Famke Janssen: See The Plastic Surgery Some Think Derailed Her Career

Famke Janssen garnered strong negative reactions for her post-plastic surgery look and she has accused the X-Men franchise of sexism.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

Having your looks compared to legendary actress Hedy Lamarr is the ultimate compliment, which is how Famke Janssen was seen early in her career. She turned those looks into an acting career, one that saw Janssen in many high-profile franchises like X-Men and James Bond.

Lately, though, Famke Janssen has been making news for another reason, something that seems to find actresses at a certain stage in their careers.


Famke Janssen

Many actors and actresses get plastic surgery, and many have ended up with horrendous results. Look at screen stars Melanie Griffith, Priscilla Presley, Cher, and Mickey Rourke just name a few who have gone under the knife or gotten an injection in the hope of maintaining a youthful appearance. You can now count Famke Janssen as one who went down this road with terrible results.

Whatever work she has had, whether it be actual plastic surgery or injections, it has given her that plastic look we’ve seen one time too many. Twitter blew up when Famke Janssen revealed her new “look” on the show The Capture.

Her plastic surgery
Famke Janssen on The Capture

One reaction read, “Woah, Famke Janssen…more fillers than Subway. Why do such beautiful women do this to themselves?? Makes them look older than they actually are.” Another said, “Is that Famke Jansen??? WTF has happened to her face, she looks well puffed and cannt move anything! No no no.”


Famke Janssen

Famke Janssen got her start in modeling. She moved from the Netherlands to the United States so she could begin her career as a model, signing with Elite Model Management and modeling for entities such as Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, and Coty.

Famke Janssen decided to retire from modelling so she could pursue an acting career and grabbed early TV roles on series such as Melrose Place and The Untouchables.

Her actual first role on TV came on the series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Producers liked her so much that she was offered a role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Jadzia Dax (which eventually went to Terry Farrell). She turned Deep Space Nine down so she could go after roles in feature films.

Bond Girl
Famke Janssen in GoldenEye

Famke Janssen’s first movie was actually the first role in her career. She starred alongside Jeff Goldblum in the 1992 movie Fathers & Sons. She wouldn’t see the big screen again for another 3 years when she turned up in the horror movie Lord of Illusions. From there, she truly opened eyes when she took on the role as femme fatale Xenia Onatopp in Pierce Brosnan’s first James Bond flick: GoldenEye. She has since said that appearing in that movie did make her rethink what it means to be famous and she admits she struggled after that film.

Not wanting to be typecast after being Onatopp, Janssen went on to star in interesting supporting roles in movies like City of Industry, Celebrity, The Gingerbread Man, and Monument Ave. As the ‘90s rolled on she found more horror in Deep Rising, The Faculty, and The House on Haunted Hill.


Famke Janssen

As the new century began, Famke Janssen found herself in what is probably her most recognizable role as Jean Grey in Marvel’s X-Men. The movie was directed by Bryan Singer and Janssen wasn’t his first, or even his second, choice.

Singer offered Peta Wilson the job but she had to turn it down because she was filming the fourth season of La Femme Nikita. Helen Hunt was then offered the part but she turned it down. Selma Blair, Lucy Lawless, Renee O’Connor, and Maria Bello were also considered for the part of Jean Grey but Singer finally landed on Janssen and it was a great choice.

Jean Grey

She embodied the role as Jean Grey, physically commanding the part. Janssen went on to play Jean Grey in X2: X-Men United and also in X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine (where she appeared briefly as a hallucination to Logan), and finally she made a quick cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past.


Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen in Days of Future Past

Famke Janssen appreciates her time with the X-Men franchise. What she doesn’t appreciate, though, is what she feels is a pattern of Hollywood sexism that didn’t allow her to return as Jean Grey in the more recent X-Men movies.

Her complaint stems from the 2014 movie X-Men: Days of Future Past where James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were on hand to play the younger versions of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellen’s Magneto along with Stewart and McKellen, who were playing the older versions.

Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner was hired to play the young Jean Grey, but for some reason, Famke Janssen was not asked to be part of the main story. She does make an appearance, but it is brief and at the very end of the film.

She told Entertainment Weekly, “Women, it’s interesting because they’re replaced, and the older versions are never to be seen again,” Janssen said. “Whereas the men are allowed to be both ages. Sexism. I think that I should be back along with my younger version and the way that we’ve seen it with Magneto and Professor X.”

Famke Janssen says she even reached out to the producers of the movie asking why an older Jean Grey was not making an appearance. “I have not heard any feedback on that, other than total radio silence,” she said.


Famke Janssen

During her time appearing as Jean Grey, Famke Janssen also found another franchise to star in. She played Lenore, ex-wife to Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills, in the thriller Taken. Her role in that film was only a supporting role but it set up the action she’d be handling in Taken 2, where her role was greatly expanded.

The second movie in the trilogy brought her character off the sidelines and tossed her right into the mix. She spent the bulk of the movie alongside Neeson as the two were the ones “taken” this time around. Unfortunately, her role in the third Taken movie was cut short as her character was killed early on, sending Neeson’s Bryan Mills into action.


Many times, actors and actresses are in the business want to do more than act. For Famke Janssen, she had a desire to write and direct and she was able to pull both off with her 2011 movie Bringing Up Bobby. Her screenplay told the story of a Ukrainian con-artist and mother, Olive, to a 10-year-old boy who move to Oklahoma to start a new life.

But it isn’t long before Olive’s past catches up with her and she is forced to put her son’s happiness before her own, so she allows a grieving couple to adopt her son.

Famke Janssen’s movie starred Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman, and Marcia Cross as the main characters but didn’t fare well at the box office in its limited release.

Famke Janssen moved on from her failed directorial debut and stayed in front of the camera. She was the big bad in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters and then was the lead in the horror TV series Hemlock Grove, which lasted three seasons.

She also found some time on the hit series The Blacklist, which got her a spin-off series The Blacklist: Redemption. Unfortunately, that spin-off didn’t last but one season. Janssen also has found a recurring role on How To Get Away With Murder.


Famke Janssen has kept working, despite the bad reaction to her plastic surgery. She finished her time with How to Get Away with Murder and starred in the feature The Vault. Next up she’ll appear in the movie Redeeming Love.

If fans were concerned about her appearance, they should worry no longer. Appearing in the 10-episode series Long Slow Exhale, Ms. Janssen looks to have put her plastic surgery days behind her. You can see her in the Long Slow Exhale trailer below. The series premiered on Spectrum.

Ms. Janssen has three more films on the way. The first one is an action-adventure film called Knights of the Zodiac and will see her co-star alongside Sean Bean. Her next film will then be another action film called Boy Kills World. It stars Bill Skarsgård (It, It Chapter Two) as Boy. Finally, Ms. Janssen will be seen in Door Mouse opposite Donal Logue.