Camille Cottin. Photo: Gaumont Distribution

Long before she conquered the box office, Camille Cottin packed a punch as TV’s most fearless, and reviled, provocatrice; thanks to her irreverent breakthrough sketch show Connasse. No wonder. Armed with a hidden camera, the ballsy comédienne blazed through Paris, under the guise of her obnoxious alter-ego Camilla, dolling out insults, incensing taxi drivers, taunting joggers and ruffling paper-pushers.

But Cottin truly came into her own in 2015, when she brazenly clambered on the gates of Kensington Palace (unhurried bobbies eventually dragged the baying thesp down), only to later burst through the Changing of the Guard as a crew secretly filmed her antics for cringe-worthy spin-off movie Connasse, Princesse des coeurs; this time charting Camilla’s efforts to hunt down and marry Prince Harry. She spent two days in jail for the privilege.

Stoically facing the gaol not to break character on her illicit spree was the game-changer which propelled the loose canon overnight from fringe comic to bona fide star. Since her spell as the rabble-rouser, she has become the darling of French cinema, totting up a string of (relatively conservative) roles, including a remote social worker in Cigarettes et Chocolat Chaud and feisty gay impresario in Cédric Klapisch’s hit series Dix Pour Cent. Her cheek even nabbed her a coveted part in Allied opposite Brad Pitt. Worth every mortifying second behind bars, surely…

10-Second CV: A screen star’s life in one take

Name: Camille Cottin

Born: December 1, 1978 in Paris

Early career: After graduating, she made ends meet as a secondary school English teacher while taking acting lessons. She eventually joined a high- profile troupe in 2009. She enjoyed her first taste of fame in 2013, when she was cast as loudmouth Camilla in sketch show Connasse.

I know the face… She appeared as Monique in World War Two romantic thriller Allied alongside Hollywood royalty Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.

Where will we see her next? She currently stars as Juliette Binoche’s iron-willed daughter in awards-tipped comedy Telle mère, telle fille. The second series of her hit show Dix Pour Cent is currently airing in France. It’ll be available on Netflix soon.

C’est pas vrai! She feared police would arrest her before she’d even reached the gates of Kensington Palace, ruining Connasse’s pivotal scene. She needn’t have worried. It took an age for guards to notice the baying woman hanging on for dear life.

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From France Today magazine

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