Born on 28 May 1974 in Paris, son of an engineer-architect father, Duris studied arts at university. He was noticed in the street by a casting director whilst waiting in a queue in 1993 and offered a part in the 1994 Cédric Klapisch film Le péril jeune. His sister is pianist Caroline Duris, who performs on the soundtrack of the 2005 film The Beat That My Heart Skipped (French: De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté). Before going into acting, he started an acid-jazz band where he was a drummer. Duris lives in Paris near La Bastille area of Paris with his actress girlfriend Olivia Bonamy with whom he has a son, Luigi, born February 10, 2009.
Romain Duris is most famous for his role as the French exchange student Xavier Rousseau in The Spanish Apartment and The Russian Dolls. He has a reputation for versatility, having played a thug in The Beat That My Heart Skipped.