Anne Parillaud

Anne Parillaud (French pronunciation: [an paʁiˈjo]; born 6 May 1960) is a French actress, who has appeared in 30 films since 1977. She is best known internationally for playing the title character of Luc Besson's film La Femme Nikita.[1]

Anne Parillaud
Parillaud in 2014
Born (1960-05-06) 6 May 1960
Years active1977–present
Luc Besson
(m. 1986; div. 1991)

Jean Michel Jarre
(m. 2005; div. 2010)


Parillaud was born in Paris, France. While in school she studied ballet and her ambition was to become a lawyer, but a role during summer vacation – when she was only 16 – in Michel Lang's L'hôtel de la plage (1978) launched her into the world of film. She had a three-year relationship with actor Alain Delon and co-starred with him in his only two films as director, Pour la peau d'un flic (1981) and Le Battant (1983).[2] She then met director Luc Besson and married him in 1986, but the couple separated shortly after he directed her in Nikita.[3][4] Nikita was an especially intense experience for Parillaud:

For a while, she was in me like a demon. I would do things I normally would not do. She was awkward, depressed, full of despair. But to me there was also a spiritual underline to Nikita. In a very excessive way, she is a loudspeaker of the youth of society today. She destroys herself because she doesn't believe in anything on Earth."

In preparation for the role, she underwent three months of judo lessons and target practice to hone her skills as a government assassin: "I hate guns, I hate violence, I hate judo." Her early ballet training also came in handy for one amusing scene though she modestly downplays her physical gifts, saying only, "I have a chewing gum kind of body. I just forget about the bones." Despite the glamour and danger of her character, Parillaud cautions, "It never happens to me, this kind of story.

After the international success of Nikita, Parillaud left France to star in three films abroad: Map of the Human Heart, Innocent Blood, and Frankie Starlight. She has said regarding the experience of playing a vampire in John Landis's Innocent Blood:

I fell in love with Marie in Innocent Blood because she wasn't born a vampire; she never decided she wanted to be. For me, it was a parable to talk about how you deal with this problem, which is when you are different. You think or you live or you want something different from everyone else. People don't follow you, because it's scary. You are quite alone in your choices.

In 2010 she starred in the French psychological thriller In Their Sleep[5] which was directed by Caroline du Potet and Eric du Potet.[6]

Personal life

Parillaud's first husband was Luc Besson, with whom she has a daughter.[7] In 2005 she married Jean Michel Jarre. They divorced in 2010.[8][9]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1977 Un amour de sable[10] uncredited Christian Lara
1978 L'Hôtel de la plage Estelle Delambre Michel Lang
1979 Écoute voir Chloé/Moune Hugo Santiago
1980 Girls Catherine Flavin Just Jaeckin
Patrizia[11] Patricia Cook Hubert Frank
1981 Pour la peau d'un flic Charlotte Alain Delon
1983 Le Battant Nathalie Alain Delon
1988 Juillet en septembre[12] Marie Sébastien Japrisot
1989 Che ora è? Loredana Ettore Scola
1990 Nikita Nikita Luc Besson
1992 Innocent Blood Marie John Landis
1993 Map of the Human Heart Albertine Vincent Ward
1994 À la folie Alice Diane Kurys
1995 Frankie Starlight Bernadette Michael Lindsay-Hogg
1996 Passage à l'acte Isabelle Francis Girod
Dead Girl[13] Helen Catherine Howe Adam Coleman Howard
1998 The Man in the Iron Mask Queen Mother Anne of Austria Randall Wallace
Shattered Image Jessie Markham Raúl Ruiz
1999 Une pour toutes Olga Duclos Claude Lelouch
2002 Gangsters[14] Nina Delgado Olivier Marchal
Sex Is Comedy Jeanne Catherine Breillat
2004 Deadlines Julia Müller Ludi Boeken and Michael A. Lerner
Promised Land Anne Amos Gitai
2005 Tout pour plaire Florence Cécile Telerman
2007 Demandez la permission aux enfants Anna Sebag Éric Civanyan
Une vieille maîtresse Mme de Solcy Catherine Breillat
2009 L'Imbroglio Nel Lenzuolo[15] Beatrice Alfonso Arau
2010 In Their Sleep Sarah Caroline Du Potet and Eric Du Potet[16]
2010 la marquise des ombres Madame de Brinvilliers
2012 What the Day Owes the Night Madame Cazenave



  • Dupont, Joan (September 1992). "Playing with Emotion". Interview.
  • Gonzalez, Christian (November 1996). "I'm a Complicated Woman". Madame Figaro.
  • Tolédano, Vincent (November 1996). "Anne Parillaud Passes the Act". L'Officiel.
  • Heuriger (9 January 1997). "Biographical information compiled from GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Movies USA, L'officiel, and Roadshow". Archived from the original on 8 October 2009.


  1. "Four Clips from in Their Sleep to Give You Insomnia". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  2. "Anne Parillaud: "J'ai vécu avec des hommes à l'ego déréglé"". Paris Match. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. "Luc Besson is back – and he’s bending minds, and spacetime, again", The Irish Times, Friday, Aug. 22, 2014
  4. "New Stills and Tiny Teaser Art: In Their Sleep". Dread Central. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  5. "International Trailer Debut for French Chiller in Their Sleep". Dread central. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  6. "New Artwork: In Their Sleep". Dread central. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  9. "Anne Parillaud à coeur ouvert, ses histoires d'amour avec Delon, Besson, Jarre . . ", interview à retrouver en intégralité dans Paris Match, en kiosques dès le 15 février 2018
  10. "Un amour de sable". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  11. "Patrizia". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  12. "Juillet en septembre". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  13. "Dead Girl". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  14. "Gangsters". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  15. "L'imbroglio nel lenzuolo". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  16. "First Look at New French Thriller 'In Their Sleep'". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
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