In addition to her high-profile marriage to internationally renowned filmmaker Roman Polanski, actress Emmanuelle Seigner has utilized her enigmatic beauty to striking effect in such films as Jean-Luc Godard’s Détective and Polanski’s dark supernatural thriller The Ninth Gate.
A native of Paris and the daughter of a prolific photographer father and journalist mother, Seigner was no stranger to show business. Grandfather Louis and aunt Françoise were both members of the renowned Comédie Française, a theater company with a history that reaches back as far as 1680. Raised at a convent school before embarking on a career in modeling at age 14, Seigner’s unusual beauty found the blossoming cover girl eventually making a segue into film.
Seigner made her screen debut in the 1984 romantic drama Year of the Jellyfish, and it wasn’t long before her acting career was gaining momentum with Godard’s Détective and the 1986 drama Cours Privé. A year after appearing opposite Harrison Ford and Betty Buckley in Polanski’s thriller Frantic (1988), the screen beauty exchanged wedding vows with the diminutive director.
Subsequently appearing in such Polanski efforts as Bitter Moon (1992) and The Ninth Gate (1999), Seigner also found success in her own right when nominated for a Best Supporting Actress César for her performance in the 1998 drama Place Vendôme. Her role as the mysterious neighbor in 1999’s Buddy Boy utilized her beauty to striking effect, and in 2003 Seigner took the lead as a stripper who escapes the seedy world of men’s clubs only to uncover a horrifying secret about her husband in Corps à corps.
With her high-profile role in the 2003 action film Os Imortais, it appeared as if Seigner might finally be escaping the legendary shadow of her husband to build a respectable onscreen career of her own.