Reno’s collaboration with Besson began in 1981 and has continued throughout the pair’s career, their most notable partnerships include The Big Blue (1988) and La Femme Nikita (1992). Reno and Besson combine their talents to present intriguing pictures which, regardless of the confines dictated by particular genres, are character based and often explore deeply emotional and unusual relationships.
However it was not until the release of Lean: the Professional (1994) (Trailer) that Reno finally got the recognition he deserved from a completely world-wide audience; his portrayal of Leon, the quiet yet powerful hit-man whose repressed emotions and secluded life are forcefully, yet charmingly altered by the presence of a 12 year old orphan Mathilda (Natalie Portman), is one of clean and plain efficiency. Yet the cut throat edge of his straight face masks a lonely man, and it is this side of the professional that Reno brings so wonderfully to life.
Reno is often cast in roles such as that of Leon due to his height and on screen presence and is frequently called upon in Hollywood to play the imposing villain or mystery man; his strong and commanding voice has been used to accompany various video game characters as well as providing the vocals for Mufasa in the French version of the Lion King.
On the complete opposite end of the narrative spectrum Reno has also appeared in a number of financially successful French and Hollywood romantic comedies including French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline.
Many in the European cinema scene viewed Reno as somewhat of a sex icon, his prominent personal life, multiple marriages rugged features and unkempt look have caused Reno to become one of the most alluring alternatives to the typical Hollywood romantic lead.
Reno is not also known for his appearances in mainstream French and Hollywood comedies, the most well-known of which is probably his role as Gendarme Gilbert Ponton in Pink Panther (2006) . He has also appeared in a number of popular American action films including the first Mission Impossible film released in 1996.
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