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Jessica Paré (born December 5, 1980)[1] is a Canadian film and television actress and singer. She has appeared in the films Stardom (2000), Lost and Delirious (2001),Wicker Park (2004), Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), and co-starred in the vampire horror-comedy Suck (2009). She currently co-stars as Megan Draper on the AMCtelevision series Mad Men.

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 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Paré was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the daughter of Anthony Paré, the former chair of the education department at McGill University, and Louise Mercier, a conference interpreter. She grew up in the Montreal neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and has three brothers.[2] Paré is bilingual, speaking both English and French.[2] Her family is Catholic.[3]

Paré's parents were both actors: her father was a drama teacher and toured with a theatre company, and her mother acted in amateur productions. Paré would watch her father at rehearsals as a child and became interested in acting herself when helping him learn his lines for The Tempest.[4] She attended Villa Maria, a private Catholic girl's high school in Montreal. Paré studied drama at TheatreWorks, and appeared in over half a dozen amateur theatre productions as a teenager, including roles as Maid Marian in Robin Hood and Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[5]

Career[edit]Edit

Paré landed a small role in the mafia TV movie, Bonanno: A Godfather's Story, during her final year in high school, which convinced her to pursue acting as a career.[6] She also found small roles in an episode of the horror/teen TV series Big Wolf on Campus and the French film En Vacances in 1999. She dropped out of the fine arts program at Montreal's Dawson College and pursued acting for two years.[2] At one point, she worked as a photographer's assistant on automotive photo shoots.[7] After Paré auditioned for a bit part for the independent film Stardom (2000), director Denys Arcand chose her to star in the film.[2] She played a naive ice hockey player propelled to international stardom as a supermodel, co-starring with Dan Aykroyd. The comedic satire closed the 2000 Cannes Film Festival with mixed reviews from critics.[8] Paré became the Canadian film industry’s "it girl" following the film's release.[9] She was also voted one of the 25 most beautiful people in Canada by a Canadian magazine,[which?] but she did not take the title very seriously.[10]

Paré next starred in Lost and Delirious (2001), opposite Piper Perabo, a story of two young lovers set in a girls' boarding school. The film was the English-language debut of director Léa Pool and debuted to mixed reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. The performances of Paré and her co-stars Piper Perabo and Mischa Barton were, however, widely praised.[11] Paré appeared in the miniseries Random Passage in 2002, based on a series of award-winning novels by Bernice Morgan and set in Newfoundland in the 1800s.[12] Also that year, she appeared in the miniseries Napoléon as the emperor’s mistress and had a cameo as a pop singer in Deepa Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood (2002). In 2003, she starred in the girl gang thriller Posers (2003),[citation needed] after which Paré appeared in the CTV miniseries The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton(2003), directed by Jerry Ciccoritti, in the title role of murdered heiress Nancy Eaton.[citation needed]

Paré made her Hollywood film debut in the 2004 feature Wicker Park, directed by Paul McGuigan, as Josh Hartnett's fiancee. Paré starred in Lives of the Saints that year, with Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson, a TV miniseries set in the 1960s. She was in the mockumentary See This Movie (2004), with Seth Meyers and John Cho, and had a role on the teen drama series Jack & Bobby that year. The WB television series was about two brothers, one who grows up to be President of the United States; Paré's character, Courtney Benedict, grows up to be First Lady. Paré shot the CBS TV pilot Protect and Serve with Dean Cain in 2007.[13]and filmed the independent French-Canadian romantic comedy Jusqu'à toi that year. Paré co-starred as Liza, along with Justin BarthaMélanie Laurent, and Billy Boyd.[14]

She had a small role in The Trotsky, a comedy filmed in Montreal in late-2008, directed by Jacob Tierney[15] and filmed Suck, beginning in November 2008, a vampire horror-comedy written and directed by Rob Stefaniuk.[16] Paré learned to play the bass guitar for the role.[17] Suck premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Contemporary World Cinema programme. She was nominated for a 2010 Canadian Comedy Award for best female performance in film for the role.[18]

Paré filmed Red Coat Justice by Wyeth Clarkson in 2009.[9] She played a groupie opposite Craig Robinson in the 2010 comedy Hot Tub Time Machine.[19] That year, Paré also appears in the Canadian comedyPeepers, written and directed by Seth W. Owen, along with Joe Cobden, Paul Spence, and Ricky Mabe. The film, about pleasures in voyeurism, competed in the Just for Laughs film festival in Montreal in July 2010.[20]Also in 2010, Paré joined the cast of the AMC television series Mad Men, playing Megan CalvetDon Draper's second wife and a Sterling Cooper Draper Price secretary.[21] Originally from Montreal, Megan is bilingual in English and French. Paré's character had a prominent role in the Season 5 opener of Mad Men, in which she danced and sang a version of the 1960 Gillian Hills hit[22] "Zou Bisou Bisou".[23] Her recording of the song was subsequently released as a download and on vinyl.[24]

In 2011, Paré appeared in Beholder, alongside Elaine HendrixMichael McMillian, and Rupak Ginn. The short film, directed by Nisha Ganatra, premiered as part of the ITVS/PBS series, FutureStates.[25] She also starred in The Way of the West, a western about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, filmed in a remote location outside of Whitehorse, Yukon,[26] and in the comedic short, Sorry, Rabbi, directed by Mark Slutsky.[27]In 2012, Paré appeared on stage with the Jesus and Mary Chain, singing the alternative rock band's song, "Just Like Honey", for two concerts in Buffalo, New York and Toronto.[28] She filmed the romantic comedy,Standby, in Luxembourg and Ireland in mid-2012; she plays the female lead, Alice, in the low-budget feature film.[29]

Personal life[edit]Edit

She married American writer and producer Joe Smith in 2007, but the couple has since divorced.[30] As of May 2012, she was dating Montreal musician John Kastner, lead singer for punk bands Asexuals andDoughboys.[31][32][33][34][35]

Filmography[edit]Edit

[1][2]Paré in September 2009===Film[edit]===

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Stardom Tina Menzhal
2000 Holiday Carole
2000 Possible Worlds Party Guest #1
2001 Lost and Delirious Victoria "Tori" Moller
2002 Bollywood/Hollywood Kimberly
2003 Posers Adria
2004 See This Movie Samantha Brown
2004 Wicker Park Rebecca
2009 Jusqu'à toi Liza
2009 The Trotsky Laura
2009 Suck Jennifer
2010 Hot Tub Time Machine Tara
2010 Peepers Helen
2011 Sorry, Rabbi Marie-Helene Short film
2011 Beholder Sasha Short film
2011 The Way of the West Amethyst
2013 Standby Alice Post-production

Television[edit]Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1990 The Baby-Sitters Club Episode: "Mary Anne and the Brunettes"
1999 Bonanno: A Goddfather's Story Rosalie Profaci TV film
1999 Big Wolf on Campus Tanya Episode: "Time and Again"
2002 Napoléon Eleanore Denuelle Episode: "1800-1807"
2002 Random Passage Annie Vincent (age 15) TV miniseries
2003 The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton Nancy Eaton TV film
2004 Lives of the Saints Rita Amherst TV film
2004-2005 Jack & Bobby Courtney Benedict Main role (21 episodes)
2007 Protect and Serve Hope Cook TV film
2007 Life Julia Episode: "The Fallen Woman"
2010-2013 Mad Men Megan Calvet Draper Regular role (31 episodes)
2013 Satisfaction Robyn Episode: "First Contact"

Discography[edit]Edit

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