo - International Competition
Hamptons International Film Festival Awards for Breakthrough Performer
International Cinephile Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Portuguese Online Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Lumières Award for Best Actress
Nominated—BAFTA Rising Star Award
Nominated—César Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Alliance of Women Film Journalists for Best Depiction
Nominated—CinEuphoria Awards for Best Supporting Actress - International Competition
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Glamour Awards for Next Breakthrough
Nominated—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd Place)
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Prix Romy Schneider
Nominated—San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated—Village Voice Film Poll for Best Supporting Actress
2013 Grand Central Karole Rebecca Zlotowski Lumières Award for Best Actress
2013 Prada: Candy Candy Wes Anderson
Roman Coppola
Short film
2014 Beauty and the Beast Beauty Christophe Gans
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Clotilde Wes Anderson
2014 Saint Laurent Loulou de la Falaise Bertrand Bonello
2015 The Lobster Loner Leader Yorgos Lanthimos
2015 Diary of a Chambermaid Célestine Benoît Jacquot
2015 Spectre Madeleine Swann Sam Mendes


  1. ^ "Léa Seydoux, la belle énigme". Elle France. 14 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Move over Rihanna, actress Léa Seydoux is the new Bond girl". The Independent. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Léa Seydoux is the new Bond girl".  
  4. ^ "Getting Ready for the Cannes Film Festival with Léa Seydoux".  
  5. ^ Les Echos (2000-08-28). "20. Les Schlumberger-Seydoux". Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  6. ^ "Profil d'un personnage - Société Genevoise de Généalogie". Retrieved 2014-04-18. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Léa Seydoux interview for Blue is the Warmest Colour".  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "L'agent provocateur: meet Léa Seydoux, star of Blue is the Warmest Colour".  
  9. ^ a b c "Five Minutes With Lea Seydoux". W Magazine. October 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Léa Seydoux on the Agony of Filming Blue Is the Warmest Color". Esquire. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d Vicente, Álex (25 August 2012). "Léa Seydoux, la nueva musa de la nouvelle vague". S Moda (in Spanish) ( 
  12. ^ a b c Paola Genone (31 August 2011). """Léa Seydoux: "je suis une femme virile (in French).  
  13. ^ a b c d e "Léa Seydoux, parcours d'une audacieuse".  
  14. ^ a b "The many layers of Léa Seydoux".  
  15. ^ a b "Berlin 2012: Cafe Chat With 'Farewell, My Queen' Star Lea Seydoux (Q&A)".  
  16. ^ "Léa Seydoux: la rencontre".  
  17. ^ a b c d Aftab, Kaleem (19 September 2013). "Léa Seydoux".  
  18. ^ a b Martin, Peter (1 January 2012). "Lea Seydoux: A Woman We Love".   – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  19. ^ a b Hirschberg, Lynn (September 2013). "Léa Seydoux: Generation W".  
  20. ^ "Léa Seydoux: Generation W". W Magazine. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  21. ^ "Lea Seydoux". Storm Models. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Who Knew? Midnight in Paris‘ Lea Seydoux Is Also a Topless ‘Pantytime’ Model for American Apparel". Fashionista. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Alexandra Marshall. "TRUE BLUE SEYDOUX". V Magazine. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Blue is the warmest colour team win Palme d'Or at Cannes 2013". RFI. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Topel, Fred. Cannes Roundtable: Lea Seydoux on Blue is the Warmest Colour, CraveOnline, 26 May 2013
  26. ^ Lea Seydoux’s Prada Candy Perfume Ad, Style
  27. ^ "Jewelry Alla Prada", 26 October 2011, Style
  28. ^ "Léa Seydoux on Beauty, Becoming a Redhead, and Prada’s New Candy Florale Perfume".  
  29. ^ "Didier Dubot Joaillerie by Nicola Formichetti". Vogue Italia. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "French Beauty Léa Seydoux and Boardwalk Empire's Michael Pitt Front Rag & Bone's Fall 2013 Ads". Elle. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  31. ^ "Miu Miu Taps Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos". Women's Wear Daily (WWD). Retrieved 27 December 2013. 

External links

  • Léa Seydoux at the Internet Movie Database
  • Léa Seydoux at AllMovie
  • Léa Seydoux at Agence Adéquat
  • fansite
  • Lovely Lea Seydoux fansite
  • Léa Seydoux profile at
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