Isabelle Adjani was born on June 27, 1955 in Paris. She is the daughter of a French father of Algerian origin and a German mother of Bavarian origin. The star spent part of her childhood in an HLM in Gennevilliers before continuing her secondary studies in Reims. It was at the age of 14 that she obtained a first role in a children’s film, Le Petit Bougnat.
“From the age of 11, I read great texts and works on psychoanalysis, I wanted to penetrate the unconscious of writing, to find its secrets; for that I said them, played them. Even if my first ambitions were rather to save the world, to work in the humanitarian field. But now, in 1969, Bernard Toublanc-Michel’s assistants are running around the suburbs for a role in Le Petit Bougnat. My French teacher advises them to audition me, my parents give their permission, I’m taken. Finally, something was happening in my life, the very summer when we walked on the Moon,” she told Télérama magazine in 2009.
Two years later, she played alongside young actors Francis Huster, Jacques Weber and Muriel Catala in the feature film Faustine and the Beautiful Summer. Thanks to her good linguistic abilities, she is fluent in German, English and Italian, she obtains the main female role in the Germanic film Nosferatu, ghost of the night. She plays perfectly in the language of Shakespeare in the feature films Driver, Possession, Quartet or Diabolique.
From the 1970s, Isabelle Adjani joined the Comédie-Française. She played in the play La Maison de Bernarda Alba and L’École des femmes before being noticed by the flagship director of the New Wave François Truffaut. The latter writes her a letter to offer her a role in his next film The Story of Adèle H. Thanks to her successful performance, she is nominated for the first time for the Cesar as well as for the Oscars.
The mid-1970s marked a turning point in the career of the actress. Thanks to her acting, she won no less than four Césars for the films Possession, La Reine Margot, L’été murdereur and La Journée de la Jupe.
While in 2003, Isabelle Adjani agreed to embody the resistance Marie-Madeleine Fourcade in a fiction on TF1, the project was finally canceled and the star disappeared from the media for almost three years. She returned in the fall of 2006 to the stage of the Théâtre Marigny in the title role of the play La Dernier Nuit for Marie Stuart. After her return, Isabelle Adjani is offered many projects in the cinema.
She agrees to play for director Maïwenn alongside Alain Delon, but the latter withdraws from the project and the film does not see the light of day. After that, she again agrees to play in a musical comedy by Maïwenn, Le Bal des acteurs, but after reading the script, she withdraws from the project. While the star was to shoot in a New York short film, I Love You, his participation was finally canceled after the death of the director.
While the actress has become increasingly rare in the cinema, she decided to return to the front of the stage in the play adapted from John Cassavetes’ film Opening Night in February 2019.
“For years I didn’t go to the theatre. I separated from a part of me. Painful period of self-inflicted disgrace where I deserted myself. While I was shooting ‘Carole Matthieu’, the film by Louis-Julien Petit in Lille, I attended ‘Nobody’ directed by Cyril Teste at the Théâtre du Nord. What a shock, this virtuosity of the Montpellier collective in taking over Falk Richter’s text and this unprecedented manifesto of film performance! After the show, I wanted to share my admiring excitement with the actors. Cyril was there. I was intimidated. He watched me with gentle reserve, his intuition alert. Then, thanks to my friend Valérie Six, member of the management team of the Odéon, the thread woven between us was maintained, via messages exchanged. Until considering a common artistic history”, she confided in Les Échos.
While Isabelle Adjani returns to the cinema next July in Peter von Kant by François Ozon, the 67-year-old star would be in legal trouble. According to information revealed in the newspaper Liberation, she would have been indicted in a fraud case. Revealing last Friday that a former consultant would have filed a complaint in 2015, accusing him of having falsified the repayment of his debts to him.
As our colleagues from Liberation indicate, this strategy consultant (Sébastien G.) was the manager of Isabelle Adjani’s company, Isia Films, in 2011. Among his tasks, “he opens a line of credit for her on his personal bank account, pays some of his taxes, has him assigned an American Express card”, relays the daily. But the collaboration between the two protagonists turned sour the following year, after the latter would have noticed the crazy spending of the star with his card.
“In July 2012, Sébastien G. withdrew his bank card, which seemed to function like a bottomless pit. Four days later, he was dismissed from his role as manager of Isia Films”, we learn in the pages of the newspaper. While Isabelle Adjani owed 157,000 euros advanced by her ex-right-hand man, she would have shown good faith by sending him proof of her transfers.
However, not everything would have gone as planned. “But in reality, the money would never have reached its recipient,” writes the media. While the boss of Bestimage, Mimi Marchand, would have been implicated in this affair, the actress Isabelle Adjani (opposed to the famous businesswoman in the tabloid press) would have been indicted in 2020. “I don’t do any comment on this old case which is heading for a dismissal because there is no charge”, estimated Me Olivier Pardo, the lawyer of the actress and singer, who would also be quoted in the Panama Papers.