Famous Catalans:
Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey

🕔 3 mins (total)
Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey attending an awards ceremony in Lyon in 2019

Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey was born in Barcelona in 1986 to a Spanish-Catalan father and an American-French mother and grew up speaking French, Spanish and Catalan. She only became an actor in her twenties and has used all her native languages, as well as Italian and English, in her movies to date.

The early years

Àstrid grew up in Barcelona for the first 5 years of her life until she moved to a small town near La Rochelle in France with her mother following her parents’ divorce. Her father moved to the Dominican Republic and Àstrid spent her school summer holidays there working as a waitress… She had little interest in acting in her adolescence other than as a hobby but, shortly after she moved to Paris to study osteopathy at the age of 17, her father died at the young age of 46. This changed Àstrid’s outlook on life significantly and she decided to seriously pursue acting as a career, enrolling in a drama school right after graduation…

Acting career so far…

Àstrid began her acting career on French television in 2007 and in 2008 she made her feature film debut in Un barrage contre le Pacifique, (called “The Sea Wall” in English). In 2009 she was awarded the Prix Suzanne-Bianchetti for most promising French actress, and over the next couple of years she featured in a handful of French-language movies before starring in Bruc, el Desafío, a Spanish movie in which Spanish, Catalan and French were spoken and in which she was nominated for a Gaudí Award – the highest awards for cinema in Catalunya – for Best Leading Actress. In 2011 she won the Trophée Chopard which is awarded to “revelations in cinema” at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Also in 2011, she starred in the award-winning La Fille du Puisatier (The Well-digger’s Daughter) directed by Daniel Auteuil, and also took on her first English-language role in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” alongside Penélope Cruz and Johnny Depp, among others. In fact, Àstrid actually learnt English for the role! A couple of more movies in her natives languages followed until she acted in her second English-language feature, the very well-received “I Origins”. In 2015 she won a Best Actress nomination for the David di Donatello Award for her performance in the Franco-Italian production Alaska, in which she spoke both French and Italian. In 2017 she starred in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” and in 2020 she won the Taormina International Festival Award for Best Actress for the French-made L’Autre (“The Other”).

At the time of writing, Àstrid`s latest movie, which was released in November 2020 in Spain, is “The Vault”, in which she stars alongside Liam Cunningham amidst an international cast. The movie is set in Madrid during the South African World Cup of 2010 when Spain won the tournament for their first and only time – central to the story. The dialogue is mostly in English with some Spanish, although, ironically, Àstrid doesn’t speak Spanish at all in the movie!

Other work

As well as acting Àstrid also works as a model and has featured for such high-profile brands as Chanel and French Collection, and was also a juror at the 29th Festival International du Film Fantastique de Gérardmerenjoys in 2019. Even when she is not acting or modelling, Àstrid doesn’t stray too far from her field of expertise as she enjoys going to the theatre and photography exhibitions when she has some free time to herself.

Some photos of Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey from her Instagram page
Some photos of Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey from her Instagram page

What next?

Àstrid’s principal home is in Paris rather than Hollywood and she has stated in the past that she prefers to act only in movies that she likes and respects and that genuinely interest her, rather than purely for money. For this reason, there have been a few “gap years” on her cinematic CV, but as she is still only 35, we can almost certainly expect to see her on the big screen before too long.

But where, and in what language??

So keep an eye out, you just might see Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey around the neighbourhood. Or if you can’t wait that long then follow Àstrid’s photos, videos & messages on Instagram

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