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Why Elizabeth From Oxygen Looks So Familiar

Netflix's original movie, Alexandre Aja's claustrophobic sci-fi thriller "Oxygen," has a deceptively simple premise that is guaranteed to hook the viewer from the beginning. The film starts when a mysterious woman called Elizabeth wakes up in the middle of a nightmarish situation. She's locked inside a small cryogenic chamber, hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment. She has absolutely no recollection of how she got there, how long she's been there — or even who she is. All of this posits a potentially deadly problem, and she must find the answers to her many questions before she suffocates in the tiny, airtight space. 

"Oxygen," isn't quite a one-woman show, as it also features a number of other actors, including noted Bond villain Mathieu Amalric. However, a movie like this obviously lives or dies with the talents of its star, and fortunately, the leading actress excels in her role in this film that ranks among the top sci-fi flicks released in 2021. This is no surprise, because you've probably seen her steal the show in a number of other projects, too. Here's why Elizabeth from "Oxygen" looks so familiar.

Mélanie Laurent is Shosanna in Inglourious Basterds

Mélanie Laurent arrived on the international scene with a whole series of bangs (and one massive inferno) in 2009, when she starred in Quentin Tarantino's glo(u)rious alternative history war film, "Inglourious Basterds." Laurent portrays Shosanna Dreyfus, a young Jewish survivor who escapes the clutches of dangerous Nazi colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz in his breakout role), and starts a new life as a Parisian cinema operator, Emmanuelle Mimieux ... only to discover that she has a shot at dealing a devastating blow to the Third Reich.  

Though the movie is filled to the brim with established stars like Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and Diane Kruger, It ultimately revolves around Laurent's character, to the point that it's Shosanna whose machinations take down the Nazi regime and give the Basterds squad the opportunity to effectively end the war. Per Cinema Blend, Laurent knew that the role was a big deal and strongly identified with the character of Shosanna — which made the wait to hear whether she got the role pretty difficult. "I had to wait 4 days. Then [Tarantino] called, and he said, 'Hey honey, how are you?'" Laurent said. "And I was like, 'I am not fine. Give me a yes or give me a no. Just tell me something.' And he said, 'Would you be my Shosanna?' And I was like, 'What? Oh, yeah, yeah.'"

Mélanie Laurent is Alma Dray in Now You See Me

In 2013, Mélanie Laurent starred in another major production with a massive ensemble cast: Louis Leterrier's heist movie "Now You See Me." The movie's plot revolves around a series of highly public thefts by a group of stage magicians known as the Four Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco). The Horsemen's target, Arthur Tressler (Michael Caine), recruits a magic debunking expert named Thaddeus Bradley (Morgan Freeman) to get to the bottom of the situation. Law enforcement is on the case, as well, in the form of Laurent's Interpol agent Alma Dray and the FBI's Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). Of course, "Now You See Me" is one of those movies in which absolutely nothing is as it seems, and before long, Alma becomes a keeper of one of the film's biggest secrets. 

Though Laurent's character is one of the comparatively few non-magicians in the film, it seems that she took it upon herself to learn some sleight of hand, just in case. In a "Diamond Heist Challenge" clip from the movie's shoot, you can see her impress Eisenberg with an endearingly awkward take on a classic card trick. 

Mélanie Laurent is Two in 6 Underground

"Oxygen" is not Mélanie Laurent's first rodeo when it comes to Netflix movies. In 2019, she starred in Michael Bay's "6 Underground," a high-octane action flick in which Ryan Reynold's philantropist vigilante, One, recruits five experts for his team of untouchable ghost operatives — and Laurent's Camille, aka Two, is at the top of his list. Two is an expert spy who proves to be a valuable asset for the team and eventually strikes up a relationship with a fellow team member known as Three (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo). The team's core mission in the film is to rescue Murat Alimov (Peyman Maadi), the brother of the cruel dictator of Turgistan (Lior Raz), and make him the country's new ruler. Luckily, the person who abducted Murat in the first place was none other than Two, so they have plenty of intel going in. 

In an interview with Screen Rant, Laurent said that she enjoyed making the gung-ho movie and had such a grand old time with her castmates that she'd be delighted to appear in a sequel. "Well, we really hope we're gonna do a sequel," she said. "We just fell in love like to each other, and that was really, really special."