Melvil Poupaud

Multifaceted Parisian actor Melvil Poupaud may be unfamiliar to most American audiences, but with an extensive career in French cinema under his belt, Poupaud's is a face worth knowing. Named after legendary "Moby-Dick" author Herman Melville by his mother, producer and writer Chantal Poupaud, Melvil began making amateur films in his bedroom at the age of 10. The same year, the young talent exploded onto the European acting scene, playing "l'enfant" ("child") in the surreal 1983 drama "City of Pirates," directed by inventive filmmaker Raoul Ruiz. Their relationship awoke a creative voracity in Poupaud, which saw him participating in as many as five films a year at his peak. Among the highlights of his performances was his naturalistic portrayal of Thomas, a teenage boy caught between a friend and his father in 1989's understated drama "The 15 Year Old Girl." The role landed Poupaud the first of two César award nominations for Most Promising Actor. His film career continued to expand. He starred opposite Naomi Watts in the bitter romantic comedy "Le Divorce," and has since been featured in major motion pictures like 2009's British gangster flick "44 Inch Chest" and the Wachowski siblings' colorful adaptation of the cult cartoon "Speed Racer," in which he played bit character Johnny "Goodboy" Jones. Poupaud is also known for his accomplished work as a musician. He and his brother Yarol Poupaud make up the rock group MUD. In 2002, Melvil released a solo album called "Simple Appareil."