Leelee Sobieski

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Leelee Sobieski
Leelee Sobieski, 2012.jpg
Sobieski at the 7th Annual Chanel Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner in 2012
Born
Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski

(1983-06-10) June 10, 1983 (age 35)
Other namesLeelee Kimmel
OccupationActress, artist
Years active1995–2012
Spouse(s)
Matthew W. Davis
(m. 2008; div. 2009)

Adam Kimmel
(m. 2010)
Children2

Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta "Leelee" Sobieski (born June 10, 1983)[1] is a retired American actress. She achieved fame in her teens with roles in films such as Deep Impact, Eyes Wide Shut, Never Been Kissed, Joy Ride, and The Glass House. She received Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for her portrayal of the title character in the television film Joan of Arc and a further Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the miniseries Uprising.

Sobieski continued to work in films and on television up until 2012, when it was revealed that she had retired from acting to focus on her family.[2]

Early life[edit]

Sobieski was born in New York City.[3] Her mother, Elizabeth Sobieski (née Salomon), is an American film producer and screenwriter who also works as Sobieski's manager,[citation needed] and her father, Jean Sobieski, is a French-born painter and former actor.[4][5] Sobieski has a younger brother, Robert "Roby".[4]

Sobieski's first name, "Liliane", was the name of her paternal grandmother. One of her middle names, "Elsveta", is derived from "Elżbieta", which is the Polish equivalent of "Elisabeth".[6] Her maternal grandfather, United States Navy Captain Robert Salomon, was Jewish. Her maternal grandmother was of Ashkenazi Jewish and Dutch descent. Sobieski grew up in a "pan-religious" family; she has said that she is "proud of [her] melting pot roots".[7][8] She graduated from Trevor Day School in 2001[9] and studied literature and fine art at Brown University but did not graduate.[10]

Acting career[edit]

Sobieski was spotted by a talent scout who noticed her while he was scouting the cafeteria of a New York City private school as part of a recreational visit.[3] After that encounter, she became a candidate for the role of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire (1994), which she eventually lost out to Kirsten Dunst. She portrayed the character of Anna Yates in the 1994 TV movie Reunion, which starred Marlo Thomas. Next, she played a lead role in A Horse for Danny, a made-for-television film which was released in 1995. Later, she had her first role in a studio film, as Martin Short's character daughter in the Tim Allen comedy Jungle 2 Jungle. In 1999, Sobieski appeared in Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut; recalling acting alongside Tom Cruise, she said he was "very kind and considerate with me," and says her most vivid recollection of Stanley Kubrick was that he "genuinely seemed to hold something magic".[11]

She rose to fame in her mid-teens with her appearance in the movie Deep Impact (1998).[12] The film was a major financial success, grossing over $349 million worldwide on a $75 million production budget. Deep Impact brought her to the attention of many casting directors. That same year Sobieski appeared in the Merchant Ivory film A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries. Sobieski's performance received praise from the critics; Emanuel Levy of Variety wrote that "the graceful Sobieski registers strongly as a potential star, combining physical charm with technical skill."[13] The film also garnered her a Young Artist Award nomination, as well as a nomination by the Chicago Film Critics Association.

In 1999, she was cast as a supporting role in the teen comedy feature Never Been Kissed, which was starring Drew Barrymore. The title role in the TV movie Joan of Arc (1999) earned her an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe nomination, and she became the youngest actress ever to portray Joan of Arc in a movie. She received a second nomination for a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Tosia Altman in the 2001 TV film Uprising. In 2000, Sobieski played the female lead in the film Here on Earth, for which she received a Teen Choice Award nomination.

In 2001, Sobieski played the lead role in the road horror film Joy Ride with Paul Walker and Steve Zahn. The film received several favorable reviews.[14] Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons stated that Sobieski "does a better job than usual".[15] That same year, she starred in the thriller The Glass House, alongside Diane Lane. The film was panned by critics,[16] and had a disappointing weekend $5,738,448 gross with little promotion.[17] My First Mister, a low-budget drama, was also released in 2001. Sobieski's performance in the film was praised by critics, with Pete Croatto of Filmcritic.com writing that "As for Sobieski, who I've always liked, she does another fine job. This time it's with a shaky character – the troubled Goth chick", and "Sobieski finds her character's human touch and runs with it."[18]

Sobieski landed a starring role in the independent film L'Idole (2002), which opened at the Toronto International Film Festival. She then starred alongside John Cusack in the drama feature Max. She portrayed the character of Cecile in the miniseries Les Liaisons dangereuses (2003) with Catherine Deneuve and Rupert Everett, an adaptation of Laclos's classic novel of sexual intrigue made use of her fluency in French. She portrayed the role of Deianira in Hercules, a television miniseries in 2005.[19]

In May 2006, the experimental-indie film Lying, in which Sobieski starred alongside Chloë Sevigny and Jena Malone, was released.[20] The film premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and had a limited release in the United States in 2008. She starred in the American drama Heavens Fall as one of the young women that accuse nine black youths of rape in the segregated South.[21] That same year, she appeared in the horror films In a Dark Place and remake of the film, The Wicker Man, alongside Nicolas Cage.[22]

The independent comedy film Walk All Over Me, starring Sobieski, had a range of screening dates at several film festivals – starting with the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is about a woman who becomes a dominatrix. Her next film in wide release, the thriller 88 Minutes co-starring Al Pacino and Alicia Witt, opened on April 18, 2008 in the United States, having already been released in various other countries in 2007. The film suffered critically[23] and was a minor success at the box office, garnering over $32 million worldwide.[24]

In January 2008, she appeared in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, a fantasy film inspired by the Dungeon Siege video game series. For her performances in both 88 Minutes and A Dungeon Siege Tale, she received a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress. Sobieski then starred in the direct-to-video film Night Train, with her Joy Ride co-star Steve Zahn. In the film, she played the role of Chloe, a potentially lethal med student. Night Train is about three strangers that meet aboard a Polar Express-like train on one fateful night.[25]

In 2009, she had a small role in the biographical crime drama Public Enemies, and starred with Denise Richards and Jamie Kennedy in the 2010 film Finding Bliss, a romantic comedy about a straitlaced aspiring filmmaker who is forced to go to work for a producer of adult films.[26][27] Finding Bliss was released on June 4 in New York City and June 11 in Los Angeles. She guest appeared in the television series Drop Dead Diva episode "A Mother's Secret".[28] Sobieski also played a lead role in the drama thriller Acts of Violence. The film tells the story of a man who is on a mission to kill the men who raped his wife. Filming of the movie began and finished in Los Angeles, California. The film was released between April and May 2010.

She also joined the cast of a comedy-drama entitled The Last Film Festival, co-starring Dennis Hopper, Jacqueline Bisset, and Chris Kattan. Filming took place in Queens in 2009.[29] The film was released theatrically in Los Angeles on September 30, 2016.

Sobieski guest-starred in an episode of The Good Wife which aired in January 2011; her role was the girlfriend of one of Lockhart-Gardner-Bond's most influential clients. In the show, Sobieski's character is accused of using prescription stimulants.[30] Sobieski starred in CBS' drama NYC 22 as a rookie New York City police officer.[31][32][33] Sobieski landed the role of Abby Gibbons in the movie Branded which was released in 2012.

Art career[edit]

She began her art career using her married name Leelee Kimmel. She paints and sculpts abstract work,[10] [34] and also works in VR as well, using Google Tilt Brush.[10] She uses bright colors, abstracted and textured shapes floating on either a large black or white background.

Her 2018 solo exhibit debut, “Channels,” opened at the Journal Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and garnered positive reviews. [10][35] Vogue said the exhibit and her work "warrants serious merit".[36] She then debuted her first UK exhibit titled “Wormhole” at the Simon Lee Gallery in London. In this latest installment, she presents large-scale abstract paintings that are confrontational in both colour and dimension, exploring themes of creation and destruction. [37] “Kimmel’s world is very much her own – a heady mix of daftness and profundity – and a space that’s potentially fascinating, yet disorientating for those unfamiliar with it. Such are the worlds she builds in her paintings, too, and which expand beyond the canvas into gloriously gelatinous sculptures and a pioneering VR piece.” [38] Interview Magazine says, "Leelee Kimmel has always been an artist." [39]

Personal life[edit]

Sobieski pregnant in 2009 at the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera

Sobieski speaks fluent French, which she learned from her father, who lives in France.[40][41] In January 2009, Sobieski began dating fashion designer Adam Kimmel, the son of American real estate developer Martin Kimmel and grandson of American boat racer and designer Donald Aronow. They were engaged on May 28, 2009 and it was made public on June 23, 2009, when fans at the premiere of Public Enemies spotted Sobieski wearing an engagement ring. The couple officially announced their engagement on July 17, 2009.[42][43][44]

Their daughter, Louisanna Ray, was born in December 2009 and son Martin, was born in August 2014.[45][46]

During an interview, Sobieski spoke about her views on having happiness and a positive attitude,

I think that happiness is a very strange thing. And we really feel that we have a right to this happiness. But I feel like it's constantly fluctuating, and that you can make yourself happy. I think it's an outlook. Having a positive attitude probably sounds like a corny thing to say, but a positive attitude really helps, and respecting your job really helps, and having the support of your family and friends really helps.[47]

Sobieski, in a 2001 interview with IGN, expressed her thoughts about whether the movies she was making were escapist fare, or that they had a deeper message for society,

Joy Ride isn't a film you would make a statement with. It's a fun, jump out of life film. That's great. I love those films. Those films are great in times like these too. You can make a point with a film and help society or not. Take a film like Bulworth, a fantastic film. There are certain films like that, that can appeal to everybody and have a message in it and that's really great.[48]

In 2012, Sobieski confirmed "I don't do movie stuff anymore." Commenting on the reasons for her early retirement to Us Weekly, Sobieski said, "I am just focused on my kids. I think that's mainly why I stopped ... Also, ninety percent of acting roles involve so much sexual stuff with other people, and I don't want to do that."[49]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995 A Horse for Danny Danny Bara
1997 Jungle 2 Jungle Karen
1998 Deep Impact Sarah Hotchner
1998 A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries Charlotte Anne "Channe" Willis Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Newcomer
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress – Feature Film
1999 Never Been Kissed Aldys Martin
1999 Eyes Wide Shut Milich's daughter
2000 Here on Earth Samantha "Sam" Cavanaugh Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout Performance
2001 My First Mister Jennifer
2001 Joy Ride Venna Wilcox
2001 The Glass House Ruby Baker
2002 The Idol Sarah Silver
2002 Max Liselore von Peltz
2006 Lying Sarah
2006 Heavens Fall Victoria Price
2006 In a Dark Place Anna Veigh
2006 The Wicker Man Sister Honey
2006 The Elder Son Lolita
2007 Walk All Over Me Alberta
2007 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Muriella Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
2007 88 Minutes Lauren Douglas
2009 Finding Bliss Jody Balaban
2009 Night Train Chloe
2009 Public Enemies Polly Hamilton
2010 Acts of Violence Olivia Flyn
2012 Branded Abby Gibbons
2016 The Last Film Festival Stalker filmed in 2010

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1995–1996 Charlie Grace Jenny Grace Main role
1996 Grace Under Fire Lucy Episode: "Positively Hateful"
1996 NewsRadio High school girl Episode: "Arcade"
1998 F/X: The Series Tanya Episode: "Evil Eye"
1999 Joan of Arc Joan of Arc Miniseries
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2001 Uprising Tosia Altman Miniseries
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
2003 Les Liaisons dangereuses Cécile de Volanges Miniseries
2005 Hercules Deianeira Miniseries
2010 Drop Dead Diva Samantha "Sam" Colby Episode: "A Mother's Secret"
2011 The Good Wife Alexis Symanski Episode: "Breaking Up"
2012 NYC 22 Jennifer Perry Main role

References[edit]

  1. ^ According to interview at a fansite: Leelee Sobieski (2006). "Interview" (Interview). Interviewed by Eric Mitchell. leeleesobieski.com. Retrieved May 15, 2009.[permanent dead link] See also "People Summary". www.veromi.net. Archived from the original on September 6, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2011; Aaron Hillis (2010). "Leelee Sobieski's Blissful Adulthood". IFC.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved June 22, 2011; Thailan Pham (August 22, 2010). "Leelee Sobieski's Big Apple Baby: Daughter Lewi!". People. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011. Some sources incorrectly give her birthdate as 1982: Samantha Miller (November 12, 2001). "Blithe Spirit". People. Archived from the original on February 5, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2009; "Don't Walk All Over Leelee", News of the World Sunday Magazine, 2008-02-03, p28; "Celebrity birthdays on June 10". The Miami Herald. Retrieved November 23, 2010; "On This Day". learning.blogs.nytimes.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Remember '90s 'it girl' Leelee Sobieski? Here's why she left Hollywood". Irish Independent. April 20, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hass, Nancy (May 16, 1999). "SHOPPING WITH: LEELEE SOBIESKI; Just Your Average 16-Year-Old". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Girl, uninterrupted". Google Books. September 1, 2000. pp. 114–123. ISSN 1522-9149. Archived from the original on January 28, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
  5. ^ "Jean Sobieski mentioned in the record of Jean Sobieski and Elizabeth S Salomon". FamilySearch. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "America Online: Deep Impact". LeeleeSobieski.com. Archived from the original on June 14, 2001. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
  7. ^ "Leelee Sobieski's Sobering Take on Terror". Jewish Exponent. November 1, 2001. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2007.
  8. ^ "The Jewish Journal". The Film No One Wanted. Archived from the original on May 16, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
  9. ^ Grigoriadis, Vanessa. "Little Leelee". New York. Archived from the original on August 2, 2001. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d "'Painting Was Always My Goal': Former Actress Leelee Kimmel on Why She Gave Up Hollywood for Art | artnet News". artnet News. February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  11. ^ Vassiliou, Yianni (2008). "24 things in the life of Leelee Sobieski". Wound Magazine. London (3): 50–53. ISSN 1755-800X.
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  15. ^ Franklin, Garth. "Joy Ride". Dark Horizons. Retrieved November 22, 2010.[permanent dead link]
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  19. ^ "Hercules". Entertainment Weekly. January 17, 2005. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved November 20, 2010.
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  22. ^ Scott, A.O. (September 2, 2006). "The Wicker Man (2006)". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  23. ^ "88 minutes (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  24. ^ "88 minutes". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
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  26. ^ Lister, Joan (February 9, 2010). "Leelee Sobieski Vehicle FINDING BLISS Acquired". Alt Film Guide. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  27. ^ Lumenick, Lou (June 4, 2010). "Memories porn again on-screen". New York Post. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  28. ^ Ausiello, Michael. "Exclusive: 'Drop Dead Diva' retains Natasha Henstridge". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved November 23, 2010.
  29. ^ "Dennis Hopper 'had enormous charisma' on the set of movie "The Last Film Festival" before cancer diagnosis". New York Post, Page Six. April 30, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
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  32. ^ Harnick, Chris. "CBS Orders Robert De Niro-Produced Cop Drama 'The 2-2,' 'Unforgettable' and 'How to be a Gentleman'" Archived October 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. AOL TV. May 16, 2011
  33. ^ "Leelee Sobieski Keeps Daughter Away From Modern Technology" Archived September 3, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Starpulse. June 2, 2011
  34. ^ Duray, Dan (2018). "In the Studio With an Actress-Turned-Painter". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  35. ^ "Artist Leelee Kimmel Attracts a Buzzy Crowd to Her First Solo Exhibition". Vogue. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  36. ^ "Artist Leelee Kimmel Attracts a Buzzy Crowd to Her First Solo Exhibition". Vogue. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  37. ^ "Leelee Kimmel: Wormhole". Simon Lee. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  38. ^ AnOther (July 13, 2018). "The Extraordinary Actress-Turned-Artist Painting Electricity". AnOther. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  39. ^ "Why Leelee Kimmel traded the silver screen for the art gallery - Interview Magazine". Interview. December 8, 2017. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  40. ^ Janet Weeks. TV Guide; May 15, 1999; Pages 38 – 42
  41. ^ "Leelee Sobieski.com". Leeleesobieski.com – In Person Interview. Archived from the original on October 24, 2006. Retrieved August 23, 2006.
  42. ^ "Leelee Sobieski Engaged To Designer". Access Hollywood. July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on August 22, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  43. ^ "Leelee Sobieski Engaged?". Starpulse.com. July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  44. ^ "Leelee Sobieski is Engaged". Us Weekly. July 17, 2009. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009.
  45. ^ "Leelee Sobieski Welcomes Daughter Louisanna Ray". People. December 18, 2009. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
  46. ^ "Leelee Sobieski Gives Birth, Welcomes Second Child With Husband Adam Kimmel". Yahoo. November 10, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  47. ^ "Leelee Sobieski '88 Minutes' Interview with Kam Williams". Newsblaze.com. 2008-04-18. Archived from the original on 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
  48. ^ "Leelee Sobieski – Virgin Until Age 26". WTM.org. 2011-05-11. Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-21.
  49. ^ Abrahamson, Rachel Paula (April 19, 2016). "Find Out Why 'Never Been Kissed' Actress Leelee Sobieski Left Hollywood". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on May 1, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.

External links[edit]