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Matthias Schoenaerts

Matthias Schoenaerts

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 8, 1977 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Antwerp, , BE Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Though he came to prominence playing barely articulate brutes in "Bullhead" (2011) and "Rust and Bone" (2012), the ruggedly handsome Matthias Schoenaerts was more than what met the eye. The son of Flemish actor and artist Julien Schoenaerts, Schoenaerts showed an interest in performance early, appearing in his first film, the Oscar-nominated "Daens" (1992), at age 15. After cutting his teeth in short films and guest roles on popular Belgian television series, he landed his first lead role in the Belgian film, "Love Belongs to Everyone" (2006), in which he played a mentally-challenged ex-convict. But it was his role as an intelligent and manipulative womanizer in "Loft" (2008) - the highest-grossing Flemish film - that made him a star in his homeland. Schoenaerts brought his intensely focused talent to the attention of the world at large with an amazing cinematic one-two punch: his physically transformative role as a cattle farmer undone by his ties to the illegal hormone trade in the Oscar-nominated "Bullhead" (2011), and his deeply empathetic performance in the tragic romance "Rust and Bone" (2012) opposite Marion Cotillard. With his unusual combination of formal training, physical stature, and...

Though he came to prominence playing barely articulate brutes in "Bullhead" (2011) and "Rust and Bone" (2012), the ruggedly handsome Matthias Schoenaerts was more than what met the eye. The son of Flemish actor and artist Julien Schoenaerts, Schoenaerts showed an interest in performance early, appearing in his first film, the Oscar-nominated "Daens" (1992), at age 15. After cutting his teeth in short films and guest roles on popular Belgian television series, he landed his first lead role in the Belgian film, "Love Belongs to Everyone" (2006), in which he played a mentally-challenged ex-convict. But it was his role as an intelligent and manipulative womanizer in "Loft" (2008) - the highest-grossing Flemish film - that made him a star in his homeland. Schoenaerts brought his intensely focused talent to the attention of the world at large with an amazing cinematic one-two punch: his physically transformative role as a cattle farmer undone by his ties to the illegal hormone trade in the Oscar-nominated "Bullhead" (2011), and his deeply empathetic performance in the tragic romance "Rust and Bone" (2012) opposite Marion Cotillard. With his unusual combination of formal training, physical stature, and brooding good looks, the charismatic Matthias Schoenaerts became one of Hollywood's favorite Belgian imports.

Matthias Schoenaerts was born on Dec. 22, 1977, in Antwerp, Belgium, the son of Flemish actor and artist Julien Schoenaerts. The youngster showed talent early on, appearing at age 15 alongside his father in "Daens" (1992), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Schoenaerts enrolled in film school but was expelled for poor attendance in his second year. By age 21, however, he was enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Antwerp and was acting professionally in small roles on Belgian television and in Belgian film. By the time he graduated in 2003, Schoenaerts was already named one of "Europe's Shooting Stars" by the influential marketing organization, European Film Promotion. In 2006, he played a supporting role in Paul Verhoeven's "Black Book" and landed his first starring role in the Belgian film "Love Belongs to Everyone," playing a mentally-challenged man learning to adjust to life after a prison sentence for a rape he may not have committed. Though Schoenaerts garnered critical praise for his role in "Love Belongs to Everyone," the film that would make him a star in his homeland came in 2008. In Erik Van Looy's "Loft" (2008), Schoenaerts played Filip, one of a group of married friends who share the rent on a downtown loft as a place to meet their respective mistresses. The dramatic thriller was a smash hit, becoming the top-grossing Flemish film of all time.

In 2011, Schoenaerts starred in Michaƫl R. Roskam's "Bullhead," playing a down-on-his-luck cattle farmer who becomes entangled with the underworld of bovine hormones and steroids. Impressed by the script, Schoenaerts committed to star in the film in 2005, and over the five years that it took first-time director Roskam to secure financing, the actor transformed his naturally thin body into that of a steroid abusing brute. His powerful performance in the tragic role won awards at numerous film festivals and propelled "Bullhead" to an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The strength of that performance also won Schoenaerts the lead role opposite Marion Cotillard in "Rust and Bone" (2012), Jacques Audiard's follow-up to his acclaimed drama, "A Prophet" (2009). Like Audiard's previous film, "Rust and Bone" received a breathless reception at the Cannes Film Festival, where it immediately became the subject of Academy Award speculation. Schoenaerts rode that wave of awards buzz all the way to Hollywood, reprising his role in the English-language remake of "The Loft" (2012) with Karl Urban and James Marsden, and appearing in French director Guillaume Canet's English-language, Brooklyn-set thriller, "Blood Ties" (2013), starring Clive Owen and Mila Kunis.

By John Crye

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kursk (2018)
2.
 Galveston (2018)
3.
 Red Sparrow (2018)
4.
 Suite Francaise (2017)
5.
6.
 Radegund (2017)
7.
 Bigger Splash, A (2016)
9.
 Maryland (2015)
10.
 Blood Ties (2014)
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Milestones close milestones

1992:
Made feature debut in "Daens"; film received Best Foreign Language Film Oscar
2001:
TV series debut, the Belgian action drama "Flikken"
2011:
Starred in the Oscar nominated Belgian film "Bullhead"
2012:
Co-starred opposite Marion Cotillard in "Rust and Bone"
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