Equestrian buff, Guillaume Canet was set on a career as a jockey until an accident occurred that put an end to that ambition. He then oriented himself towards the dramatic arts and studied at Cours Florent. He was noticed in the Henry de Montherlant play "La Ville dont le Prince est un enfant" opposite fellow actor Christophe Malavoy.
Following a first screen appearance in the short film "Le Fils unique" in 1995, Guillaume Canet joined Jean Rochefort in the thriller "Barracuda" (1997). But it was his performances in "In All Innocence" (1998) by Pierre Jolivet and "I Follow in My Father's Footsteps" by Remi Waterhouse that launched his career. He worked with these two directors again in 2002, in the medieval film "The Warrior's Brother" and the comedy "Mille millièmes, fantaisie immobilière".
In 2000, Guillaume Canet gained international status in "The Beach" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and further attention in France with "La Fidélité" by Sophie Marceau, "Love Bites" by Antoine de Caunes and the biography of Vidoq in "Dark Portals".
As a director, he began making TV spots and then shorts ("Sans regrets", "Je taim") until 2002 when he made his first feature, "Anything You Say" is a morality tale about show biz. With a galloping success under his wings, he continued to impress with his acting craft, flirting with Marion Cotillard in "Love me if you Dare", "Narco: The Secret Adventures of Gustave Klopp" and the solemn "Joyeux Noël".
After the dramatic feature "Hell" and comedy "A Ticket to Space", the thespian did a voice animation for Pixar's "Cars" in French. Putting the bar up one notch higher, he directed "Tell no One" in 2006, adapted from the Harlan Coben novel, and credited with a studded cast of stars: François Cluzet, Kristin Scott Thomas, Jean Rochefort. The film won four Cesars: Best Actor for François Cluzet, Best Director for Canet, making him the youngest filmmaker in the history of the Cesars to win in the category.
Now a major player in the film industry in France, Guillaume Canet took on a role opposite Audrey Tautou in the romantic comedy "Hunting and Gathering", film adaptation of Anna Gavalda's bestseller. That same year, he is a nasty in "Darling" and then lead actor in Guillaume Nicloux's thriller "The Key" opposite Marie Gillain, Jean Rochefort and Vanessa Paradis.
After having directed François Cluzet in "Tell no One", they both teamed up on the other side of the camera in "Rivals" by Jacques Maillot. As two brothers, their relationship is too ingrained in the past to move forward. He finished the year 2008 on a lighter tone, lending his voice as narrator of another animation, "The Meerkats". In 2009, Canet tackled the world of secret services as a secret agent in "Espions" by Nicolas Saada. From there to the cold war universe of Emir Kusturica in " Farewell", and once again accepting a role in a Christian Carion film five years after "Joyeux Noël". After "The Last Flight" (2009) opposite Marion Cotillard, he attacked his third feature, "Little White Lies" (2010), a very personal film about friends featuring actors François Cluzet and Gilles Lellouche.