Like many others before her -- from Elle MacPherson to Gisele Bündchen -- French supermodel Noémie Lenoir took the leap from modeling to acting after gracing innumerable magazine spreads and European catwalks. Lenoir is of Malagasy descent; her mother hailed from the island of Réunion in the West Indian Ocean -- which accounts for the actress-model's dark-skinned complexion and slightly exotic look. One of her first significant film outings consisted of a small role the Gallic adventure sequel Astérix et Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre (2002). Lenoir achieved recognition among U.S. audiences with the 2007 action comedy Rush Hour 3, thanks in no small part to the film's Parisian setting; in that Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker vehicle, she played Genevieve, the star attraction at a French nightclub.
by Nathan Southern biography