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Mélanie Laurent (French pronunciation: [melani loʁɑ̃] (listen); born 21 February 1983) is a French actress, singer, pianist, screenwriter and director. Born in Paris to a Jewish family, she was introduced to acting at the age of sixteen by Gérard Depardieu, who cast her in a minor role in the romantic drama The Bridge (1999). The recipient of two César Awards, an Étoiles d'or du cinéma français, and a Lumières Award, Laurent has established herself as an accomplished actress in the French film industry. Laurent gained recognition for her supporting work in several French films, most notably the 2006 comedy Dikkenek, for which she won Étoiles d'Or for Best Female Newcomer. Her breakthrough role came in the 2006 drama film Don't Worry, I'm Fine, for which she later won the César Award for Most Promising Actress and the Prix Romy Schneider. Laurent made her Hollywood debut in 2009 with the starring role as Shosanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster war film Inglourious Basterds. She garnered critical acclaim for her performance and won the Online Film Critics Society and the Austin Film Critics Association Best Actress Awards. While she has worked mainly in independent films, including Paris (2008) and Enemy (2013), Laurent also appeared in commercially successful Hollywood films, including the comedy drama Beginners (2011), and the caper film Now You See Me (2013), the former earning her a nomination at the San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress. Laurent's other notable works include the art-house drama The Round Up (2010), the comedy drama Et soudain, tout le monde me manque (2011), and the mystery thriller Night Train to Lisbon (2013). She is also known for voicing Mary Katherine and Disgust in the French dubs of Epic (2013) and Inside Out (2015) respectively. In addition to her film career, Laurent has appeared in stage productions in France. She made her theater debut in 2010 in Nicolas Bedos's Promenade de santé. The short film De moins en moins (2008) marked her debut as a filmmaker. Her feature film directorial debut is The Adopted (2011). Respire (2014), her second production as a director, was screened at the International Critics' Week section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. She made her singing debut with a studio album En t'attendant in May 2011; the album contains twelve songs, five of which are co-written and co-produced by Irish folk musician Damien Rice.

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