Charlotte Gainsbourg, a face you will know
Charlotte Gainsbourg is a Franco-British actress, singer and composer. She was born on July 21, 1971, in London, England, the daughter of British born actress and singer Jane Birkin and legendary French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.
Charlotte Gainsbourg made her acting debut at a young age (artistic genes having been present in both of her parents) and has since become a well-known figure in both French and international cinema. First on our screens at a very young age for her role in Lemon Incest alongside her father at only 13 years old, Charlotte subsequently starred in many successful films, receiving critical acclaim for her performances on several occasions. Some of her memorable films include "Jane Eyre", "Independence Day”, "Melancholia", “The Pale Blue Eye”, “Antichrist” and "Nymphomaniac", among many others.
In addition to her successful acting career, Charlotte Gainsbourg is also a talented singer and musician. She has released several albums, often collaborating with various other artists.
Jane Birkin in a nutshell
Jane Birkin was a Franco-British actress, singer and fashion icon. She was born on December 14, 1946, in London, England. Jane Birkin achieved international fame in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly for her work in French cinema and became a household name in France.
Internationally, the most well-known aspect of her career is her collaboration with French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Their famous, sizzling duet "Je t'aime, moi non plus", released in 1969, sparked controversy due to its explicit lyrics and sensuality. It was banned in several countries including the UK and many states in the USA, due to its sexual content, and Jane’s long and breathy simulated orgasm in the song.
In addition to her acting and singing career, Jane Birkin is also known for her sense of style. She became a fashion icon, and Hermès' famous Birkin bag was named in her honor, a design inspired by her need for a larger bag.
Jane Birkin recently passed away after 16 years of a fierce battle with illnesses. Since her stroke in September 2021, her family and the wonderful caregivers have been by her side night and day. For the last few days prior to her death, she had been walking again, was motivated to reprogram her performances and had decided to regain her independence. This first evening alone was also her last. The 76-year-old singer was found lifeless late on a Sunday morning in July at her Parisian home by her care assistant. Charlotte Gainsbourg announced the passing of her mother in a tweet.
Recorded for posterity, Jane by Charlotte
Charlotte Gainsbourg opened up about her difficult relationship with Jane Birkin in a loving work (available in French with English subtitles) entitled Jane by Charlotte. It is a wonderful documentary showing the relationship of the two of them and is a dedicated work of honesty and love.
Exactly a year ago, in July 2022, Charlotte Gainsbourg presented "Jane by Charlotte" at the Cannes Film Festival. In this documentary, the daughter filmed her mother for three years during her everyday life, in order to show her in a new light.
Through the camera, the ice is broken over several years, to reveal an unprecedented exchange, which gradually erases the two artists and reveals them in a series of intimate conversations, showing a mother’s relationship with her daughter.
In front of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s camera, the rare confidences of a mother
The filming of "Jane by Charlotte" had been an opportunity for the two women to get closer, to have fun and to shake up the modesty that has always been present between them: "I wanted to have some privileged moments, which I had. There wasn’t a lot of tenderness in the past, because that's not our way of doing things. But now, I need it. So, I asked for it, and I feel less inhibited to express it too,” Charlotte recalls.
Charlotte Gainsbourg began filming her mother, Jane Birkin, to see her as she never had done before. The modesty of both of these women had never allowed them to be close before. Complex, modest but showing sincere relationships and a lot of complicity and love. These were the relationships that French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg had with her famous father Serge and with her mother, the British singer and actress Jane Birkin, who died on Sunday July 16, 2023 at the age of 76.
Jane by Charlotte. Jane BIRKIN and Charlotte GAINSBOURG: “We will love each other forever.”