Emmanuelle Grey "Emmy" Rossum (born
September 12, 1986) is an American actress and singer-songwriter. She has
starred in films such as The Day After Tomorrow, Poseidon, The Phantom of
the Opera and Mystic River.
Rossum was born in New York City, New York, the only child of Cheryl, a
single mother who worked as a corporate photographer and an investment
banker. She was named after her grandfather, whose first name was Emanuel.
However, she was given the name Emmanuelle, using the feminine spelling.
Her parents divorced when her mother was pregnant. Rossum was raised by
her mother and has only met her father twice. She is Jewish. She is the
niece of Vera Wang, to whom she is related by marriage.
Upon singing "Happy Birthday" in 12 different keys, Rossum was welcomed to
join the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus by chorus director Elena
Doria. Over the course of five years, she sang onstage with the chorus and
had the chance to perform with other opera greats, such as Plácido Domingo
and Luciano Pavarotti. For $5–10 a night, Rossum sang in six different
languages, in 20 different operas, including La bohčme, Turandot, a
Carnegie Hall presentation of La damnation de Faust and A Midsummer
Night's Dream. She also worked under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli in
Carmen. Rossum joked in interviews that her vocal talent and affinity for
music developed because her mother always listened to classical music and
operas while she was pregnant with her.
By age 12, Rossum had grown too big for the children's costumes. An
increasing interest in pursuing acting led to taking classes with Flo
Salant Greenberg of The New Actors Workshop in New York City. She also
hired an agent, and subsequently, auditioned for many acting roles.
The year 1997 saw Rossum's television debut with a guest appearance on Law
& Order as Alison Martin.fsdfdsfd In 1999, she had a recurring role as the
original Abigail Williams in the long-running daytime soap opera As the
World Turns. She also had a guest role as Caroline Beels in Snoops. Rossum
was nominated for a Young Artist Award nomination in 1999 for Best
Performance in a TV Movie for her work in the made-for-tv movie Genius.
Following that movie, she portrayed a young Audrey Hepburn in the ABC TV
movie The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000).
Rossum made her big screen debut in 2000's Songcatcher as Deladis Slocumb,
an Appalachian orphan. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, the film
won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. For her
role, Rossum received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best
Debut Performance and also had the opportunity to sing a duet with Dolly
Parton on the Songcatcher soundtrack.
Variety magazine named Rossum as "One of the Ten to Watch" in 2000. In
Nola (2003), Rossum played the title character, who was an aspiring
songwriter. In her first major studio film, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River,
Rossum starred as Katie Markum, the ill-fated daughter of small-business
owner Jimmy Markum, played by Sean Penn. As Katie, Rossum was said to have
"projected an aura of innocence that made her character's tragic death
memorable and heartbreaking."
Following Mystic River, Rossum had a breakthrough role as Laura Chapman in
the Roland Emmerich eco-disaster film The Day After Tomorrow. She later
returned to New York, where she was the last to audition, in full costume
and make-up, for the coveted role of Christine Daae in the on-screen
adaptation of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.
Following an international search for talent, and having nearly missed the
audition on account of a family engagement, Rossum was asked to audition
in person for Webber at his home in New York. After seeing her audition,
Webber felt she proved her ability to play the young opera singer who
becomes the object of the phantom's obsessive love. For her role as
Christine Daae, Rossum received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best
Actress in a musical or comedy. She is the youngest actress ever to be
nominated for that particular award. She also received a Critics' Choice
Award for Best Young Actress, along with a Saturn Award for Best
Performance by a Younger Actor and other awards.
In 2006, Rossum appeared in Poseidon - Wolfgang Petersen's high-budget
remake of the disaster film The Poseidon Adventure. She played Jennifer
Ramsey, the daughter of Kurt Russell's character, Robert Ramsey. As
Jennifer, she is described as a 19-year-old heroine because she is not a
damsel in distress, and is very proactive and strong in all situations.
Rossum also appeared as Juliet Capulet in a 2006 Williamstown Theatre
Festival production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
In early 2009 Rossum appeared in Dragonball Evolution. Rossum described
her action role in Dragonball as the hardest thing she's ever done. Her
next big screen venture was the indie Dare which was an official selection
of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
In December 2009 Rossum joined the cast of the Showtime drama series pilot
"Shameless". The series is based on the hit British series of the same
name. The pilot costars William H. Macy, Allison Janney and Justin
Singing and Recording
After her role in The Phantom of the Opera, Rossum was offered several
deals to record classical albums, but refused, opting to create an album
of contemporary, more mainstream music. Rossum said, "I was inspired to
cut this album because I'm so frustrated listening to the radio these
days. There is so little emotional honesty". Regarding the sound and style
of her music, she said, "It's pop music, but not Britney Spears bubblegum
pop. I want it to have a David Gray or Annie Lennox feel. I've been
spending up to 12 hours a day in the studio". Rossum cites Dolly Parton,
Madonna, Cher and Barbra Streisand as some of her influences.
Rossum's album, entitled Inside Out, was produced by Stuart Brawley. It
was released on October 23, 2007.
For the promotion of the record, Geffen Records featured the song, "Slow
Me Down", as part of the second volume of Hollywood Records' Girl Next
compilation album, which was released on July 10, 2007.
On June 24, 2007, Rossum sang the national anthem at the Toyota/Save Mart
350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway .
On September 30, 2007 Rossum performed at the first ever Perez Hilton
Presents event at the El Ray Theater in Hollywood
On October 27, 2007, Rossum sang the national anthem at the New Jersey
Devils' first home game of the 2007–08 NHL season, which was also the
first game the team played in the newly-constructed Prudential Center.
In November 2007 she was chosen as Yahoo's "Who's Next" artist of the
month and a "One to Watch" by MSN
In December 2007, Rossum released three Christmas songs on the EP Carol of
Rossum describes herself as a lyric soprano, though she admits her voice
is still developing.
In summer 2008 Rossum announced that she was in the process of writing and
recording her second album.
In the summer 2009, Rossum joined Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael
Franti & Spearhead as a "special guest" at select performances of the
"Traveling Circus and Medicine Show" tour.
Rossum is a 2001 graduate of the Spence School, a private school in
Manhattan. She received her high school diploma at 15 years old via online
extension courses offered by Stanford University's Education Program for
Gifted Youth (EPGY). She currently attends Columbia University.
Rossum is a YouthAIDS ambassador. She is also the official spokesperson
for "PiNKiTUDE" - a campaign to help raise breast cancer awareness.
Rossum is gluten-intolerant. She revealed to MTV News that she is allergic
to wheat after MTV News gave her a cupcake on-camera to celebrate her 22nd
birthday; she was only able to eat the frosting.
Rossum was married to music executive Justin Siegel for a year and a half
before he filed for divorce in 2009. Rossum is currently dating Counting
Crows frontman Adam Duritz.
"He had the most magnificent
apartment I had ever seen and I was floored by it. I went in and
started vocalising with the accompanist and Andrew walked in as we
were preparing. He didn't say hello, didn't introduce himself and
just sat down in front of me and said, 'Shall we?' I thought to
myself it was my one shot so I had better just stand up and do it,
so I didn't introduce myself, I nodded to the accompanist and I did
the two biggest numbers in the show. Then he stood up and said:
'That was great. I'm Andrew.'" [on her audition with Andrew Lloyd
Webber for The Phantom of the Opera (2004)].
"I'm a very rational person but I pray every day." (in reference to
a visit to a psychic who told her some accurate things about her
"The truth is, I probably didn't want to be friends with some of
those girls [from prep school], because I found that a lot of their
values were a little specious. Now, of course, all those girls are
calling me and being like, 'We should have lunch!' And I'm like, 'Um
. . . don't you remember how you didn't like me that much?'"
I'm heavy on preparation. . . . Some actors come to the set and
don't know what scene they're playing, but that would make me crazy.
It's not about control but perfectionism--my biggest vice and one of
my biggest assets.
"I'm convinced wearing those corsets for 14 hours at a time deformed
me for life," she says. "I was 16 years old and still growing at the
time of the shooting. I could barely breathe, and with Christine's
intense emotions I hyperventilated and almost passed out. I think
her name is Christine for a reason. She is Christ-like."
"In this one scene, it took three days to shoot and it's the scene
where my character passionately kisses her fiancé for the first
time. It was so complex with the snow coming down that it took three
days to shoot. By the end of the three days I'd kissed him so much
that my lips had swollen up--so much that I had to use an ice pack
in between takes. Hardship, I know!" In reference to kissing Patrick
Wilson in The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
"I like Descartes's theory about a ball of wax. You can change its
form from solid to liquid, but it's still the same ball of wax. With
acting, you are the same person in a different form. You can only be
what you know, and you only truly know yourself."
"Sean Penn and Clint Eastwood have told me that I shouldn't feel
that I need to be in the limelight or the spotlight all the time. A
career is about longevity, as shown in their careers. So, I really
want to only do the best things and work with the best people.
That's what I strive to do."
"I think of all my roles, I was best in "Genius".