Road to the Emmys 2012: The Actress

Emily VanCamp cut her teeth in television with sizable supporting turns on “Everwood” and “Brothers & Sisters,” but even those couldn’t truly prepare her for her current role on the hit rookie series “Revenge.”

But then again, what could? As Emily Thorn/Amanda Clark, VanCamp is front and center alongside Madeleine Stowe in a fast-paced sudser that calls on her to laugh, cry, romance, scheme and kick ass — sometimes all before the first commercial break.

“I really wanted the next thing I do to be challenging and take me in a different direction,” VanCamp says. “This has certainly been a challenge and it’s a much bigger load, so at first it was a little more intimidating. But in so many ways, this is where I want to be.”

The toughest part of the role, she says, is “balancing the good and the evil” of her character at all times.

“It’s a fine line to walk, to find moments of vulnerability even though she does all these things,” she says. “It’s a fun dance for me.”

Dancing is actually something VanCamp is very comfortable doing, having performed since she was 3 years old in Port Perry, Ontario. When she was 12, she attended the prestigious L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, the official training program of Les Grand Ballet Canadiens.

“Ballet is intensely rigorous, and I just didn’t love it as much as other kids in the school,” she says. “So I decided to go on another path and took acting for fun.”

In addition to her series roles on TV, VanCamp also starred in the 2009 bigscreen pic “Carriers” as well as telepics including “Ben-Hur” and “Beyond the Blackboard” for Hallmark Hall of Fame. Her first role of note was as a young Jackie Bouvier in a 2000 TV movie.

“I didn’t know what a mark was,” she recalls. “Fake it until you make it, they say, and pretend like you know what you’re doing. I climbed the ropes through experience really, not training.”

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more