Actress Julia Sarah Stone was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was shy as a child, more interested in solitary pursuits like reading than in competitive activities. She got an early start in acting, being part of a theatre class when she was six years old. She remembers messing up her single line during the performance, but being drawn to the rush of performing. She couldn’t wait to get out and try it again. The teachers there made an impact on her because they made it a safe place for her to discover her own voice.
One of the things Stone loves about Canada is the abundance of arts programmes that allow children to try different activities to find out what they like, to explore and discover who they, and to find their passions, giving young people the tools to grow and thrive. What Stone has always loved about theatre is the non-judgmental space that lets you indulge your curiosity, to learn, and be free to make mistakes in a safe way.
In high school, Stone was a studious teen, focusing her time on keeping up her grades, and finding solace in the theatre. She came to see high school as a place to observe and learn about people, observing all of their rawness, concerns and insecurities. She went on to study psychology at University of British Columbia, an interest which she has brought into her acting work as well.
Stone’s first film role came at age 13 in the film The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, for which she won a Young Artist Award. In 2013 she appeared as a regular cast member on season 3 of the TV thriller The Killing. In 2015 she won a Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Female for the film Wet Bum. Despite sharing the screen with recognizable and celebrated stars like Anne Heche, Evan Rachel Wood and Molly Parker, Stone says she is rarely recognized in public…and she’s fine with that. For her, success means constantly learning and growing through her work, not being stopped for selfies. She does get stopped in public more frequently in the United States than in Canada, but she suspects that’s because Canadians are just too polite to approach strangers.
Now 20 years old, Stone is still finding her way professionally and personally. She loves psychology for the same reason she loves acting: exploring why people act the way they do, and understanding the truths that drive humanity and motivate our actions even when we’re not aware of it. She loves researching for a role and creating a backstory and motivation for her characters.
Being able to represent Canada onscreen is something Stone feels is truly special, as so much of the media we consume as Canadians comes from elsewhere. Thanks to her work filming in different locations, Stone has been able to see different corners of Canada, and take in its beauty from all angles. Now that she is travelling regularly for work, Stone doesn’t see Vancouver as much. But it will always be home. She loves the diversity of peoples and cultures and the way the area’s Indigenous heritage is embedded all over the region. She is drawn to the mountains, the forests, and even the rain, which she says gives Vancouver a smell unlike any other place. “It has everything that makes Canada beautiful,” she said. That’s the kind of home-grown pride we love at REEL CANADA, and we’re proud to call Julia Sarah Stone one of our RBC Emerging Artists. You can see her in Bruce McDonald’s Weirdos as part of the REEL CANADA catalogue.
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