Roy was born on April 21st 1963, and from the age of 3 months was brought up in Amos in the Abitibi region of Quebec, Canada. At the age of 11 the family moved to Kapuskasing, Ontario where he first learned to speak English. His parents were divorced when he was 14, and he and his mother Ryna, sister Roxanne and brother Rodrick moved to the outskirts of Montreal.
Acting was not Roy's first career choice. He was studying physics, but after seeing Ariane Mnouchkine’s film Molière, he was bitten by the acting bug. His entry into drama school was unconventional to say the least. A friend had secured himself an audition at L'École National du théâtrè du Canada but then decided he no longer wanted to do the audition, so Roy took his place. Although he had bent the rules, director Michèle Rossignol was sufficiently impressed by his potential to offer him a place.
He graduated in 1986, and after a successful start in the theatre he began to be offered substantial roles in films and TV in 1988. Since graduating, Roy has never been out of work. Amongst his early films are such French-Canadian hits as Sortie 234 (Exit 234) and Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal), the former gaining an award at Montreal's Festival International du Nouveau Cinéma, while the latter was a Cannes Prix de Jury winner and nominated for an Oscar.
The relative anonymity he enjoyed during the early years was, however, shattered when the Les Filles de Caleb (Emilie) hit the TV screens of 80% of the population of Quebec, turning him overnight into a celebrity and gaining him several awards for his outstanding performance as Emilie’s husband, Ovila Pronovost. This was followed by a more prosaic role as a journalist in the TV series Scoop which ran for 4 seasons.
Meanwhile, in 1991 Roy starred as the gay hustler, Yves, in Jean Beaudin’s internationally acclaimed Being At Home With Claude, which was Canada's official selection at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. The following year he starred in Cap Tourmente as Alex O'Neil, which in 1993 earned him a Genie nomination for best interpretation in a lead role. Other leading roles in French followed - C’était le 12 du 12 et Chili avait les blues (Chili’s Blues), J’en Suis (Heads or Tales) - and increasingly English language roles too – Screamers (which marked his entry into mainstream US cinema), Waiting For Michelangelo and Hemoglobin/ Bleeders(US title). Roy also got the chance to show off his multilingual talents in the Venezuelan/ Canadian/ French co-production Passage des Hommes Libres (Out in the Open) in which he spoke both French and Spanish.
Before La Femme Nikita, he was probably best known in the English-speaking world for his portrayal of Oliva Dionne, the father of the Dionne quintuplets, in Million Dollar Babies. Although starring in 5 seasons (1996 – 2000) of La Femme Nikita left him little time for other projects, Roy played Maurice in the 1999 Robert Guy Scully production "Maurice Richard: The Story of a Canadien", a drama documentary on the life of the celebrated hockey star. He also had a tiny non-speaking cameo in Free Money, where his character enjoyed the privilege of being killed by Roy’s long-time hero, Marlon Brando.
When the final season of La Femme Nikita finished production at the end of 2000, Roy returned to Montreal for a few months’ well-earned rest, before returning to work on more local projects. The TV mini-series Le Dernier Chapitre/The Last Chapter, about biker gang warfare, broke new ground by shooting French and English versions simultaneously. Roy played disaffected gang leader Ross Desbiens. In complete contrast he also teamed up again with Chili’s Blues director Charles Binamé to star as love-interest Alexis Labranche in a remake of a period Quebec classic, Séraphin: Un Homme et son Péché (Seraphin, Heart of Stone), which became the province’s biggest grossing film to date. A second season of Le Dernier Chapitre/The Last Chapter – The War Continues followed, and perhaps second time round, Ross’ death in the finale might be for real!
He then entered the most productive period in his film career to date, combining leading roles with the occasional supporting role. First up was Denys Arcand’s Les Invasions Barbares (The Barbarian Invasions), which has enjoyed an international success similar to that of Jesus of Montreal, with Roy again playing a very minor part as a policeman. 2004/5 saw the release of a further six films, of which Mémoires affectives has brought him his first major acting awards for the big screen.
He is about to reincarnate for the 3rd time the part of Quebec hockey hero Maurice “Rocket” Richard, directed by Charles Binamé. This punishing schedule cannot be leaving him much time to develop the documentary he has often talked about making.
Roy lives in the countryside outside of Montreal with actress Céline Bonnier, his partner since 1994. They are unmarried and have no children. He appears to have given up the high-risk hobby of his youth (sky-diving) for the more sedate pastimes of golf and sailing. For many years he has been an active supporter of Foundation Mira (who provide guide dogs for blind children) and he has recently co-founded the Rivers Foundation to protect the rivers of Canada from exploitation by hydro-electric developments.… Expand
Roy Dupuis' Scores