Sophie Marceau was born Sophie Daniele Sylvie Maupu, on 17 November 1966 in Paris. Her parents, a shop assistant and a truck driver, divorced when she was nine years old. She was discovered by chance at 14, following a photo shoot for a modelling agency looking for teenage models. Her photos were found by director Francoise Menidrey who was looking for a new teenager for his upcoming project, La Boum, and she was signed to a long-term contract with the Gaumont Film Company.
In 1985, Marceau met director Andrzej Zulawski, and began a relationship which lasted until 2001. They have a son together, Vincent, who was born in 1995. Following her relationship with Zulawski, she was with producer Jim Lemley for six years, with whom she had a daughter, Juliette, in 2002. Between 2007 and 2014 she was in a relationship with actor Christopher Lambert.
Marceau is a classically trained cellist, an author, and a director. She wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, Menteuse, and has directed a number of films including Speak To Me Of Love and Trivial.
Following her starring role in La Boum, Marceau bought back her contract from the Gaumont Film Company for 1 million francs. She went on to star in the sequel, La Boum 2, and following these two critical and commercial successes, she enrolled at the Cours Florent, our drama school in Paris. Following this training, she moved on to more dramatic roles in film and the theatre.
- After over a decade largely playing roles in French and European cinema and gaining significant recognition, Marceau found international fame in 1995 with her role as Princess Isabelle in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart.
- In 1997, Marceau starred alongside an ensemble of international actors in Wim Wenders and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Beyond the Clouds.
- In the same year she also starred in William Nicholson’s Firelight, Vera Belmont’s Marquise, and Bernard Rose’s Anna Karenina.
- In 1999 she starred as a Bond villain alongside Pierce Brosnan in The World Is Not Enough.
- She worked with her partner Andrzej Zulawski on a number of films during their relationship, including My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days, La Note Bleue, and Fidelity.
- More recently she starred in Happiness Never Comes Alone as a career woman who falls in love with a jazz musician, and in Arretez-Moi as a woman who confesses to the murder of her abusive husband some years before.
Awards and achievements
Marceau has been recognised by critics and award ceremonies throughout her career, for her work as an actress in both film and theatre, and for her works as a director.
- In 1983 she won the Cesar award for Most Promising Actress for La Boum 2.
- In 1988 she won the Cabourg award for Best Actress for Chouans!
- She won the Moliere award for Best Female Newcomer for her role in Eurydice.
- In 2000 she won the Cabourg award for Best Actress for Fidelity.
- She won the Blockbuster Entertainment award for Favourite Supporting Actress for The World Is Not Enough in 2000.
- She was named Best Director at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2002 for her directorial debut, Speak To Me Of Love.
- She won the Prix Special Des Ameriques at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2007.