Karine Vanasse (born 24 November 1983) is a French Canadian actress, who had roles in the films Polytechnique, Séraphin: Heart of Stone, Switch and Emporte-moi. Internationally she is best known for her roles as Colette Valois in Pan Am and Margaux LeMarchal in Revenge, both U.S. television series.
Life and career
Vanasse was born in Drummondville, Quebec, the daughter of Conrad, a council worker, and Renée (née Gamache), who was her manager at the beginning of her career. At the age of nine, Vanasse expressed her desire to sing or to act and she fulfilled that wish when she appeared in the teen show Club des 100 watts after winning a “lip sync” competition. It was then, with the help of her mother, that Vanasse began to audition for, and take part in, TV commercials and to play minor and supporting roles in various French Canadian TV movies.
In 1998, the production company now known as Motion International asked Vanasse to co-host a Québec-based children’s science show, Les Débrouillards. Producer Lorraine Richard and director Léa Pool spotted her there, and offered Vanasse her first big break in the role of Hanna in Emporte-moi (1999), a story of a teenager trying to find her identity in a tormented family environment. The film was presented at forty festivals, and shown in twenty countries. Her performance was highly acclaimed both nationally and internationally and earned her the 2000 Best Actress Jutra Award.
Vanasse then played Lucie (the teenage love interest of Benoit Langlais’s main character, Zac) in the controversial Québec TV series Deux Frères (1999). Her character became very prominent in 2000–2001, and the debate stirred by the violent realism led her to become, together with Langlais, a spokesperson for the government-funded TV program Parler, c’est grandir, a broadcast aimed at youngsters from unstable backgrounds. In 2001, she applied for the ITHAKA program and took a six-month break in Greece to devote herself to travel and academics, after which she played Donalda in Charles Binamé’s epic, Séraphin: Heart of Stone (2002). She was cast as an FLQ terrorist in the 2006 miniseries October 1970 on CBC’s English network. Vanasse appeared in such Canadian productions as Sans Elle, Ma fille, mon ange, and the Canadian/American/British mini-series Killer Wave.
In 2009, Vanasse was a producer and a cast member of the film Polytechnique, which portrays the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in Montréal. She won the Genie Award for Best Actress for her performance.
In 2011, Vanasse was cast as the French stewardess, Colette Valois in the American-produced television series Pan Am, which was later cancelled after one season.
From January to April 2013, Vanasse was cast on the Quebec television series 30 Vies. In July 2013, Deadline.com announced that Vanasse has joined the cast of ABC’s Revenge as French businesswoman Margaux LeMarchal in the third season of the popular drama. During 2012 and 2013, Vanasse filmed the movies All The Wrong Reasons, Buddha’s Little Finger and En solitaire.