Actress

Although most American moviegoers know Cotillard only as Edith Piaf in “La Vie en rose,” the French actress has already enjoyed a 14-year film career in which she has done everything from blockbusters (the Luc Besson-spawned “Taxi” series) to arthouse oddities (“Innocence”). And while she dubbed the Piaf songs to perfection, she had already showed off her own impressive pipes in the dual role of a goody-goody and her evil twin in the blistering music-biz romp “Les jolies choses.”

France has a slim history of making musicals and biopics, but boasts a pretty good track record for exporting talented actresses Yanks adore, and Cotillard has turned in English-language perfs in Tim Burton’s “Big Fish,” Abel Ferrara’s “Mary” and Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year.”

Born to two thesps, Cotillard calls them her teachers. “But I don’t think you learn how to act,” she says. “You learn how to use your emotions and feelings, and my first teacher was my mother (Niseema Theillaud) and then I worked with my father (Jean-Claude Cotillard), who helped me to find in myself all those emotions and how to play with the emotions.”

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