Olivier Raynal, winner of the P’tits Molières, Best Actor in a Leading Role – Avignon 2019, was born in Houston Texas to French parents on the 3rd of July 1975. His parents worked with French food and wines. But, it was clear from an early age that Olivier had taken from his aunt, Florence Raynal, an opera singer at the Opera Comique. He was interested in the arts, all of them.
Olivier’s high school years were in Washington D.C. where he secretly yearned to be on stage acting and singing, but at the time he was painfully shy and would only practice in secret.
Oliver was accepted to attend the Beaux Arts for visual arts In 1992, but didn’t see himself pursuing a career in this field. Therefore, he decided not to attend.
After highschool, Olivier went to University, briefly, not knowing what he was there for.
Everything changed in February of 1996 in San Antonio Texas, when he auditioned for a play. He got the part, got his first good review, and found the confidence to pursue acting.
The summer of 1996
In the summer of 1996, while spending time in France with his family, as he had the custom of doing every year, Olivier came across an advertisement for the bilingual acting school “Acting International“. He immediately called to set up an audition and was accepted.
Olivier moved to Paris in September 1996, to start a new life, and finally begin the process of becoming an actor. At Acting International Olivier studied under the expertise of Robert Cordier, Leslie Chatterly, and Pascal Castaletta.
Olivier performed in his first professional production in 1998, in New York’s infamous “La Mama” theatre in Guy Shelly’s, “Le Vent Coulis“.
Starting his film career
Olivier performed in various productions between 1998 and 2002, traveling from Chicago to New York, Washington & Paris. He started his film career appearing as Bruce in Cedric Klapisch’s “l’Auberge Espagnole” in 2002.
After being cast in Michael Damians “Red Eye” in 2002, Olivier moved to the Mecca of film and actors: Los Angeles.
Olivier lived and worked in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2006, working as an actor and as a musician.
In 2005 Olivier wrote and recorded an album for Warner Brother’s with his band Stripped Polaris. The experience had him record with some of the industries top names like: Tim Pierce (guitar) Josh Freese (drums) Paul Bushnell (bass) and even Paolo Conte.
Although the album had a good year and half of touring the time came to turn the page and leave the project.
Back to Paris
Olivier moved back to Paris in 2006, and has been there ever since. Still acting (Medee at the Avignon Festival) and still singing (lead singer of FUPA ROCK BAND & Stripped Polaris). He has also moved towards production and translation in addition to starting his own coaching and consulting business “Anglo-Tonics” and creating “The Action Studio“, acting on camera workshops, with his mentor Robert Cordier.