Emmanuelle Grey "Emmy" Rossum was born on September 12, 1986, in New York City, New York. She is an actress and singer-songwriter. She has starred in movies including Songcatcher, An American Rhapsody, and Passionada. Her role in Mystic River garnered her wider recognition. She starred in the blockbuster film The Day After Tomorrow and received critical acclaim for her performance in The Phantom of the Opera. She has since starred in Poseidon, Dragonball: Evolution, Dare and Beautiful Creatures.
In 2007, Emmy released her debut album, Inside Out. She also released a Christmas EP the same year, titeled Carol of the Bells. She currently stars on the Showtime dramedy Shameless (US), as Fiona Gallagher.
Emmy was born in New York City. She is the only child of Ceryl Rossum, a single mother who worked as a corporate photographer. Emmy's mother is Jewish and her dad Protestant. Emmy has stated that her mother instilled her in the "Jewish code of ethics and morals." Part of her family immigrated from Russia. Her mother's family is Russian Jewish and her father has English and Dutch ancestry. Her parents separated while her mother was pregnant; as of 2007, she had met her father twice. She was named after her great-grandfather, whose first name was Emanuel, using the feminine spelling Emanuelle. She is a relative, by marriage, of designer Vera Wang.
Upon singing "Happy Birthday" in all twelve keys, Emmy was welcomed to join the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus by chorus director Elena Doria at the age of seven. Over the course of five years, she sang onstage with the chorus and had the chance to perform with other opera greats, such as Pládico Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. For anywhere from $5 to $10 a night, Emma sang in six different languages in 20 different operas, including La bohème, Turandot, a Carnegie Hall presentation of La damnation de Faust, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She also worked under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli in Carmen. Emmy joked in interviews that her vocal talent and affinity for music developed because her mother always listened to classical music and operas while she was pregnant with her.
By age twelve, Emmy had grown too big for children's costumes. An increasing interest in pursuing acting led to taking classes with Flo Salant Greenberg of The New Actors Workshop in New York City. She also hired an agend and auditioned for many acting roles. Emmy attended the Spence School, a private school in Manhattan, for years, before dropping out to pursue career opportunities. She received her high school diploma at 15 years old via online extension courses offered by Stanford University's EPGY. She later attended Columbia University.
Acting CareerEmmy's television debut was in 1997, making a guest appearance on Law & Order as Alison Martin. In 1999, she had a recurring role as the original Abigail Williams in the long running daytime soap opera As the World Turns. She also had a guest role as Caroline Beels in Snoops. Emmy was nominated for a Young Artist Award in 1999 for Best Performance in a TV Movie for her work in the made-for-TV film Genius. Following that movie, she portrayed a young Audrey Hepburn in the ABC TV film, The Audrey Hepburn Story. Emmy made her silver screen debut in 2000's Songcatcher as Deladis Slocumb, an Appalacian orphan. Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, the film won the Special Jury Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. For her role, Emmy received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance and also had the opportunity to sing a duet with Dolly Parton on the Songcatcher soundtrack. Variety magazine named Emmy as "One of the Ten to Watch" in 2000.
In Nola, Emmy played the title character, who was an aspiring songwriter. In her first major sudio film, Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, Emmy starred as Katie Markum, the ill-fated daughter of small business owner Jimmy Markum, played by Sean Penn. As Katie, Emmy was said to have "projected an aura of innocence that made her character's tragic death memorable and heartbreaking.Following Mystic River, Emmy had a breakthrough role as Laura Chapman in the Ronald Emmerich eco-disaster The Day After Tomorrow. She later returned to New York, where she was the last to audition, in full costume and make up, for the conveted role of Christine Daae in the on-screen adaption of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Following an international search for talent and having nearly missed the audition on account of a family engagement, Emmy was asked to audition in person for Webber at his home in New York. "When I arrived, he just said, 'Shall we?' meaning I was to sing. And I did," Emmy has said of the audition. After seeing her audition, Webber felt she proved her ability to play the young opera singer who becomes the opject of the Phantom's obsessive love. For her role as Christina Daae, Emmy received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a musical or comedy. She was the youngest actress ever to be nominated for that particular award. She also received a Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actress, along with a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor and other awards.
In 2006, Emmy appeared in Poseidon. She played Jennifer Ramsey, the daughter of Kurt Russell's character, Robert Ramsey. As Jennifer, she is described as a 19-year-old heroine, because she is not a damsel in distress, and is very proactive and strong in all situations. Rossum also appeared as Juliet Capulet in a 2006 Williamstown Theatre Festival production of William Shakespeare's Romeon and Juliet. In early 2009, Emmy appeared in Dragonball Evolution. Emmy described her action role in Dragonball as the hardest thing she's ever done.Her next big screen venture was the indie Dare which was an official selection of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In November 2009, Emmy appeared in Broadway's 24 Hour Plays in whihc actors, writers, and directors collaborate to produce, and perform six one act plays withint 24 hours to benefit Urban Arts Partnership. Emmy appeared in Warren Leight's Daily Bread, directed by Lucie Tiberghien.
In the summer of 2011, Emmy starred in DJ Caruso's social film, Inside. Sponsored by Intel and Toshiba, the online film aired in several segments, incorporating multiple socila media platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Inside used the ideas from the fans to shape the plot, as well as have contests to have fans make cameo appearances throught via Facebook videos. In 2012, in addition to filming the third season of Shameless, Emmy signed onto two film projects. The first was a supporting role in Beatiful Creatures, which was released in 2013, and was based on the popular young adults fantasy novel of the same name. The second was a lead in the drama You're Not You, opposite Hilary Swank. In June 2013, it was announced that Emmy would play the female lead opposite Justin Long in the indie romantic comedy Comet. Shortly after wrapping filming on Comet in July 2013, Emmy was back at work, shooting another film called Curfew in New York. Curfew is a feature film loosely based on the 2012 Oscar winning short film of the same title. In addition to Emmy the film also stars Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Fatima Ptacek who will reprise her role from the short film.
In December 2009, Emmy joined the cast of the Showtime dramedy series pilot Shameless, based on the hit British series of the same name. In April 2010, Showtime announced that they would be picking up the series for a full season twelve episodes. Production began in September 2010 and continued through the fall with shooting taking place in Los Angeles and Chicago. The show was renewed for a second season on February 28, 2010.
Music careerAfter her role in The Phantom of the Opera, Emmy was offered several deals to record classical albums, but refused, opting to create an album of contemporary, more mainstream music, "I was inspired to cut this album, because I'm so frustrated listening to the radio these days," Emmy lamented. "There is so little emotional honesty." Regarding the sound and style of her music, she said, "It's pop music, but not Britney Spears bubblegum pop. I want it to have a David Gray or Annie Lennox feel. I've been spending up to 12 hours a day in the studio." Emmy citeds Sara McLachlan, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Faith Hill as some of her influences. Emmy's album Inside Out was produced by Stuart Brawley. It was released on October 23, 2007 and peaked at 1999 in the US charts. For the promotion of the record, Geffen Records featured the song, "Slow Me Down," as part of the second volume of Hollywood Records' Girl Next compilation album, which Yahoo's "Who's Next" artist of the month and a "One to Watch" by MSN. In December 2007, Emmy released three Christmas songs on the EP Carol of the Bells. It was also this year that Emmy sang the national anthem at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway and performade at the first ever Perez Hilton Presents evening at the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood. On October 27, 2007, Rossum again sang the national anthem at the New Jersey Devils' first home game of the 2007-08 NHL season, which was also the first game the team played in the newly constructed Prudential Center. She also performed at the Hollywood Christmas Celebration at the Grove in Los Angeles, and the Lighting of the Great Tree in Atlanta, Georgia.
She joined Counting Crows, Augustana, and Michael Franti & Spearhead as a "special guest" for select performances of the "Traveling Circus and Medicine Show" tour in the summer of 2009. In 2010, Emmy sang a song called "Cruel One" on singer Alex Band's debut solo album We've All Been There. On the track she sings with Band, and Chantal Kreviazuk. The song is available on the album's deluxe edition.
In November 2012, Emmy announced that her second album would be released on Warner Bros. Records. Sentimental Journey was released on January 29, 2013. Unlike Inside Out on which Emmy wrote the songs herself, Sentimental Journey is a collection of covers of classic songs that span the '20s to the '60s Emmy selected these songs because "Classic, jazz and standards really infused my childhood and so it felt quite natural to finally make this record." Emmy designed the album as a musical calendar that takes the listener through an emotional journey over all the months of a year. "Each song needed to either lyrically or emotionally reflect the corresponding month." Sentimental Journey peaked at 92 on the US Charts. It also hit number one on the US Billboard Charts Top Jazz Albums.
Emmy describes herself as a lyric soprano, though she admits her voice is still developing. She continues to train vocally at ZajacStudio, Inc, a studio run by soprano Joann C. Zajac.
Charity Work and Public Service CampaignsEmmy is a YouthAIDS ambassador. She is also the official spokesperson for "PiNKiTUDE". Additionally, Emmy is an environmentalist. She has appeared in several Public Service Announcements for the NRDC Action Fund. She also works with Global Green USA to raise money for environmental protection and awareness of ecological issues. On May 26, 2009, Emmy attended a march in West Hollywood portesting the California Supreme Court's ruling to uphold Proposition 8.
Emmy dated French heir and art dealer David Wildenstein from 2004 to 2005. Emmy married music executive Justin Siegel in February 2008. He filed for divorce on September 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, citing irreconciable differences. In October 2009, Emmy was reported to be dating Counting Crowas frontman Adam Duritz with whom she had toured during the summer of 2009. Emmy and Duritz broke up in September 2010, and her divorce from Siegel was finalized three months later in December 2010.
Emmy dated her co-star Tyler Jacob Moore from the show Shameless from 2011 to 2013.
Emmy has celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body cannot tolerate any foods containing gluten. she revealed her condition on MTV News after being given a cupcake on-camera to celebrate her 22nd birthday; she was only able to eat the frosting. Emmy has stated that she is "a spiritual person, but not especially religious." In April 2012, Shalom Life ranked her Number 6 on its list of "the 50 most talented, intelligent, funny, and gorgeous Jewish women in the world."