Described by one critic as an "Antoine Doinel for the '90s" who also evokes François Truffaut's feral Wild Child, Mathieu Amalric established himself as one of France's top young actors by playing intellectually-attuned young men dealing with fateful decisions regarding life and love. Although he began appearing in films in the 1980s, Amalric became a more prominent cinematic presence in the 1990s, beginning with the comedy La Chasse aux Papillons (1992) and a small part in Arnaud Desplechin's Kafkaesque drama La Sentinelle (1992). One of a new generation of gifted French directors, Desplechin's My Sex Life. . .or How I Got into an Argument (1996) brought Amalric international renown, as well as the Most Promising Young Actor César, for his incisive performance as an irresolute academic who cannot settle his love life or his career. Talkative and book-smart, yet unwise, Amalric's Paul Dedalus personified inner paralysis amidst a complex range of characters that suggested with humor and canny emotion the roads he could possibly take. Continuing his collaborations with France's most esteemed filmmakers, Amalric worked with André Téchiné in Alice et Martin (1998) and played a writer facing a personal crossroads in Olivier Assayas' voluble, intimate character study Late August, Early September (1998). An experienced assistant director and editor as well as actor, Amalric made his own directorial debut with the low budget slice of life Mange Ta Soupe (1997).
Biography by Lucia Bozzola
- Both of his parents were journalists and his father specifically wrote about foreign affairs, so the family spent several years in Washington, D.C. and Moscow before returning to France.
- Initially wanted to be a director; his first job was working as an assistant director to Louie Malle on Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987).
- His feature film directorial debut, Mange ta soupe (1997), is largely autobiographical.
- Was recommended to director Julian Schnabel for his role in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, his producers on Munich (2005).