The former model transformed into an acting star after her first major movie role as "Xenia Onatopp" in the 1995 James Bond movie "Goldeneye." Even after appearing in some of high profile films of recent years such as Don't Say a Word, I Spy and X-Men, Famke retains a comfortable level of anonymity many of her hollywood counterparts cannot. Born in Holland on January 1, 1964, Janssen launched her lucrative modeling career at an early age. Moving to New York when she was barely out of her teens, she soon tired of the vacuous nature of modeling and enrolled at Columbia University, where she studied literature and creative writing. Janssen made her screen debut in the 1992 drama Fathers and Sons. Following the success of GoldenEye, the actress began finding steady screen work, appearing in such films as Robert Altman's The Gingerbread Man (1998), in which she played Kenneth Branagh's ex-wife; Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998), which cast her as Branagh's girlfriend; and Robert Rodriguez's The Faculty, in which Janssen's part was furthered by alien brainwashing, instead of Branagh. After closing the century with another excursion into supernatural grotesqueries in the remake of The House on Haunted Hill (1999), Janssen began the 21st century on a somewhat more heroic note, playing one of the titular group of superheroes in Bryan Singer's adaptation of the popular comic book X-Men.
More fun stuff about Famke Janssen
Height 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Her two sisters are blonde and blue-eyed, while she is the only brunette.
Was cast as Serleena in Men in Black II (2002), but had to drop out due to a death in the family. Lara Flynn Boyle was cast in her place.
Speaks Dutch, German, English and French.
Offered the lead female role in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), but turned it down.
Sisters Antoinette Beumer and Marjolein Beumer are a director and actress respectively.
Wears size 11 shoes. Because of their large size, her shoes had to be specially made for her for the film GoldenEye (1995).
Measurements: 36-24-36 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Provides the Dutch-language narration for the Studio Tram Tour at Disney parks.
While appearing on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993) to promote her role of the sex-crazed assassin in the James Bond film GoldenEye (1995), Famke gave Conan a first hand experience of her character's signature moves by performing them on him using the top of his desk. When she asked him if he would like the demonstration, Conan responded with "This is what we in the industry call a 'no-brainer'."
Has a puppy named Licorice.
In 2001, dated actor Ben Affleck.
Ranked #69 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women In The World" (2002).
Her sister was visiting South-East Asia during the Tsunami on December 26th 2004 and had to flee the water to save her life.
Her personal quotes:
"I felt different born into a family with two sisters who are blonde and blue-eyed, with me being the only brunette". In an interview to People Weekly magazine, July 31, 2000. Volume 54, Number 5.
"I would rather not work than play in a movie that nobody watches."
"We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them."
I don't want to be exploited. That of course, as an actress, is a real challenge, not to be exploited. So I'm just going to keep looking for as many different types of roles as I can find in different genre movies. That's my goal, my aim. I like doing that. I've had a pretty varied career so far."
I don't even like talking about dating. It's like having a stamp on your forehead: 'I'm available and I'm looking'.
"I think acting is just like that. There is something childish and fun about it."
"I love darkness. I am attracted to the dark side of life! I thought it was really interesting that Jean Grey went through some changes in this film." - About her character's change in X2: X-Men United
"Looking back, boy, has there ever been a stigma in being a Bond Girl. That's what my mission in life is, just to prove them wrong. That's why I have such an urge to keep going and proving that. It's so silly. What on earth does the way you look have anything to do with whether you can act or not."
I'm a firm believer in taking risks in life, because you'll never get anywhere unless you do, and the more risk involved the greater the outcome - or the worse, but you never know so you've got to go for it.
Meet Famke Janssen
Where you’ve seen her:
Bond villainess Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye was Famke’s breakthrough performance. Since then, the Dutch beauty has dazzled us in The Faculty, Celebrity, The House on Haunted Hill, and also wowed us as Jean Gray in X-Men.
“We’ve always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them. Or at least admire them from a distance.”
She’s got a mean slapshot:
“I got pissed off at this girl for doing something and whacked her in the head with a hockey stick. I think I knocked her out cold.”
“When actors are sleeping together, it takes away from their chemistry on-screen. If two people are attracted to each other on a movie set, they should try to hold out until after it’s done.”
Not a drama queen:
“I’ve never dated. I’ve always just had boyfriends. And I guess I’m pretty lucky because, from what I understand, dating sucks. Although it seems like it’s pretty good for stories. Sometimes I think people date just so they can have a good story to tell about the loser they went out with once.”
Famke Janssen on "Hide and Seek" and "X-Men 3"
No matter what movie Famke Janssen is promoting - in this case it was the thriller "Hide and Seek" with Robert De Niro - the subject of "X-Men 3" always manages to pop up.
Although by now Janssen's got to be tired of fielding "X-Men 3" questions, you wouldn't know it's gotten to her by her demeanor. While at the World Premiere of "Hide and Seek" Janssen talked about working with De Niro, preparing for her role in "Hide and Seek," and didn't shy away from a few "X-Men 3" questions.
INTERVIEW WITH FAMKE JANSSEN ('Katherine'):
What can audiences expect from "Hide and Seek?"
A great ride. It’s creepy and fun and exciting, and it’s got Robert De Niro.
What kind of research did you do to prepare to play a child psychologist?
I met with psychologists, child psychologists, in New York where I live.
What did you learn from them that you incorporated into your character?
A lot of different things because it was really important to do the research, to find out the interaction that a person has with the child and the things that you can do to open them up and make them more comfortable. There’s a lot of different things that are not that easy to describe (laughing).
Were you surprised by anything they told you?
No. But I mean, things like you sit down on the ground maybe. You play games with them, like you try to [do normal things]. That’s the normal kind of stuff that one would expect I suppose.
What was it like working with Robert De Niro?
Great. Fantastic! I worked with Robert De Niro. I’ll always keep it with me.
And I’d imagine working with Dakota Fanning isn’t like working with a normal kid.
She’s a true professional. You forget that she’s a kid. It’s like you’re working with an adult. She’s so good at what she does, so well prepared, very serious about it. She brings a lot to everything that she does.
What’s next for you?
(Laughing) Oh, "X-Men 3," probably.
So what’s happening with “X-Men 3?” Have you heard anything about the Dark Phoenix storyline?
I’ve heard some things. Maybe, maybe soon.
She’ll be prominently featured?
She might be…
Aret there any directors that you’ve heard seriously mentioned to take over for Bryan Singer?
No, they don’t know that yet. But they’re looking.
Famke Janssen: I-Spy
One-time model Famke Janssen got her acting break playing Xenia Onatopp in 007 stunt-fest "GoldenEye". Now she dabbles in the world of international espionage once again, only this time the laughs are intentional...
Tell us about your role in the film.
Owen and I both play special agents. There's a plane that's been stolen from the US government and we have to track it down. Eddie's character is a professional boxer whom we recruit because we think he can help us get into this castle in Budapest. Of course, he makes the worst spy. And Owen's character is not really a good spy either. I'm the only one who knows what I'm doing! Then there's a whole series of comedic events that happen - you'll have to go and see the movie for that.
You've been a Bond girl and now you get to spoof the series. Did you have fun with that?
Yes, I get to spoof the Bond movie. Finally, after years I get a chance! Of course it's fun to spoof the genre and it was really fun to work with these guys. The director Betty Thomas was awesome, too.
What was it like on the set?
When you work with Eddie Murphy, things get improvised. He ad-libs and you stop and go "Where's that coming from?" and you can't help but laugh. There were a bunch of takes I screwed up because it was just so funny and I kept laughing.
Lucky Bond Girl Janssen Jumps To Help Tsunami Victims
Former Bond girl Famke Janssen has recorded a tsunami disaster aid ad in her native Holland after learning her sister and her kids were nearly swept out to sea in the disaster. The model-turned-actress heard about her sister miraculous escape before she learned of the December 26 tragedy, which left huge areas of south east Asia devastated and more than 150,000 dead. She says, "My sister was in Thailand vacationing on a little island with her little kids and they escaped death by like a second. I'm thrilled that they made it out alive. I was actually lucky because I found out that she was OK first before I even heard about what had happened there. I was travelling from Amsterdam to New York so I'm so happy that I didn't have that time period of not knowing what happened." Janssen admits the thought of her family almost being caught up in the tragedy prompted her to use her fame to do whatever she could. She adds, "It's really tragic and it's sad because the future of the countries, most of them relied on tourism as their primary income. If you want to do something donate money, which I did, and I did something for Dutch television. But watching TV and getting depressed over it, it doesn't actually help anybody, so those are for me the things that I have to eliminate out of my life because they are not very productive."
Janssen Causes Chaos at Rockwell's Party
Stunning actress Famke Janssen was so distraught after losing her luxury purse at a birthday bash for actor pal Sam Rockwell, she had all party-goers on the floor searching for it. A "visibly upset" Janssen caused such a scene on Tuesday night at plush New York venue Tai, every member of the A-list crowd helped her find her Marc Jacobs accessory. An onlooker tells website Page Six, "She insisted that the party pause while the 500 people, including Philip Seymour Hoffman and Steven Cojocaru, scrambled about looking for it. We all felt sorry for her because she was visibly upset and proclaimed that, 'My life was in that bag!'" But the incident failed to sour the spirits of Matchstick Men star Rockwell - once the purse was found he slipped out with a sexy blonde and continued the party at glitzy club Bungalow 8.
Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Although producers of the $100-million X2, the sequel to X-Men, had decided to move their location shooting from Vancouver to Kananaskis, near Calgary, Canada for a climactic sequence requiring snow, the weather produced little of it, requiring snow-making machinery to be brought in. "We have had to create tons of snow," director Bryan Singer told the Calgary Sun Tuesday. The newspaper said that while the snow is piling up, the crew and cast, who include Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen, have been able to book appointments at the local Delta Lodge for aroma therapy facials ($80) Alberta Rose Herbal Wraps ($95), Aromatic Sea Salt Scrub ($65), Hot Stone Massage ($110), manicure and pedicure ($60-70), waxing ($20 and up) or an hour-long reiki treatment ($85).
Famke Janssen: Single And Proud
Gorgeous actress Famke Janssen has slammed reports of a dalliance with hunky Ben Affleck - insisting she's quite content on her own. The statuesque starlet, who split from filmmaker husband Todd Williams last year, is "absolutely not" looking for love, despite media reports that she bedded Pearl Harbor star Affleck before getting bored and dropping him. She says, "He's part of a group of friends I've known a long time. We never even dated. I don't even like talking about dating. It's like having a stamp on your forehead: 'I'm available and I'm looking'." She adds, "I've been in relationships since I was 16, so it's nice to have a little break. It's nice to find out you can do things on your own - like I can drill things in my apartment with a power drill. I'm excited about that. Before, I'd have asked the person I was with to do it. Little things like that give me satisfaction."
Famke Dresses Her Dog
Former Bond girl Famke Janssen has turned into the dog-loving freak she always used to despise - she dresses her pooch. The Dutch-born former model always dreamed of having a dog she could call Licorice and when her ex-husband treated her to Boston terrier she immediately became a "doggie fashion whore". She says, "I treat Lick just like a baby. I am consumed by my dog and I can't wait to dress Lick in his cashmere and take him for a walk. Cashmere sweaters, raincoats, collars, and leashes to match - from Prada to Burberry's." The dog had no comment on how it felt about this.
Famke Wants To Go Back In Black
Former Bond girl Famke Janssen is considering returning to her evil roots with a baddie role in Men In Black 2. Janssen first made her name in Hollywood as the thigh-crushingly nasty Xenia Onatopp in Goldeneye. She's now in talks to play the gorgeous MIB villainess Serleena. Producers are keeping the plot for the long-awaited sequel a closely-guarded secret. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones have both agreed to reprise their roles as Agents J and K. Original Black director Barry Sonnenfeld is also returning to the project, due to begin filming in June. Rosario Dawson is being brought in as a new character and a love interest to Smith's character.
Janssen Dumps "Boring" Affleck
She has dumped Ben Affleck - and immediately hooked up with a "mystery man". According to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper the Ben was dropped by the gorgeous actress because he wasn't interesting enough. Affleck was quickly replaced by an unidentified man who joined Janssen in Canada where she's filming the new Michael Douglas film Don't Say a Word (2001). Janssen admits, "I got bored with Ben."
Ben Affleck Dating Super Hero
Hunky Oscar-winning actor Ben Affleck has been secretly dating Famke Janssen. Former model Famke, who recently played Jean Grey in the summer hit X-Men (2000), was spotted kissing the Hollywood heart-throb in a New York bar earlier this week. A source says, "They must have been kissing for half an hour. It was kind of obscene." The source adds that their kissing was so passionate, it made Famke's cocktail dress slip off her shoulder. Sexy Famke, 34, split from her husband, screenwriter and director Tod Williams, last year. Affleck, 28, famously dated actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Their on-off relationship is said to have ended, although they teamed up again for the romantic film Bounce (2000).
Famke Janssen Learns To Lap Dance
Movie star Famke Janssen conducted unconventional research for her latest role - she visited strip joints to get private lap dancing lessons. The sexy actress plays a stripper in new movie Made (2001) - so she made sure she received expert tuition. She explains, "I found a woman who taught me how to strip at home, in the privacy of my own environment with nobody else watching me. That was quite an experience because she taught me how to lap dance and I practiced on her. It was very funny. And then of course I have to come to the set and do it in front of everybody, men only pretty much, so that was intimidating." Famke also picked up a few useful tips for herself. She laughs, "What she does is teach women how to turn their men on. She knows exactly how to rub all over their body and do those things. It's hysterical. She gave me some hot tips that if you wanna know, you have to watch the movie to see what those are!"
X-Men Stars Want Real Super Powers
X-Men (2000) stars Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, James Marsden and Famke Janssen wish they could take their on-screen superpowers home with them. Supermodel Stamos, who plays shape-shifter MYSTIQUE and Gossip (2000/I) star Marsden, who plays CYCLOPS, both wish they could fly. Stamos explains, "I like Mystique's powers. I think I'd like to be a shape shifter because then I could make myself a bird if I wanted to and fly." Marsden adds, "I actually don't know how I survived my childhood. I was an insane boy. I thought I was a super hero. I always wanted to fly and used to jump off the roof of my house and flap my arms." Janssen says, "I would love to have telepathy - but only if I could manipulate people's thoughts. That would be good especially in Hollywood. It would be nice to sit in a room with a director who says, `wrong person' and you can turn the thoughts into, `Oh she's starting to look really good, right person.'"