A dancer throughout childhood, she switched to drama during high school with great success. An agent saw her perform and made what is commonly known as a discovery; thereafter, Carly Pope was auditioning for professional roles.
After becoming a high school graduate in 1998, Pope won her first
role, as a cheerleader, in the made-for-TV movie I've Been Waiting
for You, which she followed up with her first film role, in the
independent feature Disturbing Behavior.
After some acting experience under her belt, Pope returned to Canada to attend her first semester of college at the University of British Columbia, but she only completed the first six months. The WB had given her the nod to play Samantha McPherson on the new show Popular. With that, Carly packed up and moved to Los Angeles.
Upon arrival, Carly Pope immediately found film work, with roles in the made-for-TV movies Our Guys: Outrage at Glen Ridge and A Cooler Climate, which starred Sally Field and Judy Davis.
Fortunately for Carly Pope and co-star Leslie Bibb, Popular lived up to its name. Aside from winning a cult following, it earned the attention of industry watchers, who noted its impressive performance in the dreaded, 8 p.m. Thursday slot, going head to head with Friends. Additionally, it won Pope her own league of admirers as Sam, queen of the high school geeks.
But despite some critical acclaim, Popular was canceled in 2001, to the dismay of its fans. Carly Pope, however, did not remain in mourning for very long; she raised the bar for herself and became highly prolific. In 2001, Pope could be seen in the small-budget film Finder's Fee, directed by Survivor host Jeff Probst and co-starring screen legend James Earl Jones, and The Glass House, with Leelee Sobieski and Diane Lane.
The following year, Pope had a wider audience thanks to her role in the Jack Black vehicle, Orange County, and in 2003, she appeared in four television features, including the Canadian miniseries Hemingway vs. Callaghan.
Fans can still see Carly Pope in 2004: she is slated to appear in a recurring role in the sci-fi series The Collector, and the romantic comedy Window Theory.
Despite frequent homesickness, Carly Pope still lives in Los Angeles, flying home to Vancouver at least once every six months. She is a voracious reader and poet, and in addition to English, speaks Italian, French and Spanish. Though she plans on returning to university at some point, we are willing to bet that movies and television will keep her occupied just a little while longer.
"Did I feel s--y? Oh yeah... they had to tell me to close my legs and hide my nipples. Because I was ready to go all out. Ha ha!"
- Carly Pope, on her FHM photo shoot.
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