Daughter of an art gallery owner, Geraldine Pailhas started out dancing and appeared in a video clip of the Gipsy Kings when she was 16. First seen on the silver screen as an extra in "Three Places for the 26th" in 1988, she pursued her acting career with parts in a couple of films in 1991: the airy "Les Arcandiers" and the more serious "La Neige et le feu" in which she plays a nurse during wartime who the wounded fall in love with. She won the Cesar for Most Promising Young Actress in 1992 for this role. That same year, she was seen opposite Montand in Beineix's "IP5: The Island of Pachyderms" and in 1995 opposite Johnny Depp and Brando in "Don Juan DeMarco", validating her image as a romantic actress.
Opposite another legend, Depardieu, she revealed her maturity in "Le Garçu" by Pialat in 1995. She is capable of blending into a tight group of characters ("Hikers", "Enchanted Interlude") as easily as incarnating a soft-spoken yet determined character. Touching as an abandoned wife with dignity in "The Adversary" (2002) and "I've Been Waiting So Long" (co-written by her real life partner Christopher Thompson), Geraldine Pailhas also comes off credible as the determined girlfriend in "5 x 2: Five Times Two" by Ozon and a call girl in "The Cost of Living", for which she was nominated for a Cesar for Best Supporting Actress in 2004.
Also seen in films by Doillon and Klapisch, Geraldine Pailhas, has become an actress of quality who accepts roles in complex works by auteurs ("They Came Back", "Made in Paris") as much as general audience entertainment ("Sky Fighters", "The Price to Pay"). Her style and glamour -and even the way she shoots a machine gun- evoke a Catherine Deneuve prodigy, seen more recently as the daughter of Miou-Miou in Thierry Klifa's "Family Hero" in 2006. In 2008, she revisited the charming Didine in a "Hikers" sequel. The following year, this eclectic actress was seen in "Espions".