The French star of ''The Artist'' became the first of his countrymen to win an Oscar for Best Actor. Here's the skinny on the boisterous star

Who is he?
The 39-year-old comic actor from suburban Paris is probably best described as the French version of Jim Carrey. Dujardin gained recognition on the sketch TV series Un Gars, Une Fille (1999-2003), where he starred opposite his now wife, Alexandra Lamy. He later collaborated with The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius on the spy spoofs OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006) and OSS 117: Lost in Rio (2009).

His big night
Dujardin, who speaks only two words in his Oscar-winning role, refused to believe he’d become the first-ever Frenchman to win the Best Actor Oscar. ”Maybe it’s an old neurosis or complex of mine,” he told EW through a translator after the win. ”But even if I felt it was a possibility that things were coming into place, I couldn’t imagine it. I still haven’t imagined it fully.”

What’s next
He costars in the short-film compendium Les Infidèles, which just opened in France, and will begin shooting the French thriller Mëbius in Europe next month. Eventually, he’d like to appear in American productions. ”To become a huge star in America, Jean will have to learn a lot more English,” said his Artist costar James Cromwell. ”I personally hope that doesn’t happen, because I love to listen to him mangle everything!” Dujardin said he’s up for the challenge. ”I will still be a French actor in America. And it’s important to play French characters in American movies. I can’t rush into any project. But everything is possible now.”

(Additional reporting by Carrie Bell)

The Artist
  • Movie
  • 100 minutes