Emily VanCamp was born on May 12, 1986, in Ontario, Canada. Emily plays "Amy Abbott" on WB's "Everwood". VanCamp has been performing as a dancer since the young age of 3. At 12, she moved to Montreal after being accepted into the prestigious L'Ecole Superieure de Danse de Quebec, the official training program of Les Grands Ballet Canadiens. When her older sister, Katie, also a dancer, was cast as a ballerina in a film, VanCamp fell in love with acting while visiting the set. Since then, she has amassed both television and feature film credits. In the television miniseries Jackie O: A Life Story, she portrayed Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the age of 13. She also was a series regular on The WB's Glory Days. VanCamp's film credits include the Sundance Film Festival hit Lost & Delirious and the feature film No Good Deed opposite Samuel L. Jackson. During her summer hiatus, VanCamp wrapped production on The Ring 2, opposite Naomi Watts and Sissy Spacek, and recently completed production on A Different Loyalty, in which she stars as the daughter of Sharon Stone's character. When not on the Utah set of Everwood, VanCamp's interests include photography and yoga.
Q& A with Emily VanCamp
Emily VanCamp and Chris Pratt play Amy and Bright Abbott on the hit WB series Everwood. While many viewers are hooked on the show for the will-they-or-won't-they romance between Amy and Ephram (Gregory Smith), Amy and Bright's sister-and-brother bickering give the show some comic relief. We chatted with these up-and-coming stars recently, and here's what they had to say:
Q: Last week, Gregory Smith told us a little bit about a trip you and he are planning to take this summer. Do you have any more details to share?
Emily: We're hoping to go to Asiato Beijing and Shanghai, Hong Kong, and then fly over to Thailand, spend some time there, which would be really amazing.
Q: Whose idea was this?
Emily: I was originally going to visit my sister, who's in Shanghai, and I wanted to see Thailand. Greg was like, "Hey, I wanna come!" so I think we're going to try really hard to set that up. We're eager to travel!
Q: I gather you're good friends off camera as well?
Emily: We are. We're wonderful friends. It's really great.
Q: Did you give him a hard time about that life-size poster of him on TheWB.com?
Emily: Oh, I think everyone did. Everyone took their turn.
Q: Will there be a life-size poster of you?
Emily: God, I hope they never! I think there are so many awful things that could be done with life-size posters. I hope they never, ever make a life-size poster of me.
Q: Do you think it's bizarre that magazines ask you for dating advice since you're only 16?
Emily: I'm probably the worst person to ask about dating. I'm not much of a dater. I won't go out on dates. I'll have, like, really good friends and if something happens, something happens. I'm not really big on, "Will you go on a date with me?" Maybe after a couple of years or something.
Q: What's this about you standing in a vat of ice cream early in your career?
Emily: Yeah, [that was] my first commercial that I did. I did two commercials and the first one was I was skating on a big, giant pot of ice cream for a grocery store, which was really funny.
Q: How old were you when you got your first commercial?
Emily: I was 12, I think.
Q: Since you began acting, how did you juggle schoolwork and your acting work?
Emily: I have a tutor and I have done correspondence courses, which was great. They were really fun.
Q: Do you miss anything about regular school?
Emily: No, I never fit in at regular school at all. It wasn't really my thing. I love learning, but it just wasn't the place for me to do it.
Q: Though you had a unique opportunity, do you have any advice for someone who is not enjoying school, or perhaps is feeling like you did?
Emily: Just be yourself, and never ever submit to the pressures that are part of school because it can really destroy you. High school can be a really good place, but you really have to be careful and just keep a good, solid head on your shoulders. Keep your head up high, and just do your thing. Know that there are other people out there like you.
Q: How long do you usually spend in Salt Lake City, Utah, filming Everwood?
Emily: About a month. It depends. Sometimes I have to come to Los Angeles more often. Sometimes I want to be home, so I go home as much as I can. Other times I do not want to travel at all.
Q: What is the coolest thing about working on a TV show?
Chris: They have a table set up every day with jars of your favorite candy and gum; Skittles, Red Vines, Reese's, apple chips, anything you can imagine. Then as soon as you finish a jar, someone will come in a fill it up. It's the best part of acting.
Q: Greg told us you gave him a very hard time about his life-size poster.
Chris: Oh, man, I printed one out. I was going to make a costume out of it and be Gregory Smith for Halloween, but it was too small.
Q: Your character has only come up in plotlines in relation to other characters. Is Bright going to get some storylines in upcoming episodes?
Chris: Your guess is as good as mine. We're kind of at the mercy of the writers. I sure hope so, especially if we get to go another season. Hopefully, they'll use me more.
Q: What do you mean if? The show is a huge hit!
Chris: Well, they haven't announced it yet. I'd be more surprised if we didn't get picked than if we did. But I don't know.
Q: What's been the biggest change in your life since the show has taken off?
Chris: For me, it's been relocating to Salt Lake. I like being in Salt Lake. You can go fishing and skiing.
Q: Do you wish the show would relocate to Los Angeles?
Chris: For the sake of the show, we should stay in Utah. It forces all the cast members to be very close, like a family, which it should be. It's beautiful. The scenery is incredible. Plus, I snowboard. I haven't been there when it's snowed. I left before Christmas, but now I hear there's lots of snow, so I'm looking forward to going back.
Q: What do your friends think of your success?
Chris: They love it! Not [just] that the show has become popularthey were excited when I did a Jack-in-the-Box commercial a year and a half ago. I was in it for maybe a split second, but all my friends thought it was just the coolest thing. To be on any show at all is incredible for me and for them, and the fact that it's a hit show is just a bonus.
Q: Are your friends in show business?
Chris: All my friends live in Washington State where I grew up. I've got a few friends [in California] but they all understand and let me do my own thing.
Q: Did you do commercials when you were in high school?
Chris: Nope. I did theater and plays.
Q: How long have you been interested in acting?
Chris: Ever since I was 8 I've wanted to be a star, be the actor in the spotlight, and live that life, but never knew how it would materialize. Somehow it has, but I don't know how.
Greg and Emily "Ever in Love"
"It's a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl. They fall head-over-heels in love. But alas, they're not able to be together. Or are they? Enter EVERWOOD's Ephram and Amy.
They share longing glances from across a room and confide their innermost feelings to each other. You can practically feel the romantic tension through the TV when these two get near each other. Heck, they've even kissed (at least twice!). But you can hardly call EVERWOOD's Ephram and Amy boyfriend and girlfriend - yet.
The odds have been against these two teens since Ephram Brown and his family moved to Everwood, Colorado, last year. He's a social misfit who's trying to deal with the tragic death of his mother. And Amy has her own probs-namely, her first love, Colin who was in a coma and has just returned home with only a scattered memory of their relationship. Oh, and their fathers are the small town's rival doctors. Could you ask for more drama?
Yet, like star-crossed couples who've come before them-Romeo and Juliet, Joey and Dawson, Ross and Rachel-these two seem destined to be together. "Amy has fallen in love with Ephram," says Emily VanCamp about her on-screen character, "but there's a side of her that can't betray her boyfriend. She loves these two really great guys: [Ephram], who supported her through a very hard time, and [Colin], who's been there all her life. It's a difficult situation for a 16-year-old girl to be in."
"I think it will be a while before they get together," predicts Gregory Smith, who plays Ephram, "but I think they're really right for each other. They're just going to be kept apart for a long time."
While the two actors had immediate on-screen chemistry, Emily admits their real-life relationship required some work. "Greg and I are the types that need to take time to warm up to people. We don't become friends with someone the minute we meet them," she reveals. "We were both a little standoffish at first. But now we have this love-hate relationship going on. We're constantly bickering, but are really close friends."
With the series shooting in Utah, Gregory and Emily have had a lot of time to develop their friendship - they're away from family and friends for weeks at a time. Now they seem so tight, you can't help but ask: "Are you in love?" Gregory throws Emily a wide-eyed glance and says very seriously, "One of us is."
It turns out he's teasing her - again - acting more like a big brother than a boyfriend. Gregory is known for his sense of humor and he's really learned how to push his co-star's buttons. He even admits to calling Emily late at night and singing Eminem songs into her answering machine. "He does things just to piss me off," she confides. "It's funny, though. It's like an endearing quality about Greg. He's kind of that clumsy, charming smooth."
Still, when it comes to the show, the magic of Ephram and Amy has been a blessing for EVERWOOD creator and executive producer Greg Berlanti. "Their chemistry is electric. It's one of those things that we couldn't have planned any better," he says.
When 19-year-old Gregory auditioned for the part, he was only known for his teen roles in the films "The Patriot" and "The Climb."
"In the audition, he performed a scene from the first episode where he goes off on his dad and tells him he hates him," recalls Berlanti. "It made you cry every time he did it. Gregory is not afraid to go to these places that today a lot of teen actors are typically afraid to play."
As for Emily, the producer was aware of the 16-year-old's work on a show that never really caught on. "I watched her on GLORY DAYS and I desperately wanted to work with her," he admits. "I have never met a person in my life who reminds me more of Katie Holmes (Joey, Dawson's Creek). She's not afraid to portray a girl who's not perfect."
And how could she be if Amy insists on simply being friends with Ephram? Maybe that's why the troubled teen finds his attention diverted by Laynie, Colin's sister. "Ephram is kind of a hopeless romantic," says Gregory, "and he's looking for love." Amy and Colin? Ephram and Laynie? Nah! EVERWOOD fans know that Ephram and Amy belong together - and will follow the journey no matter how long it takes.
Emily VanCamp is the new girl on The WB
Is there anything the Canadian native can't do? She moved away from home to study dancing at 11.By 15, she was filming a TV show even farther away. Now Emily,who plays perky Amy Abbott on the hit drama Everwood (Mondays,9p.m.) is in Utah,where the show is set.She gets to hang with cute co-star Gregory Smith.And she doesn't have a second to get bored. When she's not acting, Emily hikes,camps,skis,and dances. And she was sweet enough to sit down and give GL the scoop....
Do you miss home?
I miss it like crazy! I grew up in a small town northeast of Toronto. I've lived in the United States for two months now,and this is a huge change for me.Utah is so different from Canada, culturally and socially. But more than anything, my friends and family are in Canada.I miss movie nights with my girlfriends!
You were a serious dancer before you became an actor.Tell us about it.
I started ballet when I was 3. I was a hyper kid and constantly dancing at my house.So putting me in dance school was the best thing my parents could've done. When I was 6,I did jazz,hip-hop and everything else. I started doing competitions,too.At 11, I convinced my parents to let me move to Montreal for a summer session at a special dance school.At 12, I got accepted into École Supérieure de Dance du Québec, the training program for Les Grands Ballets Canadians. I lived in Montreal until I was 15.
So how'd you leap from dancer to actor?
My sister Katie, who's older than me, was offered a dancing part in a film in Montreal. I was 12 and visiting her on the set. I watched the other actors and knew I really, really wanted to do that more than anything. I told my parents.They helped me find an agent, and I started auditioning. I joined an acting class and had the time of my life. My first part was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at age 13 in the TV mini-series Jackie 0.:A Life Story.
Now your 16 and on a major TV show?
I've been so lucky.When I was 15, I was on the show Glory Days,filmed in Vancouver.The day that show got cancelled, I found out I got the part on Everwood.The timing was such a good thing.
So why do you like the part of Amy so much?
Teens are so perfect on TV. Amy's not. She has problems. Her boyfriend was in a coma and almost died!She's a very real character who's going through a lot. I love that about her. Playing her is nice for me personally,too. I missed out on a lot of normal teen stuff, like high school life. It's cool to discover these things through Amy.
What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened on the Everwood set?
Nothing yet, thankfully! But when I was filming Glory Days, I had a terrible day-I was tired from a really hectic day before. So for this scene, my mouth was gagged and my arms were tied around my back.I was supposed to run away, and the bad guy was supposed to catch me.But I ran so fast,he didn't catch me. I lost my balance and banged my head on a camera really hard,so everybody was like, "Are you OK?" I just started to sob. I was so embarrassed!It hurt but, on top of that,everbody was rushing around me, and it overwelmed me.I couldn't stop crying for like an hour. I was like,"Guys, I'm fine. I just can't stop crying!" I'm so clumsy.
But you're a dancer...
When I dance on stage,I don't get scared because I love it so much.I get a rush.But when I do scenes or meet people,I get clumsy.
Is it wierd to kiss your onscreen boyfriend Ephram,played by Gregory Smith?
I see it as work. But yes, it's kinda wierd sometimes. We've become really good friends in real life,and then we have to film these hugely romantic scenes. It's bizarre. But it's part of my job! As long as the kissing is related to the story lines, I don't mind doing it.
Be honest.Any off-camera sparks?
Romantically? No,no,no! But we hang out a lot. All the kids my age-me,Gregory and Cris Pratt [Emily's TV show brother Bright Abbott]-are just friends. It would be so wierd going to the set every day if there were little flirty things going on with us. We're all really close,though.
But Gregory's such a cutie.Give us the scoop.
He's so talented! He's really nice! Gregory and I have great chemistry, and it shows on screen. We play off each other really well, and our scenes always go smoothly. It wouldn't be half as fun in Utah without him here...or Chris, too. It's nice to have young people to hang out with since we're all so far from friends and family.
So what do you all do for a good time?
We recently went camping. Chris found this nice place in the mountains by a beautiful lake. My tutor Cheryl went with us. She,I and the guys did a lot of hiking. I also ski. This is a nature town, and I grew up doing all this stuff. I'm loving it. Recently, I've gotten into photography. I have millions of pictures that have so much meaning to me.I thought,'If i'm so into these, why don't I learn to take pictures properly? 'I got an old manual Nikon and and few books. I'm teaching myself until I have time to take classes. It's fun.
Are you dating anyone?
No, it's just too hard. I'm constantly working. Plus,I'm really independent.
What does it feel like to read fan sites where they gush about you?
All the compliments are very flattering, but it's kind of embarrassing !I try not to take it too seriously. I don't want to let things go to my head. My family will call me out if I ever get too bratty. They keep me grounded.When I have breaks,I go home and work on farms with my dad.He's a specialist in animal nutrition and makes horse feed.I go on deliveries to rural places with him one day,and I'm on a plane to Utah with network execs the next.I think it's really good for me.
Last but not least,tell a few things about yourself that might surprise us.
Well, I'm fluent in English and French, and I'm studying Spanish through correspondence. My sister now lives in China,so I'm visiting her when we go on hiatus.We're going to raise money for a Chinese organization called Operation Smile.They help people with deformites get affordable surgeries.Seeing these people get better is so overwelming. It's wonderful.
Some of Emily's favorite things...
Movie:"I absolutely love the old movie My Fair Lady. That sounds corny, but I'm a big Audrey Hepburn fan."
Music:"I'm really into India.Arie,Tracy Chapman, and Ben Harper. I like all kinds as long as it's really good quality. I just don't care for trashy, dumb pop music.
Book: "A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett."
Ice Cream:"Oh my god! What's that caramel,chocolate, and vanilla flavor by Ben & Jerry's? I love that!
More Fun Stuff About Emily VanCamp
She is 5' 8" (1.73 m) tall
She is a ballet dancer.
She is a photographer. When she was first cast on Everwood, her first big splurge was on F100 Nikon Camera.
She was named one of E! Online's Sizzlin' 16 in 2003.
She is a big ice hockey fan, Canadian national team especially.
She is a talented horse rider.
She is learning Spanish.
Her dream pets are huge dogs.
Her favourite supermarket section is the frozen foods, where they keep the ice cream.
She has three sisters Katie, 22, Alison, 20 and Molly, younger.
She lives in a suburb of Montreal.
Her Latest Quote: "The spotlight does put pressure on certain aspects of my life. I've given up looking for a boyfriend. That's not to say I won't pay attention if the right guy comes to me. But I'm not in a hurry."
Emily VanCamp's destiny is to act
Emily VanCamp's parents thought their hyper, outgoing middle child needed a creative outlet, so they stuck her in dance classes at age three. By age 11, she was begging to go big time.
"I wanted to move to Montreal for professional ballet school," explains Everwood's 16-year-old heart-stealer. "My parents didn't want me to go so young, but they couldn't say no to this little girl saying, 'I don't want to wake up at 30 and regret not giving this a try.' "
She headed for the big city, but on her way to becoming a prima ballerina, her sister got a job dancing for a film. When Emily visited the set, her plans changed. "I grew up so far from Hollywood that I never thought about becoming an actress, but when I went to that set, I fell in love with the idea. It is amazing how fate works. Now, when I'm working, I feel like I was totally destined to act--as corny as that sounds."
Two years ago, she quit taking regular ballet classes to pursue the stage and screen full-time. Her initial work, the poorly received film Lost and Delirious and a few failed TV series (such as the WB's Glory Days), left VanCamp feeling low. She needed a high point to write home about, and got one of the Rocky Mountain variety when an Everwood script landed in her lap.
"It was so good I couldn't believe it was going to be a TV show," she says. "And Glory Days was already in trouble, so I figured I'd check it out." The day after Glory Days was canceled, VanCamp found out she'd landed a role on Everwood.
"The people on Everwood are unbelievably talented and down to earth. And to top it off, people seem to really like the show. I wake up every day stunned that I get to do this for a living."
Emily VanCamp loves tap dancing
How I get my groove on? "I've been dancing my entire life. Jazz, hip hop, ballet. And then there's tap dancing. I love to tap. My ultimate dream is to do a musical like 'Singin' in the Rain.'"
At a party, I am... "the kind of girl who will wait until the end of the night before I really get going. I'm a little anti-social at first, but I'm not immune to dancing on tables either."
Breakfast at Emily's "If I could meet anybody in the whole world, dead or alive, it would be Audrey Hepburn. She is my idol. I've been watching her movies since I was a little kid."
I'm a big sucker for... "Popsicles. My favorite aisle in the supermarket is the frozen foods section. The place where they keep the ice cream."
How much is that doggie in the window? "My idea of a perfect pet is a really, really big dog! Huge! Unfortunately, I can't have pets right now. There's just not enough time with my schedule. For a while there I thought about getting a cat, but even that seems unfair."
Emily VanCamp's play is very real
It's a good thing for us that Emily VanCamp hung up her dancing shoes. At 16, this classically trained ballerina is already a familiar face at the WB, thanks to her debut role as Sam in Glory Days. This fall, she's back as Amy Abbott on the highly anticipated drama Everwood. As the intense and somewhat tortured beauty who befriends new boy in town Ephram (Gregory Smith), Emily's character Amy finds herself embroiled in a whole mess of trouble. And frankly, that's just the kind of gig this Canadian native was hoping for. "What makes this show different is the fact that it's so real. I think people are going to be very surprised."
My character: "Has a lot of substance. She's got the girl-next-door vibe, but she's also dealing with a lot of serious issues. Not all of them are bad, but we're not hiding anything either. Like all the characters, Amy is very real."
Everwood is not what you expect because: "This show is not an escape. It makes you think. I'm not saying Everwood is all drama - there are a lot of honest moments. But there are also a lot of hilarious moments."
When I first met my co-star Gregory Smith: "We hit it off right away. There's really good chemistry between our characters, and he's also become a really good friend of mine. It ends there, though. I don't have a crush on him, although I think everybody should! He's so shy; he's going to love that."