I want to lie down somewhere and suffer for love until it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again and put on that little black dress and wait for you, yes you, to come over here and get down on your knees and tell me just how fucking good I look.

kim addonizio

dob & age
Alette Valiencourt
Alette-Marie Valiencourt
21 September 1970 & 45 years old
Alsace, France
London, England

Vincent Valiencourt and Annette Waitte were not going to raise an unexceptional child. Waiting well into their late thirties to have their one and only offspring, they had already seen the world and fully lived by the time Alette-Marie was brought into the world as the result of many rounds of failure. There's something to be said about knowing that you were a meticulously planned and wanted child. In a way, Alette has always known she has expectations to meet, legacies to live up to. By the time she could walk, she was enrolled in dance classes and the traditionalists in her parents pushed her towards ballet with the vigor of stage parents nearly foaming at the mouth. Their appetites seemed only to be sated when preternaturally-pretty Alette was noticed by a talent agent who insisted she start modeling immediately. Ever eager to please mom and dad, Letty agreed, and soon she was all over kid-fashion rags and department store catalogs, modeling the latest in haute couture for tots. Where most kids in this scenario would rebel immediately, Alette found that she actually liked the attention, she liked the camera flash and the fussing, the makeup, the costume changes, she liked being surrounded by adults eager to praise her for her good work. When she landed her first commercial for a UK brand of candy, she was hooked. She knew what she wanted, and she wanted to be an actress.

Despite her privileged and coddled upbringing, Alette learned quickly that the fastest way to get what you want was to work hard for it, and so she worked. A RADA graduate, she landed her first role in 1988, which gave her a remarkable confidence, and from there and several well-regarded stage productions, she managed to land herself a coveted role as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's unedited film adaptation of Hamlet. This was perhaps the role that put her through her paces, but similarly proved her ability to work alongside seasoned actors who played these roles like they had lived and breathed them all their lives. She was straining, scraping along, but she was doing the work, and that was what mattered to her. When she landed the role of Estella in Great Expectations, Letty knew she was doing something remarkable. She was making a living.

In 2007, at an industry event, Letty met James Elkin, a man who would prove to be both wonderful and terrible for her all at once. Everything with him was a whirlwind. He charmed her and gave her everything and she was drunk on the idea of being so intoxicating to someone. He treated her well, he presented no challenges, and Alette imagined that this, maybe, was love. Or as close to it as humans were allowed to come. They married too quickly and Letty took another hiatus from working to enjoy being a wife. They traveled the world together, they shared secrets, they built intimacies. When James sat down to tell her that he had been cheating on her with another woman, Letty was completely blind sided. She saw none of the signs. Wounded and upset, she demanded an immediate divorce and in perhaps a childish move, refused all contact with him except through her legal team. For the first time in her life, the tabloids were covering not just what she was wearing and what film set she was on this week, but the dissolution of what she imagined would be the rest of her life. Her divorce was a scandal, an A-list couple torn apart by cheating. She was humiliated. And her resentment and anger and humiliation all got channeled into her performance in Theo Shiel's Black Swan. The tabloids liked to imagine that Theo had a hand in breaking them up, but in reality, Theo's only role in the entire affair was to deal with a nightmare of a woman on set every day during filming.

From there, Alette recommitted to work. It was around this time that she met a young actor, Clarence Locke, a couple of years her junior, through a mutual friend. While unsure about making time for another relationship in her life, and feeling particularly defensive in terms of self-preservation, she began seeing him. The media didn't necessarily consider this newsworthy until Locke made his debut as BBC's Sherlock, and then it was a field day. Neither Alette nor Clarence ever publicly confirmed their relationship, but it wasn't necessarily a secret. Attending events together, being snapped at lunch or around London together seemed to be enough for the internet to properly confirm that they were an item, and an A-list one at that. Their two year relationship consisted of much camera dodging and discussion about what they were and weren't willing to confirm, sacrifice or commit to. Managing a relationship during Clarence's meteoric rise to fame, and Alette's steady, solid workload proved to be more emotionally taxing work than either of them imagined. They parted ways, after deciding that their relationship could either progress to marriage, or end. They both agreed it ought to end. It seemed evident that work was the only thing that was ever going to satisfy her and remain steady and reliable. Some time later, they reunited, both of them having grown up and discovered that work and one's personal life is a delicate balance. They currently live together in Shoreditch, with two dogs, Blitz and Aloysius.

Film 2016: untitled blade runner sequel ... robin wright's role 2016: the light between oceans ... hannah 2014: Birdman ... Leslie 2014: Grace of Monaco ... Grace Kelly 2013 Stoker ... Evelyn Stoker 2011: The Deep Blue Sea ... Hester Collyer 2010: Rabbit Hole ... Becca 2009: Nine ... Claudia 2006: the fountain ... Isabel/Izzy Creo 2006: the painted veil ... Kitty Fane 2004: i heart huckabees ... Dawn 2003: Dogville ... Grace Margaret Mulligan 2003: sylvia ... Sylvia Plath 2003: the shape of things ... Evelyn Ann Thompson 2002: the hours ... Virginia Woolf 2002: possession ... Maud Bailey 2001: enemy at the gates ... Tania 2001: mulholland dr. ... Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn 2000: requiem for a dream ... Marion Silver 1999: the talented mr. ripley ... Marge Sherwood 1998: shakespeare in love ... viola de lesseps 1996: hamlet ... Ophelia 1988: Dangerous Liaisons ... Cecile de Volanges
Television 2013 (to present): "House of Cards" (Netflix) ... Claire Underwood 2011: "Mildred Pierce" (HBO) ... Mildred Pierce 1993: "The Scarlet and the Black" (BBC) ... Mathilde
Theatre 2016: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (ST. ANNE'S WAREHOUSE) ... Blanche DuBois 2014: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (YOUNG VIC) ... Blanche DuBois 2009: A Doll's House (Donmar Warehouse) ... Nora Helmer 2000: The Real Thing (West End/Broadway) ... Annie 1993: Arcadia (Royal Shakespeare Company) ... Thomasina 1991: Tartuffe (Peter Hall Company) ... Orgon's Wife
Other 2013 (to present): "House of Cards" (Netflix) ... Director (7 episodes)
Campaigns Giorgio Armani Si Fragrance ... global brand ambassador SK-II skincare ... global brand ambassador

  • A talented dancer, Alette suffered a minor injury in her mid-teens that prevented her from pursuing a career in ballet. However, she remains enthusiastic and still studies dance several times a week for recreation.

  • Bilingual fluently in French and English, currently learning rudimentary German with the assistance of her fiance.

  • A Virgo-Libra cusp, she's sharply analytical and aesthetically driven, while also being able to employ a lot of social charm and enthusiasm.

  • Still has her name on the deed of a house in the south of France, owned with her ex-husband James Elkin.

  • Is rather adventurous, enjoying physical activities like rock climbing, fencing classes and the like.

  • Does not have a stylist and makes all her own fashion decisions, though sometimes her management wishes she wouldn't.

  • Founded the Alette Valiencourt Africa Outreach Program (AVAOP) to educate young Africans about the dangers of HIV and AIDS. Also periodically works closely with UNICEF.

  • Has won two Oscars for Best Actress, first in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love, then again in 2002 for her role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

  • Has won an Emmy for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce in HBO's miniseries in 2011.

  • Won the 2002 Golden Globe Award for The Hours.

  • Won the 2000 Tony award for Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing.

  • An enthusiastic and unashamed fan of early U2, which is the source of much ragging from her friends, less so is her obsession with all things Prince.

  • Keenly aware of the look of her features, has been known to dabble in the more androgynous side of fashion, which also fuels plenty of internet rumors in her relationship with beloved walking internet meme, Clarence Locke.