With her rock-star pedigree, dazzling screen presence and Parisian sensibility, Charlotte Gainsbourg is irresistible.
Charlotte Gainsbourg is, in many ways, the quintessential Parisian actress. The dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty carries herself with the enviable elegance that seems to be a birthright of women in the city where she has lived for all of her 35 years. But it’s also her pedigree that accentuates her ne plus ultra.
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She is the daughter of the It couple of the “swinging ’70s” in Paris — as pho-tographed and adulated as Brad and Angelina are today: Serge Gainsbourg was a provocative genius of boudoir pop, as well as a composer, performer and filmmaker, who seduced twentysomething actress and singer Jane Birkin away from her native London. Charlotte, their love child, grew up in the public eye in France — for better and, sometimes, for worse because her father’s over-the-top taste outraged as many people as it charmed. One of his most infamous songs, “Je t’aime ... moi non plus,” had his wife moaning in orgasmic passion. But, eventually, his hard living led Birkin to leave her Pygmalion.
Despite seeing the vagaries of show business from her parents first-hand, Gainsbourg wasn’t daunted by the idea of following in their footsteps. She made her first film when she was 12.
• For more of the interview with Charlotte Gainsbourg, check out this month’s issue.