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Who is James Tierre?

Have you heard of an artist like James Tierre? Do you know that he is the grandson of the great comedian Charlie Chaplin? To be honest, the actor does not like to advertise it. He wants to be perceived as he is, and appreciated for his personal qualities, and not because he is a relative of the star of silent cinema. After all, he is not only a magnificent mime, but also an acrobat and a clown, a director and an actor, a musician, more precisely, a violinist, well, a producer. His trick is that he brought the circus elements to the theater. He, as well as his mother and sister, is called a theatrical experimenter. For his merits as a circus, theater and filmmaker, he was awarded the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France. This is not his only reward, we'll talk more about all this in the article.

James Tierre: Biography

The future artist was born in the Swiss town of Lausanne in early May 1974. The name given to him at birth and recorded in his documents is Henri Edmond Marcel Tierre James Spencer. His parents were circus artists - Victoria Chaplin (daughter of the great mime) and Jean-Baptiste Thierry, by the way, the grandson of the most famous playwright in Europe, Eugene O'Neill, an Irish by birth.

A story of love for parents

James grew up in an atmosphere of love. From childhood, he and his sister liked to listen to the romantic story of their parents' acquaintance. When Victoria was still quite a young girl, she lived with her father Charlie Chaplin and her mother Una in the town of Vevey, which was not far from Lausanne. The girl took dance lessons, and the father, who by that time began to act as a director, was preparing her for filming in the film The Freak. In one of the local magazines published a photo of the girl with her interview, where she told that she dreams of a career clown. She was very beautiful, with gray-blue huge eyes, flawless skin of a very beautiful light shade. Jean-Baptiste Tierre, a French actor who starred in the works of Frederico Fellini and Alain René, saw this article and wrote a letter to Victoria. He told her about his intention to create a circus of a new generation, which will in many respects differ from the classical one. The girl did not ignore this message and responded to the letter. After this, Jean-Baptiste came to Lausanne, where he and Victoria began to meet secretly. She was sure that her parents would not approve of her choice, so the young couple fled and began to live together. In a word, she escaped Chaplin's ability to shoot The Freak, and, of course, very upset her parents.


Everyone who has seen James Tierre, even without knowing about whose grandson he is, immediately notices his resemblance to a legendary man. They are not just alike, they are very similar. The same curly curls, however, today they are increasingly breaking through their gray hair, as they say - "salt with pepper", and the eyes have the same blue-gray hue. James, like his grandfather, has great plasticity. His body is so obedient and exactly responds to all the desires of his master, which is sometimes surprising. The same, if you remember, was Chaplin-grandfather. It seemed that he was in cahoots with every muscle in his body. They say that a talented person is talented in everything. So is James Tierre: he is both an excellent movie actor, and director, and dancer, and violinist, and clown, and acrobat.

Choice of profession

Many say that Tierre followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, that he had no other choice. This is very annoying to James. He was tired of these constant comparisons. After all, he tries in every possible way to prove to everyone that he himself is a "thing-in-itself" and does not owe his success to a great relative. Become a clown and an artist - it was his own choice, and no one in his childhood did not impose anything. Many, of course, do not understand such a reaction. After all, you can not escape from genes, and his mother, Chaplin's daughter, was involved in the creative process, and her children, son James and daughter Aurelia, toured with their parents from childhood. So, when the boy was 4 years old, he participated in a concert program, depicting a suitcase on legs. A little later, in the late 70's, Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Tierre founded their own circus, which was called Le Cirque Invisible ("Invisible Circus"). It differed in many respects from the classical one: there were no attributes for such establishments - sawdust, trained animals, etc. This small circus constantly toured Europe. So James in the troupe visited many cities, absorbed many new impressions. In this atmosphere passed his childhood and adolescence, and then his youth.


James and his sister received primary education outside the school: parents could afford to invite teachers to their homes. When the boy was 12 years old, he was enrolled in the American School of Paris. Here he learned English and got a classical education. Among the students were mostly children of diplomats. Later he told me that he felt like an outcast in this school. Other children looked down on the clown's son. . Later, when he was in Milan, James began to study at the Piccolo Theater . This is where his education did not end. After Italy, he again returned to the French capital and entered CNSAD (the highest national conservatory of dramatic art). Further, he was expected to study at the Harvard Theater School (USA). He received his musical education at the Conservatory of Music in Paris.

Coming to the cinema

His debut as a film actor took place in 1991. He received the role of Ariel in the film "Books Prospero", directed by Peter Greenaway. During the shooting he was very useful for his acrobatic stunts. After that, he was invited to other films. In 2006, Tierre was nominated for the César Award for his role in the film "Twice Time" (2006).


At the age of 24, Tierre created his own theater company, which he named La Compagnie du Hanneton. The first stage show, which he staged, is the "Symphony of June". In it, he acted as a producer, and director, and scriptwriter and actor. With this show, he later traveled around the world and received many positive responses. About him wrote in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. For him, he won the Molière Awards four times: the first time as the "opening of the year", and then - as the best director. In 8 years after the foundation, his theater was recognized as one of the top 10 best in the world (in this genre). After that, he was awarded more than once with significant awards. In short, the theater of James Tierre, whose performances gained popularity worldwide every year, thanks to the talent and diligence of the creator was considered the best in its genre, not only in Europe, but all over the world.

Roles in the cinema

As already noted, the first role of J. Tierre in the movie was Ariel. Next, he played the role of the Duke of Longueville in the movie "Vatel". In 2009, he embodied the image of a gypsy in the film "By itself" directed by Tony Gatlif (gipsy). He was very good at this role. By the way, most recently it was revealed that in his veins, like the legendary Chaplin, the free blood of the Gypsies flows. In 2015, the world was introduced to James Tierre in the "Chocolate". Do not confuse this film with the same picture, which was filmed in 2000 and where the main role was played by Johnny Depp.

Theatrical productions

No matter how much James Tierre liked to play in the movies, he is still a real theater actor, and even a director. Of course, he does it very well. In 2005, the production of James Thierry "The Symphony of the May Beetle" won four Moliere Prizes. He proved that he could be the best in both quality and director, and director, and actor. The Muscovites themselves could judge this, when in 2013 James Thierry came to the Russian capital with his performance. "Red Tobacco" - the so-called show performance, prepared for the Russian audience. In it, the similarity between the game of grandfather and grandson is most noticeable. This was said a lot after watching the performance. In short, James Thierry, whose "Red Tobacco" was very popular with Russian beau monde, acquired in our country both popularity and the army of fans of his talent. That's why he soon came to Moscow with another performance - "Raul", in which he also played the main role. He starred in more than 30 films. Naturally, the directors are attracted to his plastic, the ability to own one's own body, charisma.

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