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Creator / Famke Janssen

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Famke Beumer Janssen is a Dutch-born actress. Though her birthday is disputed, The Other Wiki cites her as being born in 1964.

Apart from her native Dutch, Famke also speaks English and French, as evidenced by her acting career. Her early career was that of a model, after a failed attempt at an economics degree in Amsterdam (described by the actress as one of her stupidest moves). She also produced several TV commercials. In the 1990s, she moved into acting. Several almost B Movie-level roles passed, including one with Jeff Goldblum, before she obtained a role in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Perfect Mate". This was quickly followed by a role in the Clive Barker adaptation Lord of Illusions. Her big break came with the James Bond revival movie GoldenEye in 1995. Famke won the role of thigh-crushing assassin Xenia Onatopp.

Despite the potential pitfall of being a Bond Girl (there is talk of the curse that condemns many an actress' career, as seen with the output of over 50 percent of the actresses in the series after their Bond role), Janssen was savvy enough to not carve out an acting career based solely on blockbusters (though it also had a lot to do with her not wanting to be typecast as a Femme Fatale after GoldenEye). After Deep Rising, she established herself as a talented indie actress, though she was notable for appearing in the creepy remake of House on Haunted Hill (1999). She then appeared in five entries of the X-Men Film Seriesnote  as Jean Grey, widely accepted as a decent portrayal of the character.

Since then, Janssen has been notable for playing transgender life coach Ava Moore in Nip/Tuck and for her (finally!) leading roles in movies such as 100 Feet and Turn the River, as well as a role in Taken and its sequels.

She also plays the manipulative matriarch Oliva Godfrey in the Netflix original Hemlock Grove and led the spinoff from The Blacklist, The Blacklist: Redemption, during its only season in 2017.




Associated Tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: In an episode of Nip/Tuck Ava gets compared to a phoenix - an obvious nod to Famke's role as Jean Grey.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: She's played two characters who start out looking mousy but then go through this. Ms Burke in The Faculty and Jean Grey in the X-Men Film Series.
  • Casting Gag: She and Dougray Scott were husband and wife in Hemlock Grove and Taken 3.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • invoked It took her years to admit it but she was disappointed with X-Men: The Last Stand. When she was first cast as Jean, comic fans told her about the Dark Phoenix Saga and she got excited at the thought of doing it in a later film. She expressed disappointment with the final film, saying it had "too many subplots".
    • She's also spoken out about her experiences filming Goldeneye; while appreciative of everything the film has done for her, she has detailed the feeling of sexism during shooting, be it the Director of Photography refusing to engage her in conversation and address her, or having a crowd of onlookers in what should have been a closed set while filming her love scenes.
  • Enforced Method Acting:invoked
    • For Hide and Seek she held a gun with her left hand (she's right-handed) because - although she had used guns in films before - Catherine is a normal psychologist and she didn't want her to look too comfortable holding a gun.
    • For GoldenEye she told Pierce Brosnan to throw her as hard as he could into the wall for the sauna fight scene. She broke a rib filming it.
  • Fake American:invoked Most of her roles. As she has an American accent naturally when speaking English, she rarely plays Dutch characters.
  • Fake Russian:invoked As Xenia in GoldenEye.
  • Femme Fatale: She plays a lot of these, likely with GoldenEye to thank for it. She noted in the early 2000's that she had turned down a number of roles akin to Onatopp shortly after that film's success.
  • Life Imitates Art:invoked After doing Taken she was inspired to take action in the fight against corruption. She became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance:invoked Her favorite role is a little-known comedy called Love & Sex.
  • No Stunt Double:
    • House on Haunted Hill (1999) has a scene where the glass ceiling breaks around Evelyn. Famke did her own stunt for that.
    • Similarly she did her own work on Hansel and Gretel, managing to break a rib after being dropped in a sequence requiring a harness; surprisingly this wasn't a first for her - in GoldenEye she did a number of her own stunts, including driving during the race with Bond and being suspended for her death in the jungle. She also did her own work in the spa fight, resulting in her breaking two ribs after she was run into a wall; this led to Famke expressing some confusion that the scene employed stunt doubles at all during a December 2020 watchalong.
  • Old Shame:invoked She wasn't too fond of Hide & Seek, saying she wouldn't have done it if Robert de Niro hadn't been in it.
  • Playing with Character Type:invoked In The Faculty she plays the Shrinking Violet Ms. Burke, hidden under Nerd Glasses, frumpy clothes and Messy Hair. Then when the alien possesses her, she goes Beautiful All Along and becomes more confident.
  • Reclusive Artist: She stays away from social media, saying she values her privacy.
  • Statuesque Stunner: A full six feet tall, and a definite Ms. Fanservice... even in her 50s!
  • What Could Have Been:invoked
    • She turned down the role of the T-X in Terminator 3.
    • She was offered a regular role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - appearing as Kamala again. She turned it down, wanting to focus on film work. The character Jadzia Dax was created to fill this spot.
    • She was originally cast as Serleena in Men in Black II; after only one day of filming, she left due to a death in her family. Lara Flynn Boyle replaced her.


Video Example(s):


Xenia Onatopp

Xenia kills targets by making them enjoy a good squeeze from her thighs mid-coitus.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / MurderousThighs

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