Childhood & Early Life
Nicole Evangeline Lilly was born on August 3, 1979, in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Her father is an economics teacher, and her mother is a secretary at a middle school. Lilly has an elder sister, and a younger sister.
Evangeline Lilly graduated from the ‘W. J. Mouat Secondary School,’ in British Columbia. While in school, she was active in soccer, and was the vice-president of student council. As Lilly hailed from a middle class family, she worked part-time, to fund her studies. She worked as a waitress, and also as a flight attendant with the ‘Royal Airlines.’
Lilly grew up in a religious atmosphere. She was a devout Christian from her childhood, and was interested in missionary activities. At the age of 18, Lilly participated in a three-week trip to Philippines, to undertake charity work. This interest also influenced her studies. Lilly earned a master’s degree in ‘International Relations,’ from the ‘University of British Columbia.’
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Evangeline Lilly made her entry into acting, through her modelling career. Lilly was spotted by an agent of the ‘Ford Modelling Agency,’ while she was walking along the streets of Kelowna, in British Columbia. Though she took the phone number from the agent, Lilly was not very interested in the career. Later, she decided to take it up, as a means to earn money for her studies.
In the early days of her career, Lilly worked in commercials. She also made uncredited appearances in TV series such as ‘Smallville,’ ‘Tru Calling,’ and ‘Kingdom Hospital.’ Most of these were non-speaking roles. She also performed in movies such as ‘’Freddy vs. Jason,’ ‘White Chicks,’ and ‘The Long Weekend.’
In 2004, Lilly bagged the first major role in her acting career. She was selected to play the lead role, ‘Kate Austen,’ in the TV series, ‘Lost,’ that was aired on the ‘ABC’ network. It was a science-fiction series, and ran successfully for six seasons, from 2004 to 2010. Lilly attended the audition for the series, on being prompted by a friend, without any hopes of being selected. She was selected for the role of ‘Kate,’ from among 75 women who participated in the audition.
Lilly shot to fame after being cast in ‘Lost.’ In 2004, the ‘Entertainment Weekly’ selected her as one of the ‘Breakout Stars of 2004.’ In 2005, Lilly received the ‘Screen Actors Guild Award,’ for the ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.’ In 2006, she was nominated for the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for the ‘Best Lead Actress- Drama.’ In 2007, Lilly was voted as the ‘Sexiest Woman on Television’ by the magazine, ‘TV Guide.’ The ‘FHM’ magazine selected her as one of the ‘Top Sexiest.’ Lilly was one among the ’50 Most Beautiful People’ selected by the ‘People’ magazine.
In 2008, Evangeline Lilly starred in the American war-thriller movie, ‘The Hurt Locker,’ directed by Katherine Bigelow. It was a highly acclaimed movie, and was nominated for nine ‘Academy Awards.’ Lilly played ‘Connie James,’ the ex-wife of the protagonist, ‘William James.’ Lilly, and the rest of the cast, won the ‘Gotham Award for the Best Ensemble Cast,’ and the ‘Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble.’
In 2008, Lilly played the lead female character in the psychological thriller movie, ‘Afterwards.’ After the movie, Lilly took a short break from Hollywood, to concentrate on her family, and book writing. In 2011, Lilly made a comeback, with the science-fiction movie, ‘Real Steel.’ In the film, Lilly co-starred with Hugh Jackman. She portrayed the female lead, ‘Bailey Tallet,’ and was appreciated for her performance.
In 2013, Lilly starred in the fantasy adventure movie, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.’ The movie was the second in the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, and was an adaptation of the children’s fantasy novel named ‘The Hobbit.’ Lilly played ‘Tauriel,’ the head of the ‘Mirkwood Elven Guard.’ The character did not appear in the original book. Lilly learned archery and swordplay for her character. In 2014, she was cast in the third part of the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.’
In 2013, Evangeline Lilly published her book, ‘The Squickerwonkers.’ It was a graphic book designed for children. The book was released at the ‘Comic-Con International,’ held in San Diego. Hollywood director, Peter Jackman, wrote the foreword to the book. Lilly describes the book as a collection of a group of strange characters, all of whom have particular vices. She plans to publish a series of these books in future.
In 2015, Lilly starred in the superhero movie, ‘Ant-Man.’ In the movie, she played the pivotal role of ‘Hope van Dyne,’ who was a senior board member of ‘Pym Technologies.’ She was raised by two superheroes, and was a powerful character.
Lilly did justice to the character, and earned applause for her performance. In 2018, she was cast in the sequel to ‘Ant-Man,’ titled, ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp.’ Lilly is expected to the act in the upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie, by the ‘Marvel Studios.’
In 2003, Evangeline Lilly married Canadian national, Murray Hone. The marriage was short-lived, and the couple divorced in the following year. From 2004 to 2009, Lilly was in a relation with her ‘Lost’ co-star, Dominic Monaghan. In 2010, Lilly started a relation with Norman Kali. The couple have a son, Kahekili, and also a daughter.
Lilly is a philanthropist. She works for several ‘NGOs’ such as the ‘GO Campaign.’ She conducted auctions to support the street children of Brazil, and also to help the widows, and orphans, in Rwanda. She has traveled across the world for her charity work.