Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche

Her role as Hana in 'The English Patient' (1996)


“When I returned to France after winning the Oscar, I was treated like royalty,
or like a football hero!” Juliette Binoche

Lovely, delicate-looking, Academy Award-winning actress Juliette Binoche gained
wide fame and recognition with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar win as a
Canadian nurse tending a wounded soldier in the critically acclaimed The English
Patient (1996), where she also nabbed a National Board of Review award, a
British Academy Award, a Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear award, a Berlin
International Film Festival award, a Cabourg Romantic Film Festival award and a
European Film award. The role also garnered the actress Golden Globe and Screen
Actors Guild nominations. Before the massive international victory, Binoche, who
initially charmed the American audience with the successful The Unbearable
Lightness of Being (1988), had made a name for herself in the French cinematic
industry with such memorable performance as Nina/Anne Larrieux in the erotic
drama Rendez-vous (1985, won a Romy Schneider Prize award), Anna in Leos Carax’s
drama Bad Blood/Mauvais Sang (1986), a blind runaway artist in The Lovers on the
Bridge (1991, took home a Felix award and a European Film award) and Julie in
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blue (1993), in which she netted a César award, a Sant
Jordi award and a Venice Film Festival award. In a more recent movie, the
highest paid film actress in the history of France is well-remembered for her
Oscar-nominated portrayal of roving candy maker Vianne Rocher, opposite Johnny
Deep, in director Lasse Hallströmfilm’s version of Joanne Harris’s novel,
Chocolat (2000). Delivering a bravura acting job, she picked up an European Film

Binoche’s recent and upcoming credits include Jet Lag (2002), In My Country
(2004), Mary (2005), Bee Season (2005), Paris, je t'aime (2006), Breaking and
Entering (2006), Quelques jours en septembre (2006), Irrésistible (2007), Peter
Hedges’ comedy Dan in Real Life (2007), Promise Me This (2007), Brian De Palma’s
horror Toyer (2007) and Jacques Audiard’s thriller Disparus, Les (2006).

Juliette Binoche was named one of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film
History” (1995) and 93rd of Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of
All Time” (1997), and was voted one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful
People in the World” (1997). Outside of film, Binoche prefers to keep her
private life private. When she is not working, she enjoys reading the works of
Carlos Castaneda and eating Nutella chocolate/hazelnut spread. The French beauty
has been romantically linked to several men, including film director Leos Carax
(together from 1987-91), deep-sea diver Andre Halle (lived together 1991-93),
actor Olivier Martinez (met while filming the 1995 Horseman on the Roof , no
longer together) and actor Benoit Magimel. She is the mother of two, son Raphael
Binoche Halle (born in 1993, father Andre Halle) and daughter Hana Binoche
Magimel (born in 1999, father Benoit Magimel).

La Binoche

Childhood and family:

On March 9, 1964, Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France. Her father is
Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor and theater director, and her mother is Monique
Stalens, a former stage actress of Polish-Flemish ancestry. She has an older
sister named Marion Stalens, who is a photographer and actress. When she was 4,
Juliette’s parents divorced and she spent her early years alternating between
both parents. She was educated at a Catholic boarding school and began her
acting studies at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts of Paris. She
dropped out of school in 1981 to pursue a career in acting. To earn some extra
money, Juliette took jobs as a clerk in a Paris supermarket and as a painter’s

Juliette Binoche, who is lovingly known by the French press simply as “La
Binoche,” is not married though her romantic life is frequently linked with
several men. From her previous relationships, she has two children, son Raphael
Binoche Halle (born on September 2, 1993, father Andre Halle) and daughter Hana
Binoche Magimel (born on December 16, 1999, father Benoit Magimel).

The Unbearable Lightness of Being


Born and raised in Paris, France, Juliette Binoche became interested in acting
while attending school, where she received some stage exposure performing in
school plays. A drop out student from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts
of Paris, Binoche continued to act on stage after leaving the school and was
discovered in productions by Moliere, Ionesco and Pirandello before moving on to
the big screen with a bit part in the small independent film Liberty Belle
(1983). Following her debut film, Binoche landed several other small parts both
on TV and features like Dorothée, danseuse de corde (1983, TV), Fort bloqué
(1985, TV), Girls, Girls, Girls (1985), Family Life (1985), and Farewell
blaireau (1985), and earned positive reviews for her supporting turn as an
invidious ex-girlfriend in Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary (1985), a role specially
written for her by the impressed writer-director.

Binoche landed her first starring role when director André Téchiné had her star
opposite Lambert Wilson in the erotic drama Rendez-vous (1985). As Nina/Anne
Larrieux, she was so striking that French journalists garnered the talented
actress a Romy Schneider Prize for Most Promising Actress. After supporting
parts in A Better Life (1985) and They’ve Killed Her (1986), she gained
additional notice as Anna in writer-director Leos Carax’s drama Bad Blood/Mauvais
Sang (1986). However, it was Philip Kaufman’s adaptation of Milan Kundera’s
intercession on sovereignty, sex and love, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
(1988), which also marked Binoche English-language debut film, which made
Binoche a worldwide star. Starring as the sexually subdued Tereza, the
raven-haired Binoche provided the poignant center to the hit movie and won the
hearts of international critics and audiences alike.

After her initial global success, Binoche made her Hollywood TV debut with the
Mike Figgis segment of the HBO film Women & Men 2: In Love There Are No Rules
(1991), where she offered a heart-wrenching performance as a juvenile Polish
hooker assisted by Scott Glenn. Binoche returned to French films when she
rejoined writer/director Carax for the drama-romance The Lovers on the Bridge
(1991), a project that needed three years to complete because of financing
problems and was not released theatrically in the USA until 1999. Starring as
one-eyed, gun-carrying painter Michèle Stalens, opposite Denis Levant as her
itinerant lover, the actress’ performance was critically appreciated and she won
a Felix for Best European Actress and a European Film for Best Actress in 1992.

Next up for Binoche, she was cast as Cathy, opposite Ralph Fiennes’ Heathcliff,
in the commercial failure, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1992) and was
excellent as Anna Barton, a woman who starts a sexual relationship with the
father of her fiancé, in Louis Malle’s Damage (1992, also starred Jeremy Irons).
Binoche’s reputation as an international lead star was further solidified in
1993 with the outstanding starring turn as Julie, a woman surviving the effects
of a disastrous car accident, in Blue, the first sequel of Polish director
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s French trilogy Three Colors. For her brilliant efforts,
Binoche received rave reviews and took home such awards as the 1993 Venice Film
Festival Best Actress Award, the Sant Jordi Best Foreign Actress Award, as well
as the César Best Actress Award (both in 1994). Binoche reprised the Julie role
for the second and third parts, White, and Red, in 1994.

Returning to the silver screen after taking some time off to raise her first
child, Binoche was seen as the heroine of France’s most luxurious movie ever,
the Jean-Paul Rappeneau-helmed The Horseman on the Roof (1995), where she
costarred with her then-lover Olivier Martinez. The same year, she was also
recruited as the spokesmodel for Lancome.

In 1996, Binoche once again attracted the attention of international film
critics when director Anthony Minghella re-united her with Ralph Fiennes in his
marvelous adaptation of The English Patient. Delivering a spectacular
scene-stealing performance as Hana, a Canadian nurse tending to the titular
character, a burn victim (Fiennes), she was handed the Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award. Additionally, she was garnered with countless awards, including a
National Board of Review and a British Academy Award for Best Performance by an
Actress in a Supporting Role, a Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear, a Berlin
International Film Festival, a Cabourg Romantic Film Festival and a European
Film for Best Actress. The much-talked about performance also brought her
nominations at the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards. As for the film,
The English Patient became a box office smash hit.

Following her Oscar win, Binoche apparently vanished from the Hollywood scene
though she maintained her work on stage and in French films. She had her London
stage debut with Luigi Pirandello’s “Naked” (1997) and debuted on Broadway in a
revival of Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” (2000), where she was nominated for a
Tony. On the big screen, she rejoined Andre Techine for the 1998 Alice and
Martin, in which she learned to play the violin to portray iron-willed musician
Alice, starred in Diane Kurys’ The Children of the Century (1999), costarred
with Daniel Auteuil in the period drama The Widow of Saint-Pierre (2000), for
director Patrice Lecont, and starred as an actress in Code Unknown (2000).

The radiantly appealing actress made her way back to the English-language films
with the Lasse Hallström-directed, critically acclaimed hit Chocolat (2000,
opposite Johnny Deep), which was based on Joanne Harris’s novel. Binoche’s
imposing performance as Vianne Rocher, a candy maker who has a miraculous effect
on the inhabitants of a sleepy village, handed her a European Film award for
Best Actress. The role also garnered Binoche a Best Actress Oscar nomination, in
addition to BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild nominations.

Binoche then was cast as the talkative and fulsome beautician Rose in the
high-flying romantic comedy Jet Lag (2002), costarred with Samuel L. Jackson in
John Boorman’s political drama In My Country (2004), played Anne Laurent in
Hidden (2005), starred alongside Forest Whitaker, Matthew Modine and Heather
Graham in Abel Ferrara’s Mary (2005) and was admired as Miriam Naumann, the
displeased scientist mother of a spelling bee champion and spouse of a professor
(Richard Gere), in the family drama Bee Season (2005).

Recently, Binoche found herself acting with Natalie Portman and Orlando Bloom in
Paris, je t'aime (2006), and will soon be cast alongside Jude Law in Breaking
and Entering (2006), and John Turturro and Nick Nolte in the drama film Quelques
jours en septembre (2006). She is also scheduled to play roles in such upcoming
projects as Pierre Jolivet’s Irrésistible (2007), Peter Hedges’ comedy Dan in
Real Life (2007) and the drama Promise Me This (2007). Moreover, she will
reportedly star in Brian De Palma’s horror Toyer (2007) and Jacques Audiard’s
thriller Disparus, Les (2006).


European Film: Best Actress, Chocolat, 2001
Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear: Best Actress, The English Patient,
Berlin International Film Festival: Best Actress, The English Patient,
British Academy Award: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting
Role, The English Patient, 1997
Cabourg Romantic Film Festival: Best Actress, The English Patient, 1997
European Film: Best Actress, The English Patient, 1997
Academy Award: Best Supporting Actress, The English Patient, 1996
National Board of Review: Best Supporting Actress, The English Patient,
Cited with costar Kristin Scott Thomas, 1996
César: Best Actress, Three Colors: Blue, 1994
Sant Jordi: Best Foreign Actress, Three Colors: Blue, 1994
Venice Film Festival: Best Actress, Three Colors: Blue, 1993
European Film: Best Actress, The Lovers on the Bridge, 1992
Felix: Best European Actress, The Lovers on the Bridge, 1992
Romy Schneider Prize: Most Promising Actress, presented by French
journalists, Rendez-vous, 1986
I was used to theatre classes. I studied with my mother; she was a theatre teacher and directed, too, so it was very family-like. Then I studied with a great teacher in Paris, and she was wonderful; she pushed me, but she was a warm soul.More Juliette Binoche quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I sometimes feel like I could do another job. Anything. Maybe because as an actress you're playing different characters, everything feels possible.More Juliette Binoche quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Acting is a tough business, and you need to be in good shape mentally and physically.More Juliette Binoche quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If you told me tomorrow that I couldn't act anymore, it wouldn't bother me. I have only one wish: to meet the man of my life.More Juliette Binoche quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
I want to make films that are political and social. Films with a message or an idea. Films that dare to ask.More Juliette Binoche quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

Quotes of the month

Anatoly Yurkin The victory in the conflict between the educated uninformeds and the ignorant is ensured by turning to mysticism. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/27/2021 07:02:01] More

Anatoly Yurkin Life is death after death. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/20/2021 12:02:52] More

Anatoly Yurkin A mistake is a sculptural chisel with which the eternal and the impossible carve a person out of the primordial block of being. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/19/2021 12:02:00] More

Anatoly Yurkin In modern society, the cult of tolerance has taken the place of good and evil. (Anatoly Yurkin) [01/31/2021 04:01:38] More

Anatoly Yurkin Graphomaniac is a citation clown. (Anatoly Yurkin) [02/24/2021 03:02:21] More