Jean Dujardin is a French film actor born on June 19, 1972 in Rueil-Malmaison, in the department of Hauts-de-Seine. Revealed to the general public thanks to the series “Un gars, une fille” alongside Alexandra Lamy, he became famous with the release of “Brice de Nice”, the film featuring the fictional character created a few years earlier by the comedian. The career of the actor takes off with the saga OSS 117 in which Jean Dujardin plays the role of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, a secret agent. Awarded the Best Actor Oscar in 2012 by Hollywood for his portrayal of George Valentin in the film “The Artist”, the French actor has since starred in numerous film productions. In this article, we will look at the career of this French star known all over the world, while stopping on his greatest successes in the cinema.
The beginnings of the French actor
After obtaining his baccalaureate, Jean Dujardin worked alongside his father as a locksmith. His talents as a comic actor are revealed during the period when he does his military service, in the 1st regiment of riflemen. He then went to Paris where he began to perform in bars and small theaters, before creating the band of the white square, alongside actors Philippe Urbain, Eric Collado, Eric Massot, Luc Antoni and Bruno Salomone. This young group of comics will later become the “Nous Ç Nous” and will win, 3 times during the years 1997 and 1998, the competition of the show Graines de Stars presented by Laurent Boyer, in the category “comics”. During this show, Jean Dujardin introduces his megalomaniac surfer character from Nice, “Brice de Nice”, of which multiple video sketches will be broadcast on the Internet. Spotted by the producer Isabelle Camus, he integrates the main male character of the series “a guy, a girl”, alongside the actress Alexandra Lamy until 2003. 486 episodes of the adventures of “Chouchou et Loulou” will be broadcast on France Television, offering Jean Dujardin a real springboard for his acting career.
The first successes of Jean Dujardin in the cinema
The actor began his career with a role against the grain in the thriller Nicolas Boukhrief “the courier”, which allows him to show his talents as a dramatic actor. The film “Marriage!” released in 2004 remains the first big success of the French actor and the following year, the release of “Brice de Nice” beats records at the box office, attracting more than 4 million spectators in theaters. In 2007, the French actor was nominated for a Cesar award for his performance in “OSS 117, Cairo, nest of spies”, the first part of the saga directed by Michel Hazanavicius. In 2009, the Oscar-winning actor played the role of Lucky Luke in the film by James Huth and again donned the costume of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath in the new OSS 117, Rio no longer responds. In 2010, Jean Dujardin plays in “Les petits mouchoirs” by Guillaume Canet, alongside Marion Cotillard. In 2011, the actor shares the poster with the actress Berenice Béjot in the film “The Artist” by director Michel Hazanavicius, film for which he will receive the Oscar for best actor in Hollywood in 2012.
Oscar for best actor in 2012
The Artist” is a silent film in black and white that pays tribute to the Hollywood cinema of the 20s. Jean Dujardin plays the character of George Valentin, a great silent film star whose career is shattered by the arrival of talking pictures. No one wanted to invest in a silent film in black and white, but the project of the film “The Artist” seduced the French producer Thomas Langmann who managed to convince various film production companies such as France 3 cinema, Canal Plus or Warner. The film is presented at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in order to win the Palme d’Or 2011. Jean Dujardin will win the award for Best Actor given by the Festival and the success of the feature will allow the film to be bought by international distributors. In the United States, “The Artist” is distributed by The Weinstein Company, which is clearly showing its ambitions for the 2012 Academy Awards. The film seduced the Americans and Jean Dujardin was the second French actor to be nominated for a Golden Globe, after Gérard Depardieu for his role in the American film “Green Card”, by Peter Weir. On February 26, 2012, the French actor received the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as George Valentin. The film will win a total of 5 Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture. In France, “The Artist” will be rewarded with 6 Césars at the annual ceremony dedicated to French cinema. In 2013, the French actor was in the cast of Martin Scorsese’s film “The Wolf of Wall Street”, alongside Leonardo Dicaprio and in the role of Jean-Jacques Saurel, a Swiss banker.
His career as a producer and international actor
In 2002, Jean Dujardin created the production company JD Prod to produce films such as “The Artist” or “Les infidèles”. These investments allow the actor to control the risks in terms of financing, while granting himself greater artistic freedom. In January 2013, the actor participated in the show “the landing” broadcast on Canal plus, alongside Guillaume Canet, Gilles Lellouche and Nicolas Bedos. In the spring of 2013, Jean Dujardin met George Clooney with whom he shot “The monuments men”, a film that would prove to be a commercial failure. In 2014, the actor joined the American actor once again, this time to play alongside him in an advertisement for the coffee brand Nespresso, a brand for which George Clooney is the ambassador. In 2015, Jean Dujardin returns to French cinema and turns for the director Claude Lelouch before resuming, once again in 2016, his legendary role of Brice de Nice.
Jean Dujardin’s greatest films
During his film career, the actor has played in about fifty films and short films. The most famous films are :
- Le convoyeur (2004 ): in this film, the actor plays the role of Jacques, a money courier, alongside Albert Dupontel.
- Wedding! (2004 ): in this film directed by Valérie Guignabodet, he plays alongside Mathilde Ségnier and Catherine Allégret.
- The Dalton (2004): the actor plays the role of cowboy Vanneur.
- Brice de Nice (2005): Jean Dujardin reprises his fictional character of a megalomaniac surfer to seduce more than 4 million viewers.
- OSS 117, Cairo, nest of spies (2006 ): in this first part of the saga, the actor takes on the role of the famous secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath.
- 99 Francs (2007 ): in this film by Jan Kounen, the actor plays the role of Octave Parango, a cynical creator of an advertising agency.
- Cash (2008 ): he plays the role of a con man alongside Jean Réno.
- OSS 117, Rio no longer responds (2009 ): second part of the adventures of the saga OSS 117.
- Lucky Lucke (2009 ): in this comedy adapted from the famous comic strip, the French star plays the lone cowboy who travels the far west.
- Les petits mouchoirs (2010): Jean Dujardin plays Ludo, alongside François Cluzet and Marion Cotillard.
- Le bruit des glaçons (2010): in this film by Bertrand Blier, the actor receives an impromptu visit from his cancer!
- The Artist (2011 ): in this black and white silent film, the French actor plays George Valentin, an actor on the decline.
- Les infidèles (2012 ): this sketch film brings together no less than 7 French directors.
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): in this film directed by Martin Scorsese, the French actor plays the role of a Swiss banker.
- Un plus une (2015 ): in this film directed by Claude Lelouch, the actor plays a composer of film music.
- Brice 3 (2016 ): third part of the adventures of Brice de Nice, the second having been “broken” by his character!
- Chacun sa vie (2017): the actor plays once again under the direction of Claude Lelouch.
- Nous finirons ensemble (2019): directed by Guillaume Canet, this film is the sequel to Les petits mouchoirs.
- J’accuse (2019): this film directed by Roman Polanski is an adaptation of the famous Dreyfus affair.
- OSS 117, alerte rouge en Afrique noire (2021 ): this film directed by Nicolas Bedos is the third part of the OSS 117 saga.
- Sur les chemins noirs (2023): the actor plays a man rebuilding his life after a serious accident.
The actor in private life
Jean Dujardin has 2 sons from a union that ended in 2003. The same year, he met the actress Alexandra Lamy, with whom he married in July 2009. Their union will last a decade and in 2014, the actor officializes his relationship with Nathalie Pechalat, an ice dance skater. In 2015, the couple welcomed their first child before making their union official at the Saint-Cloud town hall in 2018. In February 2021, the skater gives birth to their second daughter and thus, the fourth child of the actor.
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