12 things you didn’t know about Jean Reno

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  • 12 things you didn’t know about Jean Reno
  • World Movies admin
  • July 22, 2013

Jean Reno is an actor as accomplished in his native France as he is in Hollywood.

Starting tonight at 8.30pm World Movies will celebrate this titan of cinema’s career with three of his most acclaimed French films showing over three nights as part of WM: Jean Reno. Tune in tonight for the high-kicking action Wasabi, tomorrow for the classic romantic comedy Jet Lag and Wednesday for the Australian television premiere of The Chef.

In the lead up to the journey through this French icon’s epic career World Movies has discovered a few interesting things you might not have known about the man himself.


1. Although Jean is a French citizen, he was actually born ‚ÄòJuan Moreno’ in Morocco to Spanish parents. He only moved to France at the age of 17.
2. To become a French citizen he signed up for the French National Service where he was drafted into the entertainment and arts division.
3. He is a former student of one of the oldest and most prestigious theatre training courses in France, Cours Simon.
4. In 1979, he made his film debut in L’hyothese du Tableau Vole, and in the next six years he made no less than 17 French films and tele-movies.
5. His role as a sensitive hit man opposite Natalie Portman in The Professional in 1994 brought Reno to main stage Hollywood. It was Portman’s first film role and she was only 12 at the time.
6. He has frequently starred alongside Hollywood elite, opposite Robert DeNiro in the brilliant Ronin, Tom Cruise in Mission:Impossible and Tom Hanks in The DaVinci Code.
7. He has twice played characters who were “cleaners” – psychotic Victor the Cleaner in La Femme Nikita, and the calm assassin Léon in Léon: The Professional.
8. He turned down the role of villainous Agent Smith in The Matrix as he didn’t like the idea of leaving his native France for months of filming in Australia.
9. His best men at his second wedding in 2006 were France’s former President (then Interior Minister) Nicolas Sarkozy and singer Johnny Hallyday.
10. He is multi-lingual and is fluent in French, English, Italian and Spanish.
11. As well as acting, Reno has worked as as a truck driver, accountant and shop assistant.
12. Jean has been a long standing collaborator with director Luc Besson. Together they have made L’Avant Dernier (1981), Le Dernier Combat (1983), Subway (1985), The Big Blue (1985), La Femme Nikita (1991) and Leon (1994).

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