Jessica Paré

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Jessica Paré
File:Jessica Pare at PaleyFest 2014.jpg
Paré at The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring Mad Men
Born (1980-12-05) December 5, 1980 (age 38)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1999–present
Spouse(s) Joseph M. Smith
(2007–2010; divorced)
Partner(s) John Kastner

Jessica Paré (born December 5, 1980)[1] is a Canadian actress and singer. She has appeared in the films Stardom (2000), Lost and Delirious (2001), Wicker Park (2004), Suck (2009), and Hot Tub Time Machine (2010). She also co-starred as Megan Draper on the AMC series Mad Men.

Early life

Paré was born in Montreal, Quebec, the daughter of Anthony Paré, the former chair of the education department at McGill University, and Louise Mercier, a conference interpreter. She grew up in the Montreal neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and has three brothers.[2] She speaks both English and French.[2] Her family is Catholic.[3]

Paré's father was a drama teacher who toured with a theater company, her mother acted in amateur productions, and her uncle Paul was a comedian with the sketch comedy troupe Radio Free Vestibule.[4] She would watch her father at rehearsals as a child and became interested in acting while helping him learn his lines for a production of The Tempest.[5] She attended Villa Maria, a private Catholic high school in Montreal. She studied drama at TheatreWorks and appeared in over half a dozen amateur theatre productions as a teenager, including roles as Maid Marian in Robin Hood and Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[6]


Paré landed a small role in the television film Bonanno: A Godfather's Story during her final year in high school, which convinced her to pursue acting as a career.[7] She also had small roles in an episode of the horror series Big Wolf on Campus and the 1999 French film En Vacances. She dropped out of the fine arts program at Montreal's Dawson College and pursued acting for two years.[2] At one point, she worked as a photographer's assistant on automotive photo shoots.[8][9] After Paré auditioned for a bit part for the independent film Stardom (2000), director Denys Arcand chose her to star in the film.[2] She played a naive ice hockey player propelled to international stardom as a supermodel. The comedic satire closed the 2000 Cannes Film Festival with mixed reviews from critics.[10] Paré became the Canadian film industry's "it girl" following the film's release.[11] She was also voted one of the 25 most beautiful people in Canada by a Canadian magazine,[which?] but did not take the title very seriously.[12]

Paré next starred in Lost and Delirious (2001), a story of two young lovers set in a girls' boarding school. The film debuted to mixed reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. The performances of Paré and her co-stars were, however, widely praised.[13] Paré appeared in the miniseries Random Passage in 2002, based on a series of award-winning novels by Bernice Morgan.[14] Also that year, she appeared in the miniseries Napoléon as the emperor's mistress and had a cameo appearance as a pop singer in Deepa Mehta's Bollywood/Hollywood (2002). In 2003, she starred in the girl gang thriller film Posers, after which she appeared in the CTV miniseries The Death and Life of Nancy Eaton, in the title role of murdered heiress Nancy Eaton.[citation needed]

Paré made her Hollywood debut in the 2004 film Wicker Park. She starred in Lives of the Saints that year. She was in the mockumentary See This Movie (2004) and had a role on the teen drama series Jack & Bobby that year. The WB series was about two brothers, one whom grows up to be the U.S. President; Paré's character grows up to be the First Lady. Paré shot the CBS pilot Protect and Serve in 2007.[15] She also co-starred in the independent French-Canadian romantic comedy Jusqu'à toi.[16]

Paré had a small role in The Trotsky, a comedy filmed in Montreal in 2008,[17] and filmed Suck, a vampire horror-comedy written and directed by Rob Stefaniuk.[18] She learned to play the bass guitar for the role.[19] Suck premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival as part of the Contemporary World Cinema programme. Paré was nominated for a 2010 Canadian Comedy Award for best female performance in film for the role.[20]

Paré filmed Red Coat Justice in 2009.[11] She played a groupie in the 2010 comedy film Hot Tub Time Machine.[21] That year, she also appeared in the Canadian comedy Peepers. The film, about pleasures in voyeurism, competed in the Just for Laughs film festival in Montreal in July 2010.[22] Also in 2010, Paré joined the cast of the AMC television series Mad Men, playing Don Draper's second wife, Megan Calvet.[23] Paré's character had a prominent role in the Season 5 opener of Mad Men, in which she danced and sang a version of the 1960 Gillian Hills hit "Zou Bisou Bisou".[24][25] Her recording of the song was subsequently released as a download and on vinyl.[26]

In 2011, Paré appeared in Beholder. The short film, directed by Nisha Ganatra, premiered as part of the ITVS/PBS series FutureStates.[27] She also starred in The Way of the West, a western about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, filmed in a remote location outside of Whitehorse, Yukon,[28] and in the comedic short Sorry, Rabbi, directed by Mark Slutsky.[29]

In 2012, Paré appeared on stage with The Jesus and Mary Chain, singing "Just Like Honey", for two concerts in Buffalo, New York and Toronto.[30] That same year, she filmed the romantic comedy, Standby, in Luxembourg and Ireland; she plays the female lead, Alice.[31] It was released in 2014.[32]

Personal life

In 2007, Paré married writer and producer Joseph M. Smith. They divorced in 2010.[33]

As of May 2012, it was reported that she was dating musician John Kastner.[34][35][36] In October 2014, Paré was reported to be expecting her first child with Kastner.[37] On March 19, 2015, Paré gave birth to a son, who was named Blues Anthony Paré Kastner.[38]

Paré is Catholic.[39]


File:Jessica Pare at TIFF 2009.jpg
Paré in September 2009


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Bonanno: A Godfather's Story Rosalie Profaci Television film
2000 Stardom Tina Menzhal
2000 Holiday Carole
2000 Possible Worlds Party Guest #1
2001 Lost and Delirious Victoria "Tori" Moller
2002 Bollywood/Hollywood Kimberly
2003 Posers Adria
2003 Death and Life of Nancy Eaton, TheThe Death and Life of Nancy Eaton Nancy Eaton Television film
2004 See This Movie Samantha Brown
2004 Wicker Park Rebecca
2004 Deadly Friends Nancy Eaton Television film
2004 Lives of the Saints Rita Amherst Television film
2007 Protect and Serve Hope Cook Television film
2009 Jusqu'à toi Liza
2009 Trotsky, TheThe Trotsky Laura
2009 Suck Jennifer
2010 Hot Tub Time Machine Tara
2010 Peepers Helen
2011 Sorry, Rabbi Marie-Helene Short film
2011 Beholder Sasha Short film
2011 Way of the West, TheThe Way of the West Amethyst
2013 Standby Alice
2015 Brooklyn Miss Fortini
2016 Desiree Dream Samantha Baxter (rumored) Pre-production


Year Title Role Notes
1990 Baby-Sitters Club, TheThe Baby-Sitters Club Episode: "Mary Anne and the Brunettes"
1999 Big Wolf on Campus Tanya Episode: "Time and Again"
2002 Napoléon Eleanore Denuelle Episode: "1800-1807"
2002 Random Passage Annie Vincent (Age 15) Miniseries
2004–2005 Jack & Bobby Courtney Benedict 21 episodes
2007 Life Julia Episode: "The Fallen Woman"
2010–2015 Mad Men Megan Calvet Draper 43 episodes
2013 Satisfaction Robyn Episode: "First Contact"



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Other sources

  • "Jessica Paré". Encore Entertainment. Retrieved on October 3, 2007.
  • Loos, Ted (November 2000). "Jessica Paré". Interview.

External links