Famke Janssen: Actress, Director, Screenwriter
Famke Janssen, an internationally-acclaimed Dutch actress known for her multilingual performances, began as a model before transitioning into acting. Her big break came when Pierce Brosnan cast her as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp in his James Bond flick GoldenEye and her success has continued ever since.
She later went on to star in several television roles, such as City of Industry and Celebrity before Bryan Singer cast her as Jean Grey/Phoenix in his X-Men film series.
Famke Janssen’s Biography
Famke Janssen is a Dutch actress, director, and screenwriter most frequently seen in Hollywood films. Beginning as a model for Chanel and Giorgio Armani before migrating to America to pursue acting. Janssen quickly found roles on shows such as Melrose Place and The Untouchables before making her film debut with Jeff Goldblum in Fathers and Sons in 1992.
Janssen quickly established herself in Hollywood and demonstrated her talent with her iconic performance as Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye – an emotionally abusive Soviet Bond Girl who killed men by squeezing them between her thighs – which cemented her reputation. Following this role she found success appearing in other movies such as Dead Girl, The Gingerbread Man, and The Faculty before finding mainstream success as Jean Grey/Phoenix from 2000 onwards in the X-Men film franchise.
Janssen shared the X-Men franchise screen with actors such as Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen – playing older versions of Professor X and Magneto respectively – playing Jean Grey. Her last appearance as Jean Grey came in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past where she was disappointed to see her character killed off early due to sexism in Hollywood.
After her time on X-Men, Janssen made headlines as Lenore Mills in Taken – Liam Neeson’s ex-wife Bryan Mills played by Liam Neeson – an action thriller. Additionally, Janssen provided her voice talents for both Frozen II and III as Queen Elsa and Princess Anna respectively.
Janssen made her directorial debut with Bringing Up Bobby but was unsuccessful in this endeavor, opting instead to take on acting roles instead. She appeared as Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters villain as well as featured on the horror series Hemlock Grove before landing a recurring role on How to Get Away with Murder.
Famke Janssen has continued working despite criticism from fans about her appearance, appearing in several upcoming releases such as Knights of the Zodiac, Boy Kills World, and Door Mouse. Additionally, she provides Dutch narration for Disney theme parks’ Studio Tram Tours.
Famke Janssen’s Filmography
Famke Janssen first made her mark as a model, appearing in ads for entities such as Yves Saint Laurent and Victoria’s Secret before transitioning into acting. Her first acting appearance came in 1992’s Fathers & Sons but Janssen made headlines three years later as she played Xenia Onatopp in Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond flick GoldenEye starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond.
After appearing occasionally in television shows such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Jadzia Dax, Janssen decided to pursue movie roles instead. She first found one in the 1995 horror flick Lord of Illusions before landing her most renowned role yet as Villainess Serleena in Men in Black II a few years later. Since then she’s kept up a steady work schedule appearing in films like City of Industry, Celebrity, House on Haunted Hill as well as thrillers Deep Rising and The Faculty.
As the 1990s came to a close, Janssen ventured into more mainstream fare with projects such as Intolerable Cruelty, Vanishing on 7th Street, and The Capture. At the dawn of the 2000s, she made a comeback starring in Femme Fatale as well as finding more leading lady roles such as Bringing Up Bobby, The Fugitive, and Forever Young.
Famke Janssen’s career expanded thanks to her role as Jean Grey in the X-Men film series from 2000 to 2014. Following this role, she made her directorial debut with the 2008 short Getting Away With It before taking on Lenore Mills for the Taken trilogy starring Lenore Mills herself. Additionally, she’s had roles on TV programs including Nip/Tuck, Hemlock Grove, and How to Get Away With Murder.
She’s also a talented voice actor, dubbing for Robert De Niro, Tom Hardy, and Denzel Washington among many other actors. And even with some harsh reactions to recent appearances of Janssen on screen, it looks like her career won’t dwindle anytime soon; recently securing a starring role in Netflix series Long Slow Exhale which will premiere this fall is proof.
Famke Janssen’s Personal Life
Famke Janssen began her acting career as a fashion model before transitioning into television acting roles on Star Trek: The Next Generation in several guest roles such as “The Perfect Mate”, in which she played Kamala an empathic metamorph opposite Patrick Stewart (later to appear alongside her in the X-Men movie series). Since then, Famke Janssen has appeared on more television shows such as Nip/Tuck, Hemlock Grove, and ER as well as movies including Deep Rising, The Faculty, House on Haunted Hill Eulogy Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters: Witch Hunters and Knights of the Zodiac.
Janssen is a vegetarian and an advocate for animal rights. She has appeared in multiple PETA advertisements as well as commercials for Heineken beer, L’Oreal cosmetics, and Exclamation Mark! perfume. Additionally, she did a PSA commercial to fight AIDS. Hailing from Amstelveen in the Netherlands where she spoke English, Dutch German, and French fluently; Janssen has two sisters- director Antoinette Beumer and actress Marjolein Beumer who work professionally as directors and actresses respectively.
She first came to the public’s attention through her role in 1992’s Fathers & Sons; however, 1995’s GoldenEye proved pivotal to her career success; in that film, she played femme fatale Xenia Onatopp – to great critical acclaim – which proved a breakthrough role.
Janssen struggled to break free from being typecast despite the success of her debut film, yet managed to broaden her portfolio through appearances in movies such as Woody Allen’s Celebrity, Robert Altman’s The Gingerbread Man, John Irvin’s City of Industry and Ted Demme’s Monument Avenue – as well as horror roles like Dead Girl Deep Rising and The Faculty.
Recent projects of hers include playing an essential role in the 2017 film A Cure for Wellness alongside Matt Smith and Jennifer Morrison, with three more projects scheduled in 2018 such as Knights of the Zodiac, Redeeming Love, and Dangerous to Come.
Famke Janssen has been married twice. Her first marriage, to actor Tod Williams, ended in 2000 after they separated; then in 2006 she married producer Cole Frates; they have one daughter together. Additionally, there was also an intimate romance between Janssen and Ryan Gosling between 2004-05 that ended shortly thereafter.
Famke Janssen’s Awards
Famke Janssen has captured the hearts of millions with her captivating performances. Her distinct appearance gives her an unforgettable screen presence that has often drawn comparisons with Hedy Lamarr. Janssen has appeared in various genres of films from romantic comedies to action-packed dramas and thrillers and has received critical acclaim for both directorial and writing roles she has taken up.
Janssen speaks fluent English, Dutch, and French as well as some German. She has appeared in commercials for Heineken, L’Oreal, and Exclamation Mark! perfume as well as creating an AIDS PSA for the American Foundation for Aids. Janssen takes great pleasure in dancing; finding her groove on the dance floor brings great satisfaction to her. Working alongside some of the cinematography’s top talents including Dante Spinotti and Matthew Libatique have produced visually striking movies.
Janssen has also been actively engaged with charitable organizations that support children’s rights and environmental conservation. She serves as an advocate for PET, a nonprofit animal welfare group. Furthermore, Janssen enjoys photography and reading – passions that inspired her to write the children’s book Cursed (published in 2007).
Famke Janssen was honored by being designated by the United Nations as a Goodwill Ambassador for Integrity in 2008. Additionally, Janssen has actively been involved with humanitarian efforts like aiding in relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake relief and supporting breast cancer research through fundraising events for this cause.
Janssen lives with her daughter Alison in Los Angeles with Cole Frates since 2006. Before this relationship, Janssen had been engaged to actor Anson Mount but they eventually parted ways and he later married someone else. Janssen has also been linked with Ryan Gosling but this has yet to be confirmed and was previously married for seven years to Kip Williams who is an American director and producer from 1995 – 2000.