Spotted almost 10 years ago at age 14 by Gerard Depardieu on the set of Asterix and Obelix Take on Caesar, Mélanie Laurent is seeing her career take off big time. She starred in this fall’s French feature Je Vais Bien, Ne T’En Fais Pas, or Don’t Worry I’m Fine, and was awarded the prestigious Romy Schneider prize for the most promising young actress. “Most actors spend their time worrying about not having enough roles. I spend my time worrying that that’s all I will have,” says the 23-year-old Laurent, who costarred in Days of Glory, Algeria’s official submission to the upcoming Academy Awards. As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, she wrote her first play, due out next year, titled Ce N’est Qu’Après, or It’s Only After.

SECRET PASSIONS: “I’m a total gourmet,” she says, admitting the only place she could live other than Paris is Rome for the Italian cuisine. “Even when I was in Singapore, I ordered fois gras poêlée. I can’t help it. I’m totally French.”

LOOKING AHEAD: “I’d love to have a personal coach to fully live out the Hollywood dream,” the actress jokes. “That way my mother will stop telling me to sit up straight.”

IN HER CLOSET: “My apartment is too small for too many clothes. I didn’t even own heels until two years ago.” She goes for contemporary French fashion labels such as Vanessa Bruno and likes to pair skinny jeans with a fitted Chanel jacket. “I like to be comfortable,” says Laurent, showing off her Ugg boots. “My boyfriend calls me ‘the trapper’ when I wear them.”

UP NEXT: “It’s the first time I’ve really had to organize my schedule,” says Laurent, who just started filming Paris with director Cédric Klapisch. Work will continue back-to-back with a slew of French feature films, including the thriller La Chambre des Morts and will costar with Sophie Marceau in Les Femmes de L’Ombre.

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