Jean Dujardin

Before silent film The Artist hit the big screen, Jean Dujardin was virtually unknown anywhere other than his native France.

Now he's been dubbed the 'French George Clooney' but he initially made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian and comic actor.

Fame on home turf came through a talent show in 1996 with his comedy group at the Carré Blanc theatre.

This led to him starring in Un gars, une fille, a popular TV series stuffed full of gags where he met his future wife Alexandra Lamy.

Film roles followed, including the title role as agent OSS 117 in Cairo, Nest of Spies for which he got a César Award nomination for Best Actor and actually won the Etoile D’Or Award in 2006 - being nominated for such awards is rare for performances in comedy.

But it wasn't until The Artist hit the big screen that Jean was catapulted to worldwide fame playing the charming but troubled George Valentin. 

And from then on came the George Clooney comparisons: "It's a joke. I'm a French actor who's just arrived here! It's very nice, but it's very hard for me to hear such things," he says.

The actor's rise to prominence saw him take home a Golden Globe for best comedy actor in 2012, beating the likes of Owen Wilson and Ryan Gosling.

But much has been made of his difficulties with English.

In 2009, he began to make bigger films and started to learn the language. But he continues to struggle and has an interpreter at his side when giving interviews.

And following his Golden Globe winning speech, the man he is touted to emualte gave him some advice.

To make it big in Hollywood he needs to get a grip on the English language, said Hollywood heart-throb George.
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