Déborah François, no longer in the shadows
Déborah François is a Belgian actress who was born in Liège on 24 May 1987. She is the daughter of a policeman and a social worker. While she was still in secondary school, she was selected by the brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne to represent Sonia, a young mother rebelling against her partner who had decided to sell their baby, in the film L'Enfant (The Child), which was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
The following year, young actress starred alongside Catherine Frot in the film La tourneuse de pages (The Page Turner) by Denis Dercourt. And a short while later, she starred alongside Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Maya Sansa and Marie Gillain, another Belgian actress, playing the role of a chemist hired to assassinate a German counter-intelligence officer who knew too much about the Normandy landing. She was one of the Femmes de l'ombre (Female Agents) in the fresco on the female Resistance done by Jean-Paul Salomé in 2008. A year later, she brought home the César Award for Most Promising Actress for the role of Fleur in Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life) by Rémi Bezançon.
In 2009, Deborah François took part in the comedy by Emmanuel Mouret, Fais-moi Plaisir (Please, Please Me!) then went abroad for London Nights by Alexis Dos Santos. The following year, she headed the adaptation of a book by Anna Sam, Les Tribulations d'une caissière (A Checkout Girl's Big Adventures). After a nasty twist of fate, the young Solweig found herself forced to abandon a brilliant academic career of literary studies to work as a cashier in a supermarket. The pace was exhausting, the clients were despicable, and the boss was nasty and perverted. Luckily, Solweig had an outlet for venting. At night, she wrote on her blog and told about the daily life of herself and her colleagues, with plenty of details. These writings by Solweig were more than successful. Soon, her blog would be followed by millions of readers, creating a wave of revolution in mass retail. Afterwards, she acts in the television film Mes Chères Études (Student Services), in which she embodies a student forced to sell her body to pay for her studies. In 2012, she appeared alongside Romain Duris in the film Populaire. That same year, she also gave her voice to the main character in the animated film Zarafa. She also had a role next to Vincent Cassel in Le Moine (The Monk), which was an adaptation of the famous Gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis, published 1796 and one of the most difficult in the genre. Le Moine tells the tragic fate of Brother Ambrosio in Catholic Spain during the 17th century. The novel is quite subversive in the themes covered (rape, incest, matricide, black magic, etc.) and in the attitudes of certain characters.
In 2016, she took on the role of Hortense Cézanne, the wife of the painter in Cézanne et moi (Cézanne and I). Finally in 2017, she tackled a heavier role in Fleur de tonnerre (The Poisoning Angel), which tells the true story of Hélène Jégado, one of the most famous people in history for using poison and who carried out her deeds in Brittany in the first half of the 19th century.
Photo: © Mireille Ampilhac