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Benoît Poelvoorde

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Title: Benoît Poelvoorde  
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Subject: Coco Before Chanel, Man Bites Dog (film), Une famille à louer, Asterix at the Olympic Games (film), Cinema of Belgium
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Benoît Poelvoorde

Benoît Poelvoorde
Benoît Poelvoorde in 2013
Born (1964-09-22) 22 September 1964
Namur, Belgium
Occupation Actor
Years active 1983–present

Benoît Poelvoorde (born 22 September 1964) is a Belgian actor[1] and comedian.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Selected filmography 3
    • Voice acting 3.1
    • Short films 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

His mother was a grocer and his father a driver, who died when Poelvoorde was still a minor. He attended the Jesuit Boarding School of Godinne before he left home at 17 to take classes at the Félicien Rops Technical Institute in Namur (Belgium) where he met Rémy Belvaux. He developed a passion for theater and became noted for his atypical interpretations. Not only was he was destined to become a draughtsman, he also developed professionality as a photographer. During his graphic design studies at the École de recherche graphique in Brussels, he also became friend with André Bonzel and, together with Rémy Belvaux, realized in 1988 Pas de C4 pour Daniel Daniel, his first movie, a student short film (which he co-directed and co-wrote). It was a stylized trailer for a mock-spy film.


Benoît Poelvoorde in 2007

In 1992, Poelvoorde, Delvaux and Bonzel directed together their first long feature C'est arrivé près de chez vous (Man Bites Dog internationally) originally a low-budget school graduation project (1992) and a kind of cynical "noir" movie, inspired from the famous Belgian series "Strip-Tease" which went on to become a critically acclaimed cult movie. The film received the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC).

Poelvoorde subsequently starred in two series on the French pay-channel Canal+ and several movies such as Les Randonneurs, Le Boulet and Podium, which made him famous in France and Belgium. In 2001, he starred in Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert, a funny and touching movie about one of his passions, bicycling. In 2002, he received the Jean Gabin Prize, which recognized the most hopeful young talents. Poelvoorde became a member of the Cannes Film Festival Jury in 2004, on Quentin Tarantino's request, a big fan of Man Bites Dog, who presided over the Jury, that year.

In 2005 he ranked in 7th place in the Walloon version of the Greatest Belgian. In the Flemish version he came in at nr. 400 outside the official list of nominations.

In 2008, his performance in the movie Astérix aux Jeux olympiques won him critical acclaim by both film critics and the public at large. His recurrent character as a pretentious person and a sore loser that he masters to perfection has drawn comparisons between him and the beloved French comedian Louis de Funès. Poelvoorde does not confine himself to goofy characters, he also played tortured roles. He has starred in 2009 as Etienne Balsan in Coco avant Chanel by Anne Fontain, with Audrey Tautou; as Jean-René in 2010 with Isabelle Carré in a charming comedy by Jean-Pierre Améris Émotifs anonymes about two extremely shy persons who fall in love, and also as August Maquet in L'autre Dumas by Safy Nebbou, alongside Gérard Depardieu and Dominique Blanc, a movie about the creative ghostwriter, Maquet, whose played a crucial role in the production of French writer Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers. In 2011, he won the Audience Award at the Magritte Awards.

The actor revealed in interviews,[2] that he suffered from bipolar disorder.

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1992 C'est arrivé près de chez vous ("Man Bites Dog") Ben Rémy Belvaux and André Bonzel
1997 Pour rire ("Just for Laughs") The innocent Lucas Belvaux
1997 Les Randonneurs ("Hikers") Éric Philippe Harel
1998 Les convoyeurs attendent ("The Carriers Are Waiting") Roger Benoît Mariage
2001 Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert ("Ghislain Lambert's Bicycle") Ghislain Lambert Philippe Harel
2002 Le Boulet ("Dead Weight") Francis Reggio Alain Berberian
2003 Rire et Châtiment ("Laughter and Punishment") The first aid instructor Isabelle Doval
2004 Podium Bernard Frédéric Yann Moix
2004 Atomik Circus, le retour de James Bataille ("The Return of James Battle") Allan Chiasse Didier Poiraud and Thierry Poiraud
2004 Narco Lenny Bar Tristan Aurouet and Gilles Lellouche
2004 Aaltra The motocross layman Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern
2005 Akoibon Jean-Mi Édouard Baer
2005 Entre ses mains ("In His Hands") Laurent Kessler Anne Fontaine
2006 Jean-Philippe Bernard Frédéric Laurent Tuel
2006 Selon Charlie ("Charlie Says") Joss Nicole Garcia
2008 Astérix aux Jeux olympiques ("Asterix at the Olympic Games") Brutus Thomas Langmann and Frédéric Forestier
2008 Louise Hires a Contract Killer Guy, the engineer Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine
2009 La Guerre des miss ("Beauties at War") Franck Chevrel Patrice Leconte
2009 Coco avant Chanel ("Coco Before Chanel") Anne Fontaine Étienne Balsan
2009 Bancs publics (Versailles Rive-Droite) ("Park Benches") The customer at the wardrobe Bruno Podalydès
2010 L'Autre Dumas ("The Other Dumas") Auguste Maquet Safy Nebbou
2010 Mammuth the competitor Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern
2010 Les Émotifs anonymes ("Romantics Anonymous") Jean-René Van Den Hugde Jean-Pierre Améris
2010 Kill Me Please Monsieur Demanet Olias Barco
2011 Rien à déclarer ("Nothing to Declare") Ruben Vandevoorde Dany Boon
2011 Mon pire cauchemar ("My Worst Nightmare") Patrick Anne Fontaine
2012 Le Grand Soir Benoît Savelli a.k.a. "Not" Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine
2013 Une histoire d'amour The banker Hélène Fillières
2014 Three Hearts Marc Benoît Jacquot
2015 The Brand New Testament God Jaco Van Dormael
2015 Une famille à louer Paul-André Delalande Jean-Pierre Améris
2016 Saint-Amour Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine

Voice acting

Short films


  1. ^ Willis, John (1 April 1995). Screen World 1994. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 231–.  
  2. ^ [in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir (6 February 2010 "Oui, je suis bipolaire")]

External links

  • Benoît Poelvoorde at the Internet Movie Database
  • Benoît Poelvoorde at AllMovie
  • (French) Theatre acting career summary (from L'Annuaire du Spectacle on the web siteCentre de recherche et de documentation littéraires et théâtrales de la Communauté française de Belgique)
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