Vincent Cassel (born November 23, 1966) is a French actor. Well known in his native France as a leading man, Cassel is usually cast as a villain in English-speaking films.
Cassel was born Vincent Crochon in Paris, France, to Sabine Litique, a journalist, and French actor Jean-Pierre Cassel. He is married to Italian actress Monica Bellucci, with whom he has a daughter, Deva, born September 12, 2004, in Rome, Italy. His brother Mathias is a rapper with the group Assassin under the name "Rockin' Squat". His sister, Cécile is an actress. He has a passion for Capoeira and displayed his talent in the movie Ocean's Twelve.
His breakthrough role was in Mathieu Kassovitz's critically acclaimed film La Haine where he played a troubled youth from the deprived outskirts of Paris. Cassel has gone on to act in a variety of films such as the moody L'Appartement (with Monica Bellucci before they married), the violent Dobermann, genre-bending Le Pacte des Loups (in English, Brotherhood of the Wolf) and in the highly controversial Irréversible.
Cassel has also done a number of English language films, such as Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen, Derailed, Birthday Girl, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Elizabeth, Eastern Promises, and Shrek (as the voice of Monsieur Hood). In 2006, he appeared in Sheitan, in which he played a shepherd who carries out satanic rituals. In 2008, he appeared in two movies about Jacques Mesrine, who was France's "public enemy number one" in the seventies. Cassel received the 2009 Cesar award for best actor for his performance in "Mesrine," directed by Jean-Francois Richet.
An early appearance on British television was as Nicole's boyfriend in the 1994 Renault Clio advert which was used in the UK.
In October 2008, L'Oréal signed Cassel to be the face of a new Yves Saint Laurent men's fragrance. The new fragrance, La Nuit de l'Homme, was launched worldwide in March 2009.
In 2009, he made his debut as a singer on Zap Mama's album ReCreation, singing along side her on the singles "Paroles, Paroles" and "Non, Non, Non."