Katie Boland, chosen by Elle Canada as one of the three Canadians to watch, is one of the most promising young actresses of today. With over 60 starring roles so far, the ingenue shows no sign of slowing down, splitting her time between Toronto and Los Angeles.
Boland was recently picked as one of Playback’s 2013 10 To Watch, with the leading industry magazine saying, “Katie Boland has already emerged as a successful and multi-dimensional talent.With acting credits piling up and her digital projects getting deals, Boland is poised for success, whatever the medium.”
The Toronto Film Scene conducted it’s first Annual Readers Poll and Boland was voted Best Emerging Actress. The publication said, “The multi-talented Katie Boland is truly a film treasure. She writes wonderful, honest scripts, directs fearlessly, and she brings a depth to every role that is, quite frankly, astonishing…. If there is any one single actress to watch over the next few years, it’s her. She’s going to change the face of Canadian film, and it seems she’s going to do it very quickly.”
Boland was previously chosen as one of the inaugural 2011 Toronto International Film Festival’s “Rising Stars“, a new initiative designed to discover the next generation of made-in-Canada international talent. The programme showcased Katie as one of four actors who have proven themselves ready to expand their film careers beyond Canada to the world.
According to the Rising Star’s jury, “Katie Boland has raw potential coupled with a determination and pure acting talent that will awe us and give her longevity as one of our brightest Rising Stars.”
Boland is currently filming a recurring role on the CW’s Reign. The show, that is described as a Gossip Girl meets Dowton Abbey, is a huge hit and recently won the People’s Choice Award for best new show. In Reign, Boland plays fan favourite Clarissa, a disfigured woman who hides in the castle and is shrouded in secrecy.
Boland starred in Bruce La Bruce’s feature film, Gerontophilia that made it’s world premiere at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and then screened at The Toronto International Film Festival. Indiewire called Boland “the exact mid-point between Emma Stone and Carey Mulligan”, PopMatters said, “Boland totally aces her role as the endearing hipster girlfriend who’s forever quoting her cultural idols”, The MindReels said, “that girl (Boland) is positively hypnotic every moment she spends on screen”, Screendaily called her “vivacious…she is a breath of fresh air when she is on screen, offering a quirky sense of fun and left field humour.”
Also a writer/creator, Long Story, Short a web-series Boland created and wrote based on her collection of personal essays was released on August 19, on Koldcast.tv to rave reviews. It premiered on Hulu on February 15th, 2014. For her work in the series, Boland won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance in a Digital Series.
SheKnows called it, “The best new thing on the internet…a funnier, more relatable answer to HBO’s Girls.” SheDoesTheCity said, “You want proof that Long Story, Short is worth the hype? How about the fact that I just watched both available episodes back-to-back and am already craving the release of the next one? Boom, addicted.” WebVee Guide said, “Sexy, sassy and sentient characters highlight both comedic and dramatic aspects of a story that does justice to the personal nature and events that inspired it. The cast has a natural chemistry together, one brought out by impressive direction and cinematography that helps capture the gravitas of an aimless early-20-something slowly losing control.”
TvGuide called it “Girls meets Toronto…one of the most entertaining and raw web series of this current summer.” Critic Rob Salem said, “Of all her current accomplishments, I think that the new web series is perhaps the most significant. Very much like Dunham’s Girls, Katie’s Long Story, Short revolves around the shared career angst and disastrous love lives of young 20-something girlfriends finding their way in an adult world.”
Long Story, Short was funded by the Independent Production Fund and was recently bought by Shaftesbury Films for distribution. It was recently one of five series nominated for Best Webseries at the Raindance WebFest in London,England.
Recently, Boland filmed The Fall co-starring Michael Murphy (Manhattan, Magnolia) directed by Terrance Odette, the feature People Hold On, Michael Seater’s directorial debut and Matt Campagna’s Hunter’s Moon. Next, she will appear in Born to be Blue alongside Ethan Hawke, in Renaissance, an human drama sci-fi, in Riot a short she co-wrote and in Love of My Life, a Canadian-British co-production.
In 2012, Boland starred in and produced the feature film Looking is the Original Sin, a drama about blood ties and photography, that was bought by Breakthrough Entertainment and was released in November 2013. NextProjection said, “Carried by two phenomenal performances…Boland is sympathetic but also allows herself to be self-destructive, impulsive and flawed. The film is wonderfully observed look at a young woman coming into her own, weathering bumps along the way.”
Boland starred in the feature film Ferocious which was released in early 2013, co-starring Kim Coates (Thin Red Line, Entourage, Sons of Anarchy) which was released to critical success in early 2013. The National Post said, “The film is grounded in remarkable performances… Boland offers comic relief as the fan in over her head.” Boland also appeared in Academy Award winner Paul Thomas Anderson’s (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, Boogie Nights) Oscar nominated The Master, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, The Big Lebowski, Doubt) Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line, Signs) and Amy Adams (Enchanted, The Fighter, Julie & Julia) that was produced by Harvey Weinstein.
Boland also appears in the romantic comedy Sex After Kids which has just been chosen as IndieWire’s “Project of the Month”, was financed completely by fan interest on IndieGoGo, won the audience award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. She also guest-starred to critical acclaim on an episode of the The Listener for which she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.
On April 2nd, 2013, her literary debut, a collection of short stories, Eat Your Heart Out was released across Canada by publishers Brindle & Glass, who publish only one collection of short stories annually. Her stories are about the haunted and heartbroken, dreamers, losers and love lost souls. It was chosen by the Globe and Mail as one of three hot summer reads with the review reading as follows:
“Actress-turned-writer Katie Boland is a notable new voice in Canadian fiction. Eat Your Heart Outis a vibrant collection, populated by well-drawn characters who are broken but bursting with life. Largely, it’s a book of chance encounters and reunions that tackles the ways people need, help and hurt each other, intentionally and unintentionally. Reminiscent of Hemingway’s sharp minimalism, paired with Kerouac’s verve, Eat Your Heart Out tackles being alive in the here and now, with sterling writing and stellar voices. Boland is a bold new old-soul in CanLit.”
The Mind Reels said of Eat Your Heart Out:
“Boland has created a cast of characters to populate her stories that feel as if they’ve been lifted from every part of my life. People who we all know, flawed, pained and human. She has done so with a wisdom, awareness and life experience that seems to far exceed her young age. Writing with assuredness and a deft hand, she paints pictures of love, sex and death that we can all relate to and perhaps experienced in the same way.
I found each and every one of the stories completely involving, and they never overstayed their welcome, each one was just the right length, taking you in, introducing you to the characters, and letting you share in their lives for a brief time. And, honestly, there wasn’t a single moment when I thought that these characters were anything other than real people, the stories and the writing are that convincing.”
She recently wrote and starred in a short film, directed by Mark O’Brien (Republic of Doyle, Grown Up Movie Star) based on one of her short stories, Sweetieface, which was accepted into the 2013 Atlantic Film Festival, the St. Johns Women’s Film Festival, The Calgary Film Festival, The St. John’s Women’s Film Festival, The Toronto International Short Film Festival and the Hamilton Film Festival, which tweeted they selected the film because of it’s “Flawless performances and great writing,” and nominated the film for Best Actress and Best Short and awarded it Best Screenplay. She won a Best Actress award for her work in the film from the LakeShorts Film Festival.
Boland is currently working on her debut novel, Black Sheep, which she hopes to complete before the end of 2014.
Previous credits include Daydream Nation, starring Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas and Andie McDowell, which premiered to critical acclaim at TIFF in 2010. Katie appeared on stage for the first time in Sam Shepard’s famed Fool For Love, put on by Toronto’s RedOne theatre company, known for inventive staging, inspired performances and getting young people to the theatre. The show sold-out every night and Boland was lauded for her inspired performance, with one reviewer remarking, “Boland’s intensely emotional performance will knock you over. It’s hard to believe this is the film actress’ live theatre debut.”
In 2009’s Growing-Op, an indie-comedy coming-of-age story, Katie plays Hope Dawson, Rosanna Arquette’s (Pulp Fiction) daughter, a free-loving pot dealer. The comedic departure for Katie was met with critical acclaim. “Toronto actress Boland is a standout as the fearless dope-dealing sister. Her performance is energetic and funny in all the right places. Boland is the bright spot.” Next, she finished Academy-Award nominated director Atom Egoyan’s highly anticipated film, Adoration, starring Scott Speedman and Rachel Blanchard. The film competed for the Palme D’or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. At Cannes, it won the ecumenical jury prize, the award given for movies that celebrate spiritual values. It had a gala screening at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. It was released in 2009 by Sony Picture Classics.
In 2008, Katie played an autistic-savant in Dancing Trees, directed by multiple Gemini Award winning and Order of Canada holder Anne Wheeler. It was her most challenging and rewarding role to date, and she was nominated for a Leo award (2009) for best leading actress in a feature film.
In 2007, the feature film Mount Pleasant was released by Christal Films in Canada. Katie was nominated for a Leo award for her challenging starring role as a 16-year-old heroin addicted hooker, alongside Kelly Rowan (The O.C.) and Shawn Doyle (Big Love). She garnered critical recognition in the role, with Toronto Sun journalist Liz Braun stating that: “In a new movie called Mount Pleasant, Boland puts in a heartbreaking performance as a prostitute and is, hands down, the best thing in the picture, as she so often is.”
Katie also garnered considerable media attention for her role as Gil Bellows’ and Maria del Mar’s daughter in the HBO Canada/Sundance Channel series, Terminal City. Katie left a lasting impression with writer/producer Angus Fraser who says, “It’s rare to watch someone and know they are destined for something special and far-reaching in the difficult world of entertainment.”
Among the many television series, made for television movies and films that Katie’s worked on, she was nominated four times in four years at the Young Artist Awards in Los Angeles, whose previous winners include Jake Gylenhaal, Julia Roberts and Anna Paquin.
In 2003, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gwen Killerby in The Zack Files. In 2004, she won Best Leading Actress in a TV movie of mini-series for The Salem Witch Trials which co-starred Kirstie Alley and Shirely McClaine.
In 2005, she was nominated again for Best Leading Actress in a Feature Film for Some Things That Stay. In 2006, she was nominated for her performance in the aforementioned The Man Who Lost Himself for Best Leading Actress in a TV movie or mini-series.
Renowned producer, Don Carmody (Chicago, Lucky Number Slevin) with whom Katie worked on the 1950’s coming of age story, Some Things That Stay has said, “Ms. Boland’s name is destined to shine brightly. She is a significant talent.”
When not working as an actress, Boland is working towards her degree in Humanites at Athabasca University. She is currently writing a column for The Huffington Post called “What’s Actually Happening with People My Age”. She writes her own popular blog comedy & drama about love, loss and everything in between. She is also developing television series and feature films with her production company Straight Shooters, with her mother, Gail Harvey. They have four optioned properties in development for television.