Born: November 23, 1966
Date of Birth: November 23, 1966
Born in Paris, France, Cassel is the son of legendary French actor Jean-Pierre Cassel, who made a career out of playing seductive bourgeois men. Since both his parents objected to the idea that he become an actor like his father, Cassel went to circus school at the age of 17 and spent the next few years avoiding acting.
By the late '80s however, he took up the art when he landed a small role in Les Cigognes n'en font qu'à leur tête (1989) followed by Les Clés du paradis (1991). Two years later, Cassel joined forces with actor/director Mathieu Kassovitz (whom he had first met in theater school) in the first of many films Metisse (1993). His collaboration with Kassovitz would prove fruitful as with each film they did together, Cassel became more and more popular.
After completing his first English-speaking film, Jefferson in Paris (1995), he starred in the romantic comedy L'Appartment (1996) where he first met and played opposite his future wife, Italian actress Monica Bellucci.
Continuing his rise in popularity, Cassel worked on popular English and French-speaking films such as Elizabeth (1998) as the Queen's potential husband, Duc d'Anjou; The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999); Les Riviéres pourpres (2000); The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) playing Jean-François de Morangias; and Ocean's Twelve (2004). In 2009, he won a César award as Best Actor for his work in Public Enemy No. 1. In 2011, he played the role of the frisky ballet teacher in the Oscar-nominated film Black Swan. Cassel also stars in the Freud film A Dangerous Method (2012). More recently, he can be seen in Tale of Tales (2016), Jason Bourne (2016), and The Great Mystical Circus (2016).