Léa Seydoux is back as a Bond girl: Here’s seven things to know about her

French actress Léa Seydoux will be returning as Bond girl Dr Madeleine Swann in the upcoming film, producers have confirmed. Here's seven things to know about an actress who made her name in an steamy lesbian love movie.

Léa Seydoux is back as a Bond girl: Here's seven things to know about her
France's Léa Seydoux is the latest 'Bond girl'. Photo: AFP

1. Family in the right places

Seydoux is well connected within the movie industry. She is the grandaughter of Jérome Seydoux, who is the chairman of French cinema giant Pathé, and her great uncle is Nicolas Seydoux who chairs another French film group Gaumont. But despite the roots in the film world, the 30-year-old has repeatedly insisted she has never been given any leg-ups by her family.


2. Failed opera singer

Seydoux wanted to be an opera singer as a child and studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris. She still loves music, but gave up on her opera dreams because she said she didn’t have enough talent.

3. Palme d'Or success

The actress is one of only three women who have been awarded the coveted Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

She was awarded the gong in 2013 along with co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos for their performances in the lesbian love film Blue is the Warmest Colour along with the movie's director Abdellatif Kechiche.

The only other woman to have received the prize is Jane Campion.

4. From lesbian icon to villain

Although best known for her role as a blue-haired lesbian in Blue is the Warmest Colour, Seydoux last year stirred more than a little controversy for suggesting in an interview with a magazine that gay women were not as beautiful as straight women.  Seydoux was featured in the August issue of French Grazia, the women’s fashion and gossip magazine, and gave a lengthy interview, during which she made controversial comments about lesbians and female beauty.

While speaking about her own self-image, Seydoux said the following:

“There have been moments where I’ve found myself pretty and sexy, but there are times when I find myself much less beautiful – a bit of a lesbian, you could say (laughs).”

The actress did immediately try to qualify her remarks by adding: “I’m not saying that lesbians aren’t beautiful,” but the damage was done.

5. Topless for French men's magazine

When ‘Lui’, the legendary French lads' mag of the 1970s – France’s answer to Playboy – made an audacious return to the shelves last year, the comeback edition's cover-girl was of course Léa Seydoux, who was photographed in several soft porn poses.

6. Dream birthday guests

Seydoux once said that her dream birthday party guests would be: Frierich Nietzsche, Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin, Maria Callas and Serge Gainsbourg. 

7. Grand Central and Grand Budapest

Seydoux has of course been in other movies other than Blue is the Warmest Colour. In Grand Central, she starred as a married woman who has an affair with a man who works at a nuclear power station, played by Tahar Rahim.

She also featured in American director Wes Anderson's latest film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel,' along with Ralph Fiennes and Jude Law.

SEE ALSO: From an icon for lesbians to a 'homophobic' villain

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French films with English subtitles to watch in November

As days get shorter and temperatures drop, November is a great month to enjoy a warm and comforting moment at the cinema. Here’s a round up of the French movies with English subtitles to see in Paris this month.

Cinema in France
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

The cinema group Lost in Frenchlation runs regular screenings of French films in the capital, with English subtitles to help non-native speakers follow the action. The club kicks off every screening with drinks at the cinema’s bar one hour before the movie, so it’s also a fun way to meet people if you’re new to Paris.

These are the events they have coming up in November.

Friday, November 5th

Boîte Noire – What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? In this thriller Matthieu, a young and talented black box analyst played by Pierre Niney (star of Yves Saint-Laurent among other movies) is determined to solve the reason behind this deadly crash, no matter the costs. 

The screening will take place at the Club de l’étoile cinema at 8pm. But you can arrive early for drinks at the bar from 7pm. 

Tickets are €10 full price, €8 for students and all other concessions, and can be reserved here.

Sunday, November 14th

Tralala – In the mood for music? This new delightful French musical brings you into the life of Tralala (played by Mathieu Amalric), a 48 years old, homeless and worn-out street singer, who one day gets mistaken for someone else. Tralala sees an opportunity to get a better life by taking on a new personality. He now has a brother, nephews, ex-girlfriends, and maybe even a daughter. But where is the lie? Where is the truth? And who is he, deep down?

The night will start with drinks from 6pm followed by the screening at 7pm at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema. There is also a two-hour cinema-themed walk where you’ll be taken on a “musicals movie tour” in the heart of Paris, which begins at 4pm.

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here. Tickets for the walking tour cost €20 and must be reserved online here.

Thursday, November 18th

Illusions Perdues – Based on the great novel series by Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843, this historical drama captures the writer Lucien’s life and dilemmas who dreams about a great career of writing and moves to the city to get a job at a newspaper. As a young poet entering the field of journalism, he is constantly challenged by his desire to write dramatic and eye-catching stories for the press. But are they all true?

The evening will kick off with drinks at L’Entrepôt cinema bar at 7pm, followed by the movie screening at 8pm. Tickets are available online here, and cost €8.50 full price; €7 for students and all other concessions.

Sunday, November 21st

Eiffel – Having just finished working on the Statue of Liberty, Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris) is tasked with creating a spectacular monument for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. It’s ultimately his love story with Adrienne Bourgès (Emma Mackey) that will inspire him to come up with the idea for the Eiffel Tower.

After a first screening last month, Lost in Frenchlation is organising a new one at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville cinema, with pre-screening drinks at the cinema bar. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here

Thursday, November 25th

Les Héroïques – Michel is a former junkie and overgrown child who only dreams of motorbikes and of hanging out with his 17-year-old son Léo and his friends. But at 50 years old, he now has to handle the baby he just had with his ex, and try not to make the same mistakes he has done in the past. 

The film will be followed by a Q&A with the director Maxime Roy who will discuss his very first feature. 

Tickets cost €10, or €8 for students and concessions, and can be found here.

Full details of Lost in Frenchlation’s events can be found on their website or Facebook page. In France, a health pass is required in order to go to the cinema.