Jean-Marc Barr

Jean-Marc Barr


9/27/1960, Bitburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

Birth Name


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Primarily known to American audiences as Jacques Mayol in Luc Besson's cult classic, The Big Blue, Jean-Marc Barr has actually forged a career in avant-garde cinema not only as an actor but also as screenwriter, director, cinematographer and producer. Born to a French mother and American father, he…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jean-Marc co-wrote and co-directed three films from 1999 through 2001. Dubbed FREETrilogy, they each explore different freedoms and the effect of exercising them:

      Lovers (1999), examines free love.
      Too Much Flesh (2000), deals with sexual freedom.
      Being Light (2001), tackles freedom of the spirit.

    • Nominations and Awards:

      César Awards (1989) – nominated as Best Actor for Big Blue (1988).

      Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema (1999) – winner of FIPRESCI Prize, Special Mention, for Lovers (1999).

      European Film Awards (2005) – Nominated as Best Actor, an Audience Award, for Cote d'Azur (2005).

    • Favorite Films:

      Early influence – Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965).

      Best of the Lars von Trier films he's acted in – Breaking the Waves (1996).

    • Jean-Marc's father, now a U.S. Air Force Colonel, met his French-born mother while deployed overseas.

    • Jean-Marc is part of the Dogme95 movement that proposes to remove everything false from films. It's considered a democratization of the film industry, since make-up and effects aren't allowed, filmmakers from poorer countries enter a level playing field. Barr's 1999 film, Lovers, has been certified as Dogme #5 on the list.

    • Jean-Marc's wife, Irina Decermic, has composed the score for all of his dogma films.

    • Jean-Marc met his wife, Irina Decermic, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she was also a student.

    • Jean-Marc is godfather to Lars von Trier's twins.

    • Jean-Marc studied philosophy at UCLA, the Paris Conservatoire, and the Sorbonne.

      Jean-Marc pursued a degree in drama at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England.

  • Quotes

    • Jean-Marc Barr: (of working with Pascal Arnold) We can fight about an ash-tray that's not in the right place, but that's OK as long as we are moving on. It's a dialogue that builds the film, and our different backgrounds are what makes the thing work.

    • Jean-Marc Barr: I think the only film directors who are interesting are those who have something to say.

    • Jean-Marc Barr: I don't want to act in industrial movies. My choice is free cinema.

    • Jean-Marc Barr: (of how a European director can succeed in Hollywood) He has to forget about art, and start counting money. … And lose himself.

    • Jean-Marc Barr: (of playing gay characters) Occasionally homosexuality is just an alibi called to reveal more important ideas

    • layle1 USER EDITOR

      User Score: 40