Maria de Medeiros (born August 19, 1965 in Lisbon) is a Portuguese actress, director and singer who has been involved in both European and American film productions. Maria de Medeiros was born into a family of intellectuals. Her mother is a journalist, her father a pianist, composer, conductor and music historian. She spent her childhood in Vienna, in Austria, and then followed her parents to Lisbon, after the ?Carnation Revolution? in 1974. Both in Austria and in Portugal she went to the French School.
Maria de Medeiros was born into a family of intellectuals. Her mother is a journalist, her father a pianist, composer, conductor and music historian.
She spent her childhood in Vienna, in Austria, and then followed her parents to Lisbon, after the ?Carnation Revolution? in 1974. Both in Austria and in Portugal she went to the French School.
At fifteen, she performed her first leading role in a movie, Silvestre, by Jo?o C?sar Monteiro. Still a teenager, she started to act in classical theatre plays, directed by Philippe Fridman.
At eighteen, she moved by herself to Paris where she started to study philosophy before she entered a National Theatre School (Ecole Nationale Sup?rieure des Arts et Techniques du Th??tre).
Two years later, she became a pupil at the prestigious Conservatoire National Sup?rieur d'Art Dramatique de Paris. She studied with Michel Bouquet and Jean-Pierre Vincent. Simultaneously, she played Elvire, Jouvet 40, directed by Brigitte Jaques at the Ath?n?e Theatre. This play was performed in Paris for three years and was shown in many countries all over the world.
Later, Maria acted in numerous plays and films both in France and abroad. She played Corneille, Lorca, Mairet and Calder?n, with directors such as Brigitte Jaques, Jorge Lavelli, Jean-Marie Vill?gier and Jos? Luis Gomez, in important National Theatres like Chaillot, Th??tre de la Colline and Th??tre de l'Od?on.
She performed in France in films by Chantal Ackerman, Christine Laurent, Suzanne Schiffman, Jean-Charles Tacchella, Serge Moati, Didier Le P?cheur, Bernard Rapp, Christian de Challonges, G?rard Pullicino, John Lvoff, Patrick Braoud? and Richard Berry amongst others.
In the United States, Maria starred in big productions such as Henry & June by Philip Kaufman and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. But she also acted in a few independent films.
Maria remained very faithful to Portuguese cinema. She worked with Manoel de Oliveira, Teresa Villaverde, Luis Galv?o Telles and Joaquim Leit?o.
She also performed in Spanish films like Golden balls (Huevos de Oro) by Bigas Luna, The detective and Death, by Gonzalo Suarez or Airbag by Juanma Bajo Ulloa. She worked with directors from England, Canada, Italy, Germany, Austria, Japan, and Brazil? English, Canadian, Italian, German, Austrian, Japanese and Brazilian productions.
In France, she starred in a few TV movies, by directors such as Joyce Bu?uel, Robert Enrico or Miguel Courtois. Recently, she played one of the leading roles in the successful series by Tonie Marshall Venus and Apollo.
Simultaneously to her career as an actress, Maria started at the age of twenty to direct short and medium length films, such as Fragment II, based on the play by Samuel Beckett, and Death of the Prince, based on the play by Fernando Pessoa.
In 1999, she directed her first feature film, April Captains (Official Selection at Cannes 2000) about the ?Carnation Revolution? in Portugal. The film won the Grand Prix at the International S?o Paulo Film Festival in Brazil, the Golden Globe for the best film in Portugal and several public awards in France.
Later, she directed a documentary, Je t'aime, moi non plus ? Artists and critics, on the relationship between artists and critics. She also directed a few shorts such as ?Alguma coisa acontece?, which is part of a feature film commemorating the city of S?o Paulo's 450 years, together with many internationally renowned film makers.
As an actress, she was given the Prix G?rard Philippe in 1990 and several Best Actress awards in international film festivals. She was awarded the Copa Volpi for Best Actress at the Venice International Film Festival in 1994 for the film Two Brothers, my sister by Teresa Villaverde. She also received two Portuguese Golden Globes for Best Actress for Adam and Eve and April Captains.
Maria often sang in her career as an actress, in theatre musicals such as Zazou by J?r?me Savary, or more recently, in Guy Maddin's film The saddest music in the world.