"I first decided to become an actor at school. A teacher gave us a play to do and that had a major impact. At first, I wanted to work in the theatre, but there was something about the ambience of film, especially American films, that always attracted me."
Need a badass with a deep voice and an authentic French accent? Call for Jean Reno!
Juan Moreno y Herrera-Jiménez (born July 30, 1948 in Casablanca, Morocco), francized to "Jean" and shortened to "Reno", is a French actor of Spanish descent (his parents came from Andalusia and lived in Morocco when it was a Spanish protectorate).
He moved to France when he was seventeen and studied acting at the Cours Simon acting school. His multiple collaborations with Luc Besson in The '80s and The '90s gained him much notice in France and abroad, and the one-two-punch of The Professional and Les Visiteurs cemented him as a star.
- The Last Battle (1983) as the Brute
- Subway (1985) as the Drummer
- The Big Blue (1988) as Enzo Molinari
- Nikita (1990) as Victor "The Cleaner"
- L'Opération Corned-Beef (1991) as Capitaine Philippe "Le Squale" Boulier
- Porco Rosso (1992) as Porco Rosso (French dub)
- Les Visiteurs (1993) as Godefroy de Montmirail "le Hardi"
- Les Visiteurs II: The Corridors of Time (1998)
- Les Visiteurs: Bastille Day (2016)
- La Vis (1993) as Mr. K
- The Professional (1994) as Léon
- The Lion King (1994) as Mufasa (French dub)
- The Lion King (2019, reprised the role in the French dub)
- French Kiss (1995) as Jean-Paul
- Mission: Impossible (1996) as Franz Krieger
- Le Jaguar (1996) as Jean Campana
- The Fifth Element (1997) as Aknot (French dub)
- Witch Way Love (1997) as Molok Edramareck
- Ronin (1998) as Vincent
- Godzilla (1998) as Philippe Roche
- The Crimson Rivers (2000) as Detective Superintendent Pierre Niemans
- Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse (2004)
- Just Visiting (2001) as Thibault de Malfète
- Wasabi (2001) as Hubert Fiorentini
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2002) as Vincenzo "Vinny" Santorini (French dub)
- Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (2004) as Jacques Blancnote
- The Corsican Investigation (2004) as Ange Leoni
- Hotel Rwanda (2005) as Mr. Tillens
- The Tiger and the Snow (2005) as Fuad
- The Da Vinci Code (2006) as Commissionner Bézu Fache
- The Pink Panther (2006) as Gilbert Ponton
- The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
- Flushed Away (2006) as Le Frog
- Couples Retreat (2009) as Marcel
- Jo (2013) as Joachim "Jo" Saint-Clair
- The Last Face (2016) as Dr. Mehmet Love
- Cold Blood Legacy (2019) as Henry
- Da 5 Bloods (2020) as Desroches
- Die Hart (2020) as Claude Van De Velde
- The Doorman (2020) as Victor Dubois
Tropes & Trivia in his works:
- The Comically Serious: His poker face falls into this territory in the comedies in which he plays.
- Face of a Thug: Leads to him being type-casted as a thug, hitman or at very least a rough cop. Godefroy de Montmirail meanwhile is an aversion: his face does look rough, but he is a noble, strong, brave and feasts-loving knight from The Middle Ages.
- Fake Nationality: He can play quite a few non-French nationalities in a pinch, including a damn good Elvis Presley impersonation.
- Ink-Suit Actor: The character of Jacques Blanc in Onimusha 3: Demon Siege was not only voiced by him in French and Japanese, he was also modelled after him.
- Japandering: He played... a live-action Doraemon in a few Toyota commercials. No, seriously.
- Playing Against Type: French Kiss was the first film to play with his "tough guy" screen persona. While he certainly was a no-nonsense cop in the film, his character was also an idealistic and romantic father.
- In A Private Affair (or Un Asunto Privado) he plays Héctor Hugo, the Quiroga family's cautious butler and reluctant sidekick in Marina's detective escapades.
- Production Posse:
- He has appeared in five movies directed by Luc Besson — The Last Battle, Subway, The Big Blue, Nikita and Léon - The Professional, which cemented his star status. He's also been cast in some movies written (but not directed) by Besson and produced via the latter's EuropaCorp production company, such as Wasabi and Crimson Rivers II: Angels of the Apocalypse. He also dubbed the Mangalore leader Aknot in Besson's The Fifth Element.
- He's been directed by Jean-Marie Poiré in L'Opération Corned-Beef, the three Les Visiteurs films and Just Visiting.
- Those Two Actors: He has been famously paired with fellow French actor Christian Clavier in comedy films since L'Opération Corned-Beef and Les Visiteurs. He also voiced Shadow in the French dub Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, while Clavier voiced Chance.
- Becomes Those Three Actors if you add Valérie Lemercier for all of the three mentioned films.