Selma Blair is an American actress who rose to fame for her portrayal of Cecile Caldwell in the teen drama, Cruel Intentions (1999). Although she swayed towards the performing arts ever since she was a young girl, her early aspirations were not to become an actress, but a ballerinaーit wasn’t until she was in college that she first began to express interest in acting. While studying photography at Kalamazoo College, she took part in a production called, The Little Theater of the Green Goose. Realizing the charm of being on stage, she made the decision to enrol herself in drama lessons at the Stella Adler Conservatory after relocating to New York City; she later also attended classes at the Stone-street Screen Acting Workshop and the Column Theater. Ultimately, it was during one of her classes that she gained the attention of an agent, who recognizing her potential, signed with the aspiring actress. After starring in a couple of advertisements, she made her television debut in The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1995) at the age of twenty three.
Continuing with her ritual of attending auditions, Blair later made small appearances in multiple series including The Dana Carvey Show (1996), Amazon High (1997), Soldier of Fortune, Inc. (1997), and Promised Land (1998). Around that same time, she also made her feature film debut in the romance comedy, The Broccoli Theory (1996), playing the part of a “Pretzel Cart Lesbian”. Three years after breaking into the entertainment scene, she scored her first lead role in the film, Brown’s Requiem where she starred opposite of Michael Rooker. However her real breakthrough was in 1999, when she landed main parts in the teen drama, Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane and the romance movie, Cruel Intentionsーthe latter of which earned her a MTV Movie Award, amongst two nominations (e.g. Best Kiss, Best Female Performance). From then until now, Blair has also received two Young Artist Awards (e.g. Exciting New Face, Next Generation), and two Teen Choice Award nominations (e.g. Choice Actress in a Comedy Film, Breakout Performance on TV).
Since then, many lead roles have come Blair’s way including that of Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), The Big Empty (2005), The Poker House (2008), and Dark Horse (2011). On television, she has also starred in the comedy series, Kath & Kim (2009), and Anger Management (2012). In 2009, the actress even returned to the stage for a main part in Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries at the Alley Theatre. Aside from acting, Blair has also been interviewed as a guest on many talk shows such as The View (2004), The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2009), Entertainment Tonight (2009), FabLife (2016), The Talk (2016), and Bookaboo (2016).
So what has the television, film, and theatre actress been up to nowadays? What has she been working on recently? What happened to Selma Blair? Where is she now in 2017?
Selma Blair’s Childhood and Early Life
Born on June 23, 1972, in Southfield, Michigan, Selma Blair Beitner is the daughter of Elliot I. Beitner and Molly Ann Cooke, an attorney and a judge. The youngest in the family, she grew up in a Jewish household with her three sisters. As a child, she went to Hilley Day School, a private Jewish school located in Farmington Hills and dreamt of becoming a ballerina. It wasn’t until she took part in a production of Murder in the Cathedral as a freshman in Cranbook Kingswood that she first considered the possibility of becoming actress. Following her graduation, she relocated to New York City where she, for a brief period, stayed at The Salvation Army. Eventually getting back on her feet, she enrolled herself at NYU and began taking acting lessons at the Stella Adler Conservatory.
Wanting to further hone her acting skills, she later took up drama classes at the Stone-Street Screen Acting Workshop, and the Column Theatre. As fate would have it, it was ultimately during one of her classes, that Blair was spotted by an agent who happened to be present. Signing on with him, she began attending various auditions in hopes of making her professional debut as an actress. Although she faced many rejections, like many aspiring performers, she pressed on and eventually landed a role in a breakfast commercial in 1994. The following year, she made her television debut in the comedy drama, The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1995)ーshe was twenty three at the time. Over the next couple of years, Blair went on to appear in The Dana Carvey Show (1996), Amazon High (1997), and Soldier of Fortune, Inc. (1997); she also made her feature film debut in The Broccoli Theory in 1996.
After playing various small roles, she finally received a breakthrough in 1999, when she was cast as a title character in the teen sitcom, Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane.
Selma Blair’s Breakthrough as an Actress
Created by Sue and Daniel Page, Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane premiered on The WB Network on January 17, 1999. Featuring an opening theme by My Friend Steve, its premise revolved around the lives of a group of close friends in New York CityーZoe Bean (played by Blair), Duncan Milch (played by David Moscow), Jack Cooper (played by Michael Rosenbaum), and Jane Cooper (played by Azura Skye).
While the first season followed them during their everyday high school life, the second seasonーwhich later aired after the new millenniumーcentred around them as college students. Her first major role on television, Blair’s on-screen performance in the series garnered her some much needed attention as a budding actress at the time; it also led her to receive a Teen Choice Award nomination for “Breakout Performance – TV” in 1999. A year and a half after its debut, Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane came to an end on June 11, 2000.
Shortly after securing the part on the teen drama, Blair also landed a lead role in the teen drama film, Cruel Intentions (1999). Adapted from a French novel written by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, it centred around the manipulative antics of two teen step-siblings (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Ryan Phillippe) in upscale Manhattan, New York. While it was originally intended to be a small independent film, Columbia Pictures later picked up the project and produced it on a $10.5 million budget. A box office success upon its theatrical release on March 5, 1999, it went on to gross over $75 million worldwide. Despite being a financial hit however, Cruel Intentions was generally met with mixed reviews from critics; it currently holds a score of 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. For her portrayal of Cecile Caldwellーthe daughter of a wealthy couple who recently moved into the city, Blair received an MTV Movie Award for the category of “Best Kiss”, which she shared with co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Highlights from Selma Blair’s Continued Acting Career
The following year, she worked with director Kris Isacsson in the romantic comedy, Down to You alongside Julia Stiles and Freddie Prinze, Jr. Released in theatres on January 21, 2000, the film depicted the story of a young man, who falls in love with the woman of his dreams, only to have their relationship ended in the summer; as he tries to recover from the heartbreak, he finds himself resorting to desperate measures. While Prinze and Stiles portrayed the respective couple, Blair played the part of Cyrus, a flirtatious woman who also happens to work as a porn actress. Upon its theatrical release, Down to You grossed $7.6 million at the box office and ranked number two at the US box office. Despite its initial performance however, it soon proved to be a commercial flopーhaving only taken in $24.4 million altogether from a $35 million production budget.
In the summer of 2001, Blair starred in yet another comedy called, Legally Blonde. Adapted from a novel of the same name by author Amanda Brown, it focused on a sorority girl named Elle Wood who works to attain a law degree in attempts of winning back her ex-boyfriend; as the movie progresses, she eventually finds herself helping to clear the name of a fitness trainer who has been wrongly accused of murdering her husband. Opened in theatres on July 13, 2001, Legally Blonde was met with critical acclaim. Although some criticized it for its formulaic and predictable storyline, the general consensus remained positive. While actress Reese Witherspoon played role of Woods, Blair took on the role of her friend, Vivian Kensington. Filmed at multiple universities in California, it was a massive commercial success, earning well over $140 million by the end of its theatrical run. Nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the category of “Best Motion Picture: Musical or Comedy”, it has since been included on Bravo’s list of “Top 100 Funniest Movies”.
In 2004, the actress received another big break when she was cast as one of the lead characters in the supernatural superhero film, Hellboy. Based loosely on a graphic novel by Mike Mignola, it centred around Hellboy (played by Ron Perlmann)ーa demonic beast-turned-superhero who secretly works to keep the world safe with the help of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defence. In the movie, Blair played the supporting character of Liz Sherman, a young woman with pyrokinetic abilities; other members of the cast include John Hurt, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor and Doug Jones. Well received upon its release on April 2, 2004, Hellboy grossed over $23 million during its opening weekendーit later earned over $99 million worldwide. Lauded for its cinematography and production values, it received four Saturn Award nominations and an Imagen Award for “Best Director in a Feature Film”. Although Hellboy didn’t garner Blair any awards per se, it is one of the best-performing films that she’s taken part in. Four years after its premiere, a sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) was released, in which she reprised her role as Liz Sherman.
Since then, Blair’s filmography has grown to encompass over seventy different rolesーa few noteworthy highlights include Kath & Kim (2009), The Diary of Anne Frank (2011), Columbus Circle (2012), and Anger Management (2012). In 2009, she also took to the stage in a production of Gruesome Playground Injuries at the Alley Theatre.
What’s Selma Blair Doing Now in 2017 – Recent Updates
This past year, Blair has been busy filming for an upcoming horror thriller called, Mom and Dad (2017). Written and Directed by Brian Taylor, it will centre around a teen girl and her younger brother as they try to survive 24 hours after a mass hysteria of unknown origins cause parents to violently attack their own children. Aside from he actress, Mom and Dad will also be featuring the acting talents of Nicolas Cage, Theresa Cook, Joseph D. Reitman, and Anne Winters.
In other news, the 44-year-old actress recently had an incident 30,000 feet above ground in which she was rushed to hospital in a stretcher following an outburst on the aircraft. According to reports, the occurrence was attributed to a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs. While the event proved to be “embarassing” for Blair, she has since taken full responsibility and has not looked back.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date with the celebrity star, you can follow Selma Blair on Twitter at @SelmaBlair.