25 August, 2010

French Bad Boy Romain Duris

by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor

French bad boy actor Romain Duris will be feted on screen for three Wednesdays starting tonight, as the BAMcinematek, one of New York's most adventurous arthouse cinemas, explores the work of one of Europe’s most popular young actors. Already a major star in his native France, Duris is building on that status in America with the upcoming stateside release of his newest hit, Pascal Chaumeil’s romantic comedy, HEARTBREAKER.

The series began this evening with the strong drama THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED (2005), which brought the young actor international recognition. The film won a top prize at the Berlin Film Festival and the young actor was nominated for his first Cesar Award as Best Actor.

Born in Paris in 1974, Romain Duris was a struggling actor until a casting director discovered him on the street and cast him in his debut in director Cédric Klapisch’s LE PERIL JEUNE (1994), which screens on September 8. Two years later, Duris reteamed with Klapisch for the slice-of-life comedy WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY (1996), a well-received French sleeper hit (which also screens on September 8). Over the next decade, Duris built a solid résumé in films like Roman Coppola’s CQ, Merchant-Ivory’s LE DIVORCE, Tony Gatliff’s GADJO DILO and Klapisch’s L’AUBERGE ESPANOLE, which was a major international hit.

Duris paired with fellow French film star Louis Garrel in DANS PARIS (2006), Christophe Honoré’s stylish drama about two brothers, that screens on September 1. This intoxicating mix of French New Wave mix and the stories of American novelist J.D. Salinger, is not as well known in the United States as it should be.

Duris' newest film is HEARTBREAKER, with the actor starring against model-singer-actress Vanessa Paradis (Mrs. Johnny Depp). The film has been a box office sensation in France, making over $40 million dollars. It will be released by specialty distributor IFC Films on September 10. For more information on the series, visit:

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