Dive Into Lambert Wilson's best roles

Lambert Wilson in Cannes © Wikimedia Commons Georges Biard
Lambert Wilson in Cannes © Wikimedia Commons Georges Biard
Lambert Wilson in Cannes © Wikimedia Commons Georges Biard

If you love French cinema, then you've definitely seen at least one of Lambert Wilson's movies. If you've seen The Matrix, you've probably seen him as well! Lambert Wilson is known for his diverse career, spanning across movies, TV, and theater, both in France and the US. [Click "Lire la suite" for more]

Copyright for the main image of this article:
Lambert Wilson in Cannes © Wikimedia Commons Georges Biard

If you love French cinema, then you've definitely seen at least one film with the French actor. If you've seen The Matrix, you've probably seen him as well! Lambert Wilson is known for his diverse career, spanning across movies, TV, and theater, both in France and the US. He has played an array of characters across different genres, showcasing his versatility and excellence as an actor. De Gaulle, Matrix Reloaded, Same Old Song... Let's delve into the roles that define Lambert Wilson's career.

Where to watch Lambert Wilson’s films?

Whether you want to watch classic French movies with Lambert Wilson like Same Old Song or new releases featuring the French actor, TV5MONDE USA is the best option to watch French movies with English subtitles in America. With TV5MONDE, you will have access to the live broadcasting of TV5MONDE, the only French language entertainment network in America, and the on demand platform TV5MONDE Cinema which presents every month a curated selection of newly released French movies and classic French films. Finally, you'll get a free access to TV5MONDEplus, the French streaming platform with the largest selection of French-language movies and TV shows in the USA. 


Lambert Wilson, king of biopics

Lambert Wilson has portrayed various real-life personalities throughout his career, cementing his reputation as a talented actor. One of the most notable among his biographical roles was that of General Charles de Gaulle in De Gaulle. Released in 2020, this biopic of the iconic French war hero and president showcased Wilson's ability to portray complex characters with finesse. The portrayal was praised by fans and critics alike, and he was nominated for a César Award.

Another notable biopic of his is The Odyssey, where Wilson portrayed the world-renowned French oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau. The film depicts Cousteau's life, highlighting his adventurous spirit and passion for exploring the mysteries of the deep sea. Wilson captured the courage and audacity of Cousteau as he set out to explore uncharted water territories. He also showed his intense love for the sea, a passion that became an obsession in Cousteau's life. Throughout the movie, the French actor also brings out the human side of Cousteau, which had not been explored much before. He showed the struggles of the marine biologist, his insecurities, and his personal life struggles as a husband and a father.

Wilson's role in Of Gods and Men was also significant, where he portrayed Christian monk Christian de Chergé in the movie. Of Gods and Men tells the tragic story of a group of French monks who are targeted by terrorists. The film was not only critically acclaimed but also won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.

Another memorable biopic with Lambert Wilson is Hiver 54 Abbé Pierre. Wilson played here one of the most beloved and respected French persons, the priest Abbé Pierre, who dedicated his life to help the homeless during the harsh winters. Although wary of all religions, Lambert Wilson decided to get baptized during the shooting of the movie as he felt so close to the values of Abbé Pierre.

Watch and stream French movies with TV5MONDE USA, the best offer for French movies with English subtitles in America.


A newly found love of Comedies

More recently, Lambert Wilson has embraced comedy roles and delivered impeccable performances in various movies. His natural comedic timing and the ability to deliver witty dialogues with ease have made him a sought-after actor for comic roles. 

Wilson's performance in Palais Royal, directed by Valérie Lemercier, is a testament to his talent for comedy. As the King of France, Louis-Philippe, he portrays with a certain delight the absurdities of the French political system in a quirky way.

Let's also mention the French comedy Barbecue where Wilson played the role of the chatty and charismatic Kader and stole each scene with his one-liners. Another notable comedy is Jet Set where he played a wealthy businessman depicting the mad world of high society. Although no one expected him to delve into comedy, he proved to be a versatile and talented actor, showcasing different shades of his personality through comedic roles.

Watch and stream now French comedies with English subtitles on TV5MONDE USA


American Roles

Lambert Wilson dreamed of Hollywood for as long as he can remember. And his dreams came true thanks to Lilly and Lana Wachowski's franchise The Matrix. In The Matrix Reloaded, Lambert Wilson is the Merovingian, an enigmatic French man who controls part of the matrix. Neo, Morpheus and Trinity come to him in the hope that he's the key to the understanding of the universe. Thanks to a cult scene where The Merovingian recites all of his favorite French insults, he became a fan-favorite among the fans. Lambert Wilson came back as the Merovingian in The Matrix Revolution and The Matrix Resurrection. This iconic role in the Matrix franchise has earned him accolades worldwide and jump started his career in Hollywood.

Right after Matrix Reloaded and before Matrix Revolution, Lambert Wilson was cast in Timeline, directed by Richard Donner, Wilson essayed the role of Lord Arnaut, the villain of the film. He delivered a powerful performance, making his character even more memorable. He also appeared in Catwoman, an American production directed by French director Pitof. In the movie, which sadly was a flop at the box-office, he played the role of Georges Hedare, opposite Hollywood star Halle Berry.

Let's also not forget Wilson's performances in The Lazarus Project and Babylon A.D., alongside Vin Diesel, where he showcased his talent and versatility in delivering action-packed performances.


His collaboration with Alain Resnais

Another defining aspect of Lambert Wilson's career is his relationship with director Alain Resnais. The French actor acted in several of Resnais's films, including Hearts, Pas sur la bouche, Smoking/No Smoking, and Same Old Song, for which he was nominated for the César Award for Best Supporting Actor. 

Wilson's collaboration with Resnais resulted in some of his most memorable performances, where he worked alongside renowned actors such as Sabine Azéma, and Jean-Pierre Bacri. The on-screen chemistry between the three of them was obvious, and their collaborations earn them many accolades. 

Lambert Wilson's career has been marked by its diversity, from biopics to comedies, from serious dramas to American blockbusters. But it's his association with renowned director Alain Resnais that remains the highlights of his career, where he delivered some of his most memorable performances. The French actor, born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, is still only 65 so expect to keep seeing him in indie dramas just as much as action-packed summer blockbusters!

Watch and stream now classic French movies and new French film with English subtitles on TV5MONDE USA