French actor and comedian Jean Dujardin began his career performing stand-up comedic act (self-written) in bars and cabarets in Paris. In mid 1990s, together with Bruno Salomone, Eric Collado, Emmanuel Joucla and Eric Massot, he created the comedy group Nous Ç Nous which appeared in the French talent show ‘Graines de star’. In 1997-1998, he appeared in the comedy show ‘Fiesta’ and another tv series ‘Farce Attaque’. He shot into limelight in 1999 when he was roped in to play Jean/Loulou in the French comedy television series ‘Un gars, une fille’, based on the Canadian series of the same name. Till 2003, he appeared in around 439 episodes of the series with each episode being just ten minutes long. In 1999, he reprised his role in an episode of the original Canadian series too.
In 2002, he made his film debut by acting in the anthology short ‘À l'abri des regards indiscrets’ and the comedy film ‘If I Were a Rich Man’. Between 2003 and 2005, he worked in multiple films including ‘Toutes les filles sont folles’, ‘Bienvenue chez les Rozes’, ‘The Car Keys’ (all 2003), ‘Cash Truck’, ‘Mariages !’, ‘Les Dalton’, (all 2004), ‘La vie de Michel Muller est plus belle que la vôtre’, ‘Brice de Nice’, ‘L'Amour aux trousses’ and ‘Il ne faut jurer de rien !’ (all 2005). Amongst these, the surreal comedy-drama film ‘Brice de Nice’, (for which he also co-wrote the script), was his first major successful film.
His film career got a big boost in 2006 when he was cast in the role of the racist and sexist secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath/OSS 117 in Michel Hazanavicius directed action-adventure comedy film ‘OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies’. The movie became a box office hit in France and inspired a sequel ‘OSS 117: Lost in Rio’ in 2009. His work in the former won him best actor award at the ‘Étoiles d'Or’ and best actor award nominations at ‘Globes de Cristal Awards’ and ‘César Awards’. For his work in the sequel, he was nominated in ‘Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actor’.
In between these two films, Jean Dujardin acted in the crime film ‘Contre-enquête’, the comedy horror film ‘Hellphone’, the comedy ‘Cherche fiancé tous frais payés’, the satirical ‘99 Francs’ (all 2007), the crime caper ‘Ca$h’ and the drama film ‘A Man and His Dog’ (both 2008). ‘99 Francs’, adapted from Frédéric Beigbeder's bestselling novel of the same name, received positive reviews and has an IMDB rating of 7.2/10. In 2008, he acted in an episode of comedy series ‘Palizzi’ and directed its 40 episodes. His other release in 2009 was the French-Argentine Western adventure drama film ‘Lucky Luke’.
The year 2010 saw three of his film release including comedy-drama ‘Little White Lies’, black-comedy ‘The Clink of Ice’ and the romance-mystery-drama ‘A View of Love’. In the last movie, directed by Nicole Garcia, he played a man haunted by his past love and won the Swann d'Or for Best Actor.
Jean Dujardin’s next project, the black-and-white silent/part talkie film ‘The Artist’ was a landmark film in his career. Directed yet again by Michel Hazanavicius, this 2011 French film was a comedy-drama-romance about a silent film star George Valentin who falls in love with a young actress as his career goes down with the introduction of the talkie movies. Starring in the lead role, he bagged international acclaim and fame and won multiple awards including the best actor award at the ‘Academy’, ‘BAFTA’, ‘Cannes Film Festival’, ‘Golden Globes’, ‘London Film Critics Circle Awards’, ‘Screen Actors Guild Awards’ and ‘Étoiles d'Or Awards’. His Academy Award win made him the first French actor to win the best actor award at the ‘Oscars’.
In 2012, Jean Dujardin directed a segment – ‘Las Vegas’ – of the omnibus comedy film ‘The Players’ which he co-wrote, co-produced and acted in too. In 2013, he made his Hollywood debut playing the corrupt Swiss banker Jean-Jacques Saurel in Martin Scorsese directed biographical black comedy crime film ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’. The year 2014 saw him in yet another Hollywood movie, the historical drama directed by George Clooney ‘The Monuments Men’. In this movie, he played the role of 2nd Lieutenant Jean-Claude Clermont. The same year, his French film ‘La French’ (‘The Connection’) released and garnered generally positive reviews from critics. In this movie, he portrayed the character of a French police magistrate Pierre Michel who wants to bring down one of the country's most powerful drug rings.
In 2019, his two film releases were ‘An Officer and a Spy’ and ‘Deerskin’ wherein he played the roles of officer Georges Picquart and Georges respectively. The former, a historical drama film, which has a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of 7.2/10 on IMDB, won Jean Dujardin nominations at ‘César Award’ and ‘Lumières Award’ for Best Actor. The latter film, a French comedy horror, had its premiere at the Cannes film Festival and has a Rotten Tomato score of 88% and IMDB rating of 6.7/10.
Since 2013, he has acted in a number of other films including ‘Möbius’, ‘9 Month Stretch’ (both 2013), ‘Un plus une’ (2015), ‘Up for Love’, ‘Brice 3’ (both 2016), ‘Chacun sa vie’, (2017), ‘I Feel Good’, ‘Return of the Hero’ (both 2018), ‘OSS 117: From Africa with Love’, ‘Présidents’ (both 2021) and ‘Novembre’ (2022).
On television, he made quick appearances in tv series ‘Le débarquement’, ‘Platane’ (both 2013) and ‘Call My Agent!’ (2018).