Childhood & Early Life
Emily Hampshire was born on August 29, 1981, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her father was a dentist. She is the only actor in her family. Not much information is available about her family members.
At the age of 11, Emily realized that she wanted to follow acting as a profession. On her mother’s insistence, she attended an all-girls school, the ‘Queen of Angels Academy,’ in Montreal. Initially, she did not like the school. However, the school’s vice-principal, Miss Wanda Swiderski, encouraged Emily’s passion for acting.
In 11th grade, she participated in the high-school play, ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ She essayed the role of ‘Anne Shirley’ and earned accolades from her vice-principal. Later, in 2009, Hampshire invited Ms. Swiderski for the premiere of her film ‘The Trotsky.’
Emily Hampshire began her acting career at the tender age of 14. In the year 1994, she played the role of ‘Sandy’ in the TV series ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ Two years later, she portrayed the role of ‘Heather’ in the same series.
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Initially, Emily Hampshire worked in a few episodes of the TV series ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ A casting director noticed her in a play and she got her first role.
Hampshire’s first film, ‘Dead Innocent,’ released in 1996. Oscar nominee Genevieve Bujold played her mother in the film and also took Emily under her wing. After the premiere of the film, Emily moved from Montreal to Toronto. She was only 16 years old at that time. In Toronto, she received a steady flow of roles.
In 1998, she played ‘Angelina Milleflores’ in the movie ‘Boy Meets Girl.’ Her work was widely admired. According to the actor, after working in this movie, she started getting offers of playing ‘quirky’ characters, which suited her well.
After the release of her film ‘Snow Cake’ in 2006, Hampshire moved to Los Angeles. There, her co-star Alan Rickman helped her as her mentor and introduced her to the stalwarts of the industry.
Hampshire has starred in numerous movies, such as ‘The Life Before This’ (1999), ‘In Shadow’ (2003), ‘It’s a Boy Girl Thing’ (2006), ‘The Trotsky’ (2009), and ‘Good Neighbors’ (2010). She has also starred in various TV movies and shows, such as ‘The Last Don’ (1997), ‘Love Letters’ (1999), ‘The Ride’ (2000), ‘Foolish Girl’ (2003), and ‘Northern Town’ (2006).
She has worked as voice actor in a number of animated series, such as ‘Ruby Gloom’ and ‘Anne of the Green Gables.’ She was the voice of ‘Chloe’ in ‘Carl Squared,’ of ‘Starr’ in ‘6Teen,’ and of ‘Alyson’ in ‘Braceface.’ In 2010, she played ‘Lillian Parker’ in the video game ‘Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight.’
After working in Los Angeles and winning accolades for her role of ‘Julia Bowe’ in ‘My Awkward Sexual Adventure,’ she went back to Toronto to work on ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘12 Monkeys,’ and ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.’
The capable performer has simultaneously portrayed quite diverse roles. She played a cynical, yet sensitive small-town receptionist, ‘Stevie Budd,’ in the ‘Pop Network’ sitcom ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ (2015–present) and the lead role of ‘Jennifer,’ in the popular science fiction ‘12 Monkeys’ (2015–present). She received a lot of acclaim for her portrayal of both these roles.
In the ‘Syfy’ TV show ‘12 Monkeys,’ she essays the iconic role that was earlier played by Brad Pitt in the original movie. He had won the ‘Golden Globe’ award for this role. In spite of apprehensions, Hampshire played the role effortlessly.
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Hampshire played a small, yet significant role in the Darren Aronofsky-directed film ‘Mother!’. The film was released in October 2017. Her forthcoming shows include the fourth season of ‘Schitt’s Creek.’
She is known to maintain a “character box.” Whenever she comes across interesting faces, poses, apparels, or characters in a magazine, she files them in this box. While constructing a character or a role, she refers to this box and arranges an entire person out of these tidbits.
Emily Hampshire has worked in a number of films and TV shows, and her art has been appreciated too. Her role of ‘Jane Melman,’ opposite Robert Pattison, in the movie ‘Cosmopolis,’ brought her a lot of recognition. She won an award and immense accolades for her performance in ‘My Awkward Sexual Adventure’ (2012).
She considers her role in ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’ as an important milestone in her career. In this movie, she stars with famous and established actors, such as Kathy Bates, Susan Sarandon, and Natalie Portman.
Awards & Achievements
In May 2012, Hampshire was awarded the ‘Birk’s Canadian Diamond Award’ in Cannes. This award is presented as a tribute to Canadian talent.
She was nominated for the ‘Genie Awards’ on three occasions: for the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role’ in ‘Blood’ (2004) and for the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role’ in ‘A Problem with Fear’ (2003) and ‘Snow Cake’ (2006).
She won the 2001 ‘Gemini Award’ for the ‘Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series’ for her role in ‘Made in Canada.’ Hampshire was awarded the ‘Canadian Comedy Award’ for the ‘Best Female Performance in a Feature’ for her acclaimed performance in ‘My Awkward Sexual Adventure.’
The ‘Golden Maple Award’ for the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ (2015) was presented to her for her work in ‘12 Monkeys’ and ‘Schitt’s Creek.’ She won the ‘Canadian Screen Award’ in 2016 and 2017, for her performance in ‘Schitt’s Creek.’