|Cotillard was born in Paris and grew up around Orléans, Loiret in an artistically inclined, "bustling, creative household". Her father, Jean-Claude Cotillard, is an actor, teacher, director, and former mime, and her mother, Niseema Theillaud is also an actress. She has two younger twin brothers named Quentin and Guillaume, the first being a sculptor/painter (he lives in the US) and the second one a writer. Cotillard is known to be ecologically minded, and has served as a spokesperson for Greenpeace letting the organisation use her apartment for testing products.|
Cotillard began acting during her childhood, appearing on stage in one of her father's plays. Her career as a film actress began in the mid-1990s. She rose to prominence in the late 1990s when she was cast in the Luc Besson production Taxi (1998) as Lili Bertineau, a role that she reprised in two sequels. She then earned very good reviews and the attention of cinephiles via her portrayal of twins who exchange their lives after one of them dies in Les Jolies Choses.
Although more widely known in France, Cotillard is building an international presence. In 2003, her reputation was considerably enhanced, When she was also buoyed by her role in Tim Burton's film Big Fish, opposite Billy Crudup and Albert Finney, which introduced her to English-speaking audiences, it also became her first critical, and financially successful film. This lead to two more critically successful film's into 2004, known as A Very Long Engagement, where Cotillard further demonstrated the range of her abilities by playing the murderous Tina Lombardi,and the drama mystery Innocence. She also Sophie Kowalski in Yann Samuell's Jeux d'enfants (Love Me If You Dare), which proved her ability to play a complex yet appealing modern romantic lead, though the film received mixed reviews. She recently in Ridley Scott's A Good Year. She was chosen among hundreds of candidates to portray the iconic French chanteuse Édith Piaf in Olivier Dahan's biopic La Môme (English title: La Vie En Rose), dubbed "the most awaited film of 2007" in France.
Cotillard is currently in talks to play Luisa Contini in the film adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical Nine (musical). The part of Luisa Contini had previously been played by Karen Akers in the original 1982 production and more recently Mary Stuart Masterson in the Tony-Award winning 2003 revival also starring Antonio Banderas, Jane Krakowski, Chita Rivera, and Laura Benanti. The film is to be directed by DGA winner Rob Marshall and it is scheduled for release in 2008.
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