Canadian actress and director, born January 8, 1979. Beginning her career at the age of 4, she first came to national prominence in Road to Avonlea as the lead character Sara Stanley, and starred as the title girl in the miniseries version of Ramona (as in Ramona Quimby). She later became acclaimed for her roles in indie films, winning a Genie Award for My Life Without Me. Her first mainstream role was as Ana Clark in the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake, with other notable media including Go, eXistenZ, Splice, and the mini-series John Adams.She made her directorial debut with the film Away from Her, adapted from Alice Munro's short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain about a married couple, Grant and Fiona, whose relationship is strained when Fiona develops Alzheimer's Disease. It was an astounding critical success, winning seven of the eight Genie Awards it was nominated for. She claims that she enjoys both acting and directing as it uses different parts of her brain separately.She is also known for her political activism, being a prominent member of Canada's New Democratic Party. The impetus was her refusing to take off a peace sign that she wore to an award ceremony, much to Disney's chagrin. Their relationship soured and she left Road to Avonlea as a result. Another notable incident was when she directed a two-minute film, The Heart, supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation for the Academy Awards. When she found out that it was used to promote Becel margarine, she took her name off the film.