Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the french version of "The Simpsons" (1989). She also has a younger brother, Mathieu. In 1998, she was visiting the set of Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar (1999) with a friend when she caught the attention of Gerard Depardieu. He offered her a role in his next film The Bridge (1999). She only played a small role, but it was enough to further Mélanie's interest in acting.
Year 2000, at just 17 years old, Mélanie was cast as Clara in Rodolphe Marconi’s “Ceci est mon Corps”. Co-starring alongside Mélanie was Louis Garrel (“The Dreamers”) and international icon Jane Birkin. The film received much praise, after later being presented in May of 2001 at the Cannes Film Festival. The film earned a total of 10 César nominations. That very same year, Melanie obtained her baccalauréat (French secondary school diploma), option cinema. She also wrote and directed an untitled short film starrimg Louis Garrel.
Her other film credits include Jennifer Devoldère’s Jusqu’à toi and Et Soudain Tout le Monde me Manque, the latter with Michel Blanc; Jérôme Le Gris’ Requiem pour une tueuse; Rose Bosch’s La rafle (The Roundup); Radu Mihaileanu’sLe Concert (The Concert); Cédric Anger’s Le tueur;Cédric Klapisch’s Paris; Rachid Bouchareb’s award-winning Indigènes (a.k.a. Days of Glory); Jacques Audiard’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped; Michel Blanc’s Embrassez qui vous voudrez; Frédéric Auburtin and Gérard Depardieu’s The Bridge; Laurent Dussaux’ telefilm Route de nuit; and Philippe Lioret’s Je vais bien, ne t’en fais pas, for which she won a César Award (France’s Oscars equivalent) and a Lumiere Award. She has also been honored with the prestigious Prix Romy Schneider.