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 recently won the Birks Diamond Women In Film Award, alongside Catherine O’Hara, Suzanne Clement and Sophie Deraspe, which recognizes women who are leaders in the Canadian film Industry.
Boland was 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.”
Recent credits include 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 won the People’s Choice Award for best new show in 2014. 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 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. It was recently re-released on VerveGirl’s Youtube channel and garnered hundreds of thousands of hits.
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.
Boland appeared in Mongrel’s recently released The Fall which was nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards and co-starred Michael Murphy (Manhattan, Magnolia). She has five feature films to be released this year, People Hold On Michael Seater’s directorial debut, Matt Campagna’s Hunter’s Moon, Born to be Blue starring Ethan Hawke, Renaissance, an human drama sci-fi and Love of My Life, a Canadian-British co-production. She also guest starred in an episode of ABC’s hit drama Motive.
Boland recently produced Boxing a BravoFact funded short film directed by Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley who’s past short films have appeared at TIFF and Slamdance. The short which stars Kyra Harper (Orphan Black) Rachel Wilson (The Kennedy’s) and Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal) is about a woman trying to get back into the routine of her boxing class after recently losing her husband. The film premiered at TIFF ’15. In 2015, she also produced Lucy in Her Eyes the directorial debut of acclaimed actress Megan Park. Furthermore, she produced Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire along side her Gail Harvey, who also directed the film, which premiered to rave reviews at the Raindance Film Festival in London, England.
Past credits include feature 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 and produced the film.
Boland also 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. Previous credits include Atom Egoyan’s Adoration, HBO Canada’s Terminal City and Daydream Nation.
Also an author, her 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.”
In 2013, she 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. The Hamilton Film Festival 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, Parts Unknown, which she hopes to complete before the end of 2015.
Boland currently writes a column for The Huffington Post called “What’s Actually Happening with People My Age”. 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. She also joined Dorsal Films.