Nicolas Duvauchelle


A little more than a decade ago, a casting agent spotted Nicolas Duvauchelle doing some Thai boxing at his local gym in Paris. The French tough guy was soon thrust in front of director Erick Zonca, and fighter became actor. Today, the 28-year-old Duvauchelle can be found tearing up movie sets with cinematic superdames such as Isabelle Huppert in Claire Denis’s upcoming African race drama, White Material; and Catherine Deneuve in André Téchiné’s forthcoming film, La Fille du RER, about a racial attack on a train. Not bad for someone who never attended an acting class. In France, Duvauchelle garners comparisons to James Dean and Marlon Brando and was a regular in the gossip pages when he dated actress Ludivine Sagnier (they had a daughter together in 2005). In some ways, Duvauchelle still cultivates his rebel image like he’s standing in front of a punching bag. “I’m a fighter, not a thinker,” he says. “I don’t want to do movies for the money.” But just beyond the buff, tattooed exterior lies a very sensitive soul. He’s not even interested in taking lead roles in action movies. “It would be funny,” Duvauchelle says. “It was a genre I loved when I was 10. Not now.”