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Emily VanCamp Bio
Emily VanCamp (born May 12, 1986) is a Canadian actress from Port Perry, Ontario, known for her lead roles on the WB series Everwood (2002–06), the ABC dramas Brothers & Sisters (2007–10) and Revenge (2011–15), and as Sharon Carter / Agent 13 in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and its sequel Captain America: Civil War.
Born in Port Perry, Ontario, to Cindy and Robert VanCamp, she is the third in a family of four girls. Her father is an animal nutritionist and her first job was working for her father, delivering food to clients in and around her hometown.
VanCamp started studying dance at age three and, wanting to become a professional dancer, at the age of eleven convinced her parents to let her attend a summer training program in Montreal. At twelve, she was accepted at the École supérieure de ballet du Québec, the training program of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and moved in with a local French Canadian family.
1999–2002: Career beginnings
In 1999, VanCamp became interested in acting after visiting her sister Katie on the set of the film Ladies Room. She started taking acting classes on Saturdays, found an agent and, after working on a couple of commercials, was cast in the second part of the three-part season 7 premiere of the Canadian children’s horror anthology television series Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Her character was present in one scene and spoke no dialogue, playing opposite a 17-year-old Elisha Cuthbert.
VanCamp followed this with a turn as a teenage Jackie Bouvier in the Emmy-nominated CBS TV movie Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and a guest spot on YTV sitcom Radio Active. The following year saw the release of her first theatrical feature, the lesbian-themed drama Lost and Delirious, in which she played a supporting role as Jessica Paré‘s sister, and another television guest spot on an episode of the short-lived medical horror series All Souls, where she played a hit and run victim with spinal trauma. VanCamp also had roles in the miniseries Dice, directed by Rachel Talalay and in the TV film Redeemer, directed by Graeme Clifford, which aired in early 2002.
2002–10: Breakthrough and television work
VanCamp experienced her big break at 15 when she was cast as regular Sam Dolan in the WB mid-season show Glory Days (known in Europe as Demontown), the third TV series from Dawson’s Creek creator Kevin Williamson. The horror mystery received mildly positive reviews but was a ratings disappointment and was cancelled after nine episodes. VanCamp’s performance as the lead character’s younger sister caught the eye of former Dawson’s Creek writer Greg Berlanti. Her performance reminded him of Katie Holmes and he “desperately wanted to work with her”. He cast her in his forthcoming first show, Everwood, also for the WB. VanCamp played Amy, Dr. Abbott’s daughter, who immediately forms a friendship with Dr. Brown’s son Ephram, played by Gregory Smith. A significant portion of the show was devoted to the relationships between the two families, and in particular to Amy and Ephram. The young actress gained a certain amount of recognition for the role, in which her character was confronted with drugs, depression and an alienation from her family, receiving four Teen Choice Awards nominations and one Young Artist Awards nomination during the course of the show’s run.
While on breaks from Everwood, VanCamp starred in a few film projects, including the thrillers No Good Deed and A Different Loyalty as well as Rings, a horror short film that bridges the events between The Ring and The Ring Two and ties directly into her appearance in the opening scene of the latter film.
VanCamp filmed the post-apocalyptic horror film Carriers in the summer of 2006. Early 2007 saw the broadcast of a season 8 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode, in which her drug addict character Charlotte Truex can’t recall her actions on the night her mother was murdered, and the premiere of the independent drama Black Irish, where her character Kathleen McKay, the sister of lead actor Michael Angarano‘s character Cole, has to deal with teenage pregnancy.
VanCamp’s next big role came at age 20 when Everwood creator Greg Berlanti cast her as a regular mid-way into the first season of the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters, which he was showrunning, offering her the part directly. The Jon Robin Baitz-created series chronicles the lives of the Walkers, a wealthy family who own a food company, after their patriarch dies and it is revealed he has a secret child from a long-standing affair, Rebecca Harper, whom VanCamp plays.
VanCamp remained a regular on Brothers & Sisters during the show’s first four seasons and returned as a guest for a couple of episodes in the fifth and final season to wrap up her character’s storyline. While working on the show, she found the time to star in the independent dramedy Norman in mid-2008, which earned her her only award wins to date, from the San Diego Film Festival and the Breckenridge Festival of Film. The film sees her playing the girlfriend of main character Norman Long, played by Dan Byrd, who pretends he’s dying of cancer. VanCamp also starred in the two-part TV film Ben Hur, the latest adaptation of Lew Wallace‘s 1880 novel.
2011–present: Revenge and other projects
VanCamp starred in Hallmark Hall of Fame film Beyond the Blackboard, based on the true story of teacher Stacey Bess, whom VanCamp portrays. The film aired on CBS on April 24, 2011. She was then cast as Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne in the ABC drama Revenge, which was given a series order in May 2011. As the first TV show VanCamp has truly headlined, Revenge has garnered her a significant amount of recognition, including a couple of Teen Choice Awards nominations.
VanCamp co-starred in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Sharon Carter, a potential loyal friend of Chris Evans‘ titular hero and the niece of the previous film‘s love interest Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell. The film was shot from April through June 2013 and was released on April 4, 2014. VanCamp reprised her role in the 2016 sequel Captain America: Civil War.
VanCamp’s latest film project, the independent drama The Girl in the Book, started filming in mid-June 2013 in New York City. Based on a true story, the film centers on VanCamp’s character Alice Harvey, a 28-year-old assistant book editor and aspiring writer. In order to fund its post-production, the film’s producers launched a crowdfunding Kickstarter campaign on June 17, 2013 which successfully surpassed its $65,000 goal on July 1.
VanCamp has two older sisters, Katie and Alison, and a younger one, Molly. Her eldest sister Katie, is a former dancer and now a children’s book writer.
VanCamp speaks French fluently and says she “feels at home” when she hears the language. She has also studied Spanish and is an accomplished dancer, having studied ballet, jazz, hip hop and tap as a child, which she credits with helping her through her fight scenes on Revenge. She believes that if she had not gone into acting, she would have probably either continued dancing or done something related to cooking.
VanCamp has been dating Revenge co-star Josh Bowman since late 2011.