People

Aïssa Maïga – biography, fact, career, awards, net worth and life story

IntroSenegalese French actress
Is

Actor 
Comedian 
Film producer 

From

France 
Senegal 

Type

Film, TV, Stage & Radio 
Humor 

Genderfemale
Birth 25 May 1975, Dakar, Dakar Department, Dakar, Senegal
Age:45 years

Aïssa Maïga is a Senegalese born French actress.

Biography

Youth

Aïssa Maïga was born in Dakar, Senegal to a Malian father and Senegalese mother. She and her mother left Senegal for Fresnes in France, where she lived until the age of nine. She showed an interest in movies at a very young age and was not satisfied being a mere movie-goer. On a school field trip to a theater, she was able to slip away from her teacher and make her way back stage. In high school she took her first acting classes with Daisie Faye, who today is artistic director of a Jazz and comedy festival that provides a more liberal curriculum. At the age of 14 and for three years, she was in The longest night (1992) a musical comedy by her teacher and during this time, appeared at the Mogador Theater and in the Follies Bergères

She graduated from high school after three years of study, including theater studies and worked on an artistic project in Zimbabwe, Eric Cloué’s Le royaume du passage. She was 19 years old. Working with local actors in Zimbabwe, she discovered street theater and decided to become an actress.

Career

Aïssa Maïga at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

Early acting

She made her feature film debut, appearing in Denis Amart’s Saraka Bô. She followed that up in 2000 playing a rebellious young girl in Hanake’s Code Inconnu, starring Juliette Binoche. Aïssa Maïga has developed her versatility by taking on such a great diversity of roles. In 1999, she worked with New Wave director, Alain Tanner, in the sequel to the 1975 cult film Jonas, playing Lila in Jonas and Lila.

In Alexandre Jardin’s 2001 comedy, Le Prof, she worked with Jean-Hughes Anglade, playing a student. Then she worked with Murielle Robin and Fejira Deliba in Marylin, a film dealing with the social and economic insecurity and solidarity among cashiers. She collaborated once again with Haneke in Caché (2005), playing with Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil and Denis Podalydès. She also appeared in several television series.

Success

In her desire to consolidate all she had learned, she returned to her studies, this time with Hélène Cheruy Zidi, at the Actor’s Lab. Her perfectionism was well worth the effort. In 2007 she starred in two features, distinguishing herself in the role of Kassia in Kapiche’s Poupés Russes and in Claude Berry’s L’un reste,l’autre part. Aïssa Maïga made her mark on French cinema through a series of roles and fortuitous meetings with films such as Je vais bien, ne t’en fais pas with Melanie Laurent and in Oliver Schmitz’s 2006 short feature by the Cohen Brothers, Paris, je t’aime.

In 2007 she was nominated for a Best Actress César for her role as Melé, a disillusioned bar singer in Abderrahamane Sissako’s Bamako. In this role she sang Christie Azuma’s “Naam” without knowing the language.

Although she had numerous film successes (Michel Gondry’s L’Ecume des jours, art films and comedies, i.e. Prête à tout, TV films such as Toussaint L’Ouverture, 2012), her popularity was not an obstacle to a return to the stage in Brooklyn Boy (2004), Les grandes personnes, adapted from the book by Marie N’diaye as well as in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Des gens biens.

She plays an African mother who tells the story of African intellectuals’ immigration through the lens of the life of French rapper, Kamini and his family in the 2016 movie Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont.

International career

In 2012, she appeared in Cristina Comencini’s Bianco e Nero with Thierry Ebouaney, a performance that won her two awards: Cinema i Done and the Festival de Bastia award.

She was also on the set of Mickey Dubé’s Comatose in South Africa in 2016.

Causes

For several years, she has been the ambassador of AMREF, an African NGO dedicated to training medical personnel involved in caring for mothers and children. In 2012, she went to Uganda on a humanitarian mission.

Theater

YearTitleAuthorDirectorNotes
2004Brooklyn BoyDonald MarguliesMichel FagadauComédie des Champs-Élysées
2011Les Grandes PersonnesMarie NDiayeChristophe PertonThéâtre national de la Colline
2015Good PeopleDavid Lindsay-AbaireAnne BourgeoisThéâtre Hébertot

Filmography

YearTitleRoleDirectorNotes
1997Saraka bôDanièleDenis Amar
1998La revanche de LucyLucyJanusz Mrozowski
Le cadeau de mamanPatrick HalpineShort
Un mois de réflexionSylvieSerge MoatiTV Movie
1999Jonas et Lila, à demainLilaAlain Tanner
Maison de familleSylvieSerge Moati (2)TV Movie
2000Code UnknownBlack GirlMichael Haneke
Le profJulieAlexandre Jardin
Lise et AndréEstherDenis Dercourt
Marie-LineMalikaMehdi Charef
Mom’s PresentFaridaPatrick Halpine (2)Short
2001Voyage à OuagaLoutayaCamille Mouyéké
2002Georges chez les topsGiselaOlivier ChrétienShort
NégroAïssaKarim Akadiri SoumaïlaTV Movie
2003Mes enfants ne sont pas comme les autresMyriamDenis Dercourt (2)
Les baigneusesRita’s sisterViviane Candas
Rien que du bonheurAnnaDenis Parent
Commissaire MoulinDollyJoyce BuñuelTV Series (1 Episode)
Les Cordier, juge et flicAlineGilles BéhatTV Series (1 Episode)
2004Libre armadaIngrid Gogny, Vincent Jaglin, …
Par accidentConstanceJérôme FoulonTV Movie
2005Russian DollsKassiaCédric Klapisch
CachéChantalMichael Haneke (2)
L’un reste, l’autre partFaridaClaude Berri
Travaux, on sait quand ça commence…Condé’s fiancéBrigitte Roüan
Le trainThe barmanBrahim FritahShort
Sometimes in AprilYoung MilitantRaoul PeckTV Movie
P.J.Marie-Laure VecchialiChristophe BarbierTV Series (1 Episode)
2006BamakoMeléAbderrahmane SissakoNominated – César Award for Most Promising Actress
Paris, je t’aimeSophieOliver Schmitz
Don’t Worry, I’m FineLéaPhilippe Lioret
I DoKirsten HansenÉric Lartigau
Mamdou il est où ?MariettouKhady N’DiayeShort
Une famille parfaiteMarthaPatrick-Mario Bernard & Pierre TrividicTV Movie
2007L’âge d’homme… maintenant ou jamais !TinaRaphaël Fejtö
CarcasseAïssaIsmael El IrakiShort
2008Black and WhiteNadineCristina ComenciniBastia Italian Film Festival – Best Actress
Les insoumisKathiaClaude-Michel Rome
Sex, Okra and Salted ButterAminaMahamat Saleh HarounTV Movie
2009Diamant 13FaridaGilles Béhat (2)
L’aide au retourThe officialMohammed LatrecheShort
Pas de toit sans moiAshantiGuy JacquesTV Movie
Suite noireSaraDominique CabreraTV Series (1 Episode)
2010Ensemble, c’est tropClémentineLéa Fazer
Le temps de la kermesse est terminéMartinaFrédéric Chignac
L’avocatÈveCédric Anger
2011Mineurs 27AminataTristan Aurouet
DédicaceEliseOlivier Chrétien (2)Short
2012HOUBA! On the Trail of the MarsupilamiClarisse IrisAlain Chabat
TodayNellaAlain Gomis
One Man’s ShowElisaNewton Aduaka
Toussaint LouvertureSuzannePhilippe NiangTV Mini-Series
2013Mood IndigoAliseMichel Gondry
Aya of Yop CityAyaAlain ChabatVoice
Mortel étéJulieDenis MallevalTV Movie
Luchon International Film Festival – Best Actress
2014Prêt à toutAliceNicolas CucheGlobes de Cristal Award for Best Actress
2015Mystère à la Tour EiffelHenrietteLéa Fazer (2)TV Movie
2016The African DoctorAnne ZantokoJulien Rambaldi
Corniche KennedyAwaDominique Cabrera (2)
Love Is DeadLéaneÉric Capitaine
2017Il a déjà tes yeuxSalimata AlokaLucien Jean-Baptiste