Vincent Cassel: biography
Vincent Cassel is a French actor awarded with the prestigious César movie award. The actor gained recognition both in native France and in Hollywood where he had taken part, for example, in the Oscar-winning drama "Black Swan".
Vincent Cassel was born in Paris - the capital of France. His father Jean-Pierre Crochon who had taken himself a scenic pseudonym Cassel was a rather famous actor in France. His mother Sabine Litique was a journalist and was engaged in housekeeping. Vincent has a brother Mathias, the future founder of the "Assassin" rap band, and a sister Olivia. Except them, he also has a stepsister Cécile Cassel by his father’s side who was born after Jean-Pierre and Sabine had divorced.
Vincent attended Catholic school as his parents were very religious people. But the boy wasn’t very fond of religion. He was much more interested in school theatrical performances in which he regularly participated with great pleasure.
After the divorce of his parents in 1980, 13-year-old Vincent left to live with his mother, but already in this age, he had shown his teenage rebelliousness. More than once the boy was caught on the theft of some small things from the shops, also he was accused of the attempt of hijacking. Having decided to give up the lifestyle of the young hooligan, Cassel entered the circus school. After he had finished his studies at the circus school he went to New York to earn money by representing a live statue. Having understood that such work would bring him neither popularity, nor prosperity, the young man came back to France and enrolled to the acting courses of Jean-Louis Barrault, and then sometimes he had been acting in his troupe.
Being a popular actor of the theater, he also tried himself at the movies, but his first small roles in the pictures - "The Keys From Paradise", "Hot Chocolate" and in the TV series "Warburg: The man of influence" hadn’t brought him satisfaction and popularity.
Vincent’s role in the movie "Métisse" directed by his friend Mathieu Kassovitz in 1993 became the actor’s first big role. And two years later the leading role in the black-and-white drama "Hatred" brought to the actor the first nomination for the César Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Before this movie Vincent Cassel accepted any of the offered roles, but after he began to choose scripts which were suitable for him. His favorite scenic image is a charming and seductive villain.
In 1996 the melodrama "The Apartment" came on the screen, and in a year - the crime drama with the elements of black humor "Dobermann" was released. These pictures had raised Cassel’s rating a lot, and in 1998 he was invited to play the role of the Duke of Anjouin the historical picture "Elizabeth" which would be nominated for the Academic Awards and would become the best British movie of the year. Next year one more historical movie appeared in his filmography - it was "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" in which Vincent played the character of Gilles de Rais, the real historical character who was considered to be a prototype of the Bluebeard.
The same year Cassel performed a major role in the crime drama "Unruly" where he played a role of Pitou who was released from the prison and had been unfairly accused of murder.
In 2000 together with other famous French actors Jean Reno, Cassel took part in the sensational thriller "The Crimson Rivers" - a screen-adaptation of the novel "Blood Red Rivers" by Jean-Christophe Grangé. For participation in this movie, the actor was nominated for the European Film Awards. In a year he was nominated again - for the leading role in the crime drama "Read My Lips" and also for the César Awards. Cassel played the young criminal Paul who had planned to rob the owner of the club with the help of the deaf secretary Carla who was able to read lips.
The same year the actor acted in the criminal melodrama "Birthday Girl" in which he had acted the Russian brother of the main character.
In 2002 the actor played a major role in the emotionally difficult criminal drama "Irreversible". Cassel had been working on this movie together with Monica Bellucci, who was his spouse in real life. Monica played the heroine of Alex, the ex-wife of Marcus – Cassel’s character. Alex had already found the new partner - Pierre whose role was played by Albert Dupontel. But as a result of the quarrel at the party Alex leaves alone without her new or old boyfriend, she came to the street where she was raped and beaten by someone.
The narration in the movie is not chronological and is based rather on the principles of the retrospectives. The moments of the search of the criminal by Pierre and Marcus intersperse with earlier fragments of the action. The critics noted that the movie turned out to be very cruel.
The movie was shown in the competitive program of the Cannes Film Festival. During the demonstration on the screen of the nine-minute fragment with rape and beating of the woman, the audience needed medical care.
Then in 2003 Cassel appeared in the drama "The Reckoning".
From the other works of the beginning of the first 10 years of the new century, it's worth noting the western "Blueberry" which came out in 2004. The actor played the role of Mike Blueberry who years after the death of his girlfriend wants to revenge on the murderer.
The very year there was a premiere of the criminal action movie "Secret Agents". In this movie, Cassel again performed together with his wife, Monica Bellucci. Cassel and Bellucci played the roles of the secret service agents who pretended to be husband and wife. As a married couple, the agents had to destroy the ship carrying the weapon to Angola off the coast of Morocco. They performed the task, but the powerful dealers of the black market began to revenge on them.
The critics had given a positive feedback about the movie’s plot. It was noted that "Secret Agents" weren’t similar to the ordinary superspy thrillers. The movie appeared to be original, it even highlighted "the certain sides of the real work of the secret agents".
In 2005 the actor took part in the drama "Derailed", and in 2006 Cassel played in the comedy thriller "Sheitan" in which the group of teenagers classically faces the Evil.
Besides his acting activity, Vincent was also engaged in the production of movies. Cassel acted as the producer of the movies "Sheitan", "Irreversible" and "Shabbat Night Fever". In the last movie, Cassel became both the scriptwriter and the director.
In 2007 Vincent Cassel played in the detective thriller "Vice for Export" which also has the second title "Eastern Promises". The drama by the Canadian director David Cronenberg tells about the life of the Russian kingpins in London. Cassel plays the role of Russian again – that time it was the character of Kirill, the son of the criminal leader Semyon who delivered girls from Eastern Europe in the sexual slavery to Great Britain.
The biographic thriller "Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One" of 2008 was also remarkable. In this movie, the actor had got the role of the famous French criminal Jacques Mesrine.
Jacques Mesrine's biography is well known to the French people, the gangster of the 70-s of the last century was the real legend and the star. The criminal committed impudent robberies, mocked at the police and had sensational love affairs. Jacques Mesrine had got the nickname "the person with one thousand faces" as, when he got down to new business, the gangster changed his appearance until he became,e unrecognizable using a make-up, wigs, and even plastic surgeries.
The same year the sequel to the movie "Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One" came on the screen.
Also, Cassel took part in the shootings of the movies about the swindlers "Ocean’s Twelve" and "Ocean’s Thirteen".
From the successive movies of the actor, it’s worth paying attention to the drama "Our Day Will Come" in which Cassel played the major role and also became its producer. This comedy-drama reflected on the beginning of the 21st century in the form of the film-journey.
The same year Cassel acted in the Hollywood drama thriller "Black Swan". The movie tells about the ballerina who went crazy during her preparation and training for the dance in the ballet "Swan Lake". Vincent Cassel played the French choreographer Thomas Leroy of the ballet troupe of Lincoln Center in New York. The choreographer chooses which of the ballerinas will dance the leading role. The talented ballerina Nina whose role is played by Natalie Portman becomes the main pretender. Thomas recognizes the potential in the girl, the ballerina dances well the part of the White Swan, but she can’t cope with the part of the Black Swan. When she tries to set free her dark side, the girl begins to see hallucinations, she has panic and aggression attacks. Mila Kunis played the role of Nina’s rival.
In 2011 the actor plays a role of the monk Ambrosio in the mystical thriller "The Monk" based on the Gothic novel by Matthew Lewis. The action of the movie is developed in the 18th century. Capucino Ambrosio is tempted by the witch. When this fact becomes obvious to the Inquisition, the monk is forced to be on the run and even to conclude the bargain with the Devil.
In 2013 Cassel plays the leader of the robbers’ gang in the crime drama "Trance". The criminal helps the auctioneer Simon whose role is played by James McAvoy, to steal a lot which is worth millions of dollars, but Simon manages to hide the stolen lot, and after a blow to the head to forget about the hiding spot. The character of Cassel employs the psychotherapist in hope to learn where the stolen item is hidden. A role of the psychotherapist is played by Rosario Dawson.
In February of 2014, the colorful screen version of the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" in the genre of melodrama, thriller, and fantasy came on the screen. Nevertheless, the picture plot authentically reproduces a plot of the classic fairy tale. Vincent Cassel played a role of the bewitched prince or the Beast. Léa Seydoux got a role of the Beauty.
The same year Cassel appeared in the thriller "Child 44". The film was screen adapted by the novel of the English writer Tom Rob Smith. The action is developed in the USSR of the Stalin-era. Vincent Cassel played the Russian Major Kuzmin. The movie tells about the unfair solution of the case about the murder of the four-year-old child as according to the official data there were no cruel crimes in the country and they even couldn’t take place. When the children's murders continue to happen, the militiamen begin to investigate them in circumvention of the administration’s. The leading roles in the movie were played by Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman.
In 2015 one more fantasy film "Tale of Tales" with Vincent Cassel's participation was released. The picture was shot collaboratively by France, Great Britain, and Italy. This fantasy movie was shot as the free screen version of the "Tale of Tales" by Giambattista Basile. The basis of the plot of "Tale of Tales" was formed by three well-known fairy tales of Basile "A Magic Deer", "The Flea" and "The Old Woman".
As a result, there came out the world of the classical fantasy with kings, princesses, brave knights, and witches. Vincent Cassel played the role of the King of Strongcliff. The leading female role of the Queen of Longtrellis was performed by Salma Hayek.
Also in 2015 Cassel took part in the comedy "One Wild Moment". The actor plays a role of the man who has got into some awkward situation. Laurent, the character of Cassel, together with his friend has agreed to take their daughters to Riviera. During the holiday the man falls in love with the daughter of his best friend. The girl is of the same age as Laurent’s daughter, and his best friend is a strict father who threatens to shoot down the daughter's admirers.
In October of 2015, Vincent Cassel acted in the leading role in the psychological drama "My King". The picture tells about the woman Tony who undergoes rehabilitation and learns to walk after the knee injury. Tony is tormented by her memories of the lover who has destructively affected her life, in parallel with her physical rehabilitation Tony begins spiritual development.
The leading female role was played by Emmanuelle Bercot who won the prize of the 68th Cannes Film Festival as the Best Actress. The movie was nominated for the César Award 2016 in 8 categories.
During the shootings of the movie "The Apartment" in 1996 Vincent Cassel got acquainted with the Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci. Later the couple would play several times together. In 1999 Vincent and Monica officially registered their relations. In this marriage two daughters were born at spouses - in 2004 Deva was born, and 6 years later Leonie was born.
The family had been living in France for a long time, but in 2013 they moved to Brazil to escape from the increased French taxes. The same year it turned out that their marriage came to an end, Cassel and Bellucci divorced after 14 years of joint life for which the press had managed to call the actors the ideal couple.
The celebrities separated peacefully, by agreement, and stayed friends. During first months neither Monica nor Vincent spoke about the divorce reasons. Later it became clear that the problem of the relations was in the long distances. Traveling all the time the stars became strangers to each other. The press also claims that Vincent's fancy for "free relations" also contributed to their breakup. Monica knew about betrayals and sincerely told about this to the press. But according to Bellucci, the actress understood that in their situation it was just silly to wait for fidelity from her husband.
Vincent Cassel communicates with his daughters, his ex-wife doesn't prevent him from regular communication with the children.
Vincent is fluent not only in native French but also in English, Portuguese and Italian. Besides, he knows a little Russian which he was learning in 2007 for the shootings in the crime fighter of "Eastern Promises".
The actor has a hobby – the Brazilian martial art capoeira. The actor has a verified account on Instagram, where he has 238 thousand followers.
Vincent Cassel at present
In 2016 Vincent Cassel played in an extremely gripping spy thriller "Jason Bourne". It is the sequel of the movie "The Bourne Ultimatum" and the fifth movie of the Bourne series, but Cassel joined this franchize only from this picture.
Also in 2016, the actor took part in the Canadian-French drama "It Is Only the End of the World". The main hero of the picture is a successful writer Louis whose role was played by Gaspard Uliel after the 12-year absence comes back home to tell about his disease. The problem is that his eccentric relatives are busy with their affairs and don't wish to listen about the disease of the writer. The roles of Louis’ relatives were played by Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard and Nathalie Baye.
The premiere of the film took place at Cannes Film Festival in 2016. The picture "It Is Only the End of the World" participated in the main competition program. The movie won the festival Grand Prix, but it was crushed by the critics at the press preview. Later the picture received rather controversial comments.
In November of 2016 at the party after the fashion show of the Victoria's Secret brand, Vincent Cassel officially presented to the public his new girlfriend Tina Kunakey with whom he spent the whole evening. The journalists noted that the girl was constantly looking in the actor’s eyes with love.
Tina Kunakey is much younger than Cassel, at that time the model turned 19 years old. The girl isn't confused by the age difference, she explains it that sometimes people are just attracted to each other, and conventions are not important anymore.
Other people are more concerned about their age difference. Ill-wishers accuse Tina of materialism, but in 19 years Kunakey works as a model. Since childhood, she cooperated with the Roxy, Billabong and Quicksilver brands, participated in fashion shows of Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris and concluded contracts with the well-known model agencies, therefore, it is difficult to say that Kunakey doesn’t have enough earnings.
The press claims that the relations of the actor with the young model had begun even in summer of 2015 when paparazzi succeeded to take a photo of Cassel with the unknown black girl on the beach of Ibiza.
Vincent Cassel attended the 70th Cannes Film Festival together with Tina Kunakey. The Cannes-2017 at once attracted the attention of the admirers as the actress Monica Bellucci, the ex-wife of Cassel became the hostess of the film views of this year. By hearsay, Tina Kunakey even postponed her advertising photo shoot to get to the French Riviera as the girl is jealous of Vincent’s ex-wife and doesn't want to leave her boyfriend alone with Monica.
- 1995 — "Hatred"
- 1997 — "Dobermann"
- 1998 — "Elizabeth"
- 1999 — "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc"
- 2000 — "The Crimson Rivers"
- 2001 — "Read My Lips"
- 2004 — "Blueberry"
- 2004 — "Ocean’s Twelve"
- 2008 — "Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One"
- 2010 – "Black Swan"
- 2010 – "Our Day Will Come"
- 2014 — "Beauty and the Beast"
- 2015 — "Tale of Tales"
- 2015 - "One Wild Moment"
- 2016 - "It's Only the End of the World"