Marina Foïs

My tastes are very eclectic and not very rational. I love Borat as much as I do Cassavetes, Truffaut and Judd Appatow, and my career is just like me.

Unbridled, engaged and passionate, Marina Foïs has won over the French audience with her humour and complexity.

In cinema, the Franco-Italian has made an eclectic career for herself, deliberately alternating between popular comedies and author films.

Updated on 09/04/2020

2 min

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt in 1970, Marina Foïs is the daughter of a researcher in thermonuclear physics and a psychologist. From as early as age 5, however, she decided she wanted to become an actress and started acting classes. Enrolled in distance schooling for the academic side, Marina Foïs trained in drama at Cours Florent, where she joined the Robin des Bois troupe. With its saucy humour, the troupe quickly attracted the attention of television producers and reached its height in the late 1990s.

Though she began her film career in the Canadian series Shehaweh (1993), Marina Foïs, with a lust for the absurd, rose to prominence in popular French comedies. 

In 2007, Christine Carrière gave her the first role in her film Darling, revealing the actress’s dramatic talent. Comfortable in this more complex register, Marina Foïs became one of the most renowned French actresses of her day. 

Marina Foïs’ career oscillates between popular comedies and dramatic films. A complex actress who loves humour, especially when it borders on the absurd, she questions the representation of contemporary women in cinema with each of her roles. 

Since Darling (2007) when she brought down the house as a hare-brained hairdresser, she has been regularly called upon by the great directors, including Maïwenn (Le Bal des Actrices, 2009, Polisse, 2011), Christophe Honoré (Non ma fllle tu n’iras pas danser, 2009, Les Idoles, 2018) and Laurent Cantet (L’Atelier, 2017).

For her roles, Marina Foïs goes from the courtroom to the political arena, from engaged comedies to social dramas....

With Filles perdues, cheveux gras (2003) Marina Fois received her first César nomination in 2003 as Most Promising Young Actress. 

With French and Italian roots, she has also become a regular at the César Awards, with 5 nominations as Best Actress, illustrating her growing talent over the years. Although she has never come away with the prized trophy, in 2011 she was awarded a Globe de Cristal for her jaw-dropping performance in Maïwenn’s Polisse (2011). 

With her many films, often shown at the Cannes Film Festival — including Le Grand Bain (2018) and Périclès le Noir (2016) — the actress is actively involved in promoting French cinema internationally. 


  • 1993


    Marina Foïs appears on screen for the first time in the Canadian television film Shehaweh.

  • 1996


    The actress joins the cast of Robin des Bois.

  • 2002


    Theatre release of Asterix and Obelix: Cleopatra's Mission, in which she played Sucettalanis.

  • 2003


    Marina Foïs is nominated for her first César as Most Promising Young Actress for Filles perdues, cheveux gras.

  • 2008


    The actress moved into drama with Darling and received her first César nomination for Best Actress.

  • 2012


    Marina Foïs won the Crystal Globe for Best Actress for Polisse by Maiwenn, and was again nominated for the César for Best Actress.

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You can now find Marina Foïs in three films broadcast internationally by the Institut français : Irréprochable (2016) by Sébastien Marnier, L'Atelier (2017) by Laurent Cantet, Une intime conviction (2018) by Antoine Raimbault.


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