Eyes and ears are honing in on Canadian-born actress Emily Hampshire.
The beautiful, talented Montreal native has long been a figure on the landscape of homegrown entertainment, starting her career as a teenager and appearing in a slew of television shows and feature films, with a healthy sideline doing voice work in cartoons.
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But now, with 14 years in the business, her name is finally getting some much deserved ink after starring in Jacob Tierney’s festival favourite, The Trotsky, an ironic career twist that also comments on the state of Canadian film culture.
“When I first started out, I wanted my first bang to be this big movie that would change my life,” says Hampshire, in Montreal doing press for The Trotsky, currently running in theatres.
“But that was unrealistic, especially here. There isn’t a star system in Canada, so eventually, after many years, I moved to L.A. In L.A., there’s a weird disconnect.
“You do one movie and become famous or you wait tables. The funny thing is, I’ve been working in Canadian films more now than ever since moving to L.A., that’s just the way it is.”
Hampshire’s role as a delusional teen’s muse in The Trotsky fully exploits her natural persona: a warm blend of femininity and intellectualism, that has exemplifies the complete control of her brush she’s perfected over the years.
Upcoming roles for the talented actress include sharing lead screen time with Canadian legend Elias Koteas in director Dominic James’ Die and re-teaming with Tierney and Baruchel for the intense Montreal-set thriller, Notre Dame de Grace, a picture that also stars Scott Speedman (Underworld) and hot actor/filmmaker Xavier Dolan (I Killed my Mother).
But no matter her achievements, Hampshire insists her sudden rise in profile was not entirely reached on her own.
“If I can impart any wisdom to any young actor, it’s that you have to find a community,” she says. “I’ve found the greatest success and strength in finding a group of people that you can collaborate with, that you can trust and that will bring out the best in what you do.”