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Léa Seydoux: 5 things to know about the star of Dune II and The Beast

Cinema

At 38, the gorgeous, enigmatic and talented Léa Seydoux is one of the most sought-after actresses in the film industry, both in France and abroad. This year, she will appear in two major projects - Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Part Two, scheduled for February 28th, 2024, and Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast (2023) by Bertrand Bonello, which came out on February 7th, 2024. Throwback to some unknown aspects of her life and career.

  • Léa Seydoux dans Plein sud (2009) © Ad Vitam.

  • Léa Seydoux dans La Belle Personne (2008) © Le Pacte.

  • Léa Seydoux et Arthur Igal dans Petit Tailleur (2010) © MK2 Diffusion

  • Léa Seydoux dans Belle Épine (2010) © Pyramide Distribution.

  • Léa Seydoux dans Mission : Impossible - Protocole fantôme (2011) © Paramount Pictures France.

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Léa Seydoux didn’t always envision a career in acting

 

Although her family is directly linked to the seventh art’s industry, the French star didn’t always want to become an actress. As a shy kid, Léa Seydoux envisioned a career as an opera singer. The woman who, in the 2000s, flashed her breasts on camera in a campaign for American Apparel didn’t dream of becoming an actress when she was younger. The melancholic heroine of Christophe Honoré’s 2008 film The Beautiful Person - starring French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal - has shared in several interviews, including one with W Magazine, that it was after she fell in love with an actor that she decided to be on screen. She found his life incredible and wanted to live a similar experience.

 

It was also to seduce him that she got it into her head to do the same job as him. In the end, she didn’t get involved with the (unnamed) actor, but one can argue that she got her sweet revenge by becoming far more famous than he was. In a recent interview with Télérama, the actress declared: “It’s a fairly recent idea for me to finally accept myself as an actress.” Today, the magnetic Léa Seydoux can boast of starring in films directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, Benoît Jacquot, Xavier Dolan, Bruno Dumont, and Arnaud Desplechin, with roles that are often troubled and always troubling...

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à New York, le 25 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à New York, le 25 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à Londres le 15 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à Londres le 15 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à Paris le 12 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton à l'avant-première de Dune 2 à Paris le 12 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux en Louis Vuitton au photocall de Dune 2 à Paris le 12 février 2024 © Louis Vuitton.

  • Léa Seydoux au "Diner du Cinema - Madame Figaro" à Paris, le 12 avril 2019. Photo par Edward Berthelot/GC Images via Getty Images.

  • Léa Seydoux au show Louis Vuitton durant la Fashion Week femme de Paris Spring/Summer 2019, le 2 octobre 2018. Photo par Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images.

  • Léa Seydoux à la projection de No Time To Die au Royal Albert Hall de Londres, le 28 septembre 2021. Photo par Mike Marsland/WireImage via Getty Images.

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The actress comes from a well-known family in the film industry

 

Her surname may not ring a bell to those who don’t follow her, but Léa Seydoux comes from a powerful clan in the seventh art. She is the granddaughter of producer Jérôme Seydoux, owner of the major European film production and distribution company Pathé (The Three Musketeers diptych), whose fortune was estimated at 1.4 billion euros in 2023, and the great-niece of Nicolas Seydoux, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the French studios Gaumont.

 

In an interview with Deadline, the actress explained her status: “I come from this family deeply rooted in the cultural industry, yet I was completely sidelined as a child. I was an outcast, with very bad grades at school, and I’ve always felt a bit like an orphan, who doesn’t fit into any box.”

  • Léa Seydoux et Daniel Craig sur le tournage du film James Bond No Time To Die, le 9 septembre 2019 à Matera, Italie. Photo par Franco Origlia/Getty Images.

  • Léa Seydoux dans 007 Spectre (2015) © Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH.

  • Léa Seydoux dans 007 Spectre (2015) © Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH.

  • Léa Seydoux dans 007 Spectre (2015) © Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH.

  • Léa Seydoux dans Mourir peut attendre (2021) © Universal Pictures International France.

  • Léa Seydoux dans Mourir peut attendre (2021) © DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Léa Seydoux is one of the few James Bond Girls who appeared twice the series of films

 

In addition to being one of the greatest stars of French cinema, Léa Seydoux has also seduced international audiences. Louis Vuitton’s muse embodies the French touch and elegance all around the world. She starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009), Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010) and Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011). She has also appeared in features directed by Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris in 2011), Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch in 2021), David Cronenberg (Crimes of the Future in 2022) and Yórgos Lánthimos (The Lobster in 2015).

 

But international audiences know her best for her performances in two James Bond films - Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021) alongside Daniel Craig. She even went down in the history of the franchise thanks to her role as Madeleine Swann, a psychologist, who she played twice. Aside from British actress Eunice Gayson in the 1960s, few actresses have played the same role twice in a row in any James Bond films. For the producers, this choice is linked to Léa Seydoux’s “inimitable charm”.

  • Léa Seydoux dans La Vie d'Adèle (2013) © Wild Bunch Distribution.

  • Léa Seydoux dans La Vie d'Adèle (2013) © Alamode Film.

  • Léa Seydoux et Adèle Exarchopoulos dans La Vie d'Adèle (2013) © Wild Bunch Distribution.

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She spoke about the difficult shooting of “Blue is the Warmest Colour”

 

As part of the #MeToo movement that liberates women’s speech, Léa Seydoux had already mentioned the frightening persona of Harvey Weinstein in The Guardian. But she also shared how trying the shooting of Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013) was both for her and her co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos, who both won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for their respective performances.

 

In 2018, in the columns of Elle Magazine, the discreet French star explained: “Five years ago, when I said that Adèle [Exarchopoulos] and I had been mistreated on the set of Blue is the Warmest Colour, well-known actresses criticized me and advised us to shut up if we had any hope of having a career in the industry. Abdellatif Kechiche immediately shifted the main issue to make it look like a social class disagreement - if I complained, it was because I was part of the bourgeoisie, because I was a spoiled little girl... It’s unbearable! There’s no justification for torturing people, and it hasn’t made the film any better. I think our testimony would be received with more kindness and understanding today. At least, I hope so.”

  • Léa Seydoux dans Dune, deuxième partie (2024) © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Léa Seydoux et George MacKay dans La Bête (2024) © Carole Bethuel.

  • Léa Seydoux dans Les Crimes du Futur (2022) © SPF (Crimes) Productions Inc. Argonauts Crimes Productions S.A., / Nikos Nikolopoulos.

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The sublime star of “Dune: Part Two” has a few complexes

 

In a 2015 interview with Screen Rant, Léa Seydoux shared a surprising confession about her physical appearance. Starring in Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast - out now, after causing a sensation at the Venice Film Festival - and soon to be seen in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, Part Two (February 28th, 2024) and Quentin Dupieux’s upcoming feature À notre beau métier, Léa Seydoux explained that she was surprised to be asked to play James Bond Girl.

 

While everyone praises her beauty, enhanced by pretty dark circles, as well as her acting imbued with great ambiguity and mystery, she didn’t feel “femme fatale” enough for that role. “At first, I felt a bit nervous, because I had the impression that maybe I wasn’t beautiful enough or something. But then I realized that it was actually a positive thing. (...) It would be a new film, a new Bond. And that’s why they chose me,” she declared.

 

The Beast (2024) by Bertrand Bonello, out now. Dune: Part Two (2024) by Denis Villeneuve, starring Léa Seydoux and Timothée Chalamet, coming out on February 28th, 2024.