Kassovitz at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival
|Occupation||Actor, director, screenwriter, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Julie Mauduech (divorced; 1 child)|
Aurore Lagache (separated; 2 children)
Kassovitz was born in Paris, the son of Chantal Rémy, a film editor, and Peter Kassovitz, a director and writer. His mother is a French Roman Catholic, and his father is a Hungarian-Jew who left during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. (Mathieu has described himself as "not Jewish but I was brought up in a world of Jewish humor".)
As a filmmaker, Kassovitz has made several artistic and commercial successes. He wrote and directed La Haine (Hate, 1996), a film dealing with themes around class, race, violence, and police brutality. The film won the César Award for Best Film and netted Kassovitz the Best Director prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. When he was compared to Spike Lee because the film was being compared to Lee's Do the Right Thing, he noted the irony:
He later directed Les Rivières Pourpres (2000), a police detective thriller starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel, another massive commercial success in France, and Gothika (2003), a fantasy thriller (considered by some to be a commercial failure, although it grossed over three times its roughly $40 million budget), with Halle Berry and Penélope Cruz. He used the money he made from Gothika to develop a far more personal project Babylon Babies, the adaptation of one of Maurice Dantec's books. Kassovitz established the film production firm MNP Entreprise in 2000 "to develop and produce feature films by Kassovitz and to represent him as a director and actor." MNP Entreprise is responsible for the co-productions of a number of films including Avida (2006) in which Kassovitz acts and Babylon A.D. which he directed. Kassovitz purchased the film rights for the novel Johnny Mad Dog by Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala. The film was also co-produced by MNP Entreprise, and directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. The premiere of the film was made at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival where it was screened within the Un Certain Regard section.
In 2011, he starred in and directed Rebellion, a war film based on a true story of French commandos who clashed with tribes in New Caledonia, the Melanesian territory of France. His future project science fiction film MNP is named after Mir Space Station, whose writing in Cyrillic letters (Мир) look like the letters MNP, and also the production company.
Kassovitz is most famous outside France for his acting role as Nino Quincampoix in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film Amélie. Among many other credits, he also had small roles in La Haine (which he also directed), Birthday Girl, and The Fifth Element. He played leading roles in A Self Made Hero (1996) by Jacques Audiard and in Amen. (2003) by Costa-Gavras. Kassovitz is also recognizable for playing a conflicted Belgian explosives expert in Steven Spielberg's controversial 2005 film Munich, alongside Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush. Kassovitz was a jury member for the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.
Since 2015 Kassovitz has been starring in the acclaimed espionage thriller series The Bureau, broadcast in France on Canal+ and made available around the world on Amazon TV. So far four seasons have been screened.
Kassovitz was married to French actress Julie Mauduech, whom he directed and acted alongside in his 1993 film Métisse (Café au lait, English title) and who made a brief appearance in La Haine (during the scene in the Parisian art gallery). They have one daughter. Kassovitz also has two children with his former partner, actress Aurore Lagache.
In 2009, Kassovitz won with Tesla Roadster (2008) the Rallye Monte Carlo des Véhicules à Énergie Alternative (starting event of the FIA Alternative Energies Cup) in the category reserved to electric vehicles.
Kassovitz is also known for his outspokenness, frequently making controversial comments on socio-political issues. Kassovitz, was an ardent critic of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, whom he described in his blog has having "ideas that not only reveal his inexperience of politics and human relations, but which also illuminate the purely demagogical and egocentric aspects of a puny, would-be Napoleon." In a 2012 interview, he labeled the outgoing Sarkozy administration as "horrible".
|1978||Médecins de nuit||TV series|
|1979||Au bout du bout du banc||Mathias Oppenheim|
|1981||Next Year If All Goes Well||A boy|
|1983||La Vie de Berlioz||Young Berlioz||TV mini-series|
|1990||Fierrot le pou||Short film|
Also as director and screenwriter
|1992||Touch and Die||Piaz||Telefilm|
|1992||Un été sans histoires||A hitchhiker|
Also as director and screenwriter
|1993||Métisse||Felix||Also as director and screenwriter|
Nominated—César Award for Most Promising Actor
|1994||Elle voulait faire quelque chose||Mathieu||Short film|
|1994||Avant mais après||Short film|
|1994||3000 scénarios contre un virus||TV series|
|1994||See How They Fall||Johnny||César Award for Most Promising Actor|
|1994||Putain de porte||Short film|
|1995||The City of Lost Children||Man on the street||Uncredited|
|1995||La Haine||Young Skinhead||Also as director, screenwriter and editor|
|1995||Les Fleurs de Maria Papadopylou||Short film|
|1996||My Man||1st Client: Clément||Uncredited|
|1996||A Self Made Hero||Albert Dehousse|
|1996||News from the Good Lord||A nurse|
|1997||The Fifth Element||Mugger|
|1997||Assassin(s)||Max||Also as director and screenwriter|
|1998||Pleasure (And Its Little Inconveniences)||Roland|
|1999||Jakob the Liar||Herschel|
|2001||Amélie||Nino Quincampoix||Swann d'Or for Best Actor|
|2002||Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra||Physionomiste banquet|
|2002||Amen.||Riccardo Fontana||Nominated—César Award for Best Actor|
|2006||Avida||The producer||Also as producer|
|2008||Louise Hires a Contract Killer||The farm owner||Also as producer|
|2011||Rebellion||Philippe Legorjus||Also as director, screenwriter and producer|
|2012||Another Woman's Life||Paul Speranski|
|2012||Le Guetteur||Vincent Kaminski|
|2013||Angélique||Nicolas / Calembredaine|
|2014||Nobody from Nowhere||Sébastien Nicolas / Henri de Montalte|
|2014||Wild Life||Paco (Philippe Fournier)||Nominated—Lumières Award for Best Actor|
|2015–present||The Bureau||Malotru||TV series|
|2016||War & Peace||Napoléon Bonaparte||TV series|
|2016||Le Gang des Antillais||Bar owner|
|2017||Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets||Camelot on Big Market|
|2017||Happy End||Thomas Laurent|
|2017||De plus belle|
|2019||The Wolf's Call||ALFOST||"ALFOST" is not a name. It is an acronym designating the admiral commanding the SSBN fleet of the French Navy. It stands for AmiraL commandant la Force Océanique STratégique (Admiral commanding the Strategic Oceanic Force)|
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- Classement final officiel 2009[permanent dead link], ACM.mc; accessed 6 August 2015.
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- "La haine: Kassovitz vs. Sarkozy - From the Current - The Criterion Collection". Criterion.com. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2015.
- "Hungarians are crazy", Index.hu, 30 May 2012.