Maïwenn Le Besco
17 April 1976
Les Lilas, France
(m. 1992; div. 1997)
Jean-Yves Le Fur
(m. 2002; div. 2004)
|Children||2; including Shanna Besson|
|Parent(s)||Catherine Belkhodja (mother)|
|Relatives||Isild Le Besco (sister)|
Jowan Le Besco (brother)
Maïwenn Le Besco (French: [majwɛn lə bɛsko]; born 17 April 1976), known mononymously as Maïwenn, is a French actress and filmmaker.
Maïwenn Le Besco was born on 17 April 1976 in Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis, the daughter of artist Catherine Belkhodja. She is of mixed Vietnamese, French and Algerian descent. Her Algerian ancestry comes from her maternal grandfather. Maïwenn's stage mother pressured her to act at a young age, an experience later chronicled by Maïwenn in her one-woman shows Le Pois Chiche (The Chickpea) and I'm an Actress.
Maïwenn starred in several films as a child, then teen, actress—notably as "Elle, as a child" (the child version of the lead role played by Isabelle Adjani) in the 1983 hit film L'été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer).
Following her marriage to director Luc Besson and the birth of their daughter in 1993, Maïwenn interrupted her career for several years. During this period, she only appeared in a supporting part in Besson's Léon (1994), in which she was credited as Ouin-Ouin. She also directed the film's making-of. Perhaps Maïwenn's most internationally-seen film role was her appearance as the alien Diva Plavalaguna in Besson's The Fifth Element (1997).
After her breakup with Besson, Maïwenn returned to France. She performed as a standup comedian in an autobiographical one-woman-show, and reentered the movie business after several filmmakers saw her comedy routine in Paris. She appeared in several notable movies, including the horror film Haute Tension (English title: High Tension), in which she starred opposite Cécile de France. By the time the film came out in 2003, she had decided she wanted to try directing.
In 2006, she directed her first feature film, the semi-autobiographical Pardonnez-moi. According to Maïwenn, after Besson learned she planned to use her own money to produce the film, he told her "You need to immediately stop what you're doing. You're crazy. Nobody puts their own money into a movie." After seeing the film he apologized, saying she was right on this occasion. Her second film was Le bal des actrices (2009, All About Actresses), in which she appears as herself making a documentary. She achieved international recognition when her third film, the social drama Polisse (2011), won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. All three films feature Maïwenn with a camera, stemming from a childhood fascination and her interest in the mise en abyme, the story within a story. Her 2015 film Mon roi was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The release of her 2020 film, DNA, was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, Maïwenn is making a film on the life of Louis XV starring Johnny Depp.
Maïwenn met film director Luc Besson when she was 12 and he was 29, and they began dating when she was 15. In January 1993, at age 16, she gave birth to their daughter Shanna. On the DVD extras for the 1994 film Léon: The Professional, Maïwenn said the film is based on her relationship with Besson. She was 20 at the beginning of filming (early 1996) for The Fifth Element, during which Besson left her for the film's star, Milla Jovovich.
In 2004, Maïwenn had a son, Diego, with Jean-Yves Le Fur, her second ex-husband who is a real estate developer.
|1981||L'année prochaine... si tout va bien||Prune||Jean-Loup Hubert|
|1983||One Deadly Summer||The Kid||Jean Becker|
|Cinéma 16||Albine||Patrick Saglio||TV Series (1 Episode)|
|Les enquêtes du commissaire Maigret||Colette||Jean-Paul Sassy||TV Series (1 Episode)|
|1986||State of Grace||Jacques Rouffio|
|1987||Double face||The Kid||Serge Leroy||TV Movie|
|1988||L'autre nuit||Joan||Jean-Pierre Limosin|
|La famille Ramdam||Christiane Lehérissey||TV Series (1 Episode)|
|1992||La gamine||Carole Lambert||Hervé Palud|
|1994||Léon: The Professional||Blond Babe||Luc Besson|
|1997||The Fifth Element||Diva Plavalaguna||Luc Besson|
|1998||Keskidi ?||The Waitress||Manuel Pouet||Short|
|2000||La mécanique des femmes||Jérôme de Missolz|
|Le marquis||Gilles Paquet-Brenner||Short|
|2001||8 rue Charlot||Bruno Garcia||Short|
|L'oiseau rare||Diane||Didier Albert||TV Movie|
|2002||Nestor Burma||Jade||Jacob Berger||TV Series (1 Episode)|
|Caméra Café||Irina Katostefia||Francis Duquet||TV Series (1 Episode)|
|2003||Osmose||A Girl||Raphaël Fejtö|
|High Tension||Alexia||Alexandre Aja|
|2004||Les parisiens||Shaa||Claude Lelouch|
|I'm an actrice||Isabelle||Maïwenn||Short|
|2005||Le courage d'aimer||Shaa||Claude Lelouch|
|Star Stuff||Grégory Hervelin||Short|
|2006||Pardonnez-moi||Violette||Maïwenn||Nominated - César Award for Most Promising Actress|
|2009||All About Actresses||Maïwenn||Maïwenn||Nominated - Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actress|
|2012||Télé gaucho||Yasmina||Michel Leclerc|
|2013||Love Is the Perfect Crime||Anna||Arnaud Larrieu & Jean-Marie Larrieu|
|2017||The Price of Success||Linda||Teddy Lussi-Modeste|
|2019||All Inclusive||Paloma||Fabien Onteniente|
|2020||The Man In The Hat||The Biker||John-Paul Davidson and Stephen Warbeck|
Director / screenwriter / producer
- 2003 : Café de la Gare : Le pois chiche
- "Maïwenn: from child star to writer-director". The Boston Globe. 20 May 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- "An Exclusive Interview with Film Director Maïwenn". France Today. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- Maïwenn Le Besco interview, Tout le monde en parle, France 2, 29 September 2001
- "Into the danger zone". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
- "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
- "Johnny Depp To Star As French King Louis XV In Historical Film". Deadline. 21 January 2022. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
- "A former child actress doesn't flinch from a difficult subject". The Washington Post. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "Leon: The Professional Review". SBS. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
- The Fifth Element, Special Features of both the Ultimate Edition DVD and the remastered Blu-ray Disc.
- JP. "Le Bal des actrices (2009)- JPBox-Office". www.jpbox-office.com.
- JP. "Polisse (2011)- JPBox-Office". www.jpbox-office.com.
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