A daughter of an NFL player, Melissa Sagemiller has began performing arts at the age of three and debuted on stage in a local production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” at age nine. After a brief modeling stint, she returned to acting and landed roles in films like Get Over It (2001), Soul Survivors (2001), Sorority Boys (2002), Love Object (2003) and The Clearing (2004).
Melissa will soon be seen alongside Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in the Coast Guard drama The Guardian and is currently filming her upcoming project, a comedy titled Mr. Woodcock, with Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon. On television, she could be seen as Gayle Bishop (2005-2006) on Showtime's one-hour drama "Sleeper Cell."
In July 2006, the 5' 6" tall actress was announced to have gotten engaged to “Sleeper Cell” co-star Alex Nesic after the actor popped the question to her in the south of France.
NFL Player’s Daughter
Childhood and Family:
A daughter of NFL’s New York Giants and Washington Redskins player, Melissa Sagemiller was born in Washington, District of Columbia, on June 1, 1974. She attended Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, and studied art history at University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She also took acting classes at Stella Adler Conservatory, Michael Howard Studio as well as at Stonestreet Film and Television Acting Workshop in New York City, New York.
At a very young age, Melissa Sagemiller has begun performing arts. She started to study tap, ballet, jazz and modern dances at age three and made her stage debut at age nine as Dill in a local production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a role that she got from an ad in the Washington Post. Afterward, she found herself regularly appeared on local stages.
But at age 14, Melissa switched to modeling after Eileen Ford discovered her in a Manhattan jewelry store. But after a brief modeling stint in New York and Paris, she decided to continue her study and enrolled at The University of Virginia. She also returned to her initial interest, acting; and began honing her skill at Stella Adler Conservatory, Michael Howard Studio as well as at NYC’s Stonestreet Film and Television Acting Workshop.
After appearing as a guest in a January 2000 episode of NBC's award-winning crime drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Melissa found her career really jumpstarted. In 2001, she was cast to play the supporting role of a former girlfriend of a popular high school basketball star (played by Ben Foster) in director Tommy O'Haver's teen musical comedy Get Over It, alongside Kirsten Dunst. That same year, she nabbed first starring role, as Cassie, a college student who begins having strange visions after her boyfriend (played by Casey Affleck) died in a devastating car crash, in writer-director Stephen Carpenter's teen psychological thriller movie Soul Survivors (alongside Wes Bentley and Eliza Dushku).
“I like drama. My first movie that I did, “Soul Survivors,” was a drama and I'm just drawn to that; that's sort of my forte.” Melissa Sagemiller.
Melissa followed it up with a role in Wallace Wolodarsky's campus style and cross-dressing comedy Sorority Boys (2002; starring Michael Rosenbaum and Harland Williams), as the leader of the alpha D.O.G (Delta Omicron Gamma) sorority and the love interest to Barry Watson's character. Giving the details about her role in the movie, Melissa said: “I basically play the leader of the D.O.G. sorority. She takes the three guys - three girls - in and helps them out, not knowing that they are guys. She ends up falling for one of those girls/guys in last-ditch effort to sort of find somebody to be with. Her attraction to the opposite sex wasn't working so decides to try something new. She's the love interest of the film.”
The following years saw Melissa played a young woman who was “transformed” into a rubber sex doll by her boyfriend (played by Desmond Harrington) in a 2003 romantic thriller written and directed by Robert Parigi, Love Object, and was featured with Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe in 2004 drama/thriller The Clearing, a directorial debut by Oscar-nominated producer Pieter Jan Brugge loosely based on a real kidnapping in the Netherlands. She was also seen in Matthew Cole Weiss' indie comedy Standing Still (2005; with James Van Der Beek, Mena Suvari and Adam Garcia) and played a beautiful stripper with a badly stained childhood in writer-director Lewis Helfer's comedy Life on the Ledge (2005; starring Lewis Helfer).
TV viewers could catch Melissa guest starring in a December 2005 episode of CBS' FBI missing person unit drama "Without a Trace" and playing Gayle Bishop (2005-2006) on Showtime's one-hour drama "Sleeper Cell." Back on the big screen, Melissa will soon be seen as Ashton Kutcher's love interest in the Coast Guard drama The Guardian. The film, helmed by Andrew Davis and also starring Kevin Costner, will hit theaters on September 29, 2006.
Melissa is currently on set filming her upcoming project with Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon, the comedy Mr. Woodcock, directed by Craig Gillespie.