Sophie Nélisse

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Sophie Nélisse
Sophie Nelisse on Selig Film News.jpg
Nélisse interviewed about The Book Thief in 2013
Born (2000-03-27) March 27, 2000 (age 19)[1]
ResidenceMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active2010–present
RelativesIsabelle Nélisse (sister)

Sophie Nélisse (born March 27, 2000) is a Canadian actress. She is known for her Genie Award–winning performance in Monsieur Lazhar, and as Liesel Meminger in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak. Her sister Isabelle Nélisse (born December 3, 2003) is also an actress, best known for her roles in Mama (for which she received multiple award nominations) and HBO's controversial film The Tale;[3] the sisters also played together in Mirador [fr], Wait Till Helen Comes and Worst Case, We Get Married.

Early life[edit]

Nélisse was born in Windsor, Ontario, on March 27, 2000. She is of French-Canadian descent. Her mother, Pauline Belhumeur, left her job as a schoolteacher in 2013 to act as a talent manager for both Sophie and her younger sister, actress Isabelle Nélisse.[4][5] Nélisse is fluent in both French and English. Her family moved to Montreal, Quebec when she was four.[6][7]


She spent her early years training in gymnastics, aiming for the 2016 Olympics, and signed to a talent agency to make money to pay for the training, but after getting the part in The Book Thief (and subsequent accolades) she shifted her focus to acting.[8][9] Additionally, Nélisse formed and still maintains a close friendship with her co-star from The Book Thief, Nico Liersch.

Besides her Genie Award for Monsieur Lazhar, she won a Jutra Award for her performance and a Young Artist Award nomination as Best Leading Young Actress in an International Feature Film.[10] She held a recurring role the Québec sitcom Les Parent [fr] and she also starred in the title role of the 2015 film The Great Gilly Hopkins. In May 2016, Nélisse was present on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival for the first time to present Canadian thriller movie Mean Dreams.[11][12][13]

In 2016, Nélisse was one of four actors selected by the Toronto International Film Festival, alongside Grace Glowicki, Jared Abrahamson, and Mylène Mackay for its "Rising Stars" programme, described as an "intensive professional development programme [that] immerses participants in a series of public events and industry meetings during the Festival."[2][14] In June 2018, it was announced that she would be the face of Caroline Néron's Fall 2018 jewelry line.[15]

After graduating high school in June 2017,[16] Nélisse confirmed she wouldn't be enrolling in post-secondary education for the time being due to commitments shooting Close in London and Morocco.[17] In a L'actualité series about "Being 18 years old in 2018", Nélisse spoke about entering adulthood in the era of the Weinstein effect, and deplored that when she announced she was looking for "more mature roles", she was quickly offered multiple roles where her characters would be raped and that scenarios she receives almost always include sexual elements.[18] One of these instances was when she turned down the sexually-charged lead role in Fugueuse [fr], in which Ludivine Reding [fr] was eventually cast as Fanny, the titular teenage runaway who ends up a sex trafficking victim.[19]


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Monsieur Lazhar Alice L'Écuyer Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Jutra Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress in an International Feature Film
2012 Ésimésac Marie Gélinas Sequel to Babine, also directed by Luc Picard and written by Fred Pellerin, the Saint-Élie-de-Caxton storyteller
2013 The Book Thief Liesel Meminger Satellite Awards for Best Breakthrough Performance
Hollywood Film Award Spotlight Award
Phoenix Film Critics Society for Best Performance by a Youth in a Leading or Supporting Role—Female
Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film[20]
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actor/Actress
2014 Pawn Sacrifice Young Joan Lily Rabe played the adult Joan Fischer
2015 Endorphine Simone de Koninck Shown in the Vanguard section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival
2015 The Great Gilly Hopkins Gilly Hopkins
2016 Mean Dreams Casey Caraway Chosen for Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight
2016 1:54 Jen First feature-length fiction film from Oscar-nominated director, producer and screenwriter Yan England[21][22][23]
2016 Wait Till Helen Comes[24] Molly Also stars her sister Isabelle Nélisse in the role of Molly's step-sister Heather
2017 The History of Love Alma Singer
2017 Exode Short film that premiered at Cannes Film Festival,[25] in the Not Short on Talent section, a Telefilm Canada initiative.[26]
2017 Worst Case, We Get Married Aïcha Lea Pool movie adaptation of original novel by Sophie Bienvenu [fr], also starring Karine Vanasse.[27][28][29]
Winner of the VIFF "Vancouver Women in Film and Television Artistic Merit Award"[30]
2018 Close Zoe Written and directed by Vicky Jewson and starring Noomi Rapace as the bodyguard of Nélisse's character, a rich young Bangkok heiress.[31][17][32]
2018 The Rest of Us Aster Independent Aisling Chin-Yee dramatic comedy film also starring Heather Graham.[33][34]
2019 Les Coloriés Lucie Alain Desrochers movie adaptation of original novel Les Coloriés [fr] authored by Alexandre Jardin, also starring Claude Legault in the role of Hippolyte, Lucie's father.[35][28]
2019 47 Meters Down: Uncaged Mia
2019 The Kid Detective In pre-production. Written and directed by Evan Morgan (The Dirties) and co-starring Adam Brody.[36][37]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Mirador [fr] Jeune fille de Ralf 1 episode
2010 Toute la Vérité [fr] Fille de Violaine 1 episode
2011-2016 Les Parent [fr] Zoé Recurring
2012 Vertige Rosalie Roussel Main cast
2015-2016 Les Dieux de la Danse Herself
(Dance competition)
Season 1: Withdrew after passing first elimination round
Season 2: Eliminated after third round (semifinals)
2017 Accès Illimité [fr] Herself (Docu-reality) 1 episode
2017 Demain des hommes [fr] Roxanne Recurring[38][39]/[40]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Work Result
2012 Genie Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Monsieur Lazhar Won
2012 Jutra Awards Best Supporting Actress (Meilleure Actrice de Soutien) Monsieur Lazhar Won
2013 Satellite Awards Breakthrough Performance The Book Thief Won
2013 Hollywood Film Festival Spotlight Award The Book Thief Won
2013 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role—Female The Book Thief Won
2013 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in an International Feature Film – Young Actress[41] Monsieur Lazhar Nominated
2014 Young Artist Awards Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film(tie)[42] The Book Thief Won
2014 Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor The Book Thief Nominated
2014 Online Film & Television Association Best Youth Performance The Book Thief Nominated
2014 Critics Choice Awards Best Young Actor/Actress The Book Thief Nominated


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1209/1210). June 1–9, 2012. p. 35.
  2. ^ a b Victoria Ahearn (September 3, 2016). "Windsor-born Sophie Nelisse a Rising Star at TIFF and beyond". Windsor Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Most Intense Movie Of The Year Is About Child Sexual Abuse — And It's Nothing Like You'd Expect". BuzzFeed News.
  4. ^ Boivin, Catherine-Chantal (November 22, 2011). "Sophie Nélisse: Activités familiales pour les vacances des fêtes: jouer en famille" [Sophie Nélisse: Family activities for the holidays: playing among family]. Voir. Retrieved February 4, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  5. ^ Pilon-Larose, Hugo (April 6, 2015). "Sophie Nélisse et sa mère Pauline Belhumeur, la double vie d'une maman gérante" [Sophie Nélisse and her mother Pauline Belhumeur, the double life of a manager mother]. La Presse (in French). Gesca. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Plasket, Kelli (November 27, 2013). "Meet Sophie Nélisse". Time for Kids. Retrieved February 4, 2016. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  7. ^ Szklarski, Cassandra (March 6, 2012). "Sophie Nelisse of 'Monsieur Lazhar' takes Genie nomination in stride". Canadian Press. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Lewis, Casey (March 11, 2014). "How Sophie Nélisse Went From Olympic-Bound Gymnast to 'Book Thief' Star in Two Seconds Flat". Teen Vogue. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Wilkinson, Amy (November 7, 2013). "Why Sophie Nelisse Gave Up Her Olympic Dream For 'Book Thief'". MTV News. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  11. ^ "Sophie Nélisse à Cannes dimanche avec Mean Dreams - Festival de Cannes". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  12. ^ ""Mean Dreams" dans lequel joue Sophie Nélisse, présenté à Cannes". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  13. ^ "Quebecers to watch at Cannes 2016". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  14. ^ "TIFF RISING STARS REVEALED FOR 2016 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL" (PDF) (Press release). Toronto International Film Festival. August 3, 2016.
  15. ^ HollywoodPQ (July 17, 2018). "Sophie Nélisse sera le visage des bijoux Caroline Néron cet automne". Retrieved March 21, 2019.
  16. ^ vedette, En. "Découvrez la robe de bal de finissants de Sophie Nélisse". En vedette.
  17. ^ a b Duchesne, André. "Sophie Nélisse tourne avec Noomi Rapace" – via Cyberpresse.
  18. ^ Mercier, Noémie (December 8, 2017). "Passer à l'âge adulte en temps troublés" [Entering adulthood in troubled times]. Being 18 years old in 2018 (French: Avoir 18 ans en 2018) (in French). L'actualité. Retrieved December 18, 2017. Quand je me suis mise à dire que je voulais des rôles plus « matures », je pense que j'ai reçu cinq scénarios où je me faisais violer. C'est rare, les scénarios où il ne faut pas que je couche avec quelqu'un ou que j'embrasse quelqu'un. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ "Sophie Nélisse aurait refusé le rôle de Fanny dans Fugueuse pour cette raison". April 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  21. ^ Demers, Maxime. "Le film 1:54 sortira en France". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  22. ^, Zone Arts -. "Bel accueil pour le film de Yan England au FVCQ". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "La bande-annonce frénétique du premier film de Yan England". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Also known as Little Girl's Secret
  25. ^ "Festival de Cannes".
  26. ^ vedette, En. "Lou-Pascal Tremblay s'en va à Cannes". En vedette.
  27. ^, Zone Arts -. "Karine Vanasse et Sophie Nélisse joueront dans le prochain film de Léa Pool". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Un tournage intime pour Et au pire, on se mariera - Josée Lapointe - Cinéma québécois". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  29. ^ Montigny, Vanessa de. "Karine Vanasse joue la mère de Sophie Nélisse dans l'époustouflante bande-annonce de Et au pire, on se mariera". Le Journal de Montréal.
  30. ^ "Indian Horse Wins Coveted VIFF Super Channel People's Choice Award".
  31. ^ Mitchell, Robert; Mitchell, Robert (May 15, 2017). "Cannes: Noomi Rapace to Headline WestEnd Films Action Thriller 'Close'".
  32. ^ Tauer, Kristen; Tauer, Kristen (August 18, 2017). "The Seven Lives of Noomi Rapace".
  33. ^ McNary, Dave; McNary, Dave (June 18, 2018). "Heather Graham, Jodi Balfour to Star in Drama 'The Rest of Us'".
  34. ^ Vrak. "Sophie Nélisse tourne un film anglophone avec une actrice hollywoodienne!".
  35. ^ Godin, Sandra. "Tournage à l'automne 2017: Sophie Nélisse dans un film d'époque". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  36. ^ McNary, Dave (January 18, 2017). "Berlin: Adam Brody, Sophie Nelisse to Star in 'The Kid Detective'". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  37. ^ Busch, Anita (January 18, 2017). "Adam Brody & Sophie Nelisse Find 'The Kid Detective' For Brightlight And Myriad Pictures". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  38. ^ "Radio-Canada - Communiqués - DEMAIN DES HOMMES : une série dramatique originale dans l'univers du hockey junior sur ICI TOU.TV EXTRA".
  39. ^ "«Demain des hommes» : une nouvelle série de hockey à Radio-Canada". HuffPost Québec. November 13, 2017.
  40. ^, Zone Divertissement-. "Une série sur le hockey signée Guillaume Vigneault".
  41. ^ "2013 NOMINATIONS". Young Artist Awards. May 5, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  42. ^ "2014 NOMINATIONS & RESULTS". Young Artist Awards. May 4, 2014. Retrieved January 2, 2017.

External links[edit]