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Sylvie Testud

Sylvie Testud

French actress, film director, writer and screenwriter
Sylvie Testud
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro French actress, film director, writer and screenwriter
Is Actor Writer Novelist Film director Screenwriter Audio book narrator Film actor
From France
Type Business Film, TV, Stage & Radio Literature
Gender female
Birth 17 January 1971, Lyon, France
Age 50 years
Star sign Capricorn
The details (from wikipedia)


Sylvie Testud (born 17 January 1971) is a French actress, writer, and film director, whose film career began in 1991. She won the César Award for Most Promising Actress for Murderous Maids (2000), the César Award for Best Actress for Fear and Trembling (2003), and the European Film Award for Best Actress for Lourdes (2009). Her other film roles include Beyond Silence (1996), La Vie en Rose (2007), and French Women (2014).

Life and career

She grew up in the La Croix-Rousse quarter of Lyon, France. This was an area with many Portuguese, Spanish and Italian immigrants. Her mother immigrated from Italy in the 1960s. Her French father left the family when Sylvie was just two years old.

In 1985, when she was 14, she saw Charlotte Gainsbourg in her role of the complex young girl in L'Effrontée, a film directed by Claude Miller, identified with Gainsbourg, and so took drama classes in Lyon with the actor and director Christian Taponard. In 1989, she moved to Paris and spent three years at the Conservatoire (CNSAD). In the early and mid 1990s, she landed her first small roles in films like L'Histoire du garçon qui voulait qu'on l'embrasse, directed by Philippe Harel, and Love, etc., directed by Marion Vernoux. In 1997 she had great success in Germany with Caroline Link's Jenseits der Stille for which she learned German, sign language, and the clarinet. In 1998 she had her first major role in French cinema playing Béa in Thomas Vincent's Karnaval. In 2000 she starred in Chantal Akerman's La Captive, an adaptation of La Prisonière, the fifth part of Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. In 2001 she won the César Award for Most Promising Actress for her portrayal of Christine Papin, one of the Papin sisters, in Les Blessures assassines (English title: Murderous Maids). The story concerned a young servant woman found guilty of the murder, with her sister's help, of her employer's wife and daughter; it had made sensational headlines in France in 1933.

In 2003, she published the autobiographical book Il n'y a pas beaucoup d'étoiles ce soir, with anecdotes of her day-to-day life as an actress. The French edition featured a cover designed by her sister Ghislaine.

One of her most noted performances was as the star of the film Stupeur et tremblements, adapted from the novel by Amélie Nothomb, for which she was awarded a César and a Lumières Award for Best Actress in 2004. She plays a woman struggling with the difference in culture between the Japanese business world and the western, Belgian world, from which she comes. In 2005 or 2006 she returned to her native Lyon (to the Théâtre de la Croix Rousse), where she played the rôle of Edith in Philippe Faure's adaptation of Stefan Zweig's La Pitié dangereuse. She starred in 2007's two-time Academy Award-winning film La Vie en rose, as Momone, Edith Piaf's best friend. In the 2008 film Sagan, she portrayed the writer Françoise Sagan, earning unanimous praise for her hauntingly accurate portrayal and for which she was again nominated for the César for best actress.

She was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Ordre national du Mérite in March 2009.

She has a son, Ruben, born on 15 February 2005, and a daughter Esther, born in January 2011.

In 2012, she participated in Rendez-vous en terre inconnue.


  • Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (2016)

Awards and nominations

Testud in 2013

Deutscher Filmpreis

Year Nominated work Category Result
1997 Beyond Silence Best Actress Won

César Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
2000 Karnaval Most Promising Actress Nominated
2001 Murderous Maids Most Promising Actress Won
2004 Fear and Trembling Best Actress Won
2008 La Vie en rose Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2009 Sagan Best Actress Nominated

Lumières Award

Year Nominated work Category Result
2004 Fear and Trembling Best Actress Won
2008 Ce que mes yeux ont vu Best Actress Nominated
2009 Sagan Best Actress Nominated

Globes de Cristal Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
2009 Sagan Best Actress Won

European Film Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result
2010 Lourdes Best Actress Won
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 19 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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