Shawnee Smith has consistently put her versatile talents to use in the film, television, theatrical and musical arenas with much success. Her impressive career includes a co-starring role on an award-winning television show, which is now strong in syndication, and a variety of memorable roles in hit feature films. She also toured America and the U.K. fronting a rather extreme rock band called "Fydolla Ho".
A native of South Carolina, Shawnee's achievements began early in her career when she appeared in the movie Annie (1982). As a young actress, she was awarded the Youth in Film Award for Best Actress in a television film for her role in the CBS drama Crime of Innocence (1985) (TV). She was honored with the Dramalogue Critics Award for her performance in the theatrical production "To Gillian on her 37th Birthday". In the same year, she received rave reviews for her co-starring role with Richard Dreyfuss at the Huntington Hartford Theatre in "The Hands of its Enemy". Shawnee then starred in The Blob (1988) for Columbia Pictures, in the hit comedy Summer School (1987) for Paramount Pictures and in Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), also for Columbia Pictures. Those roles would be followed by appearances in such highly-acclaimed films as Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Armageddon (1998), Desperate Hours (1990) and Breakfast of Champions (1999).
Shawnee's television credits are equally as impressive, with a list that includes a regular role on the hit CBS comedy "Becker" (1998) as well as series regular roles on "The Tom Show" (1997) and "Arsenio" (1997). She appeared in the CBS television movies Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1997) (TV), I Saw What You Did (1988) (TV) and Face of Evil (1996) (TV), as well as the miniseries "The Stand" (1994) and "The Shining" (1997). Her recent film projects include The Almost Guys (2004), Saw (2004), a gritty, taut and terrifying film and the sequel Saw II (2005).
Satisfied with pushing the extremes in her critically-acclaimed punk/metal band "Fydolla Ho", Shawnee is working on her first solo record with Queens of the Stone Age producer Chris Goss.
|Christopher Kai' Mattoon'||(2005 - 2006) (divorced) 1 child|
|Jason Reposar||(1998 - 2003) (divorced) 1 child|
She still gets recognized by fans as Meg Penny from The Blob (1988) and loves it.
Smith has three children; a daughter named Verve, born in 1999, from her marriage to photographer Jason Reposar and a son named Jakson, born on December 12, 2005, from her brief marriage to musician Kai Mattoon. She gave birth to her third child, a boy, in March 2010.
She was writer/director James Wan's first choice to play the role of Amanda in the film Saw (2004). He was motivated by a crush he had on her since the age of 14. Fellow Saw alums Darren Lynn Bousman and Leigh Whannell have also made their crushes known during the DVD commentaries.
Can claim "military brat-hood" thanks to her father Jim, an Air Force officer. At the age of 16 she played an Air Force brat in the film Iron Eagle (1986).
Was 4 months pregnant with her son Jakson during the filming of Saw II (2005).
Is a triathlete.
Was pregnant with her daughter, Verve, throughout the first season of "Becker" (1998).
Hates horror films and has repeatedly admitted to being scared of her own movies.
Originally turned down the role of "Amanda Young" in Saw (2004) because it was upsetting her. She was offered the role a second time and accepted after seeing the original short film by James Wan and Leigh Whannell.
She is part of a desert-country rock band called Smith and Pyle with actress Missi Pyle. They digitally released their debut album, It's OK to be Happy, in July 2008. The band plays shows consistently in California along with performing at conventions for fans.
Formed her punk-rock band "Fydolla Ho" with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo and Skindred vocalist Benji Webbe as a small recording project. The band went on to release a full album, along with two EPs, and tour the United States and United Kingdom before officially splitting in 2004.
She home schools her children.
Acting is like a game of tennis. The better your opponent, the better you're going to play. I've had some of my best tennis matches with Tobin [Bell] because he's relentless about truth and has an incredible work ethic.
(On the jaw trap in Saw (2004)) It was heavy. I had this mouth piece I had to clamp down and they padded it up to try and get it as tight to my head as possible because I really had to fling myself around. If I do something like that, I just go all the way with it.
(On the role of "Amanda" in Saw (2004)) Amanda's been a great part to play over the years. She's my lucky strike. I take the scream queen title as an honor. I went from "Becker" (1998) to this character and they were so vastly different. Amanda's really changed, too. She gives a few, but she gets you. With any character I play, I gravitate to the juxtaposition and humor. It has been a fun ride.
(after winning a 2007 Eyegore award) This scares me [referring to the award statue], I can't bring it home because of my children, I can't watch my own clip, the ghouls at the entrance of tonight upset me, but I do want to say thank you to everyone.
(in reference to horror films) I don't like to see a scary image because it sticks in my mind. Which is maybe why I get hired to do the scary movies because I'm truly scared and upset.
(On the Smith and Pyle fanbase) I think the horror fans are surprised when they listen to the record and they actually like it. I mean it's country music, kind of, but it's produced by Chris Goss of Masters of Reality. It crosses a lot of boundaries.
(Comparing songwriting to acting) When you write a song you're writing it from your gut, so it's easier to connect with that than someone else's part that you're acting.
I remember being at the first screening [of Saw (2004)] at Sundance and you could feel the energy in the theater. It was incredible. You knew right there that this thing was going to be a hit. The first one was a really creative idea.
(On the role of "Amanda" in Saw (2004)) The great thing about Amanda is she gets to kick ass but she's also a woman of substance and depth and she's struggling. There is real drama. I see a lot of myself in her. The desire to build, the desire to serve something higher, and also the destructiveness.
As a woman I'm very endeared to her [Amanda Young] and I'm hoping other women will be endeared to her. Hopefully we can all learn something or be inspired in some positive way.
[on John Candy] I did get to know him a bit while we filmed Who's Harry Crumb? (1989). If he could have been a fraction as kind, supportive, and giving to himself as he was to every single person around him then I think he'd still be with us today. That was the tragedy. I think [Candy's performance in] Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) best defines who he was as a person. It breaks your heart.
Music is so much fun because each song is like a film in itself. You get to go from beginning to end and interact and exchange energy with a live audience.
They're [TV and film] very different. TV is obviously a lot quicker paced. I think film requires a lot more patience and concentration and each day you're keeping the entire picture in your head throughout a two to three month film shoot. Whereas TV, especially half hour, is like doing a play a week or live theater.
[on working with Ted Danson] There's no bigger star than him in TV and he couldn't be more of a self-effacing, down-to-earth team player. He sets the tone and it's just a pleasure.
[on hiding her pregnancy while filming Saw II (2005)] It was for the best not to tell them because they would have made changes and it would have been a different movie.
(November 2009) Performing at "The Mint" in Los Angeles, CA alongside Missi Pyle and their band, "Smith and Pyle".
(April 2010) Writing and recording new songs with Missi Pyle at Rancho de la Luna in preparation for the second Smith & Pyle album.
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