A popular, highly regarded Spanish performer, based in France since 1982, Victoria Abril began her career as a ballerina. At age 15, she hosted a TV game show and kick-started her film career with her debut role in F Lara Polop's "Obsession" (1976). She has twice been nominated for the French Cesar Award and has starred in numerous films by Vicente Aranda, including "El Lute I" (1987) and "Amantes/Lovers" (1991), for which she was named Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival. Other films include Jean-Jacques Beineix's "The Moon in the Gutter" (1983), Denis Amar's "L' Addition" (1984), and Nagisa Oshima's masterful black comedy "Max, My Love" (1986).
Abril became famous with American audiences with her chirpy-voiced turn as a heroin addicted ex-porn star in Pedro Almodovar's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990), playing opposite five-time screen partner Antonio Banderas. Abril walked the line between damaged innocent and masochist, a representation of women and of sexual love that raised critical hackles. She also appeared as a depressive newscaster with a mother complex in Almodovar's "High Heels" (1991) and a dominatrix in his subsequent "Kika" (1993). Abril's first Hollywood venture was Barry Levinson's "Jimmy Hollywood" (1994), wherein her luscious waif-on-the-brink persona was poured into the character of a striving, dreamy, monosyllabic hairdresser, the girlfriend of Joe Pesci. The following year, she was back in France appearing in Josiane Balasko's comedy "French Twist".