Printable Biography of Karine Vanasse
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Born in Drummondville, Québec, Canada in 1983, Karine Vanasse is the daughter of council worker Conrad Vanasse and Renée Gamache, now her manager. From as young as 9 years old, Karina Vanasse expressed her desire to become a singer or an actress one day. That desire became an ambition when she appeared in Quebec’s teen show “Club des 100 watts” after winning a “lip sync competition”. It was then, with the help of her mother Gamache and TV show host France Beaudoin, that she begun to audition and take part in TV commercials as well as playing minor and supporting roles in French-Canadian TV movies.
In 1998, Karine was approached by what is now known as the “Motion International” production company to co-host the once very popular children’s science show in Quebec, “Les Petits Debrouillards” in an attempt to re-brand its “comeback” with a new, friendlier image. It was during her time on this show that she was spotted and hired by a producer Lorraine Richard and director Léa Pool to play the role of ‘Hanna’ in her first big break Emporte-moi (1999), a film telling the story of a teenager trying to find her identity in a tormented family environment. The film was presented in 40 festivals, shown across 20 countries and earned two Oscar nominations for best foreign film. Her performance was highly acclaimed both nationally and internationally and earned her the title of best actress at the Gala of Jutra, in Quebec.
Karine then moved on to play Zac (Benoit Langlais)’s love interest in the controversial Quebec TV series: “2 frères” (1999). Her character, Lucie, became much more prominent and realistic in 2000-2001 and the debate stirred by the realistic and violent reality revealed led her to become, together with Langlais, a spokesperson for the government-funded TV program “Parler, c’est grandir”, a broadcast aimed at youngsters from unstable backgrounds.
Her teen roles begun to stick and at the risk of becoming typecast she took on the main role for the feature film Du pic au coeur (2001), a trendy production by Céline Baril on the intricacies of today’s youngsters’ love lives. In the spring of 2001, Karine applied for the ITHAKA program and took a six-month break in Greece to devote her time to travelling and academic work.
When she came back, Karine’s career took a turn for the best when she chose a very different role from the usual rebellious teenagers we’ve know her so well for, that of the beautiful Donalda, in Charles Binamé’s masterpiece, Séraphin: Heart of Stone (2002). Vanasse’s perfomance shines through even though the cast is composed of the biggest names in Quebec’s movie industry including Roy Dupuis (star of the cult series “La femme Nikita”), 20 years her senior, who plays Alexis Labranche, her forbidden lover.
Karine’s acting career does not stop at TV and the Cinema, she has also appeared in various Theatrical productions both French and Canadian and she will soon join Elisha Cuthbert and Mia Kirshnerin in the Holywood stepladder by performing next to Charlize Theron and Penélope Cruz in John Duigan’s 2004 production: Head in the Clouds (2004). She has most recently gotten the part of Colette Valois in ABC’s “Pan Am.”
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