Family & Companions
A former dancer who began her film career as the woman Peter Fonda has a brief affair with in "Two People" (1983), Nathalie Baye enjoyed her first brush with fame as Francois Truffaut's script girl assistant in the award-winning "Day for Night" (1973), uttering perhaps one of that film's more memorable lines: "I might leave a man for a movie, but I would never leave a movie for a man!" By the end of the decade, after two more Truffaut films and finely controlled performances in Bertrand Tavernier's "A Week's Vacation" (1980) and Claude Goretta's "A Girl from Lorraine" (1980), Baye had emerged as one of France's leading actresses, capable of a wide range of roles and demonstrating a constant maturity, not unlike American actresses like Barbara Stanwyck and Bette Davis. Among her internationally known films are Bob Swaim's slick thriller "La Balance," for which she won a Best Actress Cesar as a prostitute involved with a petty thief, and as the wife of a soldier (Gerard Depardieu) who comes home from war after many years in the medieval drama "The Return of Martin Guerre" (both 1982).
Baye had won her first Cesar as Best Supporting Actress for Jean-Luc Godard's "Sauve qui peut .., la vie/Every Man For Himself" (1979), as a woman leaving her husband for a life in the country, and would later reteamed with the director for "Detective" (1984). Her second Best Supporting Actress Cesar was for "Une etrange affaire" (1981), again as an unhappily married woman. In 1990, the actress had one of her best roles as an actress who sacrifices her family in pursuit of fame and fortune in "Every Other Weekend," a role that was written expressly for her. Baye also shone as a pregnant, HIV-positive woman in "Mensonge/The Lie" (1993) and portrayed Dr. Francoise Borre, who worked on the identification of the HIV virus, in HBO's Emmy-winning "And the Band Played On" (1993).
As the 90s drew to a close and she approached an age when most actress find it difficult securing leading roles, Baye continued to offer superlative performances. In 1998's "Venus Beaute Institut," written and directed by Tonie Marshall, she essayed Angele, a fortyish beautician who has shut herself off from the possibility of love only to be ardently pursued by a young sculptor. The following year, Baye turned in a strong, sensual portrayal as a woman who seeks to satisfy a sexual fantasy via a personal ad which leads to an odd and touching relationship in "Une Liaison pornographique/An Affair of Love." She then played a victim of blackmail in the drama "Selon Matthieu/According to Matthieu" (2000).
Cast (Feature Film)
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Spent brief time in NYC working as an au pair and studying dance (date approximate)
Film debut alongside Isabelle Adjani in "Faustine"
Stage acting debut in "Galapages" with Gerard Depardieu and Bernard Blier
Cast as the script girl in Francios Truffaut's "La nuit Americaine/Day for Night"
Had a one-scene role in "Two People", directed by Robert Wise
Second film with Truffaut, "The Man Who Loved Women/L'Homme Homme qui aimait les femmes"
Third and final film with Truffaut, "The Green Room/La Chambre vert"
Co-starred in Jean-luc Godard's "Every Man for Himself/Sauve qui peut ... la vie"; won Cesar
Solidified reputation as a teacher experiencing a nervous breakdown in "A Week's Vacation/Une Semaine de vacances", helmed by Bernard Tavernier
Earned second Cesar for featured role in "Strange Affair/Un entrange affair"
First film with Bertrand Blier, "Beau Pere"
Starred in "La Balance", directed by Bob Swaim; won Best Actress Cesar
Cast as Bertrande in "Le Retour de Martin Guerre/The Return of Martin Guerre"
Reteamed with Blier for "Notre histoires/Our Story"
Second film with Godard, "Detective"
Acted in Diane Kurys' "C'est la vie"
Portrayed a divorced actress who runs off to the seaside with her two children in "Every Other Weekend/Un Week-end sur deux"; role written specifically for her by director Nicole Garcia; received a Cesar nomination
Had key role in "And the Band Played On" (HBO)
Co-starred in "Enfants de salaud/Bastard Blood", directed by Tonie Marshall
Reteamed with Marshall to play an aging beautician afraid to experience love in "Venus Beaute Institut/Venus Beauty Institute"; was nominated for a Cesar; released in USA in 2000
Starred as a woman who initiates a sexual relationship with a stranger via a personal ad in "Une Liaison pornographic/An Affair of Love"
Portrayed a factory boss' wife blackmailed by the son of a fired employee of her husband's in "Selon Matthieu/According to Matthieu"
Cast as Patsy in "Absolument Fabuleux", a French film version of the popular British comedy "Absolutely Fabulous"