Famke Beumer Janssen (Dutch: [ˈfɑmkə ˈjɑnsə(n)]; born c. 1964) is a Dutch actress, director, screenwriter, and former fashion model. She played Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye (1995), Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men film series (2000–2014), Ava Moore on Nip/Tuck, and Lenore Mills in the Taken film trilogy (2008–2014). In 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity by the United Nations. She made her directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby in 2011. She is also known for her role in the Netflix original series Hemlock Grove and for her role in ABC's How to Get Away with Murder. Janssen starred in the 2017 NBC crime thriller The Blacklist: Redemption.
Famke Janssen at WonderCon, 2013
Famke Beumer Janssen
c. 1964 (age 54–55)
|Alma mater||Columbia University (1992, B.A.)|
|Occupation||Actress, director, screenwriter|
(m. 1995; div. 2000)
|Relatives||Antoinette Beumer (sister)|
Marjolein Beumer (sister)
Early life and education
Famke Beumer Janssen was born c. 1964 in Amstelveen in the Netherlands. She has two sisters, director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer, both of whom changed their surnames to simply Beumer after their parents divorced.
In addition to her native Dutch, Janssen speaks English and French. She also learned German, but has not kept up with it. Following her high school graduation, Janssen studied economics for a year at the University of Amsterdam, which she later called "the stupidest idea I ever had." In the early 1990s, she enrolled at Columbia University to study creative writing and literature. She graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Modelling and early 1990s
In 1984, Janssen moved to the United States to begin her professional career as a fashion model. She signed with Elite Model Management and worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, and Victoria's Secret. She starred in a 1988 commercial for the perfume Exclamation by Coty, Inc. Her looks have been compared to Hedy Lamarr and other 1940s films stars.
After retiring from modelling in the early 1990s, Janssen had guest roles on several television series, including a starring role in the 1992 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate", as empathic metamorph Kamala, opposite Patrick Stewart, with whom she later starred in the X-Men film series. That same year, Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down to pursue film roles. Her first film role was alongside Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 crime drama film Fathers & Sons.
In 1995, Janssen appeared in Pierce Brosnan's first James Bond film, GoldenEye, as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp. She also appeared in Lord of Illusions with Scott Bakula. In an attempt to fight against typecasting after her Bond girl performance, Janssen began seeking out more intriguing support roles, appearing in John Irvin's City of Industry, Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, and Ted Demme's Monument Ave. Denis Leary, her co-star in Monument Ave., was impressed by how easily she blended in, initially not recognizing her, as she was already in character. In the late 1990s, she also appeared in The Faculty, Rounders, Deep Rising, and House on Haunted Hill.
In 2000, Janssen played superhero Dr. Jean Grey in the Marvel Studios film X-Men. She later reprised the role in the 2003 sequel, X2, where her character shows signs of increasing powers, but at the end of the film, she is presumably killed. Janssen returns as a very much alive Jean, whose death in X2 awoke her dark alternate personality, Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). At the end of the film, she is killed by Wolverine (played by Hugh Jackman), who only does it because Jean asks him to, not wanting to hurt anyone when Phoenix is in control. For that role, she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. She returned as Jean in the 2013 film The Wolverine as a hallucination of Wolverine's.
In 2014, Janssen reprised her role of Jean Grey in a brief cameo for X-Men: Days of Future Past, as did a few of the original actors from the first three films, including Halle Berry, Kelsey Grammer, Anna Paquin, and James Marsden. In the film, Wolverine went back in time and changed the course of the future, the result being that the events of the third movie, including the deaths of Jean Grey and Cyclops, never happened.
In addition, Janssen had a prominent role in the second season of the popular TV series Nip/Tuck, as the seductive and manipulative life coach Ava Moore, which earned her Hollywood Life's Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award. She reprised her role in the final two episodes of the series.
In 2007, she starred in Turn the River, for which she was awarded the Special Recognition Best Actress Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. The following year, she starred in Luc Besson's Taken. Janssen also continued to work in television, appearing in TV pilots for NBC's police drama Winters and Showtime's The Farm, a spinoff of The L Word set in a women's prison. Both pilots were rejected by their networks. Janssen also provided the Dutch language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at all Disney theme parks.
In 2011, Janssen made her directorial début with the drama Bringing Up Bobby. She also wrote the screenplay to the film, which stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, and Marcia Cross. She reprised her role as Lenore Mills in Taken 2 (2012) and Taken 3 (2014). She starred as the main villain Muriel in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).
in 2019, she served as a juror for the Tribeca Film Festival.
Personal life and activism
Janssen appeared with her dog, Licorice, a brindle Boston Terrier, in a 2007 PETA campaign to raise awareness for animal rights. The campaign used the slogan "Be an Angel for Animals." On 28 January 2008, she was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime at a United Nations anticorruption conference held in Nusa Dua, Bali.
In 2016, Janssen showed frustration in not being cast in the new X-Men movie X-Men: Apocalypse, saying Hollywood was sexist towards older women. She said, “Women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions are never to be seen again... whereas the men are allowed to be both ages.”
|1992||Fathers & Sons||Kyle Christian|
|1994||Relentless IV: Ashes to Ashes||Dr. Sara Lee Jaffee||Direct-to-video film|
|1995||Lord of Illusions||Dorothea Swann|
|1997||City of Industry||Rachel Montana|
|1998||Monument Ave.||Katy O'Connor|
|1998||The Gingerbread Man||Leeanne Magruder|
|1998||Deep Rising||Trillian St. James|
|1998||The Adventures of Sebastian Cole||Fiona|
|1998||The Faculty||Miss Elizabeth Burke|
|1999||House on Haunted Hill||Evelyn Stockard-Price|
|2000||Love & Sex||Kate Welles|
|2001||Don't Say a Word||Agatha "Aggie" Conrad|
|2002||I Spy||Rachel Wright|
|2005||Hide and Seek||Dr. Katherine Carson|
|2006||X-Men: The Last Stand||Jean Grey / Phoenix|
|2006||The Treatment||Allegra Marshall|
|2007||The Ten||Gretchen Reigert|
|2007||Turn the River||Kailey Sullivan|
|2008||The Wackness||Kristen Squires|
|2008||Taken||Lenore "Lenny" Mills|
|2008||100 Feet||Marnie Watson||Direct-to-video film|
|2010||The Chameleon||Jennifer Johnson||Direct-to-video film|
|2011||Down the Shore||Mary Reed|
|2012||Taken 2||Lenore "Lenny" Mills|
|2013||Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters||Muriel|
|2013||The Wolverine||Jean Grey|
|2013||The Being Experience||N/A||Originally titled In the Woods|
|2014||A Fighting Man||Diane Schuler||Direct-to-video film|
|2014||X-Men: Days of Future Past||Jean Grey||Cameo|
|2015||Taken 3||Lenore "Lenny" Mills|
|2015||Jack of the Red Hearts||Kay|
|2017||The Show||Ilana Katz|
|2017||All I Wish||Vanessa|
|2017||Once Upon a Time in Venice||Katey Ford|
|2018||Status Update||Katherine Alden|
|2018||Bayou Caviar||Nic||Originally titled Louisiana Caviar|
|2019||The Poison Rose||Jayne Hunt|
|2019||Primal||Dr. Ellen Taylor|
|TBA||The Postcard Killings||Valerie Kanon||Filming|
|1992||Star Trek: The Next Generation||Kamala||Episode: "The Perfect Mate"|
|1994||Melrose Place||Diane Adamson||Episode: "Michael's Game"|
|1994||Model by Day||Lex / Lady X||Television film|
|1994||The Untouchables||Cleo||Episode: "Voyeur"|
|2000–2001||Ally McBeal||Jamie||Episodes: "The Man with the Bag", "The Ex-Files"|
|2004–2010||Nip/Tuck||Ava Moore||Recurring role, 11 episodes|
|2007||Winters||Christie Winters||Television film|
|2008||Puppy Love||Maya||Web series|
|2009||The Farm||Valentina Galindo||Television film|
|2013–2015||Hemlock Grove||Olivia Godfrey||Main role|
|2015–2019||How to Get Away with Murder||Eve Rothlow||Recurring role, 8 episodes|
|2015||SuperMansion||Frau Mantis||Voice role; 2 episodes|
|2016||Robot Chicken||Jean Grey||Voice role; episode: "Joel Hurwitz"|
|2016–2018||The Blacklist||Susan Hargrave||Recurring role, 5 episodes|
|2017||The Blacklist: Redemption||Susan Hargrave||Main role|
|2019||When They See Us||Nancy Ryan||Netflix miniseries; 2 episodes|
|2019||The Capture||Jessica Mallory||BBC series; 1 episode|
- Bringing Up Bobby (2011), as director, producer, writer
Awards and nominations
|1995||MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Pierce Brosnan)||GoldenEye||Nominated|
|1999||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Horror||House on Haunted Hill||Nominated|
|2000||Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Science Fiction||X-Men||Nominated|
|2006||Teen Choice Award for Choice Liplock (Shared with Hugh Jackman)||X-Men: The Last Stand||Nominated|
|2007||Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress||X-Men: The Last Stand||Won|
|2007||Hamptons International Film Festival for Special Recognition||Turn the River||Won|
|2007||Hamptons International Film Festival for Special Prize||Turn the River||Won|
|2016||Gold Derby TV Award for Drama Guest Actress||How to Get Away with Murder||Nominated|
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- College Tour: Famke Janssen kijk je op. npo.nl. 26 September 2014. Event occurs at 30:36. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
- "Famke Janssen Biography (1964?-)". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
- Shattuck, Kathryn (17 February 2017). "Famke Janssen Plays Another Lethal Woman in a 'Blacklist' Spinoff". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
So how old are you? ... I’m 52.
- Elias, Justine (15 November 1998). "Famke Janssen; Transformations As a Way of Life, Not Just on Screen". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Famke Janssen  Stage and Screen Performer". New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
Also note that Famke retained her family name Janssen but her sisters changed their family name to Beumer.
- Malanowski, Jamie (20 August 2000). "A Scene Stealer's Big Score". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
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- "Famke Janssen Exclamation perfume commercial". Retrieved 16 October 2011 – via YouTube.
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In 2007, she won three awards, the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress...
- Robert Yaniz Jr. "'The Wolverine': Hugh Jackman on Jean Grey's Return". Screen Rant. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Rob Keyes. "Famke Janssen on 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Return: 'Stay Tuned'". Screen Rant. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
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- "Famke Janssen at the Hollywood Life Magazine's Breakthrough of the..." Getty Images.
- "2007 Hamptons International Film Festival Awards". HamptonsFilmFest.org. 4 January 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Gilmore, Joan (5 August 2010). "Around Town: Bobby crew at JRB gallery". The Journal Record. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Gina McIntyre (27 May 2014). "'Hemlock Grove' first look: Famke Janssen, Bill Skarsgard in Season 2". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (29 March 2016). "The Blacklist Spinoff Starring Famke Janssen In the Works At NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (14 May 2016). "The Blacklist Spinoff Picked Up To Series, NBC, Cruel Intentions Alive". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
- Lewis, Hilary (16 April 2019). "Tribeca: Aaron Rodgers, Angela Bassett, Sheila Nevins Among Jurors". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Famke Janssen Is an Angel for Animals". PETA. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "UN Anti-Corruption Conference Opens in Bali". United Nations Information Service Vienna. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Child, Ben (25 April 2016). "Jansen said she could not understand why other X-men actors have been given older versions of themselves". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Ritman, Alex (7 October 2016). "Sharon Stone's 'A Little Something for Your Birthday Rounds Out Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (19 July 2016). "Rob Riggle, Famke Janssen, Wendi McMcLendon-Covey & More Round Out 'Status Update' Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (19 June 2017). "Cuba Gooding Jr's Helming Debut Is 'Louisiana Caviar'; Richard Dreyfuss & Famke Janssen Star". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- Busch, Anita (27 April 2017). "Famke Janssen Joining Cast Of Michael Caton-Jones' Movie 'Asher'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- McNary, Dave (15 May 2018). "Famke Janssen Joins John Travolta's Crime Thriller 'The Poison Rose' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
- Barraclough, Leo (15 May 2019). "Famke Janssen Joins Jeffrey Dean Morgan in 'The Postcard Killings,' First Look Image (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (27 November 2018). "'X-Men' Star Famke Janssen Boards Scott Speer's Drama 'Endless'". Deadline. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
- Hermanns, Grant (24 August 2018). "Famke Janssen & More Join Ava DuVernay's Central Park Five miniseries". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Clarke, Stewart (5 March 2019). "Ron Perlman, Famke Janssen, Laura Haddock Join BBC's 'The Capture' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
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