Do you recognize the name Maria de Medeiros? No? That’s understandable, honestly. The actress hasn’t made too much of a mark in the American movie scene since her role in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction as Butch’s girlfriend, Fabienne. With a role in one of Tarantino’s most acclaimed works, why didn’t the star catch on?
Medeiros was the daughter of a composer father and a political journalist mother growing up in revolutionary Portugal. The actress counts this as a pivotal point in her life, with the political and societal revolution also bringing out an artistic revolution throughout the country, establishing new mediums within the borders.
Revolutions in Cinema
This is where Medeiros discovered a love of not just acting, but cinema and art as a whole. Constantly drawing or singing to herself since youth, Maria de Medeiros was cast at 15 in her first film, a local production called Silvestre. A turning point in her life, she would continue exploring acting while also moving to France three years later.
Intending to study acting, the actress attended college while also taking roles in various French films. Good to note, she’s fluent in six different languages at this point. I write for a living and barely manage one, so personally, that’s pretty impressive.
Eventually, she would star in France’s 1989 Oscars entry for Best Foreign Film, and while it didn’t win it’s pretty easy to buff your portfolio with a nomination on deck. At the least, it’ll put you on Damian Chazelle’s radar these days.
Her powers grew from there, landing her in the American production Henry & June. A landmark for her career, the film saw her acting alongside future Pulp Fiction co-star Uma Thurman. Also of note was the star of Kevin’’s Christmas Eve Throwdown, Kevin Spacey.
Medeiros would become friends with Quentin Tarantino as well when the director met her at a French film festival while he was showing Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino then gave her the role of Fabienne in his upcoming Pulp Fiction, bringing her to a following in one of the most cult-revered films of all time.
Interestingly she wouldn’t take any major Hollywood roles afterward, unlike most of the other cast members. Hell, the movie revived John Travolta’s career. Again. The sky really was the limit there, but Medeiros decided instead to go back to France, spending her time in the cinema industry there again before making a massive move back to her native Portugal.
Noping Out of America
Medeiros released April Captains in Portugal on April 21, 2000, just four days before the 26th anniversary of the events of the film. A tribute and telling of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal on April 25, 2000, it focuses on the two men who overthrew the repressive Portuguese government without any bloodshed from the revolutionaries.
The film was hailed as a critical success both in Portugal and abroad and would help hone the already skilled artist’s love of directing and writing. She would go on to direct even more throughout her career in both documentary and drama, earning acclaim for her work.
Maria de Medeiros didn’t stop acting after making an acclaimed film of her own though, instead, she would continue in Europe, taking up roles in both film and television over the next twenty years in France, Germany, Italy, and back in her native Portugal. She has only appeared occasionally in English-language films since Pulp Fiction.
Medeiros did take a stab at music for a while in the late 2000s, releasing a few different covers as well as an original album in her native language. The albums were well received, but the actress hasn’t pursued music in a form other than live productions since 2010.
While she keeps a lot of her personal life secret, it is known she’s been with her current husband Augusti Camps since at least 1997, considering that’s when their oldest daughter was born. The two have a second daughter as well, born in 2003.
On the Horizon
While she does keep most personal details private, the artist does frequently update her Instagram with photos and videos of her travels around Europe. While she travels a lot, it mostly seems to be for work and not pleasure unfortunately with the jobs from acting, directing, singing, producing, or sometimes writing whatever she’s working on. Stick with what you’re good at though, right?
Maria de Medeiros won’t be slowing down any time soon, with projects as both director and actress in various stages of development. She hasn’t made any hints of returning to American cinema any time soon, but surely with the right role, Tarantino could entice her back.