Charlotte Gainsbourg

  1. Laure Marsac, Le pirate, France, 1984.    “I went along to test although I had no interest… But I was jealous of the actress they chose.” There was enough incestuousness going on… what with her mother and uncle, (Jane and Andrew Birkin), playing a married couple divided by another woman (Marsac) and all this  frenetically directed by Jane’s new lover, Jacques Doillon.
  2. Fairuza Balk, Valmont, France, 1989.   Czech director Milos Forman offered her Cécile in his version of Les liaisons dangereuses. “I don’t like to talk about it.”
  3. Romaine Bohringer, L’Accompagntrice, France, 1992.  “It was always going to be Charlotte, of course,” said realisateur Claude Miller, who had made her a star with L’Effrontée, 1985, and La Petite voleuse, 1988.  “But I fell ill and by the time we started again, she had matured so much. She was no longer the same youngster.”
  4. Catherine Henry, Germinal, France, 1992.     Producer-director Claude Berri always knew who he  wanted for the top three in “Germ,” but Catherine, daughter of Gérard Depardieu’s Maheu, was difficult to find in the North of France – or in Paris, where finally, La Discrete  beat L’Effrontée.
  5. Christina Ricci, Buffalo 66, 1997.     Actor Vincent Gallo wrote his directing debut for Ricci but figuring the famous Wednesday Addams was still about 12, he looked elsewhere –  no further than “my favourite girl.”  Charlotte  read the  script and called him with good/bad news. She was pregnant.  Gallo gave Ricci a thorough make-over, turning Wednesday into Saturday night  – and she shone in her first adult role. “The movie’s OK,” summed up Gallo, “But it’s really  Christina, it’s only about her.”
  6. Kate Hudson, Almost Famous, 2000.  Looking for his Penny Lane groupie in his semi-autobiographical look back to his Rolling Stone reporter daze, auteur Cameron Crowe saw 48 of LA’s bright young things… Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Lara Flynn Boyle, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth, Maggie Gyllenhal, Alyson Hannigan, Angie Harmon, Anne Heche, Katherine Heigl, Jordan Ladd, Kimberly McCullough (busier as a TV director these days, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, etc), Rose McGowan, Bridget Moynahan, Brittany Murphy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Prepon, Lindsay Price, Christina Ricci, Rebecca Romijn, Winona Ryder, Chloë Sevigny, Marley Shelton Tori Spelling, Mena Suvari, Uma Thurman, Liv Tyler, Lark Voorhies.  Plus the English Saffron Burrows, Anna Friel, Thandiwe Newton and Rachel Weisz, Madrid’s Penélope Cruz, the French Charlotte Gainsbourg, Canada’s Natasha Henstridge, Ukrainian Milla Jovovich, Scottish Kelly Macdonald, Israeli Natalie Portman, German Franka Potente, Australian Peta Wilson and Welsh Catherine Zeta-Jones.  And the winner, Canada’s Sarah Polley, simply split. (Silly girl).  Crowe then chose Kate  (previously booked  for Anita) because “she seemed more like a free spirit.”  But, but, but… Chloë  was the freest spirit in all Hollywood. As she proved two years later in The Brown Bunny… in a way the others would never have dared.
  7. Coltilde Courau,  Embrassez qui vous voudrez (UK: Summer Things), France, 2002.     Writer-director Michel Blanc’s comedy lost very few artistes from his dream selection. The following year, Clotilde became The Princess of Venice by marrying  Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Italy.
  8. Audrey Tatou, Ensemble c’est tout (Hunting and Gathering),  France, 2007.  Realisateur-producer-scenaristClaude Berri’s first choice for Camille in his penultimate film.
  9. Bryce Dallas Howard, Terminator Salvation, 2008.  When Claire Danes refused to reprise Kate Connor (a doctor now, no longer a vet!), the French star was (surprisingly) offered the gig… which clashed with her overcrowded diary. Enter: The eternal First Reserve…  Ron Howard’s daughter made a whole career of replacing others: Claire here; Kirsten Dunst in The Village,2004; Nicole Kidman, Manderlay, 2005; Lindsay Lohan, The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, 2008; Rachelle Lefevre in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 2009.
  10. Eric Elmosnino, Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), France, 2009.   Now here’s a surprise… The biopic was always planned  with Serge Gainsbourg’s real life actress daughter, Charlotte, portraying hewr father  – a match for auteurJoann Sfar’s surreal approach.  However, after six months  of rehearsals, Charlotte could not continue…  “I’m sorry, It’s too emotionally painful for me.  You’ll have to make your beautiful film without me.” Sfar  and no further?  He was was at a loss on how to contiune when, by sheer happenstance, he met Elmosnino, an actor and Gainsbourg clone in many degrees.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  10