Oui! The french can be cool. According to the old stereotype it was refinated and romantic in extreme (contrasting with the everyday american guy) like Charles Boyer who was (sorry) not cool but instead the Pepe Le Puf inspiration. On the other hand I think Jean Gabin was it, as well as the poetic and gay Jean Marais. But is lately in the 50's that the independent heavenly teen Bardot makes us turn our heads to France . And the Nouvelle Vague (influenced buy italian neorrealism and Hollywood) made us finally stay there. It's since there that we got these cool males and women that start imitating Bogart, like Belmondo that for me all this starts. Then we have Montand, Delon, Deneuve until Tatou, Cassel and Melanie Laurent. Tough guys, intelligent amazing women. Cool!
Jean Gabin (1904-1976)
Jean Marais, charming man.
Anouk Aimèe, a woman.
Jeane Moreau, magnetic intelectual.
Yves Montand, actually italian.
The pervert , Sergei Gainsbourg (with Jane Birkin)
Michel Piccoli, versatile.
Brigitte Bardot, no words here...
Johnny Hallyday, actually much cooler then Elvis.
Jean Paul Belmondo, tough rascal.
Alain Delon, the number one french cool guy. Not just a pretty face.
Catherine Deneuve, the Queen of France ( her sister the tragic princess Francoise Dorleac death just 25 at the top of this entry)
Isabelle Huppert, dangerous.
Isabelle Adjani , argelian father and german mother.
Christopher Lambert, from Subway to the jungle and B-action heroe.
A more mature Deneuve, still queen.
Juliette Binoche, Blue.
Anne Parillaud, Nikita forever.
Dominique Pinon our little big man.
Vanesa Paradis, be my baby...
Jean Reno, not Wayne, not Stallone.
Gérard "Cyrano" Depardieu .
Daniel Auteuil, actually argelian lucky husband of Emmanuelle.
Vincent Cassel, tall , dark, tough and more then lucky husband of Monica Bellucci.
Audrey Tatou, much more then Amélie.