French-Swiss actress (Rio Sex Comedy 2010) Irene Jacob Nude in The Affair (2017) s03e10
Irène Marie Jacob (born 15 July 1966) is a dual French-Swiss actress considered one of the preeminent French actresses of her generation. Jacob gained international recognition and acclaim through her work with Polish film director Krzysztof Kieślowski. She won the 1991 Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for the Kieślowski film The Double Life of Véronique, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for his 1994 film Three Colors: Red. Her other film appearances include The Secret Garden (1993), Beyond the Clouds (1995), U.S. Marshals (1998), and Eternity (2016).
Irène Jacob was born in Suresnes, Hauts-de-Seine, a western suburb of Paris. The youngest child with three older brothers, she was raised in a highly educated and intellectual family and environment: her father, Maurice Jacob, was a physicist; her mother, a psychologist; one brother, Francis Jacob, a musician; and two brothers, scientists. In 1969, at the age of three, Irène moved with her family to Geneva, Switzerland, where she became interested in the arts.
My family was very shy with feelings and never spoke about them, but we evolved a little bit. I think part of the reason I was attracted to theater was because I wanted to be close to stories because they could help me relate to my family.
Jacob developed an interest in performing after seeing the films of Charlie Chaplin. “They took my heart”, she has recalled. “They made me laugh and cry, and that was exactly what I was waiting for in a film: to awaken me to my feelings.”
She made her stage debut in 1977 at the age of 11. She attended the Geneva Conservatory of Music and earned a degree in languages (she speaks fluent French, English, German, and Italian). She also studied at the Dramatic Studio in London, England. In 1984, she moved to Paris, where she studied acting at the prestigious Rue Blanche (the French national drama academy).