Virginie Efira (born 5 May 1977) is a Belgian-French actress and television presenter.
Efira in 2016
|Occupation||Actress, television presenter|
|Years active||2005 - present|
(m. 2002; div. 2005)
|Partner(s)||Niels Schneider (present)|
Efira got her first leading role in the romantic comedy It Boy (2013). She subsequently received critical praise for her performance in the comedy-drama In Bed with Victoria (2016), for which she received a Magritte Award for Best Actress as well as a César Award for Best Actress nomination. She then appeared in Paul Verhoeven's psychological thriller Elle (2016), the drama An Impossible Love (2018) and the comedy-drama Sibyl (2019).
She is the daughter of Professor André Efira, hemato-oncologist, and Carine Verelst. Efira is of partial Greek descent.
1998–2008: Television anchor
She was first hired by Club RTL (A Belgian TV channel in the RTL Group) to present a children's show called Mégamix. She went on to present other programmes in Belgium, including A la recherche de la nouvelle Star. In September 2002 she was offered the job of the presenter of Belgian's version of Star Academy.
After casting to be a weather girl on France's M6 channel, she was soon pushed into the limelight as one of M6's main public faces, presenting shows such as Le Grand Zap, La saga des ..., Follement Gay, Absolument 80/90, Le Grand Piège and Drôles d'équipes. She was the host of Classé Confidentiel for one year, before replacing Benjamin Castaldi as the host of the popular musical reality show Nouvelle Star for the end of the show's fourth series. She also presents various shows on RTL-TVi (a spin-off channel in the RTL Group).
2004–2015: Early roles and romantic parts
Efira's film career took off in 2004, appearing as Dr. Liz Wilson in the French-language version of Garfield: The Movie, as well as playing Piper in the French version of the 2005 film Robots. She also voiced the characters of Kitty Softpaws in Puss in Boots and Mavis in Hotel Transylvania (2012), Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018). Efira also guest-starred in two episodes of the highly successful French show Kaamelott.
In 2010, she participated in Rendez-vous en terre inconnue. Efira next had a supporting role as a social worker in the comedy-drama My Worst Nightmare (2011) directed by Anne Fontaine, opposite Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Poelvoorde and André Dussollier. The following year, she won the Audience Award at the 2nd Magritte Awards.
In 2013, Efira starred alongside Pierre Niney in the romantic comedy It Boy, about a 38-year-old woman and her relationship with a teenage boy. The film was highly successful in France and garnered positives reviews. Regarding her performance, Variety wrote she "has a particular talent for transmitting thoughts and eliciting laughs using facial expressions alone, a gift that gets another glorious workout here".
2016–present: Expansion to dramatic roles
In 2016, Efira starred in the romantic comedy-drama In Bed with Victoria, about a single mom and criminal lawyer who goes through a midlife crisis. The film was screened in the International Critics' Week section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where it obtained very favourable reviews. Efira's performance was described by The Hollywood Reporter as both "vibrant" and "well-tuned", and earned her a Magritte Award for Best Actress as well as a César Award for Best Actress nomination. That same year, Efira had a small but crucial role opposite Isabelle Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's psychological thriller Elle. Her final release of 2016 was Up for Love, a romantic comedy with Jean Dujardin, in which she played a lawyer who falls in love with a man of diminutive stature. The following year, she made a guest appearance as herself in one episode of the successful French series Call My Agent!.
In 2018, Efira took on the leading role in the drama An Impossible Love, Catherine Corsini's adaptation of the best-selling novel by Christine Angot – the story of the incestuous father of Angot and her mother who has not seen anything. The film and her performance received critical acclaim. Screen International felt that the actress "previously known for lighter material (In Bed With Victoria), shows herself more than capable of a heavyweight dramatic role, subtly maturing from romantic 20s to careworn middle age" and also added that "she offers a powerful, assured performance in a film that's likely to score highly both as a superior and very accessible melodrama and as an intelligent conversation piece". She received Cesar Award, Globe de Cristal Award and Lumières Award nominations in the Best Actress category for her performance in the film.
That same year, Efira was part of the ensemble cast in the comedy Sink or Swim directed by Gilles Lellouche, which was screened out of competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, and earned her a Cesar Award nomination, for Best Supporting Actress. Also in 2018, her performance in the drama Keep Going was praised, with The Hollywood Reporter writing that she "is excellent here as a woman caught between her fiercely independent nature and her desire to be a good mother, trying to steer her son on the right path". The following year, Efira starred in the comedy-drama Sibyl, her second collaboration with director Justine Triet, playing a psychotherapist who wants to return to writing. The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it received mostly positive reviews with particular praise for Efira's performance. Variety stated that "Sibyl seals the arrival of Efira, once pegged as a likable but lightweight comedienne, as a first-class leading lady of consistently expanding range and elan — with the emotional honesty and deadpan pluck to pull off the more outrageous character turns in Triet and Arthur Harari’s limber original script." while The Hollywood Reporter felt that "the actress plays several roles at the same time — the astute psychologist, the struggling author, the affectionate yet neglectful mom, the fervid lover in two very candid sex scenes — and she does each one extremely well, turning Sibyl’s altered states into a whole that reflects her drive to be many things at once."
In 2020, Efira reunited with Paul Verhoeven to appear as Benedetta Carlini, a 17th-century nun who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions, in the historical drama Benedetta.
She was married to Patrick Ridremont from 2002 to 2005 when they separated. They filed for divorce in February 2009. From 2013 to 2014, she was engaged to Mabrouk El Mechri, with whom she has a daughter, Ali, born 24 May 2013 in Paris. She is now in a relationship with Niels Schneider. She was granted French citizenship in 2016.
|Africains poids-moyens||2005||Vickie Marie||Daniel Cattier||Short film|
|The Barons||2009||The Artist||Nabil Ben Yadir|
|Le Siffleur||2010||Candice||Philippe Lefebvre|
|L'amour c'est mieux à deux||2010||Angèle||Dominique Farrugia & Arnaud Lemort|
|Kill Me Please||2010||Inspector Evrard||Olias Barco||Nominated – Magritte Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|La chance de ma vie||2011||Joanna Sorini||Nicolas Cuche||Monte-Carlo Comedy Film Festival – Best Actress|
|My Worst Nightmare||2011||Julie||Anne Fontaine|
|Hénaut Président||2012||Herself||Michel Muller|
|Dead Man Talking||2012||Élisabeth Lacroix||Patrick Ridremont|
|It Boy||2013||Alice Lantins||David Moreau|
|Les Invincibles||2013||Caroline||Frédéric Berthe|
|Turning Tide||2013||Marie Drevil||Christophe Offenstein|
|Une famille à louer||2015||Violette||Jean-Pierre Améris|
|The Sense of Wonder||2015||Louise||Éric Besnard|
|Et ta sœur||2016||Marie||Marion Vernoux|
|Up for Love||2016||Diane||Laurent Tirard||Nominated – Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actress|
|Elle||2016||Rebecca||Paul Verhoeven||Nominated – Magritte Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|In Bed with Victoria||2016||Victoria||Justine Triet||Magritte Award for Best Actress |
Nominated — César Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Lumières Award for Best Actress
|Pris de court||2017||Nathalie||Emmanuelle Cuau|
|Sink or Swim||2018||Delphine||Gilles Lellouche||Nominated – Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|An Impossible Love||2018||Rachel||Catherine Corsini||Nominated — César Award for Best Actress |
Nominated — Globe de Cristal Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Lumières Award for Best Actress
|Keep Going||2018||Sybille||Joachim Lafosse|
|Benedetta||2020||Benedetta Carlini||Paul Verhoeven|
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|Kaamelott||2006-2009||Berlewen, Bohort's wife||Alexandre Astier||Television series, 2 episodes|
|Un amour de fantôme||2007||Anna||Daniel Cattier||Television film|
|Off Prime||2007||Herself||Television series|
|En chantier, monsieur Tanner||2010||The Banker||Stefan Liberski||Television film|
|À la maison pour Noël||2011||Sarah||Christian Merret-Palmair||Television film|
|La Folle Soirée du Palmashow 3||2016||Herself||Television series|
|Call My Agent!||2017||Herself||Laurent Tirard||Television series, 1 episode|
|Garfield: The Movie||2004||Dr. Liz Wilson||Peter Hewitt||French voice|
|Robots||2005||Piper||Chris Wedge & Carlos Saldanha||French voice|
|Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties||2006||Dr. Liz Wilson||Tim Himm||French voice|
|Max & Co||2008||Cathy||Samuel Guillaume & Frédéric Guillaume|
|Puss in Boots||2011||Kitty Softpaws||Chris Miller||French voice|
|Hotel Transylvania||2012||Mavis||Genndy Tartakovsky||French voice|
|Hotel Transylvania 2||2015||Mavis||Genndy Tartakovsky||French voice|
|Drôles de petites bêtes||2017||Huguette the wasp||Arnaud Bouron & Antoon Krings|
|Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation||2018||Mavis||Genndy Tartakovsky||French voice|
Awards and nominations
|2012||Magritte Award||Audience Award||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress||Kill Me Please||Nominated|
|2017||César Award||Best Actress||In Bed with Victoria||Nominated|
|Lumières Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Magritte Award||Best Actress||Won|
|Best Supporting Actress||Elle||Nominated|
|Globes de Cristal Awards||Best Actress||Up for Love||Nominated|
|2019||César Award||Best Actress||An Impossible Love||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Sink or Swim||Nominated|
|Globes de Cristal Awards||Best Actress||An Impossible Love||Nominated|
|Lumières Award||Best Actress||Nominated|
- "Magritte : Virginie Efira, la préférée du public". La Libre Belgique (in French). 5 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- van Hoeij, Boyd (30 April 2013). "Film Review: 'It Boy'". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Mintzer, Jordan (12 May 2016). "'In Bed With Victoria' ('Victoria'): Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Nesselson, Lisa (12 May 2016). "'In Bed With Victoria': Cannes Review". Screen International. London, England: Media Business Insight. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- DeFore, John (13 March 2016). "'Up for Love' ('Un homme à la hauteur'): SIFF Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Romney, Jonathan (19 October 2018). "'An Impossible Love': London Review". Screen International. London, England: Media Business Insight. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Mintzer, Jordan (31 August 2018). "'Keep Going' ('Continuer'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Lodge, Guy (24 May 2019). "Cannes Film Review: 'Sibyl'". Variety. Los Angeles, California: Michelle Sobrino-Stearns. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- Mintzer, Jordan (24 May 2019). "'Sibyl': Film Review : Cannes 2019". The Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles, California: Eldridge Industries. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- Goodfellow, Melanie (29 August 2018). "First image of Paul Verhoeven's newly titled nun drama 'Benedetta'". Screen International. London, England: Media Business Insight. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "La fin d'une belle histoire". La Dernière Heure (in French). 17 August 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Bernard, Sophie (13 February 2009). "Virginie Efira divorce en direct" (in French). News-de-stars.com. Archived from the original on 14 February 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Virginie Efira est maman". Pure People (in French). 26 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- This article is based on the translation of the corresponding article of the French Wikipedia.
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