Emmanuelle Beart, Manon des Sources

Emmanuelle Beart

Emmanuelle Beart, French beauty and star of 'Manon des Sources'

Born August 14, 1963 in St. Tropez on the French Riviera, Beart has starred in more than 50 movies, of which 'Manon des Sources' (1986) is her best and most famous.

Aged 20, Beart swam naked in a spring in 'Manon des Sources', which attracted worldwide attention. Since then, she has been willing to cast off her clothes whenever a role demanded it. In La Belle Noiseuse, in which she played an artist's model, her clothes were off for most of the movie.

Sometimes, I have the feeling, she says, that when you are 20 years old and people say, 'Oh, she's beautiful,' it sticks to you. Am I beautiful? It depends on the day, it depends on my life. Beauty is not something you can count on.

Emmanuelle Beart

Emmanuelle Beart. See Isabelle Hupert

French director Claude Chabrol says of Beart: She has the face of a virgin and the body of a whore. This annoys Beart, who says: In France, the public has this image of me as very sexual. I am always fighting against that. This is just one of my faces. I want to use all my powers, open all the windows, all the doors.

Sometimes, I have said that I am like a whore. As actresses, we have to respond to the desire or fantasy of the director or the producer... So, when I'm really angry, I have said, 'OK, I've been paid, so take me. I'll be your whore.'

In her teens, Beart was discovered by Vogue magazine and the director Robert Altman. After drama school in Paris came Manon des sources and, since then, the parts have poured in. Her English-language roles include Mission Impossible and the terrifying Vinyan.

Buy Emmanuelle Beart's hottest movies: Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (MGM World Films) and La Belle Noiseuse.

See more French actresses.

By Athina Simonidou