Bérénice Marlohe (born 19 May 1979 in Paris, France) is a 35 year-old French model and actress who has made guest appearances in several television series such as Equipe médicale d’urgence, Père et Maire, Section de Recherches and Femmes de Loi. She was seen on the big screen in L’Art de Séduire and played a Bond girl called Sévérine in the latest 007 film, Skyfall, opposite Daniel Craig. Craig was joined by Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem, as a villain. Naomie Harris played Agent Eve.
The young woman may not be a household name yet, but she caught the attention of French TV viewers after starring in the commercial for Dacia Duster. In less than 10 seconds she’s managed to mesmerize the audience with a single sentence that’s bound to become iconic: “On va pas quand même dépenser si peu” (We’re honestly not going to spend so little).
Marlohe aims to make a transition from television to the big screen. She’s recently finished shooting a movie directed by James Huth, called Un Bonheur N’Arrive Jamais Seul, which stars French superstar and former Bond girl Sophie Marceau (Elektra King in The World Is Not Enough).
When she was younger, Bérénice held aspirations of becoming a pianist, as well as an artist, studying at the prestigious French arts school Conservatoire de Paris for ten years.
Before Bond, Marlohe’s roles were primarily rooted in small roles on French TV. She had trouble getting on screen roles in France because people did not think she fit the mould of a French actress. She didn’t look like Sandrine Kiberlain or Isabelle Carré.
Before Marlohe, it was rumoured that Brazilian model Ana Araujo was close to secure the part. In September 2011, the ex-girlfriend of rocker Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones was reportedly competing for the coveted role.
Bond 23 marked Marlohe’s first appearance in an English language film. She is certainly beautiful and fit right in as a Bond girl.
But Bérénice isn’t just a pretty face (and body). She’s worked hard to get there. During her 4th year at the acting school of Béatrice Brout, she’s been initiated to the methods of the Actor’s Studio, to clown lessons with Michel Lopez and improvisation with Philippe Lelièvre.
When the model and TV actress first heard that Skyfall auditions were to be held Paris, she became obsessed. “I sent my reel to anyone on Facebook related to the movie”, Bérénice Marlohe recalls.
But after the casting director got in touch and she found herself testing scenes with Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes, the pressure hit home. “There were moments when I felt scared and trapped by this huge concept of Bond girl”, she admits. Marlohe’s first passions were art and the piano, and as a self-confessed “paranoid” – starring in a $150 million blockbuster represented a departure from comfort zone.
The actress was helped in her role as the mysterious Sévérine by studying Famke Janssen’s dominatrix Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye. “It’s so original to have a character who kills and has an orgasm at the same time, that’s what we go to movies for”.
In the end, a sense of responsibility pacified Marlohe. Sino-Cambodian by descent (Bérénice’s father is a Sino-Cambodian doctor living in France and her mother is a Parisian welfare worker), she saw the global platform offered by the role as a chance to represent Cambodia, still scarred by recent genocide and continued oppression. “I see it as power to be a voice for my country, to speak for those who don’t have that chance. I will use the celebrity for human rights”.
Bérénice is known to be a strong believer in fate. During an interview, she stated that she dreamt of acting alongside Javier Bardem six months before her Bond audition. After the dream, she knew that everything would be fine. It was not until the second audition for Skyfall that someone actually mentioned to her that Bardem might also be cast.
The French actress will be the second Bond girl to team with Terrence Malick after Olga Kurylenko worked with the director on To The Wonder. Marlohe shot her role in the untitled drama concurrently with the Skyfall publicity tour. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Natalie Portman are also onboard the cast for the film, which filmed in Austin, Texas. The movies’s story follows a pair of overlapping love triangles set against the backdrop of the music industry.
While many Bond girls fade into acting obscurity or fall into second-class flicks after making a 007 splash, Marlohe and her agents at ICM Partners are making sure the actress surrounds herself with top-flight talent as she uses the Bond movie as a launching pad for an international career.
The stunning brunette can speak French (obviously), English, Spanish and Arabic. She’s 1m72 tall and stays fit practicing bodybuilding.
This unofficial biography was written by the staff at Berenice-Marlohe.com for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is exclusive to this site and is not be reproduced elsewhere.