Napoleon: she could steal the show from Joaquin Phoenix. Who is Vanessa Kirby? – Cinema News

In theaters since Wednesday, “Napoleon” by Ridley Scott retraces the journey of Emperor Bonaparte, from the battles he fought to his love story with Joséphine, played by Vanessa Kirby. Back on the journey of the latter.

A few months after Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, we find Vanessa Kirby on the big screen in Napoleon. The actress – who almost didn’t play in the film – this time swapped her fitted outfits and her blonde hair for imposing period dresses and brown curls. In front of Ridley Scott’s camera, she plays Joséphine, the great love of Emperor Bonaparte. As comfortable in muscular action feature films as in costume productions, the actress has continued to show her versatility in recent years.

This daughter of a surgeon and a magazine editor first proved herself on stage. Spotted by an agent who introduced her to David Thacker, director of the Octagon Theater Bolton, her theater career began in earnest in 2009. Her performances even earned her the nomination for the Ian Charleson Award two years in a row.

His debut for British television was immediately noticed. The series The Hour, behind the scenes of a television program from the 1950s, allowed him to appear alongside Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas) and Dominic West (Sur Ecoute). Then, it was on the set of the mini-series Great Expectations, produced by the BBC, that she became friends with Gillian Anderson. The English actress then introduced the X-Files star to director Benedict Andrews. The latter had offered her the role of Masha in his modern version of Chekhov’s play, The Three Sisters, which received a standing ovation from the critics. In 2014, Andrews brought the two actresses together to share the poster for his adaptation ofA tram named Desire. The success was such that the show was exported to Broadway.

Napoleon she could steal the show from Joaquin Phoenix Who
Alex Bailey / Netflix

“The Crown”

Even though his heart belongs to the world of theater, his performances in cinema are just as notable. The young woman plays the best friend of Rachel McAdams’ character in the romantic comedy It’s About Time. In the screen adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ bestseller, Before You, she plays Sam Claflin’s ex-fiancée. Finally, it was for Queen and Country, a romantic drama about the Second World War that she took the lead. Genius then invited him to lend his features to Zelda Fitzgerald, alongside Colin Firth, Jude Law and Guy Pearce.

Donning period outfits on several occasions, such as in the fantasy series The Frankenstein Chronicles, it is in The Crown, the Netflix series, that Vanessa adopts Princess Margaret’s wardrobe. To become the sister of Queen Elizabeth, played by Claire Foy, the beautiful British woman seriously researches the life of the royal family. This character with a tragic destiny, forced to live in the shadow of her sister and without being able to marry the man she loved, affects her enormously. The program was a resounding success, allowing the actress to be noticed by the general public.

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Paramount Pictures

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Partie 1”

From then on, her career experienced new growth and the actress was sought after by major productions. Thus, we find her opposite Tom Cruise in the lucrative and spectacular saga Mission: Impossible, where she plays Alana Mitsopolis / the White Widow in Fallout (2018) and Dead Reckoning – Partie 1 (released last July) and its sequel (expected for 2025). Still in the action department, she plays Jason Statham’s little sister in Hobbs & Shaw, the spin-off of the Fast & Furious franchise, also worn by Dwayne Johnson.

But she does not neglect the dramatic register, in which she excels. This is evidenced by her intense performance as a mother grieving the loss of her baby in Pieces of a Woman, which earned her the Volpi Cup for best female performance at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, as well as a nomination for the Golden Globe, BAFTA and the Oscar for best actress. We were also able to see her as a young mother and companion of a Hugh Jackman overwhelmed by his son’s depression in The Son by Florian Zeller, released at the beginning of this year.

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Benjamin Loeb / Netflix

“Pieces of a Woman”

She can now add to her CV her incarnation of Empress Joséphine in the ambitious Napoleon. She, who knew nothing about French history, read numerous works to prepare: “We went to Paris, to the museum dedicated to Napoleon I, to the Château de Malmaison. I even went to Joséphine’s tomb. It was a total immersion in this period of history and a great honor for me to discover his life”.

An honor, certainly, but a most trying experience. As the actress explains, playing this role was “painful and uncomfortable” because, she said, “this is the lot of many women. I felt immense compassion towards her because she had no say in the matter even though she was driven by passion and incredible energy.”

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2023 Apple


We will find Vanessa Kirby in Eden by Ron Howard, surrounded by an impressive cast: Ana de Armas, Jude Law, Sydney Sweeney and Daniel Brühl. Before joining the MCU? She would indeed be in the running to become Jane Storm/the Invisible Woman in the new version of Fantastic 4, currently in preparation.

(Re)discover our interview with Ridley Scott for Napoléon, currently in cinemas:

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