Maïwenn Besco (born 17 April 1976) is a French actress and film director.
Besco's mother ushered her into the entertainment industry at a young age, an experience later chronicled by Le Besco in her one-woman shows "Le Pois Chiche" and "I'm an Actress". Maïwenn Le Besco starred in several films as a child and teenage actress, notably as "Elle as a child" (the child version of the lead role played by Isabelle Adjani) in the hit film L'été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer, 1983). In 1991, due to her difficult relationship with her parents, she decided to use only her given name professionally.
She met director and producer Luc Besson in 1991. The two later began a relationship, after which Maïwenn, having lost her motivation as an actress, interrupted her career for several years. She lived in Beverly Hills raising the daughter she had with Besson at the age of 16. During this period, she only appeared in a supporting part in Léon, in which she was credited as Ouin-Ouin. She also directed the film's making-of. Perhaps Maïwenn's most internationally-seen film role was her appearance as the alien diva Plavalaguna in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997).
After her breakup with Luc Besson, Maïwenn returned to France and resumed her career as an actress. She performed as a standup comedian in an autobiographical one-woman-show, and reentered the movie business after several filmmakers saw her comedy routine in Paris. She appeared in several notable movies, including the horror film Haute Tension (English title: High Tension), in which she starred opposite Cécile de France. In 2006, she directed her first feature film, the semi-autobiographical Pardonnez-moi...
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