Charlotte Gainsbourg/Biografie

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22 July 1971: Charlotte Gainsbourg is born in London. Her parents are Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. In fact she is a descendant of William the Conqueror (through her mother).

Charlotte's earliest ambitions are to be an artist (she draws superbly) or a surgeon: "Once, on holiday in Provence, I picked up a dead bird, and with the syringe I used for my allergies, I literally bombarded it with injections."


19 December 1984: Premiere of the movie Paroles et musique, featuring the film debut of Charlotte Gainsbourg.


The single Lemon incest is released, sung by Serge and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The song, with its suggestive lyrics and mildly scandalous video showing Serge and Charlotte lying on a bed surrounded by smoke and feathers, give Charlotte her first taste of celebrity, though she is unaware of the fuss it provoked at the time: "I was away at boarding school." The French translation of the title, inceste de citron, is a pun on "un zeste de citron" (lemon peel).

23 October 1985: Premiere of Jacques Doillon's movie La tentation d'Isabelle featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg. At the time director Jacques Doillon is the partner of Charlotte's mother Jane Birkin.

11 December 1985: Premiere of Claude Miller's movie L'éffrontée with Charlotte Gainsbourg playing her first main role.


At the 39th Cannes Film Festival Charlotte Gainsbourg is awarded the 1986 César for Most Promising Actress for her appearance in L'éffronté. Claude Miller says of her: "She's a born actress, in the way that Mozart was a born pianist."

Release of Charlotte Gainsbourg's album CHARLOTTE FOREVER. Music and lyrics are both written by her father, Serge Gainsbourg. The album also includes the song "Lemon incest" from 1984.

10 December 1986: Premiere of Serge Gainsbourg's movie Charlotte for ever, starring Charlotte and Serge Gainsbourg.


Premiere of the movies Le petit amour and A. V. sur J. B., both featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg.


13 October 1989: Premiere of the movie La petite voleuse starring Charlotte Gainsbourg. The movie bases on François Truffaut's last script and is probably the best loved of Charlotte's movies so far.


3 April 1990: Premiere of the movie Aux yeux du monde featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg.

22 August 1990: Premiere of the movie Il sole anche di notte featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nastassja Kinski.


Premiere of the movies Merci la vie and Contre l'oubli featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg.


Premiere of the movie Amoureuse featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg.


Premiere of the Andrew Birkin movie The cement garden starring avec Charlotte Gainsbourg. Andrew Birkin is Charlotte's uncle. Charlotte has employed a voice coach for this (English spoken) role.

The same year Charlotte buys the French stage rights to David Mamet's play Oleanna, about a university student who falsely accuses her tutor of rape. It is her first appearance on stage: "I went to the theatre very little, and it used to bore me. Then I realised it was another way of practising my profession, of opening myself to new things." Performing in Oleanna is an important experience for her, changing her method of preparing for a part (she has not previously been used to long rehearsals), helping her to overcome her timidity, and giving her the confidence to explore more difficult roles.


5 February 1994: Benefit concert organized by the association "Les restos du coeur", which cares for the nutrition of the poorest, at the Grand Rex in Paris. Charlotte and her mother Jane Birkin sing "Di doo dah", written by Serge Gainsbourg, which is released on the CD LES ENFOIRES AU GRAND REX (1994). Also on the bill are Jean-Louis Aubert, Charles Aznavour, Emmanuelle Béart, Romane Bohringer, Patrick Bruel, Francis Cabrel, La Chorale des Chérubins de Sarcelles, Marius Colucci, Céline Dion, Carole Fredericks, France Gall, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Michael Jones, Catherine Lara, Yves Lecoq, Valérie Lemercier, Mimie Mathy, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Eddy Mitchell, Florent Pagny, Pierre Palmade, Vanessa Paradis, Paul Personne, Pow Wow, Renaud, Muriel Robin, Alain Souchon, Patrick Timsit and Laurent Voulzy.

February (or November) 1994: Announced by the single Nouveau western (built on a sample of Serge Gainsbourg's song "Bonnie and Clyde"), MC Solaar releases his second album PROSE COMBAT which soon sells 900'000 in France alone and is gonna be released in more than 20 countries. Taken from the album is another single, Séquelles, whose video clip features a cameo appearance of Charlotte Gainsbourg ("Dieu sait qu'elle sait quelles séquelles / acide et douce telle la citronelle / La miss me laisse par son acte con / J'ordonne l'abscisse mais cela reste abscons").

Premiere of the movie Grosse fatigue featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg.


Premiere of the movie Jane Eyre starring Charlotte Gainsbourg.


April 1996: Charlotte Gainsbourg attends the US premiere of her movie Jane Eyre (1995) in New York. The movie totalizes $ 35'411 on one single screen.

30 August - 8 September 1996: Charlotte Gainsbourg is in the jury of the 22th American Film Festival in Deauville.

2 October 1996: Premiere of the movie Anna Oz avec Charlotte Gainsbourg.

27 November 1996: Premiere of the movie Love, etc. starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Yvan Attal. For this movie Charlotte has recorded the title song, "Love, etc.", written by Marion Vernoux, the movie director, and Alexandre Desplat.


8 February 1997: Charlotte is nominated for the Best Actress César for her role in Love, etc. (1996) at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The award goes to Fanny Ardant for her role in Pédale douce. The award ceremony is broadcast by French TV's Canal+.

16 February 1997: Charlotte Gainsbourg appears at a pressconference to promote the movie Jane Eyre (1995) at Nichi-fustu Gakuin (Japan).

19 June 1997: Charlotte Gainsbourg gives birth to her first child, Ben, in a Paris clinic. The father is the actor Yvan Attal. The unmarried couple met during the filming of Aux yeux du monde (1990).


January 1998: Charlotte Gainsbourg interviews Woody Allen for an article in the French magazine Elle.

3 February 1998: Charlotte and Yvan Attal successfully sue the magazine France Dimanche for publication of candid photos taken during Charlotte's pregnancy in 1997.

February 1998: France Dimanche reports that Charlotte and her partner Yvan Attal have sold their home in Corneilles, in the Eure region, and purchased a new house in Provence.

7 September - 10 October 1998: Filming for Bruno Nuytten's movie Le soleil le plus près (working title: J'ai dansé avec l'amour) on the island of Porquerolles on the Côte d'Azur, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gérard Lanvin who previously co-starred in Anna Oz (1996). When shooting for the movie is completed Charlotte and the rest of the cast and crew throw a celebratory party for the island's inhabitants, to thank them for their hospitality and cooperation.


Filming of the movie Nuremberg.

16 January - 20 February 1999: Filming for the psychological thriller The intruder in Montréal, directed and photographed by David Bailey, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nastassja Kinski and John Hannah. The story follows a woman (Charlotte) who is haunted by the ghost of her husband's first wife who was murdered.

7 February 1999: Filming starts for scriptwriter Danièle Thompson's first movie La bûche, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Emmanuelle Béart. The movie is a family drama set at Christmas time, also starring Sabine Azéma, Isabelle Carré, Claude Rich and Françoise Fabian.

Summer 1999: Charlotte co-stars with Mathilde Seigner in Martine Dugowson's film Les enfants des photos. The movie also starrs Elsa Zylberstein and Camille Japy.

30 September - 3 October 1999: Charlotte's new English-language film, The intruder, is premièred at the Dinard Film Festival. She attends the festival in company with her mother Jane Birkin (who was the president of the festival jury), her boyfriend Yvan Attal, and their young son Ben.

25 October 1999 - 4 February 2000: Production of TF1's new 160 million franc television dramatisation of Victor Hugo's Les misérables, directed by Josée Dayan. The cast includes Jeanne Moreau, John Malkovich, Gérard Depardieu, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Virginie Ledoyen and Christian Clavier.

17 November 1999: Charlotte attends the première of her new film La bûche in Nice. Danièle Thompson, the film's director and other stars, including Emmanuelle Béart and Sabine Azéma, also attend the première.


Charlotte Gainsbourg is featured on Madonna's new album: during the track "What it feels like for a girl" some of her role speaking her character in the film The cement garden (1993) can be heard.

Charlotte currently lives in Paris and in the Provence with Yvan Attal, their son Ben and bull terrier Zazie.


magazine dazedandconfused 2001 75.jpg

Dazed and Confused no. 75 contains what this British magazine calls "The Gainsbourg files": an article about Serge Gainsbourg plus an interview with Charlotte.


Agent: Charlotte Gainsbourg, c/o VMA, 10 avenue George-V, 75008 Paris, France