Vincent Cassel BiographyVincent Cassel is one of the most popular and in-demand actors in modern French cinema. His contradictory characters leave no one indifferent, and films featuring him are memorable from the first viewing. The talented French actor has successfully established himself both in his native cinema ("La Haine," "L'Appartement," "Les Rivières Pourpres") and Hollywood ("Black Swan," "Eastern Promises," "Ocean's Twelve").
Childhood and FamilyVincent Cassel (real surname - Crochon) was born into the family of the well-known Parisian actor Jean-Pierre Cassel (star of films like "Army of Shadows," "The Breach," and many others).
Vincent Cassel also has a younger brother, Mathias, who, although indirectly, also connected his life with cinema by becoming a screenwriter. He is also passionate about hip-hop and even founded his own rap collective, The Assassin. Vincent's sister, Cécile Cassel, also known under the pseudonym Holly Siz, is quite actively filming in France, but her name is not well known outside her home country.
From an early age, the boy grew up at a 'religious crossroads': the head of the family was a Protestant, while his mother was constantly torn between Judaism and Catholicism. The picture was further complicated by the fact that Vincent grew up in a neighborhood densely populated by immigrants from Africa and Arab countries, and therefore many of his friends and acquaintances were Muslims. Thus, the future actor learned from an early age to be tolerant of representatives of various confessions and imbued the best qualities of the surrounding religious currents into his character.
Vincent himself was not a deeply religious person. He attended a Catholic school, but never showed much enthusiasm for it. His only passion in his adolescence was, and always remained, the theatre.
Vincent performed in school amateur productions, attended acting classes, and honed his acting skills by watching films by his favorite director Martin Scorsese. To some extent, the films of this acclaimed cinema classic prompted the young man to pursue an acting career. Before beginning his journey as a film actor, Vincent Cassel graduated from Annie Fratellini's circus school.
Acting CareerVincent Crochon began his professional acting career in the United States, taking his father's advice and adopting the now "family" pseudonym - Cassel. His debut on New York's stages was not very successful; for the most part, the young man worked as a "living statue" on the streets, so he soon returned to France.
Back home, he turned to an old acquaintance of his father, the renowned actor and theatre director Jean-Louis Barrault, founder of the Theatre de l'Atelier (later renamed "Rond-Point"), who was known for his very original interpretations of Nietzsche and Voltaire's works. Barrault did not deny the talented young man, and for a while, Vincent became a regular member of the theatre troupe.
Vincent Cassel's first role in cinema was Pierre in the comedy "Les cigognes n'en font qu'à leur tête" (1989). The role was tiny, as was the next work (the comedy "Les clés du paradis"). Then followed the photographer from the romantic comedy "Les dessous de la passion", and a young man named Dede from Josée Dayan's film "Hot Chocolate".
By 1995, he had about 15 film works to his credit, including the Franco-American film "Jefferson in Paris" starring Seth Gilliam and Gwyneth Paltrow. The latter film, in which Vincent Cassel played the young revolutionary Camille Desmoulins, was quite successful at the box office.
But a truly breakthrough role was already waiting for him just around the corner. It was in 1995 that he had the good fortune to meet director Mathieu Kassovitz, who cast the young man in the lead role in the drama about class and racial prejudices - "La Haine". Vincent Cassel played a Jewish boy named Vinz who accidentally finds a gun and now seeks revenge for the death of a friend. For his role, the actor was twice nominated for a César Award.
In 1996, Vincent Cassel starred in Gilles Mimouni's melodrama "L'Appartement" alongside Monica Bellucci. The touching love story of the young entrepreneur Max and the mysterious Lisa brought the actors closer, and a spark of passion flew between them, soon igniting a real fire.
The most notable works of the late nineties in Vincent Cassel's filmography were the films "Dobermann", "As You Want Me", "Elizabeth" (the role of the Duke of Anjou), "Compromis", "Shabbat Night Fever" (where he also acted as a screenwriter and director), "Joan of Arc". Already during this period, Vincent was established as a straightforward, unpredictable actor ready for any experiments.
In 2000, the epic thriller "The Crimson Rivers" was released, giving the world the magnificent acting duo of Vincent Cassel and Jean Reno. The stars of French cinema transformed into police officers investigating two cases that seem to have nothing to do with each other at first glance. The role of the young detective Max Kerkerian brought Vincent Cassel a nomination for the European Film Academy Award and made him one of the most recognizable personalities of French cinema.
At the peak of his popularity, Vincent Cassel made a new attempt to conquer Hollywood. In 2001, the first English-language film with his participation was released - the crime drama "Birthday Girl". He and Mathieu Kassovitz, who also participated in the shooting, had to transform into Russian gangsters who came for the birthday of their "little sister" played by Nicole Kidman.
Then, in the film "The Reckoning," the actor, together with Paul Bettany and Willem Dafoe, had to go back to the 14th century to save a woman accused of witchcraft.
In 2002, the film "Irreversible" was released with Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci, a star couple who managed to keep the gaze of 600,000 viewers on the screen in France alone. Obsessed with revenge, Vincent's character tried to find and punish those responsible for raping his girlfriend. The film was even nominated for the main prize of the Cannes Festival, but the "Golden Palm Branch" was awarded to Roman Polanski's "The Pianist".
In 2004, the sequel to the sensational action-packed film "Ocean's Eleven" was released, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt. This time, Vincent Cassel, or rather François Toulour nicknamed The Night Fox, joined the team of inventive robbers, winning the hearts of millions with his skillful performance of capoeira under the beams of laser alarm.
In 2008, Vincent Cassel starred in the film "Public Enemy Number One", transforming into the legendary criminal Jacques Mesrine, famous for his amazing transformations using plastic surgery, makeup, and genuine acting mastery. For this role, the actor specifically gained and then lost 20 kilograms, which, by his own admission, was not easy. That same year, the French actor received a golden "César" for it - the main cinematic award in France. In the same year, he once again assumed the image of a Russian gangster in the drama "Eastern Promises", playing the spoiled son of a Russian mafia boss, the "owner" of the cold-blooded killer Nikolai, played by Viggo Mortensen.
In 2010, the actor was included in the main cast of the drama "Black Swan". The story about the backstage of ballet, about a talented but restrained ballerina gradually losing the line between reality and hallucinations, brought the lead actress, Natalie Portman, an "Oscar" for the best female role, and Mila Kunis - the Marcello Mastroianni Award as the best young talent. Vincent Cassel was left without awards, but critics unanimously claimed that he incredibly convincingly coped with the role of Thomas Leroy, the main choreographer of the theater.
In 2014, the Frenchman played the Beast in the film adaptation of the famous fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast". His partner was the beautiful Lea Seydoux. Interestingly, all scenes in the guise of the Beast Vincent Cassel had to play twice: first, he was filmed in costume, and then focused on the actor's facial expressions, and then superimpose his facial expression on the Beast's head created using computer special effects.
In 2016, he starred in the fourth part of the "Bourne" tetralogy in the role of killer Asset. He was accompanied by both recognized Hollywood stars (Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones), and recent "discoveries", for example, Alicia Vikander.
2018 was extremely busy for Vincent Cassel - 5 films with his participation were released at once. They include the French films "The World Is Yours", "The Emperor of Paris" and "Black Tide". In 2019, he participated in the film "The Specials", a dramatic comedy about volunteering.
2020 also turned out to be quite successful for the actor. In January, the premiere of the science fiction film "Underwater" took place. Kristen Stewart also starred in it. The plot tells about dramas and adventures in space. Also in the spring of 2020, the premiere of the 3rd season of the series "Westworld", in which Vincent played the role of Engerraund Serac.
Vincent Cassel Personal LifeSurprisingly, but in the first days of filming the movie "The Apartment", which became fateful for both Vincent and Monica Bellucci, the actors, to put it mildly, did not like each other. According to Monica, she considered her co-star too arrogant. And Vincent, in turn, angrily asked the director if it was impossible to choose a French actress for the role, not an "Italian lingerie model". Off the set, they did their best to avoid each other.
Once, after one of the first difficult shooting days, Vincent went on a usual tour of night clubs. At the entrance to one of the notorious establishments, his gaze was riveted to the back of a gorgeous brunette. The actor immediately rushed to meet her and stopped, stunned - before him stood the hateful Monica Bellucci.
After this, the ice between the actors was broken. Soon, Cassel fell victim to the relentless charms of one of the most beautiful women in the world. Everyone present at the filming knew that Monica, transformed into Lisa, was seducing not Max, but Vincent himself. He also realized this, recalling all the ancient legends of cunning witches who enchant men with a single flick of long eyelashes.
Their romantic relationship had just begun when the Frenchman realized - he had met a truly unusual girl. She was not in a hurry to move her things into his apartment, on the contrary, flying home to Italy, she emphasized: "I have my own life, you have yours." The thought of family routine repulsed her. "There is nothing worse than everyday life when everyone comes home from work and has dinner in front of the TV," the actress admitted.
As soon as their romantic relationship began, the Frenchman realized - he had met a truly unusual woman. She was not in a hurry to move her things into his apartment, on the contrary, when flying home to Italy, she strictly emphasized: "I have my own life, you have yours". The thought of family routine disgusted her. "There is nothing worse than everyday life when everyone comes back from work and has dinner in front of the TV," the actress confessed.
For the sake of spending time with his beloved, the actor began to "promote" Monica to French directors: "Dobermann", "How Do You Want Me", "Pleasure", "Irreversible"... Audiences loved this passionate couple who repeatedly embodied the wild chemistry of love on screen.
Their "living apart together" relationship lasted for three years, until Vincent Cassel had a car accident in 1999. After that, Bellucci changed her view on what was happening and agreed to let Vincent take her down the aisle. However, even after the actors pronounced their wedding vows, everything went as usual: immediately after the ceremony, Monica returned to Italy.
Of course, there was jealousy, which Vincent tried to hide as best he could. Many actors had their eyes on the enchanting Monica Bellucci: George Clooney, Keanu Reeves, Bruce Willis, and even Gerard Depardieu! Monica was never caught in ambiguous situations, but each new film with her participation provoked a lot of rumors about her relationship with her latest co-star. Moreover, the actress herself has repeatedly stated: "Changing partners is natural. It is ingrained in human nature. Therefore, I cannot tell you whether we are together with Vincent forever or not."
After these words, rumors of a romance between Vincent Cassel and Jennifer Aniston appeared in the press, to which Monica reacted with her inherent wisdom and calm, stating: "Being jealous means claiming his freedom".
In 2004, when the number of rumors about the imminent break-up of Cassel and Bellucci reached its peak, the star couple delighted fans of their union with joyful news: their firstborn, a girl named Deva, was born. Both parents were incredibly happy, so much so that they even refused to shoot for a while, devoting all their time to family happiness.
And in 2010, little Leonie Cassel was born. Rumor had it that Monica decided to have a second child to keep her husband, who had recently stopped paying attention to her. And the press increasingly reported that Vincent was seen in the company of another beauty with a model appearance.
In 2013, the family moved to Brazil because, according to Vincent and Monica, there were more favorable conditions for raising children there. However, the media cited changes in French tax law as a more likely reason for the move. The couple bought a house on the coast of Rio and began to settle in their new place.
Unfortunately, Vincent and Monica could not save the family. In 2013, the media were abuzz with news of the break-up of arguably the most popular star couple. The actors did not make their grievances public, but judging by how hard Bellucci took the divorce, Vincent Cassel was the one who initiated the break-up.
As the woman later asserted, they always maintained warm relations, albeit without the former spark of passion. As for the children, Vincent still loves them more than anything in the world and spends almost every free minute with his daughters.
And in 2016, Vincent Cassel showed the world his new chosen one. Rather, the paparazzi showed her, having filmed the actor during a vacation on Ibiza in the company of a young tanned beauty. She turned out to be French model Tina Kunakey.
In August 2018, the lovers had their wedding, and even a 30-year age difference did not hinder their bright feelings, and soon, in 2019, Tina became the mother of a charming daughter, Amazonie.
In the spring of 2023, it became known that Vincent and Tina are divorcing after five years of marriage. The actor deleted all the photos of his wife from social networks, and a source close to the couple told journalists: "They broke up a few weeks ago. Tina is heartbroken."
Vincent Cassel NowVincent Cassel remains one of the most renowned French actors, enjoying high demand both at home and abroad. In 2021, he portrayed Julius Caesar in a new adaptation of "Asterix and Obelix". The film premiered in February 2023. Additionally, he landed the role of Athos in a new duology of "The Three Musketeers".
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