Sarah Polley

Actor, Singer
Actress-writer-director Sarah Polley's diverse career has taken her from child star in her native Canada to an acclaimed filmmaker and performer, whose refusal to conform to Hollywood conventions allowed her a creative ... Read more »
Born: 01/07/1979 in Toronto, Ontario, CA

Filmography

Actor (48)

Edge of Madness 2014 (Movie)

Annie McKillop (Actor)

Queen Kristina 2014 (Movie)

Queen Kristina (Actor)

The I Inside 2014 (Movie)

Claire (Actor)

Stories We Tell 2013 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Splice 2010 (Movie)

Elsa Kast (Actor)

Mr. Nobody 2009 (Movie)

Adult Elise (Actor)

Trigger 2009 (Movie)

Hillary (Actor)

John Adams 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Beowulf & Grendel 2006 (Movie)

Selma (Actor)

Don't Come Knocking 2006 (Movie)

Sky (Actor)

The Secret Life of Words 2006 (Movie)

Hanna (Actor)

Dawn of the Dead 2004 (Movie)

Ana (Actor)

Luck 2003 (Movie)

(Actor)

My Life Without Me 2003 (Movie)

Ann (Actor)

Sugar 2003 (Movie)

Pregnant Girl (Actor)

The Event 2003 (Movie)

Dana Shapiro (Actor)

No Such Thing 2002 (Movie)

Beatrice (Actor)

The Weight of Water 2002 (Movie)

Maren Hontvedt (Actor)

Jerry & Tom 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Claim 2000 (Movie)

Hope Dillon (Actor)

This Might Be Good 2000 (Movie)

(Actor)

Existenz 1999 (Movie)

Merle (Actor)

Go 1999 (Movie)

Ronna Martin (Actor)

Guinevere 1999 (Movie)

Harper Sloane (Actor)

Last Night 1999 (Movie)

Jennifer Wheeler (Actor)

Love Come Down 1999 (Movie)

Nun (Actor)

The Law of Enclosures 1999 (Movie)

Beatrice (Actor)

The Life Before This 1999 (Movie)

Connie (Actor)

The Hanging Garden 1998 (Movie)

Rosemary (Actor)

White Lies 1998 (Movie)

(Actor)

Avonlea 1989 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Joe's So Mean to Josephine 1997 (Movie)

Josephine (Actor)

The Sweet Hereafter 1997 (Movie)

Nicole Burnell (Actor)

Exotica 1995 (Movie)

Tracey (Actor)

The Hidden Room 1991 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Babar: the Movie 1989 (Movie)

of Young Celeste (Voice)

Heaven on Earth 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Ramona 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1989 (Movie)

Sally Salt (Actor)

Blue Monkey 1987 (Movie)

Ellen (Actor)

The Big Town 1987 (Movie)

Christy Donaldson (Actor)

One Magic Christmas 1985 (Movie)

Molly (Actor)

Hands of a Stranger (TV Show)

Actor

Lantern Hill (TV Show)

Actor

The Industry (TV Show)

Actor

The Inside (TV Show)

Actor

The Planet of Junior Brown (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (4)

Stories We Tell 2013 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Take this Waltz 2011 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Away From Her 2007 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

Don't Think Twice 1998 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Director (4)

Stories We Tell 2013 (Movie)

(Director)

Take this Waltz 2011 (Movie)

(Director)

Away From Her 2007 (Movie)

(Director)

Don't Think Twice 1998 (Movie)

(Director)
Music (3)

The Sweet Hereafter 1997 (Movie)

("One More Colour") (Song Performer)

The Sweet Hereafter 1997 (Movie)

("Boy") (Song)

The Sweet Hereafter 1997 (Movie)

Vocals(The Sam Dent Band) (Music)
Producer (3)

Edge of Madness 2014 (Movie)

(Co-Producer)

Take this Waltz 2011 (Movie)

(Producer)

Don't Think Twice 1998 (Movie)

(Producer)
Art Department (1)

After Romeo 2014 (Movie)

(Production Designer)

Biography

Actress-writer-director Sarah Polley's diverse career has taken her from child star in her native Canada to an acclaimed filmmaker and performer, whose refusal to conform to Hollywood conventions allowed her a creative freedom enjoyed by few of her contemporaries. Polley began acting at an early age, but a traumatic experience under director Terry Gilliam in "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" (1988), a growing disillusionment with the industry, and a series of personal upheavals led a teenage Polley to reconsider her chosen profession during the early 1990s. She returned to deliver an emotionally devastating performance in Atom Egoyan's heartrending drama "The Sweet Hereafter" (1997) and later took part in genre fare such as Zack Snyder's caffeinated zombie remake, "Dawn of the Dead" (2005). A growing interest in filmmaking eventually yielded Polley's debut as a writer-director, "Away from Her" (2006), an affecting drama that garnered widespread critical acclaim. Although she still acted in projects such as the sci-fi horror story "Splice" (2009), Polley continued to grow as a writer-director with her second feature "Take This Waltz" (2011), starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, and "Stories We Tell" (2012), an inventive documentary about her own childhood. Immeasurably talented and fiercely independent, Polley bravely continued to pursue her own artistic inclinations as an actor and filmmaker.

Relationships

John Buchan Casting

Half-Brother

Susy Buchan Casting

Half-Sister

Harry Gulkin Casting

Father

Michael Polley

Father
British

Diane Polley

Mother
Died of cancer January 10, 1990, two days after Polley's eleventh birthday

Joanna Polley Casting

Sister

Mark Polley

Brother
Older

David Sandomierski Casting

Husband

Eve Sandomierski

Daughter

David Wharnsby Casting

Husband
Canadian married September 10, 2003

EDUCATION

Dropped out of school in the 12th grade to devote herself to political activism

Milestones

2012

Directed "Stories We Tell," a documentary about her own childhood and family secrets

2011

Directed the drama "Take This Waltz," starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen

2010

Co-starred with Adrien Brody in the sci-fi thriller "Splice"

2009

Co-starred with Jared Leto and Diane Kruger in "Mr. Nobody"

2008

Portrayed Nabby Adams opposite Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney in the HBO biographical drama "John Adams"

2007

Feature directing debut, "Away From Her" starring Julie Christie and based on the Alice Munro short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain; also adapted the screenplay; earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay

2005

Starred in "The Secret Life of Words," opposite Tim Robbins and Julie Christie

2004

Co-starred with Mekhi Phifer and Ving Rhames in "Dawn of the Dead," a remake of the 1978 horror film

2000

Wrote, co-produced and directed the short "Don't Think Twice"; premiered at Sundance Film Festival

1999

Starred in "Go" and "Guinevere" both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival

1998

Has supporting role in the Canadian feature "Last Night"

1997

Breakthrough screen role in Egoyan's "The Sweet Hereafter"

1996

Cast as Lily on the CBC television series, "Straight Up"

1996

Dropped out of school to devote herself full time to political activism

1994

Acted in her debut stage role as Alice in "Alice Through the Looking Glass," a play based on the Lewis Carroll stories

1994

First film with Atom Egoyan, "Exotica"

1994

Underwent surgery for severe scoliosis, a recurring back ailment

1994

Moved out of her parents' home and into her own apartment at age 15

1990

Co-starred as Sara Stanley in the Canadian series "The Road to Avonlea/Avonlea" (aired in the US on The Disney channel)

1988

Featured in the TV series "Ramona" (PBS)

1988

Portrayed Sally Salt in Terry Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"

1985

Made film debut in a bit role in "One Magic Christmas"

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1995, she lost several teeth to riot police while protesting against the Provincial Conservative government of Mike Harris in Queen's Park, Toronto

.

"When people ask me what I do, acting is usually the furthest thing from my mind. It's a lack of confidence, in a way I've hidden my insecurities for so long. Still, for the first time, I'm really enjoying acting. It seems not such a bogus thing to do with your life." - Sarah Polley, quoted in the Toronto Sun, Nov. 13, 1996

.

On children going into show business: "I don't blame my parents, because they did everything they could to discourage me. But my kids won't do this, EVER. It's not that It makes you grow up too fast. It stunts your growth. Because you're in a really foolish, false world with completely screwed-up people trying to get ahead. I don't know if it's any place for an adult, let alone a kid." - quoted in 'Suddenly Sarah' by Brian D Johnson in MaClean's, Sep. 8, 1997

.

"It's weird. All of that stuff that got written about me was really an indication of who I was at 16. I was militant. I did take myself too seriously. But that's the problem with deciding not to create an image for yourself, People create one for you. And for the last nine years I've been different, but this humorless, angry person kept coming across in the media." - Polley on her politically active past to EW, April 2, 2004

.

Financially independent by the age of 14, in 1993 Polley left home to live with a man nearly 20 years her senior

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