Maïwenn Le Besco (born 17 April 1976 in Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis, Île-de-France) is a French actress and film director, sometimes credited as Maïwenn.
She is the daughter of actress Catherine Belkhodja, who ushered her into the entertainment industry at a young age, an experience later chronicled by Le Besco in her one-woman shows "Le Pois Chiche" and "I'm an Actress". Maïwenn Le Besco starred in several films as a child and teenage actress, notably as "Elle as a child" (the child version of the lead role played by Isabelle Adjani) in the hit film L'été meurtrier (One Deadly Summer, 1983). She met director and producer Luc Besson in 1991. The two later began a relationship, after which Le Besco, having lost her motivation as an actress, interrupted her career for several years. She lived in Beverly Hills raising the daughter she had had with Besson at the age of 16. During this period, she only appeared in a supporting part in Léon, in which she was credited as Ouin-Ouin. She also directed the film's making-of. Perhaps Maïwenn's most internationally-seen film role was her appearance as the alien diva Plavalaguna in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (French and UK coproduction, 1997).
After her breakup with Luc Besson, Maïwenn Le Besco returned to France and resumed her career as an actress. She performed as a standup comedian in an autobiographical one-woman-show, and reentered the movie business after several filmmakers saw her comedy routine in Paris. She appeared in several notable movies, including the horror film Haute Tension (English title: High Tension), in which she starred opposite Cécile de France. In 2006, she directed her first feature film, the semi-autobiographical Pardonnez-moi.
Her latest film Poliss won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.