Tall, lean, and possessing sensuously moody features, French actor Grégoire Colin has been acting in films and on the stage since he was 12. Although he found steady work in his native country for years, it was not until 1992 that audiences outside of France became aware of him. That year, he had the title role of a disturbed, enigmatic teenager in Agnieszka Holland's Olivier, Olivier and gave an unnerving performance that caught the attention of international critics and art house audiences.
Colin went on to excel in roles that demanded of him a sober, sometimes dark, complexity. In 1994, he starred as a serious young monk in another art house favorite, Milcho Manchevski's Before the Rain, and that same year portrayed a teenager looking for love in the wrong places in U.S. Go Home, the first of his collaborations with director Claire Denis. He and Denis collaborated again, two years later, on the widely acclaimed Nénette et Boni, in which the actor starred as a lovelorn pizza maker; in 1999, he once more stepped in front of Denis' camera to play a young Foreign Legion recruit, in the military drama Beau Travail.
Colin did some of the strongest and most disturbing work of his career to date in Erick Zonca's La Vie Rêvée des Anges (The Dreamlife of Angels, 1998), an internationally celebrated film in which he played a coolly monstrous club owner. After doing some lighter work in Jacques Rivette's Sécret Défense, a comedy drama that cast him as a young man bent on killing his father, Colin stepped into period costume to portray a Jewish radical and poet living in pre-World War II Pairs in Disparus (1999).