The French actor and director Albert Dupontel got his start as a stand-up comedian. He began acting in 1988 with a role in "Encore," and continued to work in films throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "The Gang of Four," "Giorgino," and a César nominated role in "A Self-Made Hero." Though he had directed and acted in Désiré in 1992, he first achieved recognition as a filmmaker with "Bernie" in 1996, which also starred Dupontel in the leading role. He continued to act in films such as "Serial Lover" and "La maladie de Sachs," but his career truly gained momentum during the 2000s. The early part of the decade saw Dupontel act in films including "Actors," "Dead Man's Hand," and "A Very Long Engagement," starring Audrey Tautou. He directed and acted in "Locked Out" in 2006 and "The Villain" in 2009, while continuing to act in other filmmakers' works, including prominent roles in "Chyrsalis" and "The Clink of Ice."