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Jim Carrey

Q'orianka Kilcher Biography


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Birth Name: Q'orianka Kilcher
Born: 02/11/1990
Birth Place: Germany


With only one small role in a major motion picture under her belt, Kilcher was unexpectedly cast in the lead role of legendary Native American princess, Pocahontas, in Terrence Malick's ambitious "New World" (2005). After a casting call that used 13 casting directors worldwide auditioning over 800 actresses, Kilcher, who was right under the noses in Los Angeles, eventually got the part. Though wary of her young age-she was only 14 at the time of auditions-the filmmakers were impressed with Kilcher's maturity and discipline atop her considerable skills-qualities that will have assured the actress a considerable future in Hollywood.

Part Quechua/Hunchipaire Indian and part Swiss, Kilcher was born in Germany and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. She moved to the states with her mom and two older brothers when she was about five. Kilcher caught the acting bug around the same age-she sat in on her mom's acting classes and quickly fell in love with memorizing everyone's lines. She also was interested in singing, and even competed on the Ed McMahon version of "Star Search" (Syndicated, 1983-1995) but did not score a victory.

Kilcher then began singing alongside other street performers on the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica until the family's music and sound equipment was stolen from their van. The Los Angeles Times ran a front page story that attracted the attention of an agent at William Morris, who in turn offered to help the 9-year-old get auditions for films. A year later, Kilcher landed her first feature role in the hyperkinetic "Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000), Ron Howard's leaden attempt to channel Terry Gilliam, minus the humor and charm. Her role as a Little Choir Member went virtually unnoticed.

Following her brief big screen debut, Kilcher continued to go on auditions, mainly for older characters-a daunting challenge because the competition were usually older actresses vying for a younger part. She auditioned for Steven Spielberg's miniseries, "Into the West" (TNT, 2005), but failed to get the part. The casting director saw Kilcher's headshot on a table and thought she looked like an Indian Julia Roberts. Kilcher was suggested for Malick's upcoming epic, "The New World." After a grueling string of 15-20 auditions, Kilcher landed the part that changed her life and made her an overnight sensation. Her performance as the famed Native American princess who falls in love with British explorer John Smith (Colin Farrell) after saving him from execution earned the young actress critical kudos and the bright glare of the spotlight. And much like her stunning performance, Kilcher handled the adulation will grace, skill and gravitas. On the heels of her success, she began entertaining numerous offers and even expressed interest in action films because she was studying wushu kung fu.