Biography

Gallic actress Mélanie Thierry began her ascent to fame as a much sought-after child and teen model in France, then moved into acting. She developed an early screen reputation (and seemed typecast in roles for a considerable period of time) as a siren-like waif with a mesmeric quality that invariably bewitched male characters. (For that reason, more than one source openly compared Thierry to onetime Vadim muse Brigitte Bardot.) She began with a series of roles in French productions that failed to travel abroad and thus confined the actress' recognition to her native country. Not long after, however, the actress scored an international crossover hit at age 18 as the lover of ship-bound Danny Boodman T.D. Lemon 1900 (Tim Roth), who very nearly lures him off of the boat where he resides, in Giuseppe Tornatore's "epic fable" The Legend of 1900 (1998); this arrived back to back with a similar turn as a contemporary Esmerelda in director Patrick Timsit's whimsical Hunchback of Notre Dame update Quasimodo d'El Paris (1999). Thierry shifted gears somewhat as the female lead in the supernatural comedy Jojo la Frite (2002), portrayed an injured teenager in Julien Leclercq's Chrysalis (2007), and made her Hollywood debut as one of two romantic leads of action star Vin Diesel in the sci-fi opus Babylon A.D. (2008) -- a U.S.-French international co-production directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi