An actress whose performances combine understated passion with carefully modulated intensity, Pascale Bussières is one of the most compelling -- and most steadily employed -- members of the French Canadian and Canadian film industries. Thirteen years after she was born in Québec on June 27, 1968, Bussières broke into the acting profession as the star of Micheline Lanctôt's Sonatine (1984). A coming-of-age drama set in three parts, it featured Bussières as a young teen infatuated with a bus driver, and marked an auspicious debut for the actress.
Bussières would again collaborate with Lanctôt on the 1992 film Deux Actrices, in which she played a woman whose life is interrupted by the appearance of a disheveled older woman who claims to be her older sister. Her work in this film, along with her substantial roles in Charles Biname's internationally acclaimed Eldorado (1995) and the widely celebrated CBC miniseries Blanche (1993) did much to heighten Bussières' exposure.
Bussières garnered further recognition on the art house circuit with her starring turn as an unhappily married professor who falls in love with a seductive circus performer (Rachel Crawford) in Patricia Rozema's When Night Is Falling (1995), after which she went on to do steady work in both film and television. Among her more notable projects were Denis Villeneuve's Un 32 Aout Sur Terre, which was screened at the 1998 Cannes Festival, and Jeremy Podeswa's The Five Senses (1999), an ensemble drama that cast Bussières as an improbably well-appointed prostitute. In addition, the actress continued her collaboration with director Biname for the two films that completed the trilogy begun by Eldorado, Le Coeur Au Poing (1998) and La Beauté de Pandore (2000), the latter of which starred her in the title role of a woman who becomes involved in a disastrous affair with a married man.