Clémence Poésy started acting on stage at the age of 14 in a play by her theatre director and actor father. She debuted on television in the role of Hélène in a couple episodes of the French crime series ‘Un homme en colère’ in 1999. It was followed by an appearance in another French series, ‘Les monos’ (2000) and roles in the short film ‘Petite soeur’ and the French-Belgian TV movie ‘Tania Boréalis ou L'étoile d'un été’, both in 2001. Her feature film debut was in the titular role of Olga in the German drama film ‘Olgas Sommer’ (2002). Next year, she had a standout performance as the eccentric daughter of the Rozes family in the French comedy ‘Welcome to the Roses’ (‘Bienvenue chez les Rozes’) and also appeared in the telefilm ‘Life After All’ (‘Carnets d'ados: La vie quand même’). Her first English-language role was in the two-part BBC historical mini-series ‘Gunpowder, Treason & Plot’ (2004), in which her portrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots earned her the 2005 ‘Golden FIPA’ for actress in a TV Series and Serial.
Clémence Poésy gained international recognition in 2005 for her role as French sorcerer Fleur Delacour in the fantasy film ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, the fourth installment in the popular ‘Harry Potter’ film series based on novels by J. K. Rowling. She would later reprise the role in both parts of the final installment in the series, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ (2010-11). Also in 2005, she appeared in three episodes of the American apocalyptic drama miniseries ‘Revelations’. The following year, she earned the ‘Swann d'Or for Best Actress’ for her performance in the film adaptation of the famous novel ‘Le grand Meaulnes’, and acted in ‘Les amants du Flore’, a TV movie about the lives of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.
In 2007, Clémence Poésy portrayed Natasha Rostova in the French-Italian-German mini-series ‘War and Peace’, an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel. The same year, she played the female lead in Ildiko Enyedi’s Hungarian sci-fi film ‘Tender Interface’ and acted in French productions like ‘Sans moi’ and ‘The Last Gang’ (‘Le dernier gang’). She next starred alongside Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson in Martin McDonagh’s debut feature film ‘In Bruges’, a black crime-comedy that won numerous awards and accolades. That year, she also played lead roles in the fantasy drama ‘The Third Part of the World’ (‘La troisième partie du monde’) and the short film ‘Blanche’. Her acting credits in the following years include the British horror film ‘Heartless’, the British-American biographical survival drama ‘127 Hours’, the French-Canadian drama film ‘Lullaby for Pi’, and the French romantic-comedy ‘Pièce montée’. In 2010, she had the guest role of Chuck Bass's new French girlfriend, Eva Coupeau, in four episodes of the American teen drama series ‘Gossip Girl’.
Clémence Poésy portrayed French heroine Joan of Arc in the 2011 historical film ‘Jeanne captive’ (‘The Silence of Joan’). In 2012, she appeared opposite Eddie Redmayne in the British miniseries ‘Birdsong’ and depicted a combination of Isabella of France and Anne of Bohemia in ‘Richard II’, the first episode of the first series of the British television series ‘The Hollow Crown’. That year, she also made her Broadway debut in an adaptation of ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’. She played the main role of Captain/Commander Elise Wassermann in the British-French crime drama ‘The Tunnel’ (2013-18), which earned her a nomination for best actress at ‘L'Association des Critiques de Séries’. During this period, she appeared in several local and international short films such as ‘The Capsule’, ‘Hopper Stories’, ‘Karaoke!’, ‘Métamorphoses’ and ‘Grizzly Bear: Mourning Sound’. She starred opposite Michael Caine in the 2013 German-French-American drama film ‘Mr. Morgan's Last Love’. She subsequently had major roles in the French drama ‘GHB: To Be or Not to Be’, the French political thriller ‘The Great Game’ (‘Le grand jeu’), the British thriller ‘The Ones Below’, the Italian-Swiss-French drama ‘7 Minutes’, the French comedy-drama ‘Two Is a Family’ (‘Demain tout commence’), the British biographical drama ‘Final Portrait’, and the Italian sci-fi comedy ‘Little Tito and the Aliens’ (‘Tito e gli alieni’).
In 2018, Clémence Poésy played the main role of Françoise Gilot in the second season of the American anthology series ‘Genius’. The next year, she wrote and acted in her directorial debut, the short film ‘The Tears Thing’ (‘Le coup des larmes’), and had a major role in the Swiss-Belgian drama film ‘Beyond the Horizon’ (‘Le milieu de l'horizon’). In 2020, she starred opposite Jesse Eisenberg in the biographical drama film ‘Resistance’ and in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller film ‘Tenet’. Since then, she has played the main roles of Léonora in the French drama series ‘En thérapie’ and Stella Ransome in the British gothic romance miniseries ‘The Essex Serpent’, apart from making a guest appearance as herself in an episode of the British comedy series ‘Ten Percent’.