Jessica Paré

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Jessica Paré (2012)

Jessica Paré (born December 5, 1980 in Montreal , Québec ) is a Canadian actress. Since the late 1990s she has appeared in over 20 predominantly English-language film and television productions, both in dramas and comedies. She gained fame through leading roles in the Canadian films Stardom (2000) and Lost and Delirious (2001) as well as through her recurring role as Megan Draper in the US television series Mad Men (2010-2015).


childhood and education

Jessica Paré was born to Anthony Paré, Professor and Head of Education at McGill University , and Louise Mercier, a conference interpreter. They came from an English-speaking family from Quebec who was interested in acting - the parents were a time occurred in their youth long as an amateur actor, while an uncle as artistic director of the Young People's Theater in Toronto worked. Another uncle is the Canadian screenwriter Paul Pare. For the first time with acting in touch Paré came at the age of twelve, when she her father while rehearsing his text for the Shakespeare -Stück The storm supported.

Jessica Paré grew up bilingually (English and French) with a younger brother and two older half-brothers from her mother's first marriage in the Montreal suburb of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce . Her parents divorced when she was twelve years old. She attended Willington Grade School in Montreal, where she was introduced to ballet . She later moved to the Catholic private school Villa Maria , where she appeared in high school productions of the plays Godspell (as Jesus) and Robin Hood (as Maid Marian). At the age of 16, Paré introduced herself to a modeling agency, where she said she was rejected as "too fat". After graduating from high school at Villa Maria , she attended the arts program at Dawson College CEGEP , but left after just a few weeks in the fall of 1998 to attempt a career as an actress. She was supported by her father, who found an agent for her. According to his own statements, Paré had originally planned to try his hand at acting for a year and, if unsuccessful, to start studying at McGill University.

First television roles and success with "Stardom"

After Paré had already appeared as a child in an episode of the television series The Baby-Sitters Club (1990), she received a small role as the wife of a gangster in the television film Bonanno: A Godfather's Story , the life story of Mafioso Joseph Bonanno (portrayed among others by Martin Landau ). That same year she made an appearance on an episode of the Teenage Werewolf series ( Time and Again , 1999). Paré's breakthrough as an actress paved the way for working with the Canadian film director Denys Arcand . He engaged the then unknown 18-year-old a few weeks before shooting began for the lead role in his media satire Stardom (2000). For the 12 million Canadian dollar co-production with France , which traces the rise of a young and naive Canadian ice hockey player from the province to a successful top model and its decline, Arcand had unsuccessfully castings in Canada, the United States and Europe for several months held; Paré himself had originally only auditioned for an extra role. "She is it. She doesn't need to play. So I don't have to be sad that she has no experience. She was so close to who she [the character] was that it was a very easy decision for me, ” said Arcand.

Stardom , starring Charles Berling , Dan Aykroyd and Frank Langella , premiered in 2000 as the closing film at the 53rd Cannes International Film Festival and opened the Toronto International Film Festival that same year . Although Arcand's film received mixed reviews abroad, Paré's performance was lauded as Tina Menzhal, who she played from the age of 18 to 28. In preparation for the role, she had lost weight, taken ice skating lessons and had a birthmark on her cheek and teeth corrected. The Canadian daily newspaper The Globe and Mail then counted Paré, along with fellow actors Sarah Polley and Hayden Christensen, among the future 133 leaders in Canada.

Leading role in "Lost and Delirious" and other offers

Immediately after filming with Arcand, Paré took on a small role as a tourist in the French-speaking Canadian-European co-production En vacances (2000). However, the success of Stardom left the young actress, who was repeatedly compared to the American Liv Tyler at the beginning of her career , in doubt. After her partially revealing appearance in the Arcand film, she was offered numerous scripts for erotic films. Paré was also intimidated by having to compete in auditions with colleagues who were better educated and more experienced than them. In retrospect, however, she should describe this episode as “general uncertainty about young actors” and attribute it to the lack of a background as a child actress, which she did not regret. She also avoided leaving Canada and moving to Los Angeles . But it was precisely a convincing audition Paré that earned her a second leading role in Léa Pool's feature film Lost and Delirious (2001). In the multi-award-winning youth drama, she was seen as a lesbian boarding school student who flees into a relationship with a boy for fear of her parents, whereupon her friend (played by Piper Perabo ) commits suicide. Pool praised Paré's sensitivity and intuition as well as the ease of working with her. The director gave the amateur actress self-confidence while filming by letting her try out many times. A year later, Paré was voted one of the 25 Most Beautiful People in Canada.

After supporting roles as an attractive pop singer and friend of an Indian millionaire in Deepa Mehta's Bollywood Hollywood and as Napoleon Bonaparte's mistress in the international television production Napoleon (both in 2002), Paré had a first leading role in a television film in 2003. In Jerry Ciccoritti's thriller The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton , she played the title role of the Canadian department store chain heiress Nancy Eaton (1961–1985) who was murdered by her boyfriend. Paré described the role for which she received extra language lessons in order to authentically portray the half deaf Eaton as the most demanding offer up to that point. This was followed by the supporting role of the beautiful and rich fiancée of Josh Hartnett in the US film Sehnsüchtig (2004), which was also shot in Montreal, with Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne in other roles. Also in 2004, the Canadian-Italian television multipart Lives of the Saints with Sophia Loren was released. Paré played the illegitimate daughter of an Italian immigrant in Canada in the literary film based on the novel of the same name by Nino Ricci .

Work in the United States and Success with Mad Men

In the spring of 2004 Paré moved to Los Angeles, where she had received a recurring role in the short-lived television series Jack & Bobby (2004-2005). Based on the life of the two Kennedy brothers John F. and Robert (played by Matt Long and Logan Lerman ), she played the daughter of a wealthy college president ( John Slattery ), who befriends the boys. According to Paré, the experience of working every day and being able to work with different directors every week appealed to Paré. At the same time, her self-confidence had increased after auditioning for larger roles and having a wider body of work. “I clearly feel that I know what I'm doing. I feel like I belong in this world ... It takes the pressure off, ” Paré said in an interview in autumn 2004. At the same time, Canadian musician Bryan Adams published 30 black and white photo portraits of well-known Canadians which, in addition to the singer Avril Lavigne and the figure skating couple Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, also saw Paré.

Paré's first year in California was problematic because she was unable to obtain an unlimited residence and work permit for the United States ( green card ) for nine months and was also unable to work in Canada due to travel regulations. During this time, she flirted with attending cooking school and giving up acting. This was followed by small roles in the Canadian feature film comedies The Trotsky (2009) by Jacob Tierney and Peepers by Seth W. Owen as well as a revealing appearance in the American time travel comedy Hot Tub - The Whirlpool ... is a damn time machine (both 2010) . Rob Stefaniuk's Canadian feature film Suck (2009), in which Paré was given a leading role, was denied regular theatrical release after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the horror musical comedy, she played the bassist in a band that only achieves success after being turned into an attractive vampire. For the shooting of the film, in which well-known musicians such as Alice Cooper , Iggy Pop and Moby also took on roles, Paré had learned to play the guitar especially.

Paré became known to a broad US television audience from 2010 onwards through the award-winning television series Mad Men , which is set in an advertising agency in New York in the 1960s. She had originally auditioned unsuccessfully for a brief guest appearance in the fourth season as the nightly love acquaintance of the series hero Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm ), but was then given the recurring role of the attractive and understanding receptionist Megan Calvet , who became personal secretary and at the end of the season - also surprising for Paré - becomes Drapers' second wife. Series developer Matthew Weiner felt reminded by Paré of a French actress of the 1960s from one of his favorite films ( Claude Chabrol's Die Unsatisfied , 1959) and incorporated the French-Canadian origins of the actress into the role, using the name Calvet to a bed -and-Breakfast -Hotel in Montreal, which he had visited himself ( La Maison Pierre du Calvet ). As an accent for the figure, Paré chose a more Parisian French than Quebec French . “I use the accent that most people understand,” says Paré, who, according to Weiner's own statement, was also new to the way he worked: “I'm used to having a complete arc of figures. [...] It's really hard not to know where your character is going. The challenge is not to make too many decisions (for a character motif). You don't want to slam all the doors or make any decision in favor of Matt (Weiner). ” Paré was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2011 together with the Mad Men actors and was named one of the ten most desirable women of the year by the American industry service .

Paré gained even greater fame with the beginning of the subsequent fifth season of Mad Men (2012), where her character developed into the lead role. In the first episode ( A Little Kiss ) she interpreted the role of Megan in an erotic choreographed dance of the French song Zou Bisou Bisou , which was interpreted in English at the beginning of the 1960s by the British singer Gillian Hills and later by Sophia Loren . With 3.5 million viewers, A Little Kiss became the most-watched Mad Men episode to date , while Paré's recording was successfully distributed on Internet video platforms. Lions Gate offered the piece on the Internet as a download as well as in a limited record version. During the fifth season, Megan quits her job in the advertising agency and tries to pursue an acting career.

In addition to the success of Mad Men , Paré was interested in working in Canadian independent cinema and appeared in two short films ( Sorry, Rabbi and Beholder , both 2011) and in a western ( The Mountie , 2011). She counts among others the filmmaker friend Jacob Tierney, but also Denis Villeneuve , Jean-Marc Vallée , Michael Dowse , Philippe Falardeau and Xavier Dolan to her favorite Canadian directors.

Private life

Jessica Paré lives in Los Angeles. In 2007 she married the American film producer and screenwriter Joseph ("Joe") M. Smith, who co-produced her films See This Movie and Peepers , among others . In 2010, Paré and Smith separated and the marriage ended in divorce. For several years she was in a relationship with the camera assistant Danny Racine, whom she met while filming her debut movie Stardom . Paré has been with the musician John Kastner since 2012 , who brought a daughter from his marriage to Nicole de Boer into the relationship. In March 2015 Paré gave birth to their son.

In addition to her work as an actress, she tried her hand at writing, but described herself as not "very good" at it. In addition, she pursued, among other things, embroidery and crocheting , painting and cooking.


Paré in 2012


TV series and multi-part series

  • 1990: The Baby-Sitters Club (episode 1x01)
  • 1999: Teenage Werewolf (episode 1x16)
  • 2002: Random Passage (miniseries, 2 episodes)
  • 2002: Napoleon ( Napoléon , miniseries, episode 1x02)
  • 2004–2005: Jack & Bobby (21 episodes)
  • 2007: Life (episode 1x05)
  • 2010-2015: Mad Men (41 episodes)
  • 2011: Futurestates (episode 2x01)
  • 2013: Satisfaction (episode 1x05)
  • since 2017: SEAL Team

Web links

Commons : Jessica Paré  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. [1] Interview with Jessica Paré at The Vulture Transcript (accessed November 2, 2013)
  2. ^ A b c Johnson, Brian D .: Beauty at the Feast . In: Maclean’s . June 5, 2000, p. 57.
  3. a b c Pare is an object of desire . In: Toronto Star , July 27, 2001, p. B05.
  4. a b Stone, Jay: Cool, eh? . In: Ottawa Citizen , October 26, 2000, p. E1.
  5. Brownstein, Bill: Vestibules get past the front door: . In: The Gazette , March 21, 1999, p. D6.
  6. ^ Tucker, Reed: Meet Hollywood's newest Sex Bomb . In: New York Post , March 27, 2012, p. 29.
  7. a b c d Fortney, Valerie: Jessica Pares down . In: Calgary Herald , December 19, 2002, p. D1.
  8. a b c d How much excitement can a girl take? . In: The Gazette , March 14, 2000, p. 52 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  9. a b c Reid, Michael D .: Pare's life on par with role . In: Times Colonist , October 27, 2000, p. C1.
  10. Rice, Alex: Jessica Paré Talks About Getting 'Mad Men' Role and Being Certain She'd Be Written Out at, June 4, 2012 (accessed July 18, 2012).
  11. ^ Quebec Filmmaker Lets the Media Get Near his Movie . In: Toronto Star , May 14, 1999 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  12. ^ Arcand Film to open Toronto Festival . In: The Toronto Star , July 5, 2000 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  13. Kelly, Brendan: Stardom . In: Variety , 22. – 28. May 2000, p. 30.
  14. ^ Right hand, Michael: Stardom . In: The Hollywood Reporter , May 26, 2000 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  15. ^ McLaren, Leah: The Globe and Mail Young Leaders . In: The Globe and Mail , July 1, 2000, p. R1.
  16. Stone, Jay: Ottawa's own 'girl-power thriller' . In: Ottawa Citizen . November 22, 2001, p. B1.
  17. Kelly, Brendan: Life gets a little crazy . In: The Gazette , May 22, 2004, p. D1.
  18. chipper, David, Jessica's surprise stardom . In: The Vancouver Province , July 29, 2001, p. C4.
  19. Ryan, Andrew: Jessica Paré . In: The Globe and Mail , September 24, 2004, p. R6.
  20. The Canadian Press: Adams unveils photos at Flare bash . In: Edmonton Journal , Oct. 8, 2004, p. E5.
  21. ^ A b c MacDonald, Gayle: Working her French-Canuck connection . In: The Globe and Mail , April 4, 2011, p. R1.
  22. DeMara, Bruce: Blood, guts and rock 'n' roll . In: The Toronto Star , December 5, 2008, p. E03.
  23. ^ Coates, Alana: Stealing the heart of a Mad man . In: The Gazette , October 25, 2010, p. A24.
  24. a b Schneller, Johanna: Mad about Jessica . In: The Globe and Mail , April 7, 2012, p. R7.
  25. ^ A b Paré Mad about playing Megan . In: The Toronto Star , October 26, 2010, p. E1.
  26. ^ Lackner, Christ: Mad Men's New Love . In: The Vancouver Province , December 27, 2010, p. B2.
  27. ^ Profile of Jessica Paré at (accessed July 19, 2012).
  28. Keveney, Bill: Pare has the TV world humming . In: Gannett News Service , March 26, 2012 (accessed via LexisNexis Wirtschaft ).
  29. Kiss for Don . In: Der Spiegel , April 7, 2012, No. 15, p. 102.
  30. Mad-Men -Figurenbeschreibung at (accessed on 18 June 2012).
  31. Kelly, Brendan: Kissed by fame, Jessica Paré stays grounded . In: The Gazette , April 7, 2012, p. E3.
  32. Jessica Paré is happily going Mad . In: The Toronto Star , April 2, 2011, p. E8.
  33. a b Lenka Hladikova: Mad Men: Jessica Pare became a mother. In: . March 23, 2015, accessed March 23, 2015 .
  34. ^ Hughes, Sarah: Mad woman: Jessica Paré on being Don Draper's latest squeeze at, March 9, 2012 (accessed July 18, 2012).