Alison Pill

Alison Pill

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Alison Pill
Alison Pill at PaleyFest 2013.jpg

Pill at the 2013 PaleyFest
Born (1985-11-27) November 27, 1985 (age 32)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater Vaughan Road Academy
Occupation Actress
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Joshua Leonard (m. 2015)
Children 1

Alison Pill (born November 27, 1985)[1][2] is a Canadian actress. A former child actress, Pill began her career at age twelve, appearing in numerous films and television series. She transitioned to adult roles and her breakthrough came with the television series The Book of Daniel (2006). That same year, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance in The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2006).

Pill had prominent roles in the films Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), Plain Truth (2004), Milk (2008), Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Midnight in Paris (2011), Zoom (2015), the television series In Treatment (2009), The Pillars of the Earth (2010), The Newsroom (2012–14) and American Horror Story: Cult (2017).

Early life[edit]

Pill was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her father, a financier, is Estonian.[3][4]

Pill attended Vaughan Road Academy,[5] where she was in its Interact program, designed for students interested in dance, music, athletics, and theatre.[6] She also attended National Ballet School of Canada.[7]



Pill decided to embark on an acting career when she was 10 years old. As a member of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, she was chosen to narrate one of their performances. Her mother tried to discourage Pill by getting her a job as a background performer on the series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. By the time she was 11, she’d played a guest role on an episode of the kids’ series The New Ghostwriter Mysteries. At 12, she landed roles in two TV movies and a mini-series, a guest appearance on the TV series PSI Factor and voiced a character on an animated series. After roles in two more television movies, she landed her first feature film role, a small budget Canadian movie called The Life Before This in 1999, followed by the role of Jacob’s older sister Marfa in Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang. Pill played roles in four more TV movies before the age of fourteen.

The next year, she landed a small role in Skipped Parts in 2000 starring Drew Barrymore and Mischa Barton, then appeared in four more TV movies and features that year, including playing Farrah Fawcett‘s daughter in the TNT network movie Baby and a lead role in the Canadian film The Dinosaur Hunter, which was originally intended to be shown at a dinosaur museum and on a provincial education channel, but which made its way to the Burbank International Film Festival, winning Pill an award for Best Child Actress. She landed the role of young Lorna in the ABC-TV biopic Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows in 2001, based on the memoir by Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft. That year, Pill also played Sissy Spacek’s daughter in the TV flick Midwives.[8]

In 2003, she played Katie Holmes‘ sister in the indie feature Pieces of April. Pill won the lead in the CTV-TV movie Fast Food High, about a teenager who gets a job at a fast food restaurant and tries to set up a union. She also landed a supporting role in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen in 2003, starring Lindsay Lohan. Pill ventured off into stage acting, with the New York City staging of None of the Above as the first item in her theater credentials. This was followed by The Distance From Here, On the Mountain, Blackbird, and Mauritius.[9] In 2006, she starred as Grace Webster in the short-lived NBC drama The Book of Daniel. That same year, she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Mairead in Martin McDonagh‘s The Lieutenant of Inishmore.[10] Because of her busy work schedule, Pill’s schooling was done through a program for youngsters in the business. Since graduating from high school, Pill moved to New York to pursue a career in theatre, but continued to work in movies such as Dan in Real Life in 2007.


Pill had a major supporting role as campaign manager Anne Kronenberg in the Oscar-winning 2008 film Milk.

In 2009, she performed with Erin Hill & her Psychedelic Harp playing the Twilight Zone-inspired “Meredith Moon” and “The Real North Pole” sci-fi Christmas Harp.[11] Pill was cast as April on In Treatment. She later played Kim Pine in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, as well as in Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation. She portrayed Empress Maud in the miniseries The Pillars of the Earth. In theatre, Pill starred with Abigail Breslin in Broadway’s The Miracle Worker. She has worked with Woody Allen twice, as Zelda Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris and as Hayley in To Rome with Love.[12]

She has starred in short films including Denise in 2012 with Chris Messina and Santa Baby in which she sang and danced. In 2016, she appeared in Cover Up by Satya Bhabha with Jason Ritter, to be released at the LA Shorts Fest, and Woman in Deep, where she played a woman who calls a suicide prevention hot line and is put on hold, directed by Janicza Bravo.[13]

In a new theater production of Wait Until Dark, Pill starred as a blind woman who must fend for her life. She also starred in the film Snowpiercer, alongside Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, which was released in 2013. From 2012 until its ending in 2014, she appeared in Aaron Sorkin‘s HBO series The Newsroom as Maggie Jordan. Pill appeared in Cooties starring Elijah Wood.[14] In Zoom, Pill played Emma, an aspiring comic book artist. She had a part in Hail, Caesar! as Eddie Mannix’s wife.[15] Pill is attached to star in Sook Yin-Lee’s Canadian indie Octavio is Dead, a role that will chase her late father’s ghost in Mexico City. Pill starred in Goon: Last of the Enforcers as Eva Glatt, Glatt’s love interest in first movie Goon, now married to Glatt. Pill was part of the cast of The Family as Willa Warren. In 2016, Pill co-starred with Jessica Chastain in the EuropaCorp thriller Miss Sloane.[16] In 2017, she joined American Horror Story: Cult, starring as Ivy Mayfair-Richards, one of the main characters of the storyline.

Personal life[edit]

Pill was engaged to actor Jay Baruchel from 2011 to 2013. Baruchel made their engagement public when he thanked Pill as his fiancée during an acceptance speech at the Genie Awards in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.[17] Baruchel alluded to their break-up in a Twitter posting on February 16, 2013.[18]

Pill became engaged to actor Joshua Leonard in January 2015.[19] They were married on May 24, 2015 after a four month long engagement.[20] They have a daughter, Wilder Grace Leonard, born on November 19, 2016.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s Camp Out Party Friend #2
1999 The Life Before This Jessica
1999 Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang Shapiro/Marfa
2000 Skipped Parts Chuckette Morris
2002 A.W.O.L. Patient Short film
2002 Perfect Pie Marie (age 15)
2003 Pieces of April Beth Burns
2003 Fast Food High Emma Redding
2004 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen Ella Gerard
2004 The Crypt Club Liesl Short film
2004 Dear Wendy Susan
2007 Dan in Real Life Jane Burns
2008 Milk Anne Kronenberg
2009 The Awakening of Abigail Harris Abigail Harris Short film
2009 One Way to Valhalla Dale
2010 Goldstar, Ohio Kendra Harper Short film
2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Kim Pine
2011 Midnight in Paris Zelda Fitzgerald
2011 Portraits in Dramatic Time Alison Pill
2011 Goon Eva
2012 To Rome with Love Hayley
2012 Denise Denise Short film
2012 Santa Baby Alice Short film
2013 Snowpiercer Pregnant Teacher
2014 Cooties Lucy McCormick
2015 Zoom Emma Boyle
2016 Hail, Caesar! Mrs. Mannix
2016 Woman in Deep Birdie Short film
2016 Cover Up Emma Short film
2016 Miss Sloane Jane Molloy
2017 Goon: Last of the Enforcers Eva Glatt
2017 Normcore In post-production
2018 Backseat Mary Cheney Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1997 The New Ghostwriter Mysteries Lucy Episode: “Moving Parts”
1998 Fast Track Alexa Stokes Episode: “Real Time”
1998 Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal Sophie Schulman Episode: “The Night of the Setting Sun
1998 The Last Don II Bethany Episode: “1.1”
1998 Anatole Paulette (voice) 5 episodes
1998 Degas & the Dancer Marie van Goethem Television film
1998 Stranger in Town Hetty Television film
1999 Locked in Silence Lacey Television film
1999 God’s New Plan Samantha Hutton Television film
1999 Different Sally Reed Television film
1999 Redwall Cornflower (voice) 13 episodes
1999 Dear America: A Journey to the New World Remember Patience Whipple Television special
1999 Poltergeist: The Legacy Paige Episode: “Forget Me Not”
1999 A Holiday Romance Fern Television film
2000 Redwall: The Movie Cornflower (voice) Television film
2000 Traders Andrea Exter Episode: “Hawks”
2000 The Dinosaur Hunter Julia Creath Television film
2000 The Other Me Allana Browning Television film
2000 Baby Larkin Malone Television film
2001 Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows Young Lorna Luft Television film
2001 Midwives Constance Danforth Television film
2001 What Girls Learn Tilden Television film
2002 The Pilot’s Wife Mattie Lyons Television film
2003 An Unexpected Love Samantha Mayer Television film
2004 What Katy Did Katy Carr Television film
2004 A Separate Peace Beth Television film
2004 Plain Truth Katie Fisher Television film
2006 The Book of Daniel Grace Webster 8 episodes
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Lisa Ramsey Episode: “Wrongful Life
2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Kelsey Murphy Episode: “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
2009 In Treatment April 7 episodes
2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation Kim Pine (voice) Television short
2010 The Pillars of the Earth Princess Maude 8 episodes
2012–2014 The Newsroom Maggie Jordan 25 episodes
2014 7p/10e Alison Episode: “Day 16”
2014 Therapy Lucy Episode: “1.1”
2014 Dinner with Friends with Brett Gelman and Friends Herself Television short
2016 The Family Willa Warren 12 episodes
2017 American Horror Story: Cult Ivy Mayfair-Richards 9 episodes

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Song
2004 Lindsay Lohan “Drama Queen (That Girl)”
2010 Owen Pallett Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
2010 Nick Casey “Medicine”


Year Website Title
2016 Funny or Die “Honest Phone Sex For Married Couples”
2016 WeatherFrom “Angel and Demon”


Year Title Role Venue
2003 None of the Above Jamie Ohio Theatre[22]
2004 The Distance From Here Jenn MCC Theater[23]
2005 On The Mountain Jaime Playwrights Horizons[24]
2006 The Lieutenant of Inishmore Mairead Lyceum Theatre[25]
2007 Blackbird Una Manhattan Theater Club[26]
2007 Mauritius Jackie Biltmore Theatre[27]
2008 reasons to be pretty Steph Lucille Lortel Theatre
2010 The Miracle Worker Anne Sullivan Circle in the Square Theatre[28]
2010 This Wide Night Marie Peter Jay Sharp Theatre[29]
2011 The House of Blue Leaves Corrinna Stroller Walter Kerr Theatre[30]
2013 Wait Until Dark Susan Geffen Playhouse[31]
2015 The House That Jake Built Iama Theatre Company[32]
2017 The Night of the Iguana Pasadena Playhouse
2018 Three Tall Women C John Golden Theatre

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2000 Burbank International Children’s Film Festival Best Child Actress Performance The Dinosaur Hunter Won
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot – Supporting Young Actress Degas and the Dancer Nominated
2001 Best Ensemble in a TV Movie (Shared with cast) The Other Me Nominated
2002 Best Performance in a TV Movie or Special – Leading Young Actress What Girls Learn Nominated
2003 Gemini Awards Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series The Dinosaur Hunter Nominated
2004 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play (Shared with cast) The Distance From Here Nominated
Outstanding Ensemble Performance Won
2005 Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Featured Actress On the Mountain Nominated
2006 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Play The Lieutenant of Inishmore Nominated
2007 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actress in a Play Blackbird Nominated
2008 Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Lead Actress Nominated
2009 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (Shared with cast) Milk Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Ensemble Cast (Shared with cast) Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Award Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series In Treatment Nominated
2011 Best Original Song (Shared with cast) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance This Wide Night Nominated
Gemini Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series The Pillars of the Earth Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Ensemble Acting (Shared with cast) Midnight in Paris Nominated
2012 Gold Derby Awards Ensemble Cast (Shared with cast) Nominated
2013 Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film Goon Nominated
2014 Virtuoso Award Best Breakthrough Performances The Newsroom Won

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