Joan Allen

Joan Allen


8/20/1956, Rochelle, Illinois, USA

Birth Name


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Joan Allen is the daughter of Jeff and Dorothy Allen. She has two sisters, Mary and Lynn, and a brother, David. She attended Rochelle Township High School and was voted most likely to succeed. She later attended Eastern Illinois University in Charleston and later Northern Illinois University. Allen,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • Joan: (on her Oscar nomination for "The Contender") It's just wonderful to be nominated. You're one of just five women in the world and it's been so beneficial to my career. I got to meet some wonderful people. To be able to go up to Ellen Burstyn and say, 'I've loved your work for years'. That was just great.

    • Joan: (on her portrayal of the first female vice-president in "The Contender" in 2000) It's true. I was queuing up to vote in our election last year and some people were saying, 'I want you, you're the one I want', and I was like, 'It's just a role'.

    • Joan: (on meeting John Malkovich for the first time) I was really drawn to him and probably terrified at the same time. I didn't know what to make of him because I was just this naive little gal from a small town in northern Illinois.

    • Joan: (on the people she worked with at Steppenwolf Theatre Company) It was the most amazing, talented group. We could pick our seasons, cast who we wanted. I thought I was the luckiest person in the world. And that group of people is responsible for who I am today.

    • Joan: (on her role in "The Bourne Supremacy") It was one of the hardest roles I've ever done. The language was so unemotional it was almost impossible for me to memorize.

    • Joan: I just try and do the best with every role I get to do. Hopefully the experience in itself is a good experience and people will want to work with me.

    • Joan: I think in someways doing film is a little bit more parent friendly. It's less of a commitment and in someways that sort of facilities my personal life a little bit better in someways.

    • Joan: I was always much more shy. All I knew was that I loved to act. But I don't know about the other part of it. I'm not sure I had the chutzpah to go and prove yourself.

    • Joan: I'm hard to pin down. I tend to look different in films. I get recognised sometimes. But I just live my life. I get on the bus, I get on the subway, it's not a problem. I think of myself more as a character actor than that ingenue leading lady, who started out something like Michelle Pfeiffer, or Jessica Lange. I'm a bit quirkier than that.

    • Joan: I think the people who cast films tend to think of me in regard to strong women with integrity and a lot of it has been very good.