Though born into an artistic family in the mid-'70s (with a London-based stage director father and a Paris-based stage actress mother), Marina Hands bucked family convention as a young girl by pursuing interests in a field outside of the performing arts: professional horseback riding. By her mid-teenage years, she had established herself as a charter member of France's junior equestrian league, but perceived a full-time career in this area as unrealistic, and soon caught the family acting bug instead. Hands took one of her first screen bows in 2000, with a small role in Andrzej Zulawski's La Fidélité, then gradually ascended to higher billing with supporting parts in a series of productions over the next several years. Hands truly broke through to no-holds-barred international acclaim with her lead in Lady Chatterley (2006), Pascale Ferran's sizzling, erotic adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's classic novel -- a courageous effort that netted her a Best Actress César and the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature award from Telluride. Hands followed it up by collaborating with acclaimed director Julian Schnabel, tackling a small role in his drama The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).