“The way I work on any character is starting on the inside and working my way out.” Zoe McLellan
Actress Zoe McLellan enjoyed her first break in the Richard Dreyfuss popular vehicle “Mr. Holland's Opus” (1995). She later won the starring role of Marina Pretensa in the disappointing big screen version of “Dungeons & Dragons” (2000). McLellan's more recent film credits include “Conversations with God” (2006) and “Reunion” (2009). A frequent TV guest star, McLellan won her first regular role on the hit series “JAG” (2001-2005, as Jennifer Coates) and later portrayed Lisa George on the drama series “Dirty Sexy Money” (2007-2009). She also had recurring roles in “Star Trek: Voyager” and “The Invisible Man.”
McLellan resides in Los Angeles, California. She enjoys camping, hiking and Bikram Yoga. She ranks the Pixies, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and Belle & Sebastian among her favorite musicians.
Childhood and Family:
Born on November 6, 1974, in La Jolla, California, Zoe McLellan was raised in Seattle and St. Paul. Her parents are divorced and she has a younger half-brother from her father and a younger half-sister through her mother. She attended South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, where she was once a Homecoming Queen.
Zoe was once married to a man named Ryan.
Dirty Sexy Money
Zoe McLellan made her first film appearance in “Imaginary Crimes” (1994), a drama starring Harvey Keitel and Fairuza Balk and directed by Anthony Drazan. She also appeared in episodes of “Under Suspicion” and “Medicine Ball” (both 1995) before appearing in the box office hit “Mr. Holland's Opus” (also 1995), which starred Richard Dreyfuss as the title character. The reminder of the 1990s found McLellan having roles in such films as “Inventing the Abbotts” (1997), a film from director Pat O'Connor that starred Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Connelly, Will Patton, and Michael Keaton, the thriller “Stranger in My House” (1999), where she played Lara Lewis, and the Byron W. Thompson helmed “Stonebrook” (1999), which cast her alongside Brad Rowe and Seth Green. On the small screen, she made her TV movie debut in “Home Invasion” (1997), opposite Bonnie Root and Jeremy Ratchford. She resurfaced two years later as Kelly Garner in the NBC thriller film “The Wrong Girl,” alongside Barbara Mandrell and Jonathan Scarfe. She also guest starred in such TV series as “Nowhere Man,” “Sliders” (both 1996), “Silk Stalkings” (1997) and “Diagnosis Murder” (1999, as Police Detective Taylor Lucas).
Following appearances in the TV film “M.K.3” (2000), McLellan portrayed the memorable role of Tal Celes in two episodes of “Star Trek: Voyager” (2000). It was followed by the leading role of Marina Pretensa, an anxious, clumsy apprentice wizard, in the live action film “Dungeons & Dragons” (2000), which was adapted from the role playing game of the same name. Directed by Courtney Solomon, who also served as a producer, the film received primarily negative reviews from critics. Among her costars in the film were Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch, Lee Arenberg, Kristen Wilson, Bruce Payne and Jeremy Irons.
McLellan next played Dr. Kate Easton in the “The Invisible Man” episodes “The Value of Secrets” and “Frozen in Time,” which aired in August 2000 and January 2001, respectively. Her big break arrived in December 2001 when she began appearing in the CBS legal drama “JAG,” created by Donald P. Bellisario. Cast as Jennifer Coates, she was featured on the show for two years before progressing to a regular cast member in 2004. She held the role until the show's finale in April 2005.
McLellan next portrayed Elizabeth in the television movie “Bitter Sweet” (2005), for director and co-writer Del Matthew Bigtree. She resumed her film career by appearing in Stephen Deutsch's “Conversations with God” (2006). She also starred in the 17 minute drama “Person, Place or Thing” (2008), which was written and directed by Elle Martini.
McLellan next received the role of Lisa George in the ABC series “Dirty Sexy Money.” Debuting on September 26, 2007, the show ran for 23 episodes until August 2009. Meanwhile, she also teamed up with Brett Cullen, Alice Evans, Jessica Hecht, Anna Khaja and Christopher McDonald in the Alan Hruska drama “Reunion,” which received a limited theatrical release on March 9, 2009.
McLellan will play Julia Bryce in the upcoming TV film “House Rules” (2009), opposite Anna Chlumsky, Kristin Bauer, Denzel Whitaker, Tawny Cypress and Warren Christie.
“I'm still waiting for that super difficult role.” Zoe McLellan