Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Background information
Birth name Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg
Born 21 July 1971 (1971-07-21) (age 40)
London, UK
Origin Paris, France
Genres French pop
Occupations actress, singer
Years active 1986–present
Labels Phonogram Records, Atlantic Records, Because Music, Vice Recordings

Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg (born 21 July 1971) is an Anglo-French actress and singer. After releasing an album with her father at the age of fifteen, more than twenty years passed before she released two albums as an adult (5:55 and IRM) to commercial and critical success. Gainsbourg has also appeared in many films, including several directed by Lars von Trier, and has received both a César Award and the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award. She is the daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.


Personal life

Gainsbourg with her mother Jane Birkin in 2010

Gainsbourg was born in London to Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg[1] and was raised in Paris. Her maternal grandmother was actress Judy Campbell and her uncle is the screenwriter Andrew Birkin, who directed her in The Cement Garden. She attended École Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel in Paris.

Gainsbourg's longtime partner is French-Israeli actor/director Yvan Attal,[2] with whom she has three children, Ben (born on 12 June 1997), Alice (born on 8 November 2002) and Joe (born on 16 July 2011).[3]

On 5 September 2007, Gainsbourg was rushed to a Paris hospital where she underwent surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage. She had been experiencing headaches since a minor waterskiing accident in the United States several weeks prior.[4]



Gainsbourg at the Venice Film Festival in 2007

Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut playing Catherine Deneuve's daughter in the film Paroles et musique (1984). In 1986, Gainsbourg won a César Award for "Most Promising Actress" for L'effrontée, and, in 2000, she won "Best Supporting Actress" for the film La Bûche.

In 1993, Gainsbourg made her English speaking debut in The Cement Garden, written and directed by her uncle, Andrew Birkin. She made her stage debut in 1994 in David Mamet's Oleanna at the Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse. In 1996, Gainsbourg starred as the title character in Jane Eyre, a film adaption of Charlotte Brontë's 1847 novel.

In 2006, Gainsbourg appeared alongside Gael García Bernal in Michel Gondry's La Science des rêves (The Science of Sleep). In 2007, she appeared as Claire in the Todd Haynes-directed Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, also contributing a cover of the Dylan song "Just Like a Woman" to the film soundtrack.

In 2009, she won the award for Best Actress at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for the film Antichrist.[5]

Gainsbourg has finished filming an French/Australian production, The Tree scheduled for a 2010 release. Her next project will be the Lars von Trier science fiction disaster film, Melancholia.[6] In late December she will begin filming an adaptation of Alfred de Musset's La Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle. She will star alongside the British musician Pete Doherty.[7]


Gainsbourg during the Air concert in Melkweg, Amsterdam on 27 March 2007.
Gainsbourg at Webster Hall, NYC, 25 April 2010

Gainsbourg made her musical debut with her father on the song "Lemon Incest" in 1984.[8] Two years later, she released her debut album Charlotte for Ever, which was produced by her father.

In 2000, Gainsbourg was featured on the Madonna album Music on the track "What It Feels Like For A Girl". There is a lengthy spoken intro by Gainsbourg, taken from the film The Cement Garden, which inspired the title of the song. The track was further remixed for the single version of this song in 2001, with Gainsbourg's The Cement Garden speech repeated during the song.

In 2004, she sang a duet with French pop star Étienne Daho on his single "If".

In 2006, Gainsbourg released her second album 5:55 to critical acclaim and commercial success, reaching the top spot on the French charts and achieving platinum status in the country. In the UK, the album was moderately successful, reaching #78 (The single "The Songs That We Sing" only made #129).

In late 2009, Gainsbourg released her third studio album, IRM,[9] which was produced by Beck.[10][11] One of the influential factors in the album's creative process was her time spent filming Antichrist.[12] Gainsbourg's head injury in 2007 influenced the title of the album "IRM", an abbreviation for the French translation of "magnetic resonance imaging". While receiving a brain scan, she began to think about music. "When I was inside that machine," she said, "it was an escape to think about music. It's rhythm. It was very chaotic."[13]

Her song "Heaven Can Wait" was chosen as the Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week on 2 March 2010.[14]

Her song "Trick Pony" appeared at the beginning of the Grey's Anatomy episode "Perfect Little Accident" (Season 6, Episode 16 / airdate: 25 February 2010). "Trick Pony" is also featured in the FIFA 11 soundtrack.[15]



Year Film Role Notes
1984 Paroles et musique Charlotte Marker
1985 La tentation d'Isabelle L'enfant
L'Effrontée Charlotte Castang César Award for Most Promising Actress
1986 Charlotte for Ever Charlotte
1988 La Petit Amour Lucy aka Kung-fu master!
Jane B. par Agnès V. La fille de J. Agnès Varda film
The Little Thief Janine Castang aka La petite voleuse
1990 Il sole anche di notte Matilda
1991 Merci la vie Camille Pelleveau
Aux yeux du monde Juliette Mangin Éric Rochant film
1992 Amoureuse Marie aka The Lover
1993 The Cement Garden Julie
1994 Grosse Fatigue Herself aka Dead Tired
1996 Jane Eyre Jane Eyre
Anna Oz Anna Oz Éric Rochant film
Love, etc. Marie Marion Vernoux film
1999 The Intruder Catherine Girard
La Bûche Milla Robin aka Season's Beatings
2000 Passionnément Alice Almeida aka Passionately
2001 Félix et Lola Lola Patrice Leconte film
My Wife Is an Actress Charlotte aka Ma Femme est une actrice
2002 La merveilleuse odyssée de l'idiot Toboggan Voice
2003 21 Grams Mary Rivers
2004 Une star internationale Herself Short film
Ils Se Marièrent et Eurent Beaucoup d'Enfants Gabrielle aka ...And They Lived Happily Ever After
2005 L'un reste, l'autre part Judith aka One Stays, the Other Leaves
Lemming Bénédicte Getty
2006 Nuovomondo Lucy Reed aka The Golden Door
Prête-moi ta main Emma aka I Do/Rent a Wife
La Science des rêves Stéphanie aka The Science of Sleep
2007 I'm Not There Claire
2008 The City of Your Final Destination Arden Langdon
2009 Antichrist She Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
Bodil Award for Best Actress
Nominated-Scream Award for Best Actress
Nominated-Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated-Robert Festival for Best Actress
Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actress
Persécution Sonia
2010 The Tree Dawn
2011 Melancholia Claire


Year Title Role Notes
2000 Nuremberg Marie Claude Vaillant-Couturier Miniseries
Les Misérables Fantine Miniseries



  1. ^ Source of real name and birth date: birth certificate provided by the French Ministère des affaires étrangères, according to this web site
  2. ^ Mapes, Marty. (2002-07-25) Interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Yvan Attal. Movie Habit. Retrieved on 2011-08-24.
  3. ^ (French) Charlotte Gainsbourg bio : biographie de Charlotte Gainsbourg – Gala. Retrieved on 2011-08-24.
  4. ^ "Charlotte Gainsbourg has emergency brain surgery". NME. UK. 6 September 07. 
  5. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Antichrist". Retrieved 9 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Latest On Von Trier's Melancholia Empire online. 25 March 2010
  7. ^ Film role for Peter Doherty The Independent. 9 December 2010
  8. ^ Slater, Lydia (3 June 2007). "Charlottes web". The Times (London). Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Une fin d'année sous le signe de Charlotte Gainsbourg". 29 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "BECK TO APPEAR ON CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG ALBUM". Contact Music. 19 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "Beck collaborates with Charlotte Gainsbourg on new album". NME. UK. 18 November 2008. 
  13. ^ "Charlotte Gainsbourg's Skull Sessions". L.A. Weekly. 7 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Charlotte Gainsbourg (featuring Beck) – Heaven Can Wait. (2010-03-02). Retrieved on 2011-08-24.
  15. ^ 6.16 Perfect Little Accident – Grey's Anatomy. Retrieved on 2011-08-24.
  16. ^ Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck Album Details. Pitchfork. Retrieved on 2011-08-24.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Charlotte For Ever (Album) — Charlotte for ever Album par Charlotte Gainsbourg Sortie 1986 Genre(s) Variété française Label Phonogram Albums de Charlotte Gainsbour …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charlotte for ever (album) — Charlotte for ever Album par Charlotte Gainsbourg Sortie 1986 Genre(s) Variété française Label Phonogram Albums de Charlotte Gainsbour …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charlotte for Ever (film) — Charlotte for Ever Directed by Serge Gainsbourg Produced by Claudie Ossard Written by Serge Gainsbourg Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg …   Wikipedia

  • Charlotte For Ever (Film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Charlotte for Ever. Charlotte for Ever est un film réalisé par Serge Gainsbourg, sorti en 1986. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Charlotte for ever (film) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Charlotte for Ever. Charlotte for Ever est un film réalisé par Serge Gainsbourg, sorti en 1986. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Fiche technique …   Wikipédia en Français

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