Laurent appeared in 20 films between 1999 and 2009. Playing a depressed 19 year-old who longed for her lost twin brother, she starred in Philippe Lioret’s I’m Fine, Don’t Worry (2006), for which she won a César Award for Most Promising Actress. In 2006, Laurent and Belgian actor Jérémie Renier were awarded France’s Romy Schneider and Jean Gabin Prizes for “most promising actor and actress.”
In 2008, Laurent directed and wrote De moins en moins, which was nominated for Best Short Film at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival. It is a 7-minute film about a patient who, in front of her psychiatrist, “remembers less and less”. Laurent also directed À ses pieds,an erotic short film aired on the French television channel Canal+ on 25–26 October 2008, as part of a series of such shorts, called X Femmes, shot by female directors with the goal of producing erotica from a female point of view.
Laurent was scheduled to direct her first play, Mi-cuit cœur pistache (the name of a dessert she particularly likes) in January 2009 at the Théâtre Marigny in Paris. She had to abandon the project during the preparations and rehearsals when she was cast as Shoshanna Dreyfus in the Quentin Quentin Tarantino Movies Inglourious Basterds, a French-language role for which she had to learn to speak English for a few scenes.Her then-partner Julien Boisselier, as well as Marie Denarnaud, Mélanie Doutey and Louise Monot were to act in the production while short movie clips were to be projected on stage, some of them shot at the nightclub Le Baron, which Laurent used to frequent during the writing period.
Laurent also had planned another feature film, Putain de pluie!, whose script she co-wrote with Morgan Perez and which she intended to direct, produced by Alain Attal’s Productions du Trésor. Originally set for filming in the spring of 2009, it was postponed because of her work on Inglourious Basterds. Knowing that she could speak French and had already acted in French in one of the short films in Paris, je t’aime she offered the first role to Natalie Portman, who declined because of the language of the script. Laurent played the part of the violinist in Radu Mihăileanu’s Le Concert—she called it “a smart movie and a popular movie, and I’m glad because French people wanted to watch a movie with classical music.”
Laurent was the hostess of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. In 2011 she appeared opposite Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer in Beginners, and in 2013 appeared in the caper film Now You See Me.
Birth Name Mélanie Laurent
Height 5′ 2″ (1.57 m)