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Irene Jacob

Irene Jacob

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: July 15, 1966 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Switzerland Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This beautiful, dark-haired Swiss actress made a hit with a supporting role in her first film, as the piano teacher in Louis Malle's "Au Revoir, les enfants" (1987). Educated in London and Geneva, and a Paris resident since the age of 18, Jacob became a promising starlet with her Malle success and followed up with another small role in Jacques Rivette's "La Bande des quatre/The Gang of Four" (1989).Stardom (and a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress award) arrived with Jacob's dual role as two women whose lives are mysteriously linked in Krzysztof Kieslowski's psychological drama "The Double Life of Veronique" (1991). She ventured to the US for a romantic comedy, "Trusting Beatrice" (1991), fittingly, about a young French woman's arrival in the US. After the small film "The Van Gogh Wake" (1993), she played the ill-fated mother in Agnieszka Holland's touching and acclaimed "The Secret Garden" (1993).Several more small French films followed, but it took a reunion with Kieslowski to jump-start Jacob's career again. In his "Red/Rouge" (1994), the final segment of his "Three Colors" trilogy (and his swan song), Jacob starred as a Swiss fashion model who meets a cynical aging ex-judge (played by Jean-Louis...

This beautiful, dark-haired Swiss actress made a hit with a supporting role in her first film, as the piano teacher in Louis Malle's "Au Revoir, les enfants" (1987). Educated in London and Geneva, and a Paris resident since the age of 18, Jacob became a promising starlet with her Malle success and followed up with another small role in Jacques Rivette's "La Bande des quatre/The Gang of Four" (1989).

Stardom (and a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress award) arrived with Jacob's dual role as two women whose lives are mysteriously linked in Krzysztof Kieslowski's psychological drama "The Double Life of Veronique" (1991). She ventured to the US for a romantic comedy, "Trusting Beatrice" (1991), fittingly, about a young French woman's arrival in the US. After the small film "The Van Gogh Wake" (1993), she played the ill-fated mother in Agnieszka Holland's touching and acclaimed "The Secret Garden" (1993).

Several more small French films followed, but it took a reunion with Kieslowski to jump-start Jacob's career again. In his "Red/Rouge" (1994), the final segment of his "Three Colors" trilogy (and his swan song), Jacob starred as a Swiss fashion model who meets a cynical aging ex-judge (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) after she runs over his dog. In the film, she served as an emotional and spiritual curative for the old man; the second time, Kieslowski employed Jacob as a woman who offers a man consolation and mystery. Jacob followed up as a religious devotee in Michaelango Antonioni's episodic "Beyond the Clouds/Par-dela les nuages" (1995), then ventured to England to play Desdemona to Laurence Fishburne's "Othello" (also 1995). Jacob has several foreign-made films in the can which have not yet been released in the US: she plays an East Indian beauty with Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill in "Victory" (filmed in 1994), an ill-fated vacationer in "Fugueuses/Runaway" and a French actress in 1948 who befriends a mysterious tramp (Stephen Rea) in "All Men Are Mortal" (both shown at Cannes in 1995).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Rio Sex Comedy (2010)
3.
5.
 Nouvelle-France (2006)
7.
 Autumn (2004)
8.
 Landlords, The (2002) Julie
9.
 Spy Games (1999) Natasha Scriobina
10.
 Big Brass Ring, The (1999) Cela Brandini
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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Geneva
1984:
Moved to Paris (date approximate)
1987:
Film debut, "Au Revoir, les enfants", directed by Louis Malle
1991:
First starring role, "The Double Life of Veronique"; first of two films with director Krzysztof Kieslowski
1991:
First US film, "Trusting Beatrice"
1993:
Cast as the heroine's mother in "The Secret Garden"
1994:
Reteamed with Kieslowski for "Red", one of a trilogy of films based on the Tricolore: liberty, equality and fraternity; Kieslowski's final film
1995:
Played Desdemona opposite Laurence Fishburne's "Othello"
1998:
Co-starred in "U.S. Marshals"
1999:
Portrayed a Frenchwoman who has an affair with her brother-in-law in "My Life So Far"
2000:
Cast opposite Macauley Culkin in "Madame Melville", a London stage drama about an older woman-younger man relationship
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Education

Dramatic Studio: -
Geneva Conservatoire di Musique: -
National Drama School: -

Notes

"Before I play a character, I always choose a scent for her to wear. Then, whenever I put that fragrance on, I feel like I'm in the character's skin." --Irene Jacob quoted in US, January 1996

"I like to tell stories. I don't feel an actress should impose herself on a character. Our role is to make up a story." --Irene Jacob to Premiere, November 1991

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