Who is Emmanuelle Beart?
Emmanuelle Beart is a French actress known for her award-winning performances as well as for her exquisite beauty. In a career spanning more than 40 years she has moved with ease from French auteur cinema to Hollywood blockbusters; worked in a variety of film genres as well as television and theater. Beart has been nominated for numerous awards which include the Cesar award for which she was nominated 7 times and won once. Emmanuelle Beart is also into social activism since her youth. Apart from being an ambassador for UNICEF and working in Africa, she has used her celebrity status to bring focus to many causes. Whether it is marching in protest against French laws for foreign tenants or highlighting the plight of immigrants by chaining herself to the walls of a church. She sees herself as a citizen of the world and strives to create awareness about humanitarian and environmental causes.
Emmanuelle Beart was studying in Canada when she was spotted by the famous American director Robert Altman. Her first film project never saw the light of the day but it instilled an interest for films in her and she returned to France to study acting.
She briefly attended drama classes by Jean-Laurent Cochet in Paris. After doing small parts in a few films she was cast in Claude Berri’s 1986 film ‘Manon des Sources’ where she played the part of a goatherd. The film was a success internationally and Beart won the Cesar Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
A role that Beart is often remembered by was in the 1991 film ‘La Belle Noiseuse’ (The Beautiful Troublemaker). She received a Cesar nomination for the role where she played a model for an aging artist. Her character was nude for most of the film and received a lot of criticism for it. She responded by saying she bared more than her body, she bared her soul.
In the 1992 film ‘Un Coeur en Hiver’ (A Heart in Winter) she paired up with her then husband Daniel Auteuil . She played a violinist whose love is rejected by Auteuil. To perfect the finger movements needed for this role she learnt to play the violin for a year.
Working with some of France’s highly acclaimed directors she played the role of the wife of a jealous husband in Claude Chabrol’s 1994 film ‘L’enfer’ (Hell). In 1995, the renowned director Claude Sautet cast her in his film ‘Nelly et Monsieur Arnaud’ (Nelly and Mr. Arnaud). Beart was nominated for a Cesar Award for Best Actress for this film.
This accomplished actress was cast as Tom Cruise’s wife in the 1996 blockbuster ‘Mission: Impossible’. Hollywood sat up and took notice and film offers flooded in. However, looking for substantial roles instead of glamourous ones, she came back to France and continued working with European directors.
Her versatility as an actress was evident in the wide range of roles that she essayed. In 2003, she played a widowed schoolteacher fleeing Paris with her two young children during WW2 in ‘Les Egares’ (Strayed). In contrast, the same year she played a prostitute in ‘Nathalie’ for which she met several prostitutes to understand the character she was to play.
Around 2010 Emmanuelle Beart limited her appearances in films and decided to make theater her priority. Since 2014 she has been an associate artist at the ‘Theater National de Strasbourg’. Beart says that theater provides her a kind of anonymity and is like a hiding place for her.
Most recently she has worked in the film ‘Merveilles a Montfermeil’, which was showcased in the 2019 Locarno International Film Festival
Emmanuelle Beart was given France’s highest award ‘Knight of the Legion of Honour’ in 2015.
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Family & Personal Life
Emmanuelle Beart was born on August 14, 1963, in Gassin, France. Her father, Guy Beart, was a famous poet and singer, and her mother, Genevieve Galea, was a former model. Beart’s parents separated when she was 9 months old and she was bought up by her mother in the south of France. Beart was a rebellious child who was expelled from five schools and finally sent off to Montreal at the age of 16 to live with family friends. It was in Montreal that she finished her schooling getting a French Baccalaureate.
Emanuelle Beart was in a relationship with Daniel Auteuil for 10 years. They were married briefly for two years (10 September 1993 - 21 September 1995) and have a daughter named Nelly born in 1993. Subsequently, she got together with music composer David Francois Moreau. Their son Yohan was born in 1996, the couple separated soon after. In 2000, while shooting for the film ‘La Repetition’ she fell into love with the producer Vincent Meyer. This liaison ended in tragedy when Meyer committed suicide.
On 13 August 2008, she married actor Michael Cohen. The couple adopted an 8-month-old baby boy Surafel from Ethiopia in 2009. They separated in 2011. On September 21, 2018, after being together for 7 years, Emmanuelle Beart married director and cinematographer Frederic Chaudier.
Beart underwent plastic surgery for her lips at 27. She now says that she regrets the decision.
In 2003, Emmanuelle Beart posed nude to make a statement on realistic body types for the cover of the French issue of the magazine ‘Elle’. The issue sold all 550,000 copies in three days making it the largest selling issue of ‘Elle’ in France.