One of the most versatile actresses of her generation, currently working in both film and television, LINDA CARDELLINI (Joan Smith) is well-known for her portrayal of ‘Nurse Samantha Taggart’ on NBC’s highly-rated, critically acclaimed series, “ER,” and before this as teenager ‘Lindsay Weir’ on the Judd Apatow/Paul Feig television series, “Freaks and Geeks.”
She can be seen in the Netflix original series, “Bloodline,” with a cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Sam Shepard, Ben Mendelsohn and Sissy Spacek. “Bloodline” follows the close-knit Rayburn siblings in the Florida Keys as their world is turned upside down when their black sheep brother returns to town. Cardellini stars as ‘Meg Rayburn’ in the 13-episode series. All 13-eposides became available for streaming on March 20th, 2015.
Up next, Cardellini will be seen as the female lead in the Paramount Pictures film, “Daddy’s Home,” opposite Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Cardellini will co-star as a woman thrown as her loose cannon ex-husband re-enters her life after her recent second marriage. “Daddy’s Home” will be released in 2015.
Most recently, Cardellini co-starred in the indie comedy “Welcome to Me,” with an all-star cast that included Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, James Marsden and Wes Bentley. The film is directed by Shira Piven and debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014.
In 2013, Cardellini was almost unrecognizable, but turned heads, for her provocative portrayal of ‘Sylvia Rosen,’ ‘Don Draper’s’ married mistress, in a guest arc in the sixth season of the critically acclaimed AMC series, “Mad Men.” She received her first Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in A Drama Series” for her portrayal.
In February 2012, Cardellini starred as ‘Kelli’ in the independent film “Return,” opposite Michael Shannon and John Slattery, which earned Cardellini an Independent Spirit Award nomination as “Best Female Lead.” “Return” was featured in the Director’s Fortnight section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and was an official entry at The Deauville, London and Palm Springs International Film Festivals. “Return” follows ‘Kelli’ as she returns home from war and learns how to adjust to a slower, normal life.
Also in 2011, Cardellini co-starred in Jonathan Hensleigh’s independent feature film “Kill the Irishman,” alongside Christopher Walken, Ray Stevenson and Val Kilmer. The film was based on the true story of Danny Greene, a tough Irish thug working for mobsters in Cleveland during the 1970’s.
In 2008, Cardellini portrayed the lead role of ‘Julie Ingram’ in the feature film “The Lazarus Project” starring alongside actor Paul Walker. Directed by John Glenn, this thriller tells the story of a former criminal who is drawn into an illicit endeavor and subsequently finds himself living an inexplicable new life working at a psychiatric facility.
In 2005, Cardellini starred in the ensemble film “American Gun” for IFC Films alongside Donald Sutherland, Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden. “American Gun” was the debut feature of director/co-writer Aric Avelino, which was earned a Best Picture nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2007. In the same year, Cardellini delivered a heartfelt performance as a jilted lover in Ang Lee’s highly acclaimed drama, “Brokeback Mountain,” which garnered major accolades from critics, including an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe win for Best Picture and Outstanding Ensemble in a Motion Picture Drama by the Screen Actor’s Guild. It was upon working with Larry McMutry and Diana Ossana on this film, that they later cast her in CBS’s Hallmark Hall of Fame mini-series “Comanche Moon,” a testament to their trust in Cardellini’s talent and presence on screen.
Cardellini captured the hearts of young girls, boys and teenagers worldwide for her portrayal of ‘Velma’ in Warner Bros. pair of popular “Scooby-Doo,” “Legally Blonde,” Brian Robbins’ “Good Burger,” and Tom McLoughlin’s “The Unsaid” with Andy Garcia as well as in the Adam Sandler produced comedy, “Grandma’s Boy.”
On the small screen, Cardellini was most recently seen as a guest star as ‘Dr. Megan Tillman,’ in CBS’, “Persons of Interest.” The crime drama show was created by Jonathan Nolan and stars Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson and Michael Emerson.
Cardellini also lends her voice to a diverse group of animated series including Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay & Craig” wherein she plays ‘Megan,’ IFC’s “Out There” wherein she voices ‘Starla,’ and Disney’s “Gravity Falls,” in which she is ‘Wendy.’ Cardellini’s past voiceover work includes the role of ‘Bliss,’ the family daughter in the ABC animated television program, “The Goode Family.”
Cardellini also starred alongside Val Kilmer and Steve Zahn in the six-hour, epic mini-series for CBS entitled “Comanche Moon” in 2008, written by Larry McMurtry, (based on McMurtry’s novel of the same name) directed by Simon Wincer and executive produced by Diana Ossana. This western, which was the prequel to “Lonesome Dove,” (the television series created in 1989 by Larry McMurtry) aired on three consecutive evenings for two hours each night. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana is the same partnership behind “Brokeback Mountain,” for which they won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Cardellini first came to prominence starring as academic decathlete ‘Lindsay Weir’ on the celebrated NBC series “Freaks and Geeks,” which won an Emmy Award in the Category of “Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series.”
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Loyola Marymount University and completed a summer study program at the National Theatre in London. Cardellini currently resides in Los Angeles.