Deborah Kara Unger biography
Deborah Kara Unger
Date of Birth: May 12, 1966
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Deborah Unger studied philosophy and economics at the University of Victoria before becoming the first Canadian accepted into the Australian National Institute of Art.
"When I graduated from high school," she says, "I had artistic and academic scholarships, and I was trying to figure out what to do. I decided to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Juillard and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, Australia. As it happened, the National Institute's were the first auditions because their seasons are the opposite of ours. I phoned them and said, 'What is required?' and I remember this very, very taciturn secretary said, 'Well, darling, basically you gotta be able to breathe and speak and be believable.' And I thought to myself, Faaaantastic! I happened to get in, and there's about 3,000 people who audition and they accept between 12 and 15 and I was their first Canadian. So I decided to not look a gift horse in the mouth."
After graduating in 1988, she began her career with appearances in Australian productions such as the mini-series Bangkok Hilton (1989) starring Nicole Kidman and the feature Prisoners of the Sun (1990) with Russell Crowe. Eventually Unger began making her way into American films and now divides her time between working in the States on films such as The Salton Sea (2002) alongside Val Kilmer and Thirteen (2003) starring Holly Hunter, and working on Canadian projects such as Emile (2004) with Ian McKellen. She has received two Genie nominations for her roles in Sunshine (1999) and Between Strangers (2002). Some of her more recent film titles include Silent Hill (2006), Shake Hands With the Devil (2007), Transparency (2010), The Maiden Danced to Death (2011), The Samaritan (2012) and A Dark Truth (2013).
In 2010 she won the Half-Life Award at the Action On Film International Film Festival.