More Daniel Auteuil Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Girl on the Bridge)Daniel Auteuil captured the American filmgoing public's attention in 1985, in the role of Ugolin in Claude Berri's film adaptations of Marcel Pagnol's Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring. Auteuil's performance, in which he transformed himself physically into the Provencal hunchback, astonished audiences internationally and has remained a tour de force of contemporary French cinema.
By this time, Auteuil had already been working in film for over a decade. Auteuil made his film debut in 1974 in Gerard Peres's L'Agression and worked with the director again the following year in Attention Les Yeux. American ex-patriot director Bob Swaim cast Auteuil in La Nuit de Saint Germain des Pre's in 1976, and in 1979 Auteuil appeared in Claude Lelouch's A Nous Deux.
Auteuil has worked with the most prestigious French directors, often on several of their films. He worked with Claude Sautet in Quelques Jours Avec Moi (1987) and in Un Coeur en Hiver (1991). The director Andre Techine cast him opposite Catherine Deneuve twice: first in My Favorite Season in 1992 and later in The Thieves in 1996. In 1989 and in 1995 respectively, Auteuil worked with Francis Girod in Lacenaire and Passage a' L'Acte. In Phillipe de Broca's period piece, Le Bossu (1997), Auteuil played two roles: the knight and the hunchback. Auteuil also appeared in Patrice Chereau's La Reine Margot opposite Isabelle Adjani in 1992 and in Regis Warnier's Une Femme Francaise in 1993.
In Jaco Van Dormael's The 8th Day, Auteuil shared the 1997 prize for best actor at Cannes with his young Down syndrome-afflicted co-star Pascal Duquene. In this film, which was a huge box office success in France, Auteuil played a stressed-out businessman recently jilted by his wife. His existential dilemma is reconsidered after meeting a young run-away in need of tender loving care. Auteuil recently won the Cesar (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for Best Actor for the role of Gabor in Girl on the Bridge, which was his first collaboration with director Patrice Leconte. Since then they have again worked together on Leconte's The Widow of St. Pierre.
Much of Auteuil's childhood was spent backstage at the Light Opera Company where his parents were members of the chorus. By the time he was a teenager, he had already had small roles in several avant-garde theater company productions.
With nearly forty films to his credit, Daniel Auteuil has become one of the most recognized actors of French cinema. Often described as one who uses instinct when approaching his roles, the 50-year-old actor is graced with a relaxed easy-going presence in front of the camera and a gaze that is said to melt walls.
Bio courtesy Paramount Classics for "Girl on the Bridge" (02-Jan-2003)