04 August 2014

Laetitia Casta

French model and actress Laetitia Casta (1978) became a Guess? Girl in 1993 and was a spokesperson for cosmetics company L'Oreal. She has appeared on over 100 covers of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Elle and Glamour, and modelled for designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and Vivienne Westwood. After her film debut in the blockbuster Asterix & Astérix et Obélix contre César/Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar (1999), Casta became an established actress. She starred on stage in Ondine (2004-2005) as well as in films like Nés en 68/Born in 68 (2008), Visage/Face (2009) and as Brigitte Bardot in Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)/(Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life) (2010).

Laetitia Casta
English postcard by GB Posters, Sheffield, no. PC 0144.


Laetitia Marie Laure Casta was born in Pont-Audemer in Normandy in 1978. She spent her childhood in Normandy and Corsica, with her mother, Line Blin, from Normandy and her father, Dominique Casta, from Corsica. She has an older brother, Jean-Baptiste, and a younger sister, Marie-Ange.

Casta's modelling career reportedly began when she was discovered by the photographer Frederic Cresseaux, an agent of Paris' Madison Models, during a family holiday in her father's native Corsica, at age 15. With her natural beauty, she impressed both the agency's director and the editor of Elle magazine and got a contract.

In 1993 Laetitia signed on with Guess? Jeans for a very successful advertising campaign. Since 1998, Casta has been the L'Oréal Paris brand ambassador. Casta has appeared on over 100 magazine covers including Victoria's Secret catalogues, Harper's Bazaar, Elle magazine, and Vogue magazine. She is the face of several fragrances, including Chanel's Allure and Givenchy's Forbidden flower. She walked down the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show from 1997 till 2000.

In 1999, Casta was ranked first in a national survey ordered by the French Mayors Association to decide who should be the new model for the bust of Marianne, an allegorical symbol of the French Republic, which stands inside every French town hall.

For her first film, Casta has made forays into the blockbuster Asterix & Astérix et Obélix contre César/Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar (Claude Zidi, 1999), based on the comic book by René Goscinny. In this live-action film, she played Falbala, a love interest for Obelix (Gérard Depardieu). It was the most expensive French film ever made and a smash hit in Europe.

Her acting career gained momentum when she starred in the TV mini-series La bicyclette bleue/The blue bicycle (Thierry Binisti, 2000), set in WWII France.

Laetitia Casta
English postcard by Anabas, Essex, no. AP754.

Brigitte Bardot

In 2001, Laetitia Casta appeared in the dramatic film Les Âmes Fortes/Savage Souls (Raoul Ruiz, 2001). It was a major disappointment.

James Travers at Films de France: “Despite an impressive cast and some excellent production values, this quality adaptation of the classic French novel by Jean Giono generally fails to engage the spectator and is amongst the least satisfactory of Raoul Ruiz's directorial efforts to date. Visually impressive this film may be - with some beautiful photography of its Provencal setting and meticulous attention to period detail - but shallow characterization and uneven narrative pacing make watching it a painfully empty experience.”

Other films are Errance/Wandering (Damien Odoul, 2003) and the TV film Luisa Sanfelice (Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, 2004).

On stage she featured in the plays Ondine (2004-2005) written by Jean Giraudoux and Elle t'attend (She is waiting for you) (2008), written and directed by Florian Zeller.

In the cinema she worked with interesting directors like Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau for Nés en 68/Born in 68 (2008) and Tsai Ming-Liang for Visage/Face (2009).

Her interpretation of Brigitte Bardot in the film Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)/(Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life) (Joann Sfar, 2010) was received well. She was nominated for the César Award of the Best Supporting Actress.

Casta served as a jury member at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in 2012. That year, she also appeared in her first American film, Arbitrage (Nicholas Jarecki, 2012) starring Richard Gere.

In 2001, she gave birth to her daughter, Sahteene, by photographer Stéphane Sednaoui. Casta is now engaged to Italian actor Stefano Accorsi. The couple have two children, a son named Orlando (2006), and a daughter named Athenà (2009).

In 2012 Laetitia Casta became a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in Order of Arts and of Letters).

Later this year Casta can be seen with Vanessa Paradis and Isabelle Adjani in Very Bad Girls (Audrey Dana, 2014).

Trailer Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)/(Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life) (2010). Source: icineytv (YouTube).

Sources: James Travers (Films de France), Paul Agius (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.

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