Thursday, March 17, 2011

Famke Janssen

Famke Beumer Janssen (born November 5, 1964) is a Dutch actress and former fashion model. Janssen is also a UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity. She is best-known for playing the villainess Bond girl Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye and Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men film series. According to MTV, Janssen "mastered the art of the beautiful but deadly villainess." Upon moving to Los Angeles, Janssen obtained her first parts, appearing in guest roles on television series. She starred in a 1988 commercial for Exclamation Perfume. One of her first appearances was in 1992, when she starred in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Perfect Mate" as empathic metamorph Kamala, opposite Patrick Stewart (who would later star with her in the X-Men film series). In that same year, Janssen was offered the role of Jadzia Dax of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but turned it down to pursue film roles. She also appeared in the film Lord of Illusions with Scott Bakula, who would later portray Capt. Jonathan Archer of the chronologically very first Starship Enterprise.

Janssen's first film role was with Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 film Fathers & Sons. In 1995, she appeared in the first Pierce Brosnan James Bond film, GoldenEye, as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp. In an attempt to fight against typecasting after her role in the film, Janssen began seeking out more intriguing support roles, appearing in Woody Allen's Celebrity, Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man, John Irvin's City of Industry and Ted Demme's Monument Ave. Denis Leary, her co-star in Monument Ave., was impressed by how easily she blended in, initially not recognizing her as she was already in character. Janssen played superheroine Dr. Jean Grey/Phoenix in X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. She won a Saturn Award for her role in X-Men: The Last Stand. She also starred in the movies Lord of Illusions, The Faculty, House on Haunted Hill, I Spy, Rounders, Deep Rising, Hide and Seek, Taken and Turn the River, for which she was awarded the Special Jury Best Actress Award at the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival. In addition, Janssen had a prominent role in the second season of the popular TV show, Nip/Tuck, as the seductive and manipulative life coach, Ava Moore. She reprised her role in the final two episodes of the series. She has continued to branch out into television, appearing in TV pilots for NBC and Showtime, 2007's cop drama Winters and 2009's The Farm, a pilot for a potential spinoff of The L Word set in a women's prison. Both were rejected by their respective networks. Janssen also provides the Dutch-language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at all Disney parks. In July 2010, filming began on Janssen's directorial debut Bringing Up Bobby. Janssen also wrote the screenplay to the film, which stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman and Marcia Cross. In 2003, Janssen was awarded the International Star of the Year. In 2004, she won the Hollywood Life Breakthrough Artist of the Year for her work on Nip/Tuck. In 2006, the Hamptons International Film Festival awarded her with the Golden Starfish Award for career achievement in acting. For her performance as Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand, she won a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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