|Date of Birth
||12 September 1986,
|Place of Birth
|| New York, New York, USA
It would seem that 2004, the year of her 18th birthday, will be remembered as pivotal for Emmy Rossum due to her appearance in two very different films, The Day After Tomorrow (2004) and The Phantom of the Opera (2004). Emmy's performance in the latter film gained her a Golden Globe nomination, and should assure that she will be a memorable presence in many films to come.
Being born and raised in New York City provided Emmy with the perfect place to start her professional career. After passing an audition at the Metropolitan Opera when she was 7 years old, she performed in more than 20 operas in six different languages at Lincoln Center, alongside such figures as Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. She was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in "Carmen." She left the opera when she entered her teenage years, as she had grown too tall to perform as a child. Emmy also appeared in a Carnegie Hall presentation of "The Damnation of Faust."
In a change of venue, Emmy created the role of Abigail Williams in the daytime soap opera "As the World Turns" (1956) in 1999 and branched out in performances in the made-for-television movies Genius (1999) (TV) and The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000) (TV), in which she played the title character as a young teenager. Other television work included "Snoops" (1999), "Law & Order" (1990), and "The Practice" (1997).
Emmy made her theatrical feature debut in the indie film Songcatcher (2000), which won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2000. Rossum received an Independent Spirit Award nomination in the category of Best Debut Performance for her performance as an Appalachian orphan. She played an aspiring songwriter (the title character) in the romantic comedy Nola (2003). Cast as the ill-fated daughter of a small-business owner in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River (2003), she projected an aura of innocence that made her character's tragic death memorable and heartbreaking. This was her first major studio film.
After six months of filming her role as the fresh-faced but highly intelligent heroine of The Day After Tomorrow (2004) in Montreal, the 16-year-old returned to New York and screen-tested for the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (2004) in full costume and makeup, and was finally selected for the part by Andrew Lloyd Webber after singing for him at his home. Although she was surprised to be chosen ahead of many better-known and older actresses considered for the part, the combination of her vulnerable, fragile beauty and fine, classically trained singing voice ultimately proved that she was perfectly cast. In preparation for the role, she took ballet classes for two months and started polishing her singing. Emmy has commented that, in her approach to acting, she draws heavily upon her own experiences, so she visited locations in Paris and conjured up what she terms "past memories" to draw upon in making her performance emotionally realistic. She stood on the roof of the Opéra Garnier, where Christine sings "All I Ask of You," and went underneath the opera house, where there is actually a gloomy, dark lake. She studied Degas's paintings of ballerinas in the Musée d'Orsay to learn how to stand like one.
Emmy attended the private Spence School in Manhattan through the seventh grade, then finished high school using tutors and the Internet (through Stanford University). She is now enrolled at Columbia University and has already completed a course in art history, inspired by her study of Degas in Paris.