Gaspard Ulliel, a French movie star known outside his hometown for playing the young Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising” and the designer Yves Saint Laurent in “Saint Laurent”, died Wednesday the day after a skiing accident. in France . He was 37 years old.
Mr. Ulliel’s family confirmed his death in a statement to Agence France-Presse, the French news service.
His death, from a head injury, according to the French press, occurred just weeks before Mr. Ulliel appeared in the Marvel series “Moon Knight” for Disney +, which is slated to debut on March 30.
Roselyne Bachelot, French Minister of Culture, was among the many French political and cultural personalities to pay homage to him. “His sensitivity and the intensity of his acting made Gaspard Ulliel an outstanding actor,” he said said on Twitter. “Cinema today loses an immense talent”.
Mr. Ulliel was born in a suburb of Paris on November 25, 1984. He appeared in numerous French TV shows and films when he was still a teenager and studied film at a university in Paris, hoping to become a director. But he had to drop out of school when his acting career took off, he told The New York Times’ T Magazine in 2010, although a return to directing was “still on my mind,” he said at the time.
In the same interview he talked about his love for skiing, saying: “Half of my family comes from the French Alps. As a child, before walking, I almost skied ”.
Her rise to global prominence came in 2003 with her first starring role in a film, in “Strayed,” as a traveling teenager who helps a woman escape Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II. Karen Durbin, in a review in The Times, claimed to have been the “scene thief” of the film.
“It seems completely arrived, showing us the facets of a complex and fickle character like a blackjack dealer shuffling a deck of cards,” he wrote.
For the performance, Mr. Ulliel was nominated for a César Award, the French version of the Oscars.
He became better known to audiences in the United States when he took the lead role in “Hannibal Rising,” the 2007 prequel to the 1991 hit “The Silence of the Lambs,” portraying Hannibal Lecter as a strangely sympathetic character, though still horribly murderous. . The film received mixed reviews.
But it garnered more unanimous praise for later films like “Saint Laurent” (2014) and “To the Ends of the World,” a 2018 war film set in Vietnam. AO Scott, reviewing “Saint Laurent” in The Times, said that Mr. Ulliel described stylist Yves Saint Laurent as having never experienced a moment of insecurity during his career as he “conveyed a disturbing and quietly charismatic blend of sensibility. and coldness. “
“Saint Laurent” led Mr. Ulliel to a nomination for Best Actor at the César, an honor he won in 2016 for his performance in Xavier Dolan’s “It’s Only the End of the World”, in which he played one award-winning writer who comes home to tell his family that he is dying.
Suitable for someone who played one of fashion’s greatest idols, Mr. Ulliel moved easily into the fashion world as well, having appeared on the cover of French Vogue and as the star of a campaign for the Bleu de Chanel perfume.
No details about his survivors were immediately available.