Mathieu Amalric

Magnetic, intense French actor Mathieu Amalric made his film debut in the 1980s, but achieved greater fame almost a decade later with appearances in features by Steven Spielberg, Julien Temple and Sofia Coppola. In his native country, Amalric was best known for his three collaborations with director Arnaud Desplechin, who gave him his first notable role in 1997's "Ma Vie Sexuelle." The acclaim surrounding Amalric's work with Desplechin led to other notable performances in European films, as well as a second career as a film director. Amalric's profile rose to global proportions after his moving turn as a paraplegic in Temple's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). His decision to play the villain in "Quantum of Solace" (2008), the second James Bond picture with Daniel Craig, raised eyebrows among his arthouse following, but he soon laid their fears to rest by reuniting with Desplechin for "A Christmas Tale" (2008). The dichotomy of the two projects proved that Amalric was a performer whose passion lay less with stardom than with the quality of the project at hand.