Sophie Marceau (born Sophie Maupu) began acting in films at fourteen. Up until that point, she grewed up far away from studios spots. Back then, she was living in the Paris suburbs (Gentilly) and her father was a truck driver. At that time, she learned from one of her friends that Claude Pinoteau (a french movie director) was looking for new faces, for a teenagers movie called La Boum. This movie turned out to be a huge success. This led to the sequel La Boum 2 (1982) for which she received the 1983 César for Most Promising Actress. She then bought back her contract with Gaumont when she was sixteen years old for one million of french francs.

"Of course I had to borrow the money", she said, "I didn't have such an amount. People did everything to keep me from doing L'Amour Braque with Zulawski. It was violent and almost racist. I belonged to Gaumont (The studio she then worked for), I was their little pet and had to listen to them. But it was unbearable. I walked around the Champs-Elysées wandering what to do. I was afraid to go to prison for breach of contract".

She has since become one of the most popular and respected actresses in her own country - though she is still not an international star. Her role in Braveheart was her first English-speaking part. Asked why he chose Sophie for the character of Princess Isabelle, Mel Gibson replied: "Well, she's beautiful, she's French and she's a good actress. The character needed to be at least two of those things." Bettina Rheims, who has photographed her many times, calls her "the most beautiful and sensual of young actresses".

In spring 1995, she directed her first film, L'aube à l'envers, an eight-minute short based on a screenplay she wrote while filming Braveheart. It was well received at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

She is critical of French cinema: "It's great that American cinema poses such a threat. In France we have all these pseudo-auteurs who don't have a new idea in their heads." She has a Hollywood agent, but is not tempted to move to Los Angeles and play the Hollywood system like Julie Delpy.

On July 24th 1995 Sophie had her first child, a boy named Vincent. She is unmarried, and lives in Paris with Andrzej Zulawski, a Polish director who is 24 years her senior.

Recently she has just finished filming the 19th James Bond film The World is Not Enough in which she stars alongside Pierce Brosnan and Denise Richards.