France is well-known worldwide as a country of good food, good wine and good style. What is generally overlooked, however, is its incredible cinematic culture and the country's plentiful supply of promising actors and actresses. Prominent both in terms of talent and of wealth, France's acting community is all too often skimmed over in favour of the hoards of British and American actors and actresses with which we are bombarded every day in the media.
France has long boasted a fantastic selection of filmography, examples of which include Otto Preminger's 1958 Bonjour Tristesse, and the 1960 À bout de souffle by Jean-Luc Godard. Actors of this era were also impressive, including in their number actor and director Jean Marais, and Jean Seberg, star of both aforementioned films.
Nowadays, the French contingent of acting is still a tour de force. In recent years, there have been several well-respected films of French extract which reached the mainstream media. The 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie is a perfect example of this, given its enormous popularity in primarily English-speaking countries, despite the fact that the film is in French. The 2009 biography film based on the life of famous designer and entrepreneur Coco Chanel, Coco Before Chanel, achieved a similar level of acclaim. The 2012 TV mini-series Les Revenants, or The Returned, also proved exceedingly popular when it was released in the UK in 2013, again despite the fact that it was entirely in French.
Clearly there is a market for the French film, and accordingly it seems logical that a substantial amount of this appeal comes courtesy of the country's actors and actresses. France is lucky to have a spectacular acting community, varying from classic vintage actresses such as Brigitte Bardot all the way to the likes of modern-day icon Audrey Tautou. This list compiles ten of France's wealthiest actors and actresses, along with the main sources of their income.
10 Gilles Marini — $1.5 million
9 Christopher Lambert — $5 million
8 Eva Green — $10 million
7 Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Marion Cotillard — $15 million
6 Vincent Cassel — $20 million
5 Brigitte Bardot — $45 million
4 Gérard Depardieu — $120 million
3 Cleménce Poésy — $141 million
2 Audrey Tautou — $145 million
1 Guillaume Canet — $275 million
At number one is French actor, entrepreneur, director, producer, and husband to Marion Cotillard, Guillaume Canet. Born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1973, Canet is today worth around two hundred and seventy-five million dollars. As a child he had wanted to be a professional horse-rider, but was thwarted by a bad fall. However, this directed him towards working with films, which has proved a decidedly lucrative career path. Canet has directed numerous films such as Little White Lies and Blood Ties, which he also produced. He has appeared in such films as The Beach, Narco, and Love Me If You Dare, the last of which co-starred his wife-to-be. Canet is already an unquestionable star in France, and with his professional endeavours consistently gaining more and more attention, he could well become one of the world's biggest stars in a very short space of time.
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