Birthdate: July 1, 1985
Birthplace: Paris, France
Léa Seydoux (birthname: Léa Hélène Seydoux-Fornier de Clausonne) has emerged as one of the most brilliant French actors of her generation, while also keeping a steady presence in major Hollywood franchises such as Mission: Impossible and two Bond movies, Spectre (2015) and No Time to Die (2021).
Although her greatest award achievement (unprecedented for any actor) and notoriety was for her sexually daring performance in Abdellatif Kechiche’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Blue is the Warmest Color (2013), Seydoux’s greatest performance to date is certainly her audacious, astonishing title role in Bruno Dumont’s savage satire of French culture and media, France (2021).
2005 marked Lea Seydoux’s major movie entry with a lead in Sylvie Ayme’s Girlfriends and Nicolas Klotz’s La Consolation, followed by Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress (2007), with Asia Argento, and great acclaim for her lead in Christophe Honore’s The Beautiful Person (2008), which earned Seydoux the Chopard Award at Cannes and her first César nomination.
Seydoux’s first Hollywood project came in 2009 with Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, with Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz, and in the same year, she delivered a marvelous performance in Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes (2009). The same France-Hollywood balance proceeded in 2010 with Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Belle Épine, and an ensemble role in Raul Ruiz’s masterpiece, Mysteries of Lisbon.
Léa Seydoux co-starred in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011), with Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, and Tom Hiddleston, then jumped into Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol (2011) with Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner, further cementing her presence as a major French actor in Hollywood.
At the same time, Seydoux worked with Europe’s top auteurs, including Benoît Jacquot (Farewell, My Queen in 2011 and Diary of a Chambermaid in 2015), Ursula Meier (Sister in 2012), Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent in 2014), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster in 2015), Tomas Vinterberg (Kursk in 2018), and Arnaud Desplechin (Oh Mercy! in 2019 and Deception in 2021). Seydoux’s most sensational triumph was co-starring with Adèle Exarchopoulos in the sexually explicit Blue is the Warmest Color, earning her a (shared) Palme d’Or, plus BAFTA and César nominations.
Léa Seydoux became a “Bond Girl” in Sam Mendes’ Spectre, with Daniel Craig and Christoph Waltz (followed by No Time to Die, in which Seydoux’s character, Madeleine, bids farewell to Craig’s dead Bond), and was part of Wes Anderson’s sprawling ensemble in The French Dispatch (2021).
Seydoux then delivered perhaps her most audacious and daring performance in Bruno Dumont’s satirical France, in which Seydoux portrayed an ambitious, risk-taking TV host-correspondent, earning her fourth César nomination. In 2022, Seydoux collaborated with filmmakers Audrey Diwan and Rebecca Zlotowski on the erotic adventure, Emmanuelle, and Mia Hansen-Løve’s acclaimed One Fine Morning, with Pascal Greggory, Melvil Poupaud, and Nicole Garcia, which premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
Paris-born Léa Seydoux was raised by philanthropist Valerie Schlumberger and wireless company Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux. Her sister is Camille Seydoux, a stylist. She has five half-siblings from both of her parents. Her parents divorced when Lea was three years old and were distant presences in her young life. Despite her impressive family connections in media and entertainment, none of her family members took an interest in her acting career.
Initially intending to work in the opera, Seydoux studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris but opted for acting at 18, studying at the drama school Les Enfants Terribles and the Actors Studio in New York. Seydoux’s partner is André Meyer. The couple has one child, George. Her height is 5’ 6”.
Distinguished Lineage: Seydoux’s parents both descend from the famed Schlumberger family: Her grandfather Jérôme Seydoux is chairman of film giant Pathé, ; she is grandniece of Gaumont CEO and chairman Nicolas Seydoux, and her paternal great-great-grandfather is the great French inventor Marcel Schlumberger.
Spy vs. Spy: Léa Seydoux is the only actor to have had roles in both spy franchises, Mission: Impossible and the Bond movie franchise, and the only “Bond Girl” to play in two Bond movies.
A Director’s Actor: Seydoux has commented that she selects the movies she wants to work in based on the caliber of the director: “The story and the other actors are of course very important, but for me, it’s all about the director.”
Cannes Record Holder: Along with her Blue is the Warmest Color co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux is the only actor to have shared the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or with her director.