Marlohe was born on May 19, 1979, in Paris, France, the only child of a Chinese-Cambodian doctor and his wife, a Parisian teacher. From an early age, Marlohe was a good student with a passion for the arts. She studied music and fine arts at the Conservatoire de Paris for 10 years, and seriously considered a career as a pianist. She also became fluent in French, English, Spanish and Arabic. By her late teens, Marlohe had developed into a statuesque beauty whose multi-ethnic background graced her with dramatic, striking features. She began a successful modeling career, but her ambition was to act. Ever the diligent student, Marlohe enrolled at the Beatrice Brout International School of Acting to study acting Method, improvisation, and clowning. Early attempts at making acting a profession were met with resistance; she was told that she would have trouble getting work in France as her exotic looks were too far from the norm for French actresses.
Marlohe's first professional acting work was a small role in the short film, "La Discordance" in 2007, but within a year she was booking guest roles on such French television series as "Pas de secrets entre nous" (M6TV, 2008-09) and "Femmes de Loi" (TF1, 2000-09). She worked steadily in bit parts in made-for-television films like "Le Pigeon" (TF1, 2010) and even played a character with a four-episode run on the popular French medical procedural, "Equipe Medicale d'Urgence" (Fr2, 2006-10). In 2011, Marlohe made her first appearance in a feature film with a small role in "L'art de Seduire" (2011). After almost four years of work in episodic television, what would bring Marlohe to the attention of the French audience was a commercial for Renault's Dacia Duster automobile. Playing a beautiful but snobby car shopper, Marlohe turned up her nose at the affordable Duster and sniffed, "We are NOT going to spend so little."
In 2011, Marlohe learned that casting had begun for Skyfall (2012), the then unnamed 23rd film in the James Bond series. Marlohe had grown up going to the James Bond films with her parents and became obsessed with finding a way to audition. She scoured Facebook, IMDb, and other sites and submitted her acting reel to every person she could find with even a tangential connection to the film. Her persistence paid off. Marlohe auditioned for the casting director, and then read scenes with director Sam Mendes and 007 himself, Daniel Craig. In winning the role, Marlohe secured her first English-speaking role, and took on the vaunted mantle of "Bond Girl," a task that Marlohe initially found daunting. Though "Skyfall" would represent the potential for a major leap forward in her career, Marlohe would also appear in a feature in her native France, "Un Bonheur N'arrive Jamais Seul" (2012), which coincidentally starred Sophie Marceau, a former Bond Girl herself.
By John Crye
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