French actresses to watch in 2021 and 2022

I don’t know what got me thinking about French actors, but it probably some show I watched. So I found myself wondering, who’s out there? Who’s considered a ‘one to watch’ at the moment?

When you research this you tend to get the usual suspects: Eva Green, Lea Seydoux, Melanie Laurent, Marion Cotillard and others you’ve no doubt heard of, or seen in movies aplenty. And yes, whilst they’re great, I’d hardly consider them to be up and coming.

So I wanted to put a spotlight on a few others. First up…


Mathilde Ollivier

You may have seen Mathilde in the movie Overlord (2018), the J.J. Abrams-produced WWII tale about a group of US paratroopers that get attacked by Nazis in a small French town. She’s also in a sci-fi movie called Boss Level (2021), starring Frank Grillo. This one got delayed by the pandemic, but it’s out now (on Prime in the UK).

Jeanne Goursaud

Jeanne is a French-German actor who recently starred in the Netflix show, Barbarians (2020). If you liked Vikings and The Last Kingdom then this will be up your street. The relationship between Thusnelda (Goursaud), Folkwin (David Schutter) and Roman soldier Arminius (Laurence Rupp) are what made the show work so well.

Garance Marillier

Raw (2016) was a coming-of-age horror drama, and one not for the faint of heart. Garance was its critically acclaimed star. You’ll next see her in an upcoming American-Polish sci-fi movie being filmed called Warning, which stars James D’Arcy, Laura Harrier and Alex Pettyfer.

Lizzie Brocheré

Ok, perhaps Lizzie cannot really be classed as a ‘one to watch’ as she’s been acting, at least as a child, since the late ’90s. She was in Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain and American Horror Story, and I most recently saw her in Versaille, where she played a doctor, a job very much considered a man’s profession at the time.

Emma Mackey

Those that have seen TV show Sex Education will know Mackey. She’s English-French, and thus makes the cut. She’ll blow up soon, too, with films in post-production including Eiffel (2021) and Death On The Nile (2022), which was pushed back due to a scandal. She’s also playing the lead in Emily, an upcoming film about Emily Bronte.

Noemie Merlant

Noemie has been doing shorts and TV movies for a decade, but her performance in Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019) is what will propel her to the next level. Indeed, she has Paris, 13th District (2020) coming up, a movie directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) and written by Audiard and Celine Sciamma (director of Portrait).

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By Mikey P

Freelance editor, writer and podcast creator by day. Spoken word poet and screenwriter by night.

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