Tatou Audrey life and biography

Tatou Audrey picture, image, poster

Tatou Audrey biography

Date of birth : 1978-08-09
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Beaumont, France
Nationality : French
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-11
Credited as : Actress, Amélie ,

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Audrey Tatou born August 9, 1978 in Beaumont, France is a French actress .

Young French actress Audrey Tatou gained international acclaim for her role in 2001's Amélie.

Decided to Study Acting Without Career Guidance

Born in Beaumont, France, she was raised in Montlucon, a small town north of Paris. Her father is a dental surgeon; her mother is a teacher.

Tatou had planned to become a primatologist because she loved monkeys. "I went to the careers office to ask how," she told The Guardian. "Because nobody could give me a good answer, I opted for acting." She graduated high school with honors, continuing her studies at the Cours Florent actors' studio studying French Literature, as well. She worked on French TV and was awarded Canal+'s "Best Newcomer" prize in 1999.

Her first film released was Vénus Beauté/Venus Beauty Institute (1999) for which she won the 1999 Cesar Award for Most Promising Young Actress. This role would prove pivotal later in her career in an unexpected way.

Tatou worked steadily. During 2000, she had roles in films including Le battement d'ailes du papillon, (released also under the titles Happenstance or The Beating Of The Butterfly's Wings), Le libertin, (which was actually her first film, but released after Vénus Beauté) and Voyous voyelles.

Amélie Role Propelled Her to Stardom

It was her first major film role as the gamine Amélie of Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001) that won her national and international acclaim. The film is also known as Amélie from Montmarte or Amélie. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen and Alien Resurrection), Tatou was cast after British actor Emily Watson (Punch-Drunk Love and Breaking the Waves) decided not to take the role. "Jeunet was disconsolate about finding the right Amélie until he saw Tautou on the Venus Beauty Institute poster," according to the All Movie Guide.

"I was struck by a pair of dark eyes, a flash of innocence, an unusual demeanour," Jeunet told The Guardian. "I set up a meeting and she tried for the part. After 10 seconds, I knew she was the one."

In the film, she plays a Paris waitress who is compelled to help others in her neighborhood, but does so anonymously. The role required little dialogue, relying almost wholly on the facial expressions of Tatou to convey subtleties. She says she didn't realize this until she was acting in the film "during shooting, I wasn't thinking of that."

The French public went to the film in droves. In its first 13 weeks, an estimated 6.5 million people had seen the film in France. The film and Tatou alike won rave reviews. The British Academy Awards, European Film Academy and French Academy of Cinema all nominated her for Best Actress awards for her role. "I didn't realize that so many people from so many countries would be so excited about it," she told Film Monthly's Paul Fischer.

"Seldom has a movie depended so much on one face," wrote Chris Hewitt in a review circulated by Knight Ridder Newspapers. "We're immediately in love with Amélie...because she's so good-hearted, curious and warm and because the movie extends from her conception to the moment she finds joy."

The Guardian's Stuart Jefferies said the film " became one of those rare films that everybody--young and old, dim and bright, provincial and Parisian--has been queueing up to see. [Tatou] slipped under the skin of Amélie and found it a perfect fit. She's shy, charming, modest, with just enough wickedness to keep her interesting, just like her character in the film."

"Since its release, she has been pestered in the street, hassled with job offers and spends at least 65% of her life telling goo-goo eyed male journalists why she is so impossibly cute," quipped Jefferies. Co-star Mathieu Kassovitz told him, "She's on the posters all over France, and the degree of exposure you get in these circumstances is frightening. It creates problems in her head and it creates problems in her life. You have more money, job offers, and you're not very sure about any of it."

As Film Monthly observed, Amélie was "just the beginning of her international movie career."

Starred in First English-Language Film

Based on the strength of that performance audiences were intrigued to see what Tatou's next role might be. Dieu est grand, je suis tout petite/God Is Great, I'm Not also released in 2001 was next to hit the screens. Observers worried she might be perpetually typecast as the cheery gamine. The film came and went with Tatou garnering little notice until He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not/La Folie Pas Du Tout (2002) with Laetitia Colombani.

Tatou told the BBC she selected the role because, "The construction of the script was interesting. At the beginning, my character Angelique looks so kind, so lovely, so pretty, but after a while we realize that maybe she's not as we think. It's funny also to play with the image people have of me."

BBC reviewer Nev Pierce dubbed the film "Fatal Attraction meets Amélie" but called the film too smug to be seen. "Its sharpest move is casting Audrey Tautou."

Her first English language film was made with director Stephen Frears (The Snapper and My Beautiful Laundrette). In Dirty Pretty Things (2002), Tatou plays a Turkish emigre to the United Kingdom. She said her English was horrible, not only because she was still learning the language, but also because she had to speak English with a Turkish accent. "I am going to do another movie in English [Nowhere to Go But Up] but after that I deserve to do a movie in French, just for the pleasure. It's very hard doing a film in a foreign language. I hope people will be tolerant because it's my first time. Not my last time, but maybe the one before my last!"

Jason Best, a BBC reviewer, applauded her performance. "Admittedly, it's a bit disconcerting at first to see Amélie star Audrey Tautou as a Turkish asylum seeker..., but her unaffected performance soon wins us over."

In an interview with Justin Bowyer for Regus London Film Festival on the opening of Pretty Dirty Things, Tatou said typecasting is not a worry, "but I know that for 90 per cent of people I will stay Amélie forever, but I will have to fight against that. But I don't think I will have an Amélie II."

Tatou is not packing her bags for Hollywood. She told Film Monthly, "I don't know if this is something I can either contemplate or even compare. Amélie is the first movie I've done with a lead role so I also think that success of any kind is relative. I'll work where the good roles are, and I'm not in a hurry to leave France and work in the States."

She said to The Guardian she would prefer "to work with people whose films I really like: Walter Salles, Woody Allen, Julio Medem...but I certainly don't want to be in Thingy Blah Blah 3."

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