Simona Maicanescu

Romanian actress Simona Maicanescu was active for many years in her home country, and has worked on many projects in her adoptive home, France, but she is probably best known to American audiences for her role in Vincenzo Natali's 2009 science fiction psychodrama, "Splice." In that film, she plays a hard-nosed financier who refuses to fund the gene-splicing work of the driven scientists Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody). This forces them to do their dangerous human genetic experiments in secret. Maicanescu began her career with a supporting role in the 1980 Romanian war film "The Stake and the Flame." In 1992, she co-starred in Romanian exile Lucian Pintilie's acclaimed drama about love amid the oppression of the Ceausescu regime, "The Oak." She has worked fairly steadily in films and television internationally, including a stint on the well-received, gritty French police drama miniseries "Engrenages." In 2006, she played the orphanage director in the supernatural adoption drama "The Council of the Stone," which also starred Monica Bellucci and Catherine Deneuve. Her next role was in "The City of Lost Children" co-director Marc Caro's solo directorial debut, "Dante 01," a highly stylized space prison drama inspired by Dante Alighieri's "Inferno," in which she played the head prison doctor, faced with the arrival of a mysterious patient (Lambert Wilson) who can apparently heal other patients' parasites.