Until this month, Isabelle Huppert wasn’t a name that many Americans were used to hearing. But then Huppert was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award this year, and everything changed.
Huppert is up against some hard hitters (Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and a heavily favored Emma Stone are all also nominated in the category), but her performance in the French film Elle was amazing, and she can definitely hold her own against her household-name competition.
How the hell has this undeniably talented women never shown up on our radar before? We got curious and found out a little bit about her.
1. She is a huge name
Especially in France. The reason most Americans haven’t heard of her is that the bulk of her résumé consists of French films. She’s been acting since 1971 and has been in more than 100 movies.
2. She does have some notable American performances
Huppert played Jessica Chastain’s mom in 2014’s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them. She was also in 2004’s I Heart Huckabees and was on Law & Order: SVU in 2010.
3. She’s a big deal at the Cannes Film Festival
Huppert was President of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, and at the time, she was only the fourth woman to ever hold the title in the festival’s six decades, according to The Guardian. She had previously been a member of the jury and Master of Ceremonies and had won the Award for Best Actress twice.
4. She believes celebrities have the right to share their politics during awards season
“Everyone has the right to express themselves. It’s not because you’re an actor or a director that you can’t say what you think,” she told Deadline. “Everyone has the right to react as a citizen and say what they think. What is politics? It’s life together, so it’s completely normal that people express themselves on the subject.”
5. She has a strict no-popcorn rule
When it comes to taking in her peers’ work, Huppert does not mess around.
“No snack, no drink, no food,” she recently told People of her movie viewing habits. “[I] just am focused on the movies — no noise.”
It may sound like all business, but Huppert admits that her outfit of choice on movie night is some comfy pajamas.
6. She’s relishing her Oscar nom
An Academy Award nomination is no joke, and the nod is not lost on Huppert.
“For an American actress, it’s already a big deal to be nominated, so you can imagine what it’s like for a foreign actress — especially a French actress for whom English isn’t even their mother tongue!” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s an exceptional event, especially as there have been very few foreign actresses nominated over the years. So I’m trying to live it exceptionally.”
Best of luck to Huppert at the Academy Awards on Feb. 26!
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.