Arsinée Khanjian - Rotten Tomatoes

Arsinée Khanjian



Muse and wife of director Atom Egoyan, Arsinee Khanjian has managed to appear in all of the filmmaker's projects without being typecast into narrow, predictable roles. Bearing the kind of strong, dark features that lend themselves to her portrayals of enigmatic women of character, Khanjian has proven herself to be one of the screen's more compelling actresses, enlivening the films of both her husband and those of such directors as Olivier Assayas.



Born in 1958 to Armenian parents living in Lebanon, Khanjian was raised in Beirut. Due to the country's dangerous political situation, her family moved to Montreal when she was 17. Strongly encouraged by her family to get a good education, she studied theatre in French at the Conservatoire Lasalle and received an undergraduate degree in Spanish and French at Concordia University. It was while she was pursuing her master's degree in political science that Khanjian met future husband and creative partner Egoyan at an audition for his feature debut, Next of Kin (1984). Cast in a starring role in the drama -- which centered on a young man's search for his heritage and identity -- Khanjian moved to Toronto and finished her M.A. at the University of Toronto. She worked as an administrator for the Ontario Arts Council until the mid-'80s before quitting to pursue acting full-time; throughout the rest of the decade, Khanjian continued to appear in lead and supporting roles in Egoyan's films, doing particularly memorable work as a near-catatonic hotel maid in Speaking Parts (1989).



The next decade brought with it increasing recognition and acclaim for Khanjian, who, in addition to starring in Egoyan's films, was also making a name for herself on television and the stage. She benefited from the increasing amount of international attention being paid to her husband's work, turning in well-received performances in both The Adjuster (1991) -- which cast her as a film censor with some kinky pastimes -- and Calendar (1993), an uncharacteristic comedy in which Khanjian played a translator opposite Egoyan. In 1994, the prize-winning success of Egoyan's Exotica at Cannes helped to introduce the actress to a wider audience; her portrayal of a pregnant strip club owner in the dark, labyrinthine film was strong enough to allow her to stand out from a talented cast that also included Elias Koteas, Don McKellar, and Mia Kirshner.



After a turn as a distressed and very naked hotel room occupant in Olivier Assayas' widely acclaimed Irma Vep (1996), Khanjian played the grieving mother of a young boy killed in a bus crash in Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter (1997). In the wake of the film's great international triumph, the actress -- who was by now being referred to as one half of the royal couple of Canadian cinema -- again worked with Assayas, this time as a woman forced to deal with the impending death of her ex-lover (François Cluzet) in Fin août, début septembre (1998). Khanjian's subsequent collaboration with Egoyan was probably her most recognized to date: cast as the domineering cooking show-celebrity mother of a future serial killer (Bob Hoskins) in 1999's Felicia's Journey, the actress impressed a number of international critics with her humorous, slightly demented performance.



In addition to her work in film, Khanjian has remained active on the Canadian stage and television, garnering a 1999 Genie Award for her performance in the TV series Foolish Heart.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
58% The Cut
  • Mrs. Nakashian
2015
83% Eden
  • Renée
2015
No Score Yet Atlit
  • Actor
2015
82% Nobody Else But You
  • Juliette Geminy
2012
No Score Yet Mujin chitai (No Man's Zone)
  • Actor
2012
62% Adoration
  • Sabine
2008
No Score Yet The Lark Farm
  • Armineh Avakian
2007
No Score Yet Stone Time Touch
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Citadel
  • Actor
2006
41% Where the Truth Lies
  • Publishing Executive
2005
No Score Yet Sabah
  • Sabah
2005
No Score Yet Sabah - A Love Story
  • Actor
2005
55% Ararat
  • Ani
2002
73% Fat Girl
  • Mother
2001
75% Code Unknown (Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages)
  • Francine
2000
No Score Yet For My Sister
  • Actor
2000
88% Felicia's Journey
  • Gala
1999
82% Late August, Early September
  • Lucie
1999
84% Last Night
  • Streetcar Mother
1998
100% The Sweet Hereafter
  • Wanda Otto
1997
No Score Yet Ms. Scrooge
  • Libba Cratchit
1997
91% Irma Vep
  • American Woman
1996
97% Exotica
  • Zoe
1994
100% Calendar
  • Translator
1993
73% The Adjuster
  • Hera
1992
No Score Yet Montreal Vu Par... (six Variation Sur Un Theme(
  • Actor
1992
100% Speaking Parts
  • Lisa
1989
No Score Yet Family Viewing
  • Aline
1987
No Score Yet Next of Kin
  • Azah Deryan
1984
No Score Yet Essential Egoyan
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet Looking For Nothing
  • Actor

Quotes from Arsinée Khanjian's Characters

No quotes approved yet.