Our Patron: Lambert Wilson | Institut français du Royaume-Uni

Our Patron: Lambert Wilson

We would like to express our gratitude to Lambert Wilson who has agreed to be the Patron of Projet Lumière(s).

About Lambert Wilson

Neuilly sur Seine-born Lambert Wilson trained at the Drama Centre in London between 1975 and 1978. He first appeared on cinema screens in 1977 in Fred Zinnemann’s Julia (alongside Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave). Zinnemann gave Wilson his first major role in Five Days One Summer (1981) opposite Sean Connery. He was awarded the Prix Jean-Gabin for his portrayal of l’Abbé Pierre in Hiver 54 (by Denis Amar) and, as a dramatic actor, has since worked with some of the greatest: Claude Chabrol, Jacques Demy, Bertrand Tavernier, James Ivory, André Téchiné, Andrzej Zulawski, Peter Greenaway, Carlos Saura, Andrzej Wajda and Alain Resnais (four times)…

Wilson is equally at ease in popular comedy – with films such On connaît la chanson (with Sabine Azéma), Palais Royal! (with Valerie Lemercier), Imogène (with Cathrine Frot), Sur la piste du Marsupilami (with Alain Chabat), Alceste à Bicyclette (with Fabrice Luchini) and Barbecue (with Florence Foresti) cementing his popularity in France and francophone territories.

Lambert Wilson regularly performs on stage – in Paris, London and the Festival d’Avignon – directed by, among others, Jean-Louis Barrault and Harold Pinter. He appeared with Judi Dench in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at the Royal National Theatre and in Cocteau’s La Machine infernale directed by Simon Callow opposite Maggie Smith (both in London). At the prestigious Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, he starred in three major musical productions – Robert Carsen’s celebrated take on Bernstein’s Candide (also mounted at Teatro alla Scala), A Little Night Music with Greta Scaachi and Leslie Caron, and The King and I with Susan Graham. As a stage director himself, Wilson has mounted productions of Racine’s Bérénice with Kristin Scott Thomas and Carole Bouquet and Marivaux’ La Fausse Suivante with Anne Brochet (presented at Peter Brooks’ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris). On television Wilson recently appeared in Sam Mendes’ Hollow Crown series for BBC Two playing the King of France.

International movie projects include Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions and Catwoman. In 2010, he interpreted Frère Christian de Chergé in Des hommes et des dieux by Xavier Beauvois – a performance that yielded Wilson’s sixth César nomination.

In 2014 and 2015 Wilson was Master of Ceremonies at the Cannes Film Festival.

Last year, Wilson released his sixth album – Wilson chante Montand – an homage to Yves Montand, the show of which saw him tour throughout France and the Benelux this year.

Lambert Wilson’s film career continues apace – most recently with Pascal Bonitzer’s Tout de suite maintenant with Isabelle Huppert, Mohamed Hamidi’s La Vache with Jamel Debbouze, and Jérôme Salle’s The Odyssey in which he plays Captain Jacques Cousteau alongside Audrey Tautou and Pierre Niney.

He is currently to be seen in cinemas on mainland Europe in Corporate by Nicolas Silhol; in Telle mère, telle fille by Noémie Saglio with Juliette Binoche, and this summer shoots Hélène Fillières’ Volontaire – returning to a tour of Wilson chante Montand in Canada in October.

Wilson’s social engagement is well known: he has been particularly active in spotlighting post-earthquake Haiti through his association with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. His commitment to safeguarding the environment is manifest in his support of UNESCO, FAO, Greenpeace and Agir pour l’Environnement. He works on behalf of the Fondation Abbé-Pierre to eradicate poverty; is an ambassador for Les Toiles Enchantées (an association that brings cinema to hospitals for children), is President of the Comité des Ambassadeurs for La Maison des Journalistes (a Paris-based organization for refugee journalists) and – now – Patron of Projet Lumière(s).