Lost and Delirious
“When the time comes when nobody cares about me anymore and nobody wants to see my face anymore, then that's fine too. It's totally normal.” Jessica Pare
Canadian import Jessica Pare began acting in amateur theater in Montreal as a teenager. She became known in her native country with roles in the films “Stardom” (2000), “Holiday” (2000), “Lost and Delirious” (2001, as Victoria Moller), “Posers” (2002) and “Bollywood/Hollywood” (2002) and the TV miniseries “Random Passage” (2002) before being cast in a television miniseries in Europe titled “Napoléon” (2002; aired in the US on A&E), where she played Eleanore Denuelle. Two years later, the actress hit the Hollywood movie scene in Paul McGuigan's “Wicker Park,” in which she portrayed Rebecca. She made her American series debut as a regular on The WB's “Jack & Bobby.” Her more recent and upcoming film credits include “Shoe at Your Foot” (2009), “The Trotsky” (2009), “Suck” (2009), “Hot Tub Time Machine” (2010) and “Red Coat Justice” (2010). Pare also had the recurring role of Megan on the U.S. series “Mad Men” (3 episodes, 2010).
Pare is married to producer and writer Joe Smith.
Childhood and Family:
Jessica Pare was born on December 5, 1982, in Montréal, Québec, Canada, to Anthony Paré, who is with the Department of Educational Studies at McGill University, and Louise Mercier, a conference translator. She was raised in the suburb Notre-Dame-de-Grâce with her three brothers. In addition to English, she speaks French.
Beside the aforementioned occupations, Jessica's parents were actors. Her father joined a touring company and her mother performed in amateur productions. It was her dad that inspired young Jessica to take acting at an early age and she studied drama at TheatreWorks and appeared in several amateur theater productions. Jessica also attended Villa Maria, a private Catholic girl's high school in Montreal. While there, she portrayed Jesus in a production of “Godspell.” She then enrolled at the fine arts program at Montreal College, but later quit to pursue an acting career.
On August 10, 2007, Jessica married writer and producer Joseph M. Smith. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Jack & Bobby
At age 8, Jessica Pare landed a bit part in a 1990 episode of “The Baby-Sitters Club” called “Mary Anne and the Brunettes.” She later acted in various amateur theater productions as a teenager before receiving the small role of Rosalie Profaci in “Bonanno: A Godfather's Story” (1999), a TV film that was broadcasted on the Showtime Network on July 25, 1999. The film starred Martin Landau. She next appeared as Tanya in an episode of the Canadian horror series “Big Wolf on Campus” called “Time and Again.”
In the new millennium, Pare auditioned for a small part in the Canadian feature “Stardom,” but ended up getting the lead role of Tina Menzhal after director Denys Arcand realized her potential. A drama about a young girl who tries to deal with her rise to stardom in the fashion industry, the film was screened at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival out of the competition and was nominated for five Genies, including Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay. It won in the category of Best Achievement in Costume Design. Following the release of 'Stardom,” Pare emerged as an “it girl” in the Canadian cinematic industry.
Still in 2000, Pare portrayed Carole in the film “En vacances” (“Holiday”), directed and co-written by Yves Hanchar, and appeared as a party guest in the mystery movie “Possible Worlds,” which was directed by Robert Lepage and starred Tilda Swinton. In 2001, Pare starred with Piper Perabo and Mischa Barton in the Canadian drama “Lost and Delirious,” loosely based on Susan Swan's novel “The Wives of Bath.” Directed by Léa Pool, the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2001, to positive reviews. She next starred as Adria in “Posers” (2002), a drama written and directed by Katie Tallo, and played the supporting role of Kimberly in the romantic comedy “Bollywood/Hollywood” (2002), by Indo Canadian director/writer Deepa Mehta. The latter film received a Genie Award for Best Screenplay, Original.
Pare returned to television when she was cast as Annie Vincent (age 15) on the miniseries adaptation of Bernice Morgan's “Random Passage” (2002), which starred Colm Meaney and Aoife McMahon. She followed it up with the role of Eleanore Denuelle in the historical miniseries “Napoléon” (2002), which aired in the United States on the A&E channel. The miniseries, starring Christian Clavier starred as Napoléon Bonaparte, won a 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special and nominations for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie (John Malkovich), Outstanding Makeup for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special and Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special. In 2003, she starred as murdered heiress Nancy Eaton on the CTV thriller “The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton,” for director Jerry Ciccoritti.
In 2004, Pare made her American film debut in “Wicker Park,” a psychological mystery film helmed by Paul McGuigan that starred Josh Hartnett. A remake of the 1996 French movie “L'Appartement,” it received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for the Grand Prix at the Montreal Film Festival. In the movie, she played Hartnett's fiancée Rebecca. The same year, she also worked with John Cho and Seth Meyers in “See This Movie” (2004, released theatrically in the US in January 2006), which was directed by David M. Rosenthal and co-written by Rosenthal and Joseph M. Smith. She also starred as Rita Amherst, opposite Sophia Loren and Kris Kristofferson, in the CTV miniseries “Lives of the Saints,” also directed by Jerry Ciccoritti. Pare made her series regular debut in the American teen drama “Jack & Bobby,” which appeared on The WB network from September 12, 2004, to May 11, 2005. Playing Courtney Benedict, she co-starred with Matt Long, Logan Lerman, John Slattery, Keri Lynn Pratt, Christine Lahti and Bradley Cooper.
In 2007, Pare filmed the TV pilot “Protect and Serve” with Dean Cain. She also guest starred as Julia in NBC's “Life” that same year. Two years later, she resurfaced on the Canadian comedy film “Peepers” (directed and co-written by Seth W. Owen) and the indie French-Canadian romance “Jusqu'à toi” (“Shoe at Your Foot”). She also co-starred with Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Rob Stefaniuk in the comedy “Suck” and supported Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Colm Feore, Saul Rubinek and Michael Murphy in Jacob Tierney's “The Trotsky.” Both films premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2009.
Recently, in 2010, Pare played Tara in the American comedy film “Hot Tub Machine,” directed by Steve Pink and starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Chevy Chase, Collette Wolfe, Lizzy Caplan and Kellee Stewart. It was released on March 26, 2010, to primarily positive reviews and opened at No. 3 at the U.S. box office. On the small screen, Pare portrayed Megan in the fourth season of the American period dramatic series “Mad Men” (3 episodes).
Pare is set to star with Andrew W. Walker in the western “Red Coat Justice,” which was directed and co-written by Wyeth Clarkson. It will receive a limited release in Canada in December 2010.