Series Mania 2023 Review: BARDOT, A Sex Symbol Is Born

Newcomer Julia de Nunez embodies the boisterous spirit of young Brigitte Bardot, an iconic French actress and sex symbol, in a series mapping her rise to global stardom.

Contributor; Slovakia (@martykudlac)
Series Mania 2023 Review: BARDOT, A Sex Symbol Is Born

Brigitte Bardot, an iconic French actress and sex symbol, has played an instrumental role in the history of cinema. With her alluring onscreen presence and groundbreaking performances, Bardot redefined femininity and sensuality in the post-World War II era.

Her magnetic charisma and daring roles, particularly in films such as And God Created Woman (1956), directed by Roger Vadim, challenged the conventional cinematic portrayal of women and contributed to the birth of the French New Wave.

Bardot's influence extended beyond her performances, sparking discussions around sexuality and gender dynamics that continue to resonate today. Her lasting impact on the silver screen is a testament to her status as a trailblazer in the annals of cinema.

The mother-son team of Danièle Thompson and Christopher Thompson are behind the French miniseries Bardot, which tracks the origins of Bardot's career and her wide-ranging social influence before the dawn of the sexual revolution.

Danièle Thompson, a distinguished French screenwriter and director, brings her thoughtful storytelling and nuanced character development, exploring the complexities of relationships and the intricacies of family dynamics in Brigitte Bardot's upbringing.


The miniseries dramatizes the actress' life from her very first casting at 15 and follows her throughout the 10 years of her meteoric rise to international stardom, and her turbulent personal life. Bardot is passionate and liberated, defying the rules of society, which becomes apparent in her early rebellion against her over-protective father. She sort of popularizes the concept of open marriage with her affair with Jean-Louis Trintignant while on the set of And God Created Woman, which is another contribution to defying the social mores.

Newcomer Julia de Nunez embodies the boisterous spirit of young Bardot. Danièle and Christopher Thompson focus on the actress’ private life and capture her predominantly behind the scenes.

Victor Belmondo stars as Roger Vadim, who transforms over the course of the first episodes from a lovestruck schoolboy pining for 15-year old Bardot to an ambitious director, tolerating husband and respectful ex-husband. In early episodes, Noham Edje takes on the role of the legendary New French Wave actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, whom he depicts in the vein of a tortured artist, melancholic yet impulsive.

The six-part event miniseries perfectly fits the current demand for biopics, most notably for period biopics. Each episode represents a distinct chapter in the actress' life. Thompson's miniseries is a first attempt for a Bardot biopic, as the now-reclusive actress has opposed any previous bids, especially those imagined in Hollywood.

Brigitte Bardot is not directly involved in the project. The dialogues and interactions between characters are the product of a creative license. The mother-son team of directors, which also acted as showrunners, likened the creation and nature of the project to the celebrated Netflix series The Crown.


While it's difficult to not consider the miniseries as an actual biography, Bardot captures the one-woman avant-garde in gender perception and the challenges women have to overcome to achieve a career. The sexism and patriarchalism of the era have been large hurdles to deal with.

And the Thompsons have make it clear that. while the protagonist is aware of her siren-like appeal,  she stands against any objectification, even though her look might have changed the course of cinema. In this regard, Bardot is a portrait of a proto-feminist, although the creators incorporated the protagonist's search for her identity as she becomes enveloped in ultra-fame.

The miniseries Bardot is as much about the birth of a once-in-generation sex symbol as about the tectonic social shift she helped to fuel.

Bardot is slated to air on Netflix in Germany, German-speaking territories, Benelux and Switzerland.

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