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 modeling 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.
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A few years later, at the age of just 16, she picked up a prestigious César award for her performance in the film’s sequel, La Boum II. Establishing herself as one of the country’s hottest new talents was quite a coup for the young woman, who grew up a truck driver’s daughter in the Parisien suburb of Gentilly. The sudden switch from working class schoolgirl to silver screen siren must have come as a shock to the aspiring starlet, but Sophie has never been one to shy away from a challenge.
She tasted controversy at the tender age of 18 when she fell in love with the French-Polish director Andrzej Zulawski. The fact that he was 24 years her senior raised more than a few eyebrows, but that didn’t stop the pair from beginning a romance that would last 16 years and produce a son, Vincent, who was born in 1995.
The actress would go on to become her country’s leading female movie star, giving award-winning turns in critically-acclaimed flicks such as Chouans! and La Fidelité. She also popped up in a number of Tinseltown productions, most notably Mel Gibson’s Highland epic Braveheart, but making her name internationally was never her first priority. “I know I don’t push enough,” she admits. “I don’t stick to the phone, asking for jobs. I guess I was spoiled, starting young, but I think if people are interested in working with you they’ll find you.”
Clearly, her approach had merit as in 1999, Sophie would land her most high-profile role to date as the villainous Elektra King in the James Bond adventure, The World Is Not Enough. Taking on new challenges and exploring fresh fields of creativity has always been more interesting to Sophie than fame for the sake of fame, however.
Here, some wonderful portraits of a beautiful Sophie Marceau from the 1990s: