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Roy Dupuis (born April 21, 1963) is a Canadianmarker actor best known for his role as counterterrorism operative Michael Samuelle in the television series La Femme Nikita. He is one of the most famous actors throughout French-speaking Canada, while throughout English-speaking Canada he has become known for portraying hockey legend Maurice Richard on television and in film, as well as Roméo Dallaire in the 2007 film Shake Hands with the Devil.


Dupuis was born Roy Michel Joseph Dupuis in New Liskeard, Ontariomarker to parents of French-Canadian descent. From early infancy until he was eleven years old, Dupuis lived in Amosmarker, Abitibimarker, Quebecmarker. The next three years he lived in Kapuskasingmarker, Ontariomarker, where he learned to speak English. His father was a traveling salesman for Canada Packers; his mother was a piano teacher. He has a younger brother and an older sister. When he was fourteen, after his parents divorced, his mother moved the family to Sainte-Rose, Laval, Quebecmarker, where he finished high school. After high school, he studied acting in Montrealmarker, at the National Theatre School of Canada (L'École nationale de théâtre du Canada), from which he graduated in 1986.

He lives southeast of Montrealmarker, in an 1840 farmhouse located on 50 acres (200,000 m²) of land which he bought in 1996 and which he has restored and renovated. He enjoys sports, particularly hockey, sky-diving, and golf. His hobbies include astronomy and physics (his interests in high school). He learned to play the cello as a boy and, at times, still plays, sometimes in dramatic roles. For the past few years, between television and film projects, he has been occupied with learning to sail; he owns a couple of sailboats, and he is custom-outfitting the larger aluminum-keeled vessel in preparation for extended ocean voyages.


While becoming an accomplished actor in Quebec and well-known in some of the rest of Canada, Dupuis performed in many theater productions, movies, and television series.

Among the stage roles that he has performed so far are: Luc in Michel-Marc Bouchard's Les Muses orphelines (The Orphan Muses), directed by André Brassard in 1985; Roméo in a Québécois adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Roméo et Juliette), directed by Guillermo de Andrea in 1989; and Jay in Jean-Marc Dalpé's Le Chien (The Dog), Adrien in Jeanne-Mance Delisle's Un Oiseau vivant dans la gueule (A Live Bird in Its Jaws), and Lee in a Québécois version of Sam Shepard's True West, all three productions directed by Brigitte Haentjens, in 1987-89, 1990, and 1994, respectively.

Roy Dupuis gained national celebrity virtually overnight as Ovila Pronovost in the "télésérie Québécoise" Les Filles de Caleb (also known as Emilie) when it premiered on Radio-Canada (1990-92), and he co-starred as the journalist Michel Gagné in four seasons of Scoop (1991-95). He was introduced to the American public on television as Oliva Dionne in Million Dollar Babies (1994)--Les jumelles Dionne: La véritable histoire tragique des quintuplées Dionne (The Dionne "Twins": The True Tragic Story of the Dionne Quintuplets). In the United States, he also debuted on the big screen in such film roles as Becker in Screamers (1995) and as John Strauss in Bleeders (1996), also known as Hemoglobin (1997) in the UK. In 1997 he began appearing as Michael Samuelle in the television series La Femme Nikita, also known as Nikita. Recently, he won a MetroStar Award for his role as Ross Desbiens in Le Dernier Chapitre: La Vengeance (2003), the sequel to Le Dernier Chapitre (2002), both filmed simultaneously in dual-language versions broadcast in French and English on Radio-Canada and the CBC, respectively.

Roy Dupuis's first appearance on film was in a 1987 short experimental work inspired by the 1926 avant-garde film Anémique Cinéma, by Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, featuring the same title.

Among Roy Dupuis' "tour-de-force" film performances are: Yves, in Being at Home with Claude (1991; Cannes, Un Certain Regard 1992)--his first major screen role—directed by Jean Beaudin, adapted from a screenplay by Johanne Boisvert based on the 1986 stage play by René-Daniel Dubois; and Kevin Barlow, in Manners of Dying (2004), the first feature film directed by Jeremy Peter Allen, adapted from his own screenplay based on the short story first published in the 1993 collection The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios and Other Stories by Yann Martel. His performance as Alexandre Tourneur in Mémoires affectives (2004), directed by Francis Leclerc, who co-wrote the screenplay with Marcel Beaulieu, has recently received awards.

In Maurice Richard (The Rocket), directed by Charles Binamé (Séraphin: un homme et son péché) and released in late November 2005, Roy Dupuis stars as French-Canadian ice hockey icon Maurice "Rocket" Richard, who played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1942 to 1960 and whom he portrayed previously on Canadian television in 1997 and 1999. Dupuis' own experience playing hockey and his ability to perform on the ice on authentic period hockey skates were useful for this film, in which several professional hockey players were cast in supporting roles. The film was nominated for the Jutra Award 2006 in fourteen categories, including Dupuis for Best Actor, but he did not win it. Leading the nominations for a Genie Award in thirteen categories, it won nine of the twenty-two awards on the night of Tuesday, 13 February, 2007, at the Carlu Event Theatre in Torontomarker, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Roy Dupuis.

In December 2005, Roy Dupuis completed filming That Beautiful Somewhere, based on the 1992 novel Loon, by Bill Plumstead its executive producer, and both set and filmed on location in North Bay, Ontariomarker. The film, directed by Robert Budreau, is produced by Lumanity Productions. Its world première was on August 26, 2006, at the Montreal World Film Festivalmarker (24 August to September 4, 2006); it was presented at Cinéfest Sudburymarker: International Film Festival (16-24 September 2006), at the Calgary International Film Festival (September 22-October 1, 2006), and at other film festivals, as well as broadcast on Canadian pay cable television, before it was released commercially in Canada in April 2007.

On location in Kigalimarker, Rwandamarker, in mid-June 2006, Roy Dupuis began filming the dramatic feature film Shake Hands with the Devil, in which he performs the principal role of Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) during the Rwandan Genocide. The film is based on Dallaire's autobiographical book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. After two months in Kigali, filming continued in Halifax, Nova Scotiamarker, in August 2006. Prior to its release, a "draft of the film" was screened as a courtesy by the producer, Laszlo Barna, to Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, and his cabinet, who found it emotionally very moving. The film was a "special presentation" at the Toronto Film Festivalmarker on 9 September 2007, and opened the 27th Atlantic Film Festival on 13 September 2007. Shake Hands with the Devil opened in theaters on 28 September 2007. For his performance as Dallaire, Dupuis won his second Jutra Best Actor award; in accepting it, "Dupuis dedicated his award to his mother, who died recently, as well as to Dallaire and the people of Rwanda."

In October 2006, along with Gabriel Byrne, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, and Susan Sarandon, he filmed Emotional Arithmetic, directed by Paolo Barzman and adapted by Barzman and Jefferson Lewis from the novel by Canadian writer Matt Cohen (1942-1999), who had written several drafts of a screeplay adaptation himself before his death. Dupuis plays Benjamin Winters, the "embittered" son of Melanie Lansing Winters (Sarandon) and her husband, David Winters (Plummer). The film closed the 2007 Toronto International Film Festivalmarker on 15 September 2007.

Although Le Journal de Montréal announced in October 2006 that Dupuis would be the leading actor in Nirvana, the next television series of director Patrice Sauvé, to be broadcast on Radio-Canada in January 2008, the project appears to have been abandoned.

In winter 2007, he participated in the improvisational short film directed by Francis Leclerc, entitled Revenir ("Return"), conceived, filmed, and screened during the 11th edition of Festival Regard, a festival of short films, held in Saguenay, Quebecmarker.

Later in 2007 and 2008, Dupuis began working on several new film projects, including: as Charles in Truffe ("Truffle"), directed by Kim Nguyen, produced by Renée Gosselin and distributed by Christal Films, whose world première opens the Fantasia Film Festival in Montrealmarker on July 3, 2008; as Mercier in "L'Instinct de Mort" ("Death Instinct"), aka "L'Ennemi public n° 1" ("Public Enemy, No. 1"), a feature film about notorious French gangster Jacques Mesrine, played by Vincent Cassel, directed by Jean-François Richet; as Mr. Turcotte in "Un été sans point ni coup sûr" ("A No-Hit No-Run Summer"), a baseball feature film set at the beginning of the 1960s adapted from the novel of that title by Marc Robitaille, directed by Francis Leclerc; as Scully in "The Timekeeper", an English-language feature film directed by Louis Bélanger;, as Irishman Liam Hennessy in André Forcier's "Je me souviens" and as another character named Charles in "Les doigts croches" (2008), directed by Ken Scott.

On March 18, 2008, after fourteen years, Dupuis returned to the stage for a limited run as Ian in a French translation of Blasted, the controversial first play by British playwright Sarah Kane (1971-1999). Jean Marc Dalpé's French version, Blasté, directed by Brigitte Haentjens for her company Sybillines Inc., also featured Céline Bonnier and Paul Ahmarani.

Civic and philanthropic activities

  • For two decades, Roy Dupuis actively supported the Mira Foundation, a non-profit, community organisation providing and training guide- and service dogs for blind and physically handicapped people.
  • Roy Dupuis is co-founder and co-president of the Rivers Foundation , an ecological organisation that protects the rivers of Quebec and their natural and cultural habitats from small hydroelectric dam projects and other environmental and economic threats, and to encourage, through education, the development of alternative energy sources.

Selected awards

Selected stage performances

Selected television work (TV-ography)

Selected filmography


  1. . Subsequent biographical information comes from this source.
  2. . Subsequent biographical information comes from this source.
  3. Sarah Hampson, "A Home Boy, Happy That Way," Globe and Mail 31 August 2002: R3 (Metro ed.).
  4. Les Règles du jeu: Roy Dupuis (The Name of the Game: Roy Dupuis. In French with English subtitles.), 23 mins., documentary film about Roy Dupuis completed in 2005 and first broadcast on Super Écran on 26 January 2006.
  5. Prod. Agent Orange Inc., with participation of Téléfilm Canada & Hammerhead Productions & the colloboration of Société Radio-Canada: Short experimental film featuring Roy Dupuis & Louise Bedard. Dir./conception Bernar Hébert; prod. Michel Ouellette; music Randall Kay; script Nicole Boutin; dir. of photography/cameraman David Franco. (Full clips of the film, providing these production details, are accessible on the internet via a variety of fansites.)
  6. Marise Strauss, " Rocket Sweeps Genies – Almost," Playback 13 February 2007, accessed 14 February 2007.
  7. Peter Howell, 'Rocket' Scores Genies Triple Hat Trick: The Rocket Scores Nine Genies, But Bon Cop, Bad Cop Takes Best Picture," The Toronto Star, 14 February 2007, accessed 14 February 2007. (Incl. photograph with caption "Roy Dupuis Wins Best Actor for The Rocket at the Genie Awards on February 13" and related links to other photographs from the award ceremony.)
  8. "Shake Hands with the Devil Reawakens Past in Rwanda", CBC, 10 August 2007, accessed 24 August 2007.
  9. Visa Screening Room Schedule", accessed 24 August 2007.
  10. For further updates and useful features, including a downloadable PDF press kit and production stills, see the film's official website at Shake Hands with the Devil, accessed 25 August 2007.
  11. Jay Stone, "Opening Reel Soon: Fall Movie Season Offers a Wealth of Selection", The Ottawa Citizen 25 August 2007, accessed 25 August 2007.
  12. The Canadian Press, "Keira Knightley Drama ’Silk’ among Winners at Quebec’s Jutra Awards", The Chronicle Journal (Thunder Bay, Ontario), 10 March 2008, accessed 16 March 2008.
  13. "Casting Adds Up for 'Emotional Arithmetic,'" Production Weekly 12 September 2006, accessed 15 September 2006. See also Agnès Gaudet, "Emotional Arithmetic: Roy Dupuis dans un film sur l'Holocauste," Le Journal de Montréal 15 September 2006, accessed 16 September 2006.
  14. Emotional Arithmetic, "Gala Programme Schedule", official website of the Toronto International Film Festival, accessed 24 August 2007.
  15. Marise Strauss, "Films by Branagh, Moore, Reitman announced for TIFF", Playback, 22 August 2007, accessed 24 August 2007.
  16. Maxime Demers, "Radio-Canada: Roy Dupuis dans Nirvana," Le Journal de Montréal 15 November 2006, rpt., accessed 22 February 2007.
  17. Dir. Francis Leclerc. Cf. Stéphane Bégin, "Un Record d'assistance pour la 11e édition: 20 000 festivaliers au rendez-vous" ("A Record Attendance for the 11th Edition [of Festival Regard]: 20,000 festival-goers at the event"), Le Quotidien (Chicoutimi, Quebec) 12 February 2007, accessed 14 February 2007: Revenir (literally, to "return" or "come back" or "go back"; or to "return home") is a short improvised film created with the participation of Roy Dupuis and Sylvain Marcel; it was conceived, directed, and filmed within 48 hours according to impromptu criteria, and then screened during the 11th Festival Regard sur le court métrage au Saguenay, Quebec. For some documentary footage of Dupuis and Leclerc engaged in the filming process, see "Roy Dupuis and Francis Leclerc", Flash, broadcast 12 February 2007 (video clip; in French), accessed 12 February 2007.
  18. "La SODEC termine sa ronde de décisions en longs métrages de fiction," SODEC communiqué (press release) 10 January 2007, accessed 13 March 2007 (in French).
  19. Brendan Kelly, " Truffe' to Kick Off Fantasia: Montreal's Fantasy and Genre Fest Bows July 3", Variety, 26 June 2008.
  20. .
  21. "Patrice Robitaille, Jacinthe Lagüe, Roy Dupuis et Guy Thauvette joueront pour Francis Leclerc", (news item) 5 June 2007, accessed 13 June 2007 (in French).
  22. "La SODEC annonce sa première ronde de décisions pour l'exercice 2007-2008", SODEC communiqué (press release) 23 February 2007, accessed 13 March 2007 (in French).
  23. Roy Dupuis at Agence Premier Rôle, accessed 29 June 2008.
  24. Christiane Charette, radio interview with Roy Dupuis, Radio-Canada, broadcast 26 January 2007, online posting of audio clip, ZapMédia, accessed 25 February 2007 (in French).
  25. "Blasté", Sybillines Inc. (company website), accessed 18 January 2008 (in French).

Selected references

Books and articles (print publications)

  • Hampson, Sarah. "A Home Boy, Happy That Way." Globe and Mail 31 August 2002: R3 (Metro ed.). Biographical account based on interview with Roy Dupuis.
  • Heyn, Christopher. "A Conversation with Roy Dupuis." Inside Section One: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita. Introd. Peta Wilson. Los Angeles: Persistence of Vision Press, 2006. 77-81. ISBN 0-9787625-0-9. In-depth conversation with Roy Dupuis about his role as Michael on La Femme Nikita, as well as his thoughts on acting and directing.
  • St-Denis, Danièle. Dans les peaux de Roy Dupuis. (In Roy Dupuis' Skins.) Outremont, Qc: Les Éditions internationales Alain Stanké, 2004. ISBN 2-7604-0955-4. Detailed account of Roy Dupuis' characters as embodied in some of his documented stage, television, and film performances.

Interviews and other articles (online publications)

Audio-visual sources

  • Les Règles du jeu: Roy Dupuis. (The Name of the Game: Roy Dupuis. In French with English subtitles.) 23 mins. Documentary film about Roy Dupuis completed in 2005 and first broadcast on Super Écran on 26 January 2006.

See also

External links

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