French comedian Gaspard Ulliel died suddenly on January 19 at the age of 37 following a skiing accident. He held two Césars (Best Hope and Best Actor) and had played the great couturier Yves Saint Laurent on the big screen.
Son of stylists, Gaspard Ulliel turns in the TV movie A woman in white while still in college. However, it is to achieve that the teenager is destined, who, after a few summer internships at Cours Florent, studies the 7th art at the University of Saint-Denis.
In 1999, he shot in a short film by Marina De Van, Alias, but it was thanks to the TV movie Julien the apprentice by Jacques Otmezguine, that he was noticed in 2000. The following year, he played a small role in Le Pacte des loups by Christophe Gans.
Best hope of French cinema
Gaspard Ulliel was revealed in 2002 by Michel Blanc who entrusted him with the role of a teenager titillated by his hormones in the choral comedy Embrace who you want. André Techiné then chooses the young actor with an androgynous physique to embody the wild boy who crosses the roads of occupied France with Emmanuelle Béart in Les Egarés.
For these performances on edge, Ulliel was nominated twice for the César for Best Male Hope in 2003 and in 2004. But it was the third time that would be the right one: the actor won this statuette in 2005 thanks to Un long dimanche of engagement of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, in which he embodies Manech, the fiancé of Audrey Tautou.
From Duras to Hannibal Lecter
Having become a leading actor, Gaspard Ulliel was chosen to play the brave peasant Jacquou Le Croquant (2005) then the terrifying Hannibal Lecter in the film which recounts the young years of the serial killer. Also showing more personal films (The Last Day, The Third Part of the World), it is directed by Gus Van Sant on the occasion of a short film made for the film Paris, Je T’aime.
His eclecticism is undeniable since in 2009, we find him as the son of Isabelle Huppert in Un barrage contre le Pacifique, an adaptation of Duras’ novel by Rithy Panh, but also as an offspring of Jean Reno in the thriller Le Premier Cercle.
Ulliel heads for Jerusalem that same year, where the Ultimatum preceding the (first) Gulf War complicates an already violent love affair with Jasmine Trinca. In competition at Cannes eight years later The Lost, we discover him in the midst of a love struggle, in the 16th century, in La Princesse de Montpensier, alongside an elegant cast (Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson or Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) and under the leadership of Bertrand Tavernier.
The Saint Laurent Adventure
In 2011, he was the only actor cast in the choral romance L’Art d’aimer by Emmanuel Mouret. Then he plays Brigitte Rouan in the Hellenic mishmash You will honor your mother and your mother (2013), where he plays the role of Bathazar, son of Nicole Garcia and a sort of Greek God of unparalleled beauty. He then yielded for the first time to the exercise of voice dubbing on the occasion of the animated film Les Cinq legends in which he voices the hero Jack Frost.
His supple silhouette and his proximity to the world of fashion (his parents are stylists) make him the ideal actor to portray Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent (2014), who chose him to don the couturier’s costume, alongside Jérémie Renier and Léa Seydoux. He gleaned a César nomination for best actor for his performance.
Cesar for Best Actor
The actor then distinguished himself in La Danseuse alongside Soko and achieved consecration in 2016 with Just the end of the world by Xavier Dolan. This poignant role of a silent writer earned him the ultimate reward, the César for best actor. We find him in 2018 in Eva, by Benoît Jacquot, in which he falls under the spell of a mysterious femme fatale embodied by Isabelle Huppert.
Entry into the Marvel Universe
Starring in Justine Triet’s drama Sibyl in 2019, he joined the cast of the Marvel series Moon Knight two years later, alongside Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke. For the occasion, he interprets the so-called Anton Mogart, alias Midnight Man.
According to information from Parisian, he died on January 19, 2022 of a head injury following a skiing accident.
Later that year, Ulliel was to reunite with Bertrand Bonello to shoot in La Bête. Set in a near future where emotions have become a threat, Gabrielle (Léa Seydoux) meets Louis and feels a powerful connection, as if she’s known him forever. This melodrama was to unfold over three time periods. It is unknown at the time of these lines if the project, already in pre-production, will be maintained.