Monday, October 03, 2011

Male on Monday: French Heart-Throbs

Our regular columnist Annie West is currently in France! Research is soo hard...

Being excited about this wonderful travel opportunity she decided to it was time to give the Male on Monday a French theme. So here are details of are some fave French actors for you to enjoy.

I thought this blog would be easy. A couple of photos, very few words and meanwhile I could enjoy my own French adventures. Wrong! My list of actors for inclusion kept growing and I had to keep pruning. Did I include only those who were handsome or those who seemed to have character? In the end I had to compromise with a couple of my favourite French actors and others I know friends adore. Sadly I had to leave out some for sheer lack of space. Like Daniel Auteil and Yves Montand.

So, to get us started, here's Alain Delon. A little long in the tooth now but a true heart throb for a generation. The son of a butcher, he was expelled from school six times before working as a waiter, salesman and porter in a food market and even spent time as a parachutist in the French marines. He's a friend of Brigitte Bardot and has his own brand of perfume. As for his films - I know you'll have fun looking them up yourself.

Ah, Christopher Lambert is the son of a French Diplomat who was posted to the USA when Christopher (Christophe) was born. He was educated in Switzerland and used to date Prince Stephanie of Monaco. As for his intense gaze (particularly noticeable when he played Tarzan), it's apparently the result of myopia at an early age. He often plays intense, highly focused characters. You might remember him in 'Highlander'.

Next we've got Olivier Martinez. Familiar? He once sold a living selling jeans - long before he was acclaimed one of France's sexiest men. An ex-boyfriend of Kylie Minogue, he's quoted as saying "I like Paris. My problem is I don't like Parisians." He was raised in Paris and lives there... Now that's an interesting outlook. He's known to many for his role in "Unfaithful".

Then there's Gaspard Ulliel. The baby of this group, he was born in 1984 and started acting at the age of just 12. His mother is a runway show producer and his father is a fashion designer. These days Gaspard is the face of Lonchamp, purveyor of leather and luxury goods. He's another who's been listed as one of France's sexiest men.

Vincent Cassel is the son of well known actor Jean Pierre Cassel. He has a taste for rap music and breakdance and enrolled in circus school at the age of 17. He's apparently good at Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art and he's often cast as a villain. He's quoted as saying "I love playing baddies". Somehow I get the feeling life would never be boring with Monsieur Cassel.

Gerard Depardieu. How could I leave him out? Here's a photo of him in his youth. He's almost a one man industry and a legend. He started his acting in a small travelling theatre after leaving school at 13 and training as a printer. He's an accomplished wine-maker who owns two restaurants in Paris. He's quotes as saying "I never really like the characters I play. I only come to love them afterwards." I wonder if any authors feel like that?

We'll end with Jean Reno. Though a French citizen he was actually born in Casablanca to Spanish parents and only moved to France at the age of 12. He speaks Spanish, English, French and Italian. For years he specialised in playing villains and tough guys. He can certainly do that 'don't mess with me' stare to perfection. More lately he's branched out into romantic comedy and action adventure.

Do you have a favourite French actor? Or have you never seen any French films? Does anyone have suggestions on where to start for those who haven't tried any - old black and white classics or something more modern?

This month Annie's hero Amir features in GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT. He might not be French but he has the looks, panache and the seductive technique you'd expect in a heart throb. Plus he's definitely hero material. The book's UK edition is still on sale online and it hits Australian and New Zealand bookstores in October. For details of the story, to read an excerpt or find links to buy it, go to Annie's website. You'll also find a new contest on Annie's site also with a French theme.


  1. Oh, Annie, what a delicious array of um... photographs! Would be hard to pick a favourite from among them. :-)

    One of my favourite French movies is the delightful and whimsical Amelie. It's a joy to watch.

  2. I watch very little TV and never go to movies but I do have a favorite French actor. Giles Marini is my hunk of choice. I know of him because my sister got me hooked on watching Dancing With the Stars and he was one of the contestants.

    That is a great looking bunch of actors you posted as well. I hope you enjoy your time in France.

  3. Hi Michelle, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. Wasn't Amelie fun? I spent a day in part of the area they used to film that - gorgeous!

  4. Hi Kaelee,

    Oh, I don't know Giles Marini. I'll definitely be looking him up when I get home. Thanks for the good wishes on the holiday in France. It's been gorgeous. My only problem is that I've put on weight with all the lovely food. We've had great weather, friendly people and terrific places to visit. Sigh.

  5. Ooh, Annie, what lovely eye candy to start my day here on the Sunshine Coast. Everything is looking...sunshinier! Great selection although I must admit Gaspard U is a new one to me. I must seek him out. I have a real soft spot for French movies, as you know. There's a tone in them that really appeals to me and I think they do a fabulous romantic comedy. Hardly surprising so many Hollywood hits have filched the plots from French Romcoms. Fave actors - well, all the ones you mention. But also Daniel Auteuil who has one of those ugly-interesting faces. Thierry L'Hermitte who has a real Cary Grant touch about him, especially when life goes awry for Mr. Cool as it almost invariably does in his films. A favourite of the Golden Age is Gerard Philippe who had his heyday in the 1950s. Tragically he died at the age of 37 but he was wonderful in historical romances and swashbucklers like Fanfan la Tulipe and The Charterhouse of Parma.

    Sounds like you're having a wonderful trip. I look forward to seeing the inspiration in future wonderful Annie West novels!

  6. I'm not really into french movies but I fell in love with Guillaume Depardieu when I was very young and watched Tous les matins du monde for the first time. He had an interesting relationship with his father. They made some movies together but Guillaume made it very clear that Gérard wasn't a good father.
    I was really shocked when Guillaume died nearly three years ago at the age of 37.