Rachelle Lefevre Cast as Julia Shumway in Under the Dome
Rachelle Lefevre is one of Quebec’s hottest young imports. The Under the Dome star was born in Montreal in 1979 to a teacher father and psychologist mother, Rachelle has three sisters and speaks both English and French, though she grew up mostly speaking English. She attended Centennial Academy, a private high school, and later studied creative arts at Dawson College. She studied theater for two summers at the Walnut Hill School in Natick, Massachusetts, and began a finished a degree in education and literature at McGill University.
Fueled by almost unbelievable good luck, Rachelle has become one of Hollywood’s hottest actors. She was discovered while working as a waitress at a sushi bar in Westmount when a regular customer, who just so happened to be a Canadian television producer, overheard her telling the hostess that she wanted to be a professional actress. The producer then got Rachelle her first-ever audition, for a role in the sitcom Student Bodies. She didn’t yet have a head shot, so submitted a Polaroid picture (which is alright anywhere except Hollywood, BTW). Though she didn’t get cast, she got a call back from the casting director, leading to a role in the Canadian TV series Big Wolf on Campus in 1999, playing the character, Stacey Hanson.
Later, Rachelle first appeared in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by George Clooney (not a bad way to start, eh). She then appeared in the television movies Picking Up and Dropping Off with Scott Wolf, and See Jane Date, and had a role in the romantic comedy Hatley High in 2003. In 2004, she played Etta Place in the Calgary-filmed TV movie The Legend of Butch and Sundance. Deciding that Canada was not big enough for her, Lefevre next moved to West Hollywood, California that year and appeared in the films, Noel, directed by Chazz Palminteri and starring Penélope Cruz, and Head in the Clouds, also starring Cruz and Charlize Theron. In April 2004, Lefevre filmed the mystery-thriller The River King in Halifax, opposite Edward Burns.
Rachelle Lefevre starred on the Fox sitcom Life on a Stick in 2005, playing Lily Ashton, a mall fast-food restaurant employee, and then appeared on the Fox series Pool Guys. She has guest starred on numerous other television series, including: Charmed, Boston Legal, Veronica Mars, C.S.I., Eli Stone, Better Off Ted, The Closer, Bones, playing Annie Isles on the fifth season of Undressed, and appearing on the short-lived ABC series What About Brian. Lefevre was then cast as Annie Cartwright, the female lead in ABC’s Life on Mars, a David E. Kelley remake of the original British TV series. She shot a pilot episode, but was replaced by Boardwalk Empire’s Gretchen Mol when the series was revamped (to her credit, the final show was a wreck and was canceled promptly).
Of course, Rachelle broke through to the mainstream playing the renegade vampire Victoria Sutherland in the film adaptation of Twilight, based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer. She also appeared in New Moon, the film’s sequel, based on Meyer’s second novel. However, Rachelle did not reprise her role of Victoria in Eclipse, the third film of the Twilight series, and was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard. Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the films, attributed the change to scheduling conflicts; Eclipse and the Golden Globe-winning Barney’s Version, an independent Canadian feature Rachelle had signed on to, both began filming on 17 August 2009. Rachelle responded that she was “stunned” by the decision and “greatly saddened” not to continue her portrayal of Victoria, and never thought she would “lose the role over a 10 day overlap”, in a statement to Access Hollywood. The studio responded in a counter-statement, “Eclipse is an ensemble production that has to accommodate the schedules of numerous actors while respecting the established creative vision of the filmmaker and most importantly the story.” But, no one really bought that explanation. The Twi-Hards tweens pleaded for the studio to bring her back to no avail. The role would then bring her (probably through a sympathy vote) the Teen Choice Award for Choice Villain in 2009.
After that debacle, in 2009, Rachelle appeared in the CBC television miniseries The Summit, filmed in Ontario, and completed the film Casino Jack, starring Kevin Spacey. In November 2009, Rachelle shot the suspense film The Caller in Puerto Rico along with actors Lorna Raver and Stephen Moyer, replacing the late Brittany Murphy.
Rachelle also appeared in the pilot episode of the ABC television drama The Deep End in 2010. She also starred on the television drama Off the Map as Dr. Ryan Clark, a young doctor working in a South American medical clinic. Rachelle Lefevre was the voice of the 31st annual Genie Awards in March 2011, along with host William Shatner. She was also cast in the NBC pilot, The Crossing, a drama set during the American Civil War. She also played Anna, a widow who begins an affair with a soldier. Unfortunately, this series went nowhere.
Rachelle Lefevre also joined the cast of the short-lived CBS TV drama, A Gifted Man, playing a doctor. It stared Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle.
Rachelle Lefevre is now back on CBS playing the cynical and witty Julia Shumway on Under the Dome, which will be her first Stephen King-related TV project. We hope Under the Dome goes better than her last series. We are not sure yet how the character will differ from the character in the Under the Dome novel. Based on what we have seen so far, expect Under the Dome the TV series to have some major alterations and the description below should be taken with a grain of salt.
According to Wikipedia, Under the Dome‘s Julia should be as compelling a character as Rachelle’s ever played,
A cynical, witty woman who owns and edits The Democrat (despite being a Republican), the town’s local newspaper. Julia often feels the need to prove a point and expose those she sees around her. Julia becomes the conduit between Colonel Cox and Dale Barbara via her cell phone. Julia and Dale have a budding romantic relationship. Both Dale and Julia are gutsy and tough, brave enough to try any chance they might have for survival. Julia comes from a family of news executives; the newspaper is a family concern. She was groomed early for success and was viewed by her peers as a “goody-two-shoes.” A confrontation with her classmates in fourth grade caused her to rethink her status and changed the course of her academic career; however, this same confrontation is key in helping her formulate a plan to end the siege. One of the 26 survivors of the Dome.
In her personal life, Rachelle currently lives in Los Angeles, California. In 2009, she donated $100 to Susan G. Komen for The Cure, a breast cancer charity, for every 10,000 people who followed her on Twitter. She also launched an eBay auction for the charity School On Wheels in August 2009, which provides tutoring to homeless children in Southern California. She sold t-shirts and other merchandise signed by her fellow cast members from Twilight. She is also an active supporter of Best Friends Animal Society, appearing in a public service announcement on behalf of the organization in November 2009, urging the public to adopt their next pet.
UPDATE: From CBS.com:
Character: Julia Shumway
Actor: Rachelle Lefevre
The editor of the local newspaper, The Independent, Julia is an investigative reporter who moved to town recently with her husband, Peter Shumway, a doctor at the medical clinic. Aside from the strange descent of the dome on Chester’s Mill, Julia must also cope with the disappearance of her husband.
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