Jean Dujardin: The Next Gene Kelly?

Generally, comparisons of current celebrities to Gene manage to irk me in some way or another. Statements such as “He’s our generation’s Gene Kelly” only put a bad taste in my mouth. The ability to dance and smile does not make one equal to the presence Gene had. The talent is one thing (many others carry on that legacy), but the charismatic presence is another. While The Artist’s Jean Dujardin does not possess the same dancing abilities as Gene, he manages to capture that same charismatic presence. So, while the dancing eliminates him as “the next Gene Kelly,” it is the Kelly charm and smile that so many critics have identified when describing Jean. And I would have to agree. While Gene’s smile stands alone (in my opinion), Jean’s is awfully nice, too. The similarities I draw from between the two men stem from that twinkle in the eye that they use to captivate their audience. It’s that largely intangible quality that sets them apart from the crowd. It is what drew me to Gene and it is what caught my attention when I first heard of Jean a few months ago.


Lover of the 1940s, Gene Kelly, history, and Jesus. You can follow Kelly on Twitter and/or browse her Tumblr, Reminiscing for the Nostalgic.

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  • Michelle

    This may take quite a while for me to see, quite a while.

    • Kelly

      I don’t quite follow. You don’t see any similarities?

  • SarahJay

    I just saw The Artist today, and the resemblance is impossible to ignore… particularly since so much of the storyline is so similar to Singin’ in the Rain.
    That is not a criticism though – I found the movie utterly enchanting, and I could watch it again & again. Hmm – another similarity to SITR!

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  • Elcy

    Finally someone sees the resemblance as well!
    I watched the Artist a while ago, and when Jean Dujardin smiled, I couldn’t help but notice how much he resembled Gene Kelly, the smile and that “je ne sais quoi” that only Kelly had.
    P.S The movie was wonderful!

  • Sweet Sue

    It would have been nice if Gene had been allowed to wear his own hair in more movies, but the Dream Factory would not have stood for a balding Don Lockwood.
    Love Gene Kelly!!