Leerhsen at the 2005 screening of Little Athens.
|Born||Erica Lei Leerhsen
February 14, 1976
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Boston University|
Erica Lei Leerhsen (born February 14, 1976) is an American actress. She first gained recognition for her part in the horror sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000), which became a moderate commercial success. Her work led her to appear in acclaimed series such as The Sopranos and The Guardian, a show in which Leerhsen played a recurring character during the first season. She then landed a supporting role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). For her roles in these and subsequent horror films such as Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007), Lonely Joe (2009), The Butterfly Room (2012) and Mischief Night (2013), Leerhsen has been recognised as a Scream Queen. Her recent roles include the TV series The Good Wife (2011) and Person of Interest (2012) and the Woody Allen comedy film Magic in the Moonlight (2014).
Leerhsen was born in New York City, and was raised in Ossining, Westchester County, New York, along with her two younger sisters, Debbie and Nora. Their father, Charles Leerhsen, is a longtime editor of celebrity publication Us Weekly. She attended St. Augustine's School and Ossining High School and attended the Boston University College of Fine Arts. While in college, Leerhsen performed in stage productions of The Call of the Wild and The Tempest. After graduating in 1998, she earned BFA in acting the same year.
Leerhsen made her film debut in the short film Junior Creative (2000), as Sarah. The film received several good reviews. She appeared in the horror sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, though she originally auditioned for the part that eventually went to Kim Director. The sequel after its premiere received extremely negative reviews by film critics, but it debuted at number 2 with $13,000,000 in the United States, and finished with $26,421,314 and went on to gross $47,737,094 globally. As a result, her profile was raised significantly and was voted #96 in 2001's Maxim Hot 100. With the attention received at the time, Leerhsen continued receiving critical acclaim for her work in television. In 2001, she appeared in an episode of the third season of The Sopranos, where she played a lesbian tennis instructor who falls for Drea de Matteo's character, and became a member of the cast of the TV show The Guardian, where she played Amanda Bowles, an ambitious but caring associate, who leaves mid-way through season one. She played a supporting role in Woody Allen's Hollywood Ending. The film received mixed response by critics and at the box office making $14,569,744 at the end of its theatrical run. It was screened out of competition at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.
Leerhsen starred alongside Jessica Biel in the horror remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in which Leerhsen had a lead role as one of the doomed teens. The film received mixed reviews and was a box office success, scoring the number-one spot in its opening week and going on to earn more than $80 million in the U.S. In a 2007 interview with website Iconsoffright.com, she admitted that in her audition for the movie, she screamed so loud that people on other floors of the building called the police to report that a woman was being attacked. She was a guest star in two episodes of the TV show Alias. She appeared in Woody Allen's romantic comedy film Anything Else, opposite Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Stockard Channing, Danny DeVito, Jimmy Fallon, KaDee Strickland, and Allen. The film was the opening night selection at the 60th annual Venice International Film Festival.
Leerhsen starred in the 2004 independent thriller The Warrior Class, where she played Anson Mount's love interest. Leerhsen starred opposite Michael Peña in the independent comedy drama film Little Athens, which was released at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, and on DVD on November 21, 2006. The movie gained a mixed feedback from critics; while Variety remarked that Leerhsen and co-star Jill Ritchie were "stuck with narrowly conceived, deeply dislikable gals", she was praised by Mark Bell from Film Threat who, in his review, wrote that the actress "proves that the “Blair Witch 2“ was as much a blip in her acting skill as the film was in the pop culture conscienceness. Her interplay with Rachel Miner is true in the way that smalltown friendships really are: simple seemingly on the surface, but built on such complex webbing and history that every nuance, statement or situation is to be weighed and studied." She had a guest appearance in the TV show Ghost Whisperer, and appeared as the character Bronwin in the romantic comedy film Mozart and the Whale, which was released in limited theaters on April 14, 2006. That same year, Leerhsen guest appeared as Brenda Sanders in the CBS series CSI: Miami episode "The Score".
She starred in Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, the 2007 sequel to the 2003 horror film Wrong Turn. The film was directed by Joe Lynch and co-starred Henry Rollins and Texas Battle. It premiered at the London FrightFest Film Festival on August 25, 2007 and received critical acclaimed from critics and audiences. Leerhsen also generated positive feedback; DVD Talk critic David Walker called her a "stand out" member in the cast and noted that she "puts a great spin on what could easily have been another tired retread of the scream queen character". Brian Collins of Bloody Disgusting stated that Leerhsen "continues to impress" and that she had "got chops far beyond what is required for this type of film".
After her part in the Wrong Turn sequel, she had the lead role in the horror/thriller film Living Hell, where she played Carrie Freeborn, a hazmat specialist. The film, written and directed by Richard Jefferies premiered on the SCI FI Channel on February 23, 2008, and was released on DVD under the title Organizm on June 10 in the United States. The following year, Leerhsen had the main role in the indie horror Lonely Joe. Filming began on October 15, 2007 and wrapped on November 6, 2007. Doing her own stunts for the film, she was nearly hit by the train used in the dream sequence when she lost her balance and lunged forward. Her scene was shot with her only 12 inches from the side of the train as it passed by at 30 miles per hour. Unshaken, she insisted on shooting the scene again.
In 2010, she landed a role in the horror film The Butterfly Room, which is an Italian/American production, produced by Ethan Wiley for Wiseacre Films and directed by Jonathan Zarantonello. The movie came out in several countries throughout Europe in late 2012, but premiered in the U.S. in one theater in 2014, grossing $1,081 on its opening weekend. She had a supporting role in a comedy film called First Dates that went directly to DVD in early 2011. For April 2012, it was scheduled the release of the low-budget horror The Message – starring Leerhsen. The movie picture is a supernatural thriller about a young woman who is forced to come to terms with her personality flaws. She is visited by a group of angels who try to guide her on a path away from her darker side. Leerhseen played Dr. Lesley Parker in the indie thriller Phobia. Budgeted at $250,000, the movie is set in 1885, and tells the story of a female doctor dedicated to help a group of people with their phobias who becomes embroiled in a murder mystery surrounding a patient that may be a vampire. The motion picture was released on September 1, 2013. She also was chosen to play one of the leads in the indie Mischief Night, which came out on DVD on October 30, 2013. The film also had a limited theatrical release at the same time.
Recently, she appeared in the 2014 Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight, which also starred Emma Stone, Jacki Weaver, Colin Firth, and Marcia Gay Harden. The motion picture received mixed reviews from critics and had a strong opening in its limited release. Her work in the movie marked the fourth time Leerhsen has worked with Allen, who praised her for her acting abilities; "Every time I cast her, she comes through without fail. She shows up, she asks no questions, she does the character—I have no idea how she has worked it out—and it’s always effective".
In February 2007, she married professional cyclist Antony Galvan, but the couple divorced in 2008. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California with husband Davis Wilson, whom she married on June 29, 2012. Besides acting, Leerhsen enjoys yoga, running, and playing basketball.
|2000||Junior Creative||Sarah||Short film|
|2000||Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2||Erica Geerson|
|2003||The Texas Chainsaw Massacre||Pepper Harrington|
|2005||Mozart and the Whale||Bronwin|
|2007||The Warrior Class||Annie Sullivan|
|2007||Wrong Turn 2: Dead End||Nina Papas|
|2009||Lonely Joe||Michele Connelly|
|2012||The Butterfly Room||Claudia|
|2012||Phobia||Dr. Lesley Parker|
|2014||Magic in the Moonlight||Caroline|
|2001–02||The Guardian||Amanda Bowles||22 episodes|
|2001||The Sopranos||Birgit Olafsdottir||Episode: "Mr. Ruggerio's Neighborhood"|
|2005||Ghost Whisperer||Hope Paulson||Episode: "Hope and Mercy"|
|2006||CSI: Miami||Brenda Sanders||Episode: "The Score"|
|2008||Living Hell||Carrie Freeborn||Television film|
|2011||The Good Wife||Dana Briglio||Episode: "Getting Off"|
|2012||Person of Interest||Amy||Episode: "Critical"|
- "Erica Leerhsen Biography". Fandango. Rovi. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) - Weekend Box Office Results
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
- "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2". The Numbers. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
- "2001 Maxim Hot 100 Party". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2010-09-12.
- "Hollywood Ending (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 13, 2008.
- "Festival de Cannes: Hollywood Ending". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved November 4, 2009.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Box Office Mojo
- Koehler, Robert (June 21, 2005). "Review: 'Little Athens'". Variety. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- Bell, Mark (April 17, 2006). "Little Athens". Film Threat. Archived from the original on August 19, 2014.
- "Mozart and the Whale".
- "Wrong Turn 2". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (V)". Bloody-Disgusting. August 18, 2007. Archived from the original on June 1, 2012.
- "Leerhsen Talks Living Hell". Dread Central.
- "Living Hell Release Dates". Internet Movie Database.
- Lonely Joe Update, New Project Announced
- "Lonely Joe Filming Dates". Internet Movie Database.
- "Erica Leerhsen Gets a Bag on the Head in First 'Butterfly Room' Image", Bloody Disgusting
- "United States Public Records, 1970-2009," database, FamilySearch (23 May 2014), Erica A Leerhsen, Residence, Los Angeles, California, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
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