Born: November 17, 1966
Birthplace: Paris, France
Birth Name: Sophie Maupu
Sophie Marceau began acting in films at 14. Up until that point, she grew up far away from studios spots. Back then, she was living in the Paris suburbs and her father was a truck driver. At that time, she learned from one of her friends that Claude Pinoteau (French director) was looking for new faces, for a teenagers movie call La Boum. This movie turned out to be a huge success. This led to the sequel La Boum 2 (1982) for which she received the 1983 Cesar for Most Promising Actress. She then bought back her contract with Gaumont when she was sixteen for one million French franks.
"Of course I had to borrow the money", she said, "I didn't have such an amount. People did everything to keep me from doing L'Amour Braque with Zulawski. It was violent and almost racist. I belonged to Gaumont (The studio she then worked for), I was their little pet and had to listen to them. But it was unbearable. I walked around the Champs Elysees wandering what to do. I was afraid to go to prison for breach of contract".
She has since become one of the most popular and respected actresses in her own country-and is only now becoming known internationally. Her role in Braveheart was her first English speaking part. Asked why he chose Sophie for the character of Princess Isabelle, Mel Gibson replied: "Well, she's beautiful, she's French and she's a good actress. The character needed to be at least two of those things". Bettina Rheims, who photographed her many times, calls her "the most beautiful and sensual of young actresses".
In spring 1995, she directed her first film, L'aube a l'envers, an eight minute short based on a screenplay she wrote while filming Braveheart. It was well received at the Cannes Film Festival.
She is critical of French cinema: "It's great that American cinema poses such a threat. In France we have all these pseudo-auteurs who don't have a new idea in their heads". She has a Hollywood agent, but is not tempted to move to Los Angeles and play the Hollywood system like Julie Delpy.
On July 24th, 1995, Sophie gave birth to her first child, a boy named Vincent. She is unmarried, and lives in Paris with Andrzej Zulawski, a Polish director who is 24 years her senior.
Sophie is an outspoken opponent of blood sports, and has joined Brigitte Bardot in protests against dove shooting in the Gironde and bullfighting in Provence. "I detest all forms of violence. For me, the toreador who tortures the bull loses his dignity as a man. One cannot respect life and approve of this game of death." She used to own an antique farmhouse in Seine-et-marne, but left it for good after her cats were shot by hunters and one of her dogs, an eleven year old cocker spaniel named Lolita, was stolen.
In addition to her work for animal welfare, Sophie is a patron of Arc-en-Ciel ("Rainbow"), an organization which helps sick children realize their dreams.
Her newest film, Firelight, is now in international release and she has two other English speaking roles coming up, Lost & Found with David Spade, and A Midsummer Night's Dream with Kevin Kline and Michelle Pfeiffer. Recently, she has joined the cast of "The World is Not Enough", the 19th installment in the James Bond series. The movie is due for release in September of 1999.