portraits
Portrait
Cinema

Virginie Efira

I avoid films that rely only on formulas. The idea of reaching out to as many people as possible is the noblest one, but it should not prohibit high standards and originality.

Becoming an actress at the age of 30, Franco-Belgian Virginie Efira began her career in popular romantic comedies before finding her place in art cinema. Eager to accept intelligent and ambiguous female roles, she rails against overly predictable projects.

Published on 23/12/2019

2 min

Born in Belgium in 1977, Virginie Efira gained French citizenship in 2016 after forging her path as an actress.

The daughter of a doctor and a beautician turned restaurateur, she was studying performing arts and taking drama classes when she was spotted at 19 in a bar presenting a Belgian teen music show. After hosting several television shows, she arrived in France at the age of 27 to do the same job, which brought her widespread fame. It was in 2004 that she landed her first film role in Garfield: The Movie. She then went on to star in romantic comedies, before meeting Justine Triet who cast her as a depressive heroine in Victoria, a film that would breathe new life into her career.

Best known as a former television host, Virginie Efira has gone on to star in romantic comedies:  a rejected woman in L'Amour c'est mieux à deux (The Perfect Date, 2010), a femme fatale in La Chance de ma vie (Second Chance, 2011) and a cougar in 20 ans d'écarts (It Boy, 2013). In 2016, Justine Triet offered her a role as a more complex woman in Victoria and revealed the actress's talent for tragicomedy, which impressed Catherine Corsini, Paul Verhoeven and Joaquim Lafosse: she led a men's swimming team in Le Grand Bain (Sink or Swim, 2018), played an unstable psychiatrist in Sybil (2019) and will soon play a lesbian nun in Benedetta (2020).

Capable of portraying vulnerable and powerful women on screen, Virginie Efira is keen to show her feminist beliefs in all her roles.

With Victoria, Virginie Efira received her first nomination for a César award and co-chaired the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival alongside Gilles Jacob. Two years later, she proved that her career was on the rise as she was nominated again, twice, for Un amour impossible (An Impossible Love) and Le Grand Bain.

  • 2004

    2004

    Virginie Efira takes her first steps into the film industry, providing the French-speaking voice of Jennifer Love Hewitt in "Garfield: The Movie"

  • 2013

    2013

    Release of "20 ans d'écart".

  • 2015

    2015

    Son rôle dans "Elle" est récompensé aux César.

  • 2016

    2016

    The actress meets Justine Triet and lands the leading role in her film "Victoria", which is released in the same year.

  • 2019

    2019

    Virginie Efira is nominated twice for a César for "Un amour impossible" and "Le Grand Bain".

The Institut français and the project

Un amour impossible (2017) with Virginie Efira has been screened internationally by the Institut français.

 

The Institut français offers a catalogue of over 2,500 titles, enabling the French cultural network and its partners to screen French films around the world.

Learn more about the film catalogue

L'institut français, LAB