Guillaume Canet, ambassador for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy :
A 41 year-old actor, screenwriter and director, Guillaume Canet has made a name for himself as one of the most accomplished and popular artists of his generation.
As a youngster, his passion was horse-riding and he envisaged a career in show jumping, following in the footsteps of his parents, who owned a stud farm in the Rambouillet region of France. He competed in numerous horse shows and even took part in the French championships, but at the age of 18 a bad fall forced him to give up his dream. He then turned his focus to acting and enrolled at the Cours Florent drama school in Paris.
He made his theatre debut in 1993, but a meeting with French actor Jean Rochefort enabled him to make the move into films. He appeared in EN PLEIN CŒUR in 1998, a film by Pierre Jolivet, which earned him a César Award nomination in the Most Promising Actor category. In 1999, he filmed THE BEACH by Danny Boyle, with Leonardo DiCaprio, then FIDELITY (“LA FIDÉLITÉ”) under director Andrzej Zulawski, with Sophie Marceau. Since then, he has not stopped filming.
In 2002, he stepped behind the camera to direct his first full-length film, MON IDOLE. First film, first triumph: the film was nominated for a César Award for Best Debut in the fiction category. In 2006, he proved his worth as a director with TELL NO ONE (“NE LE DIS À PERSONNE”), adapted from the novel by Harlan Coben, which was seen by over 3 million viewers. He won the César Award for Best Director and thus became the youngest director in the history of the Césars to win this accolade.
Guillaume Canet wrote and directed his third film, LITTLE WHITE LIES (“LES PETITS MOUCHOIRS”), with François Cluzet. The film was France’s highest-grossing film in 2010, with more than 5 million tickets sold in France.
In 2012, he wrote the screenplay and also starred in JAPPELOUP by Christian Duguay. The film tells the story of Pierre Durand and his horse, who won the equestrian gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Guillaume had not ridden for 20 years and, in order to prepare for this role, sometimes spent up to 8 or 9 hours in the saddle.
Since this film he has bought a horse and rekindled his love of competing at horse shows, where he often crosses paths with people he rode against 20 years ago!
In 2013, Guillaume Canet released his fourth feature film, BLOOD TIES, which was co-written with James Gray and filmed entirely in the United States. He has just wrapped films for André Téchiné, Stephen Frears and Cédric Anger.