Amanda Schull is a renowned actress from America, with a background in professional ballet. She gained fame for her leading role in the year 2000 movie, Center Stage, and has also been seen regularly in popular U.S. TV series like One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, and Suits. Additionally, she featured prominently in the Syfy series 12 Monkeys.
Childhood and Early Years
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Amanda is one of three children of Susan Schull, president of Ballet Hawaii. She received her primary and secondary education at Punahou School, and her ballet training at Hawaii State Ballet, under John Landovsky’s guidance.
She was given a ballet scholarship at Indiana University, which she attended at the age of 17. While studying there, she joined Delta Delta Delta and majored in ballet and journalism. During her second year, she participated in the Summer Intensive program at the San Francisco Ballet School. Her scholarship lasted for an additional year.
In 1999, when her scholarship concluded, she remained with the school as an apprentice. Following her appearance in Center Stage, she became a full-time member of the San Francisco Ballet’s corps de ballet.
Amanda Schull cinematic breakthrough came in 2000 when she landed the lead role of Jody Sawyer in the movie Center Stage. At that time, she was just an apprentice at the San Francisco Ballet. She bid farewell to the San Francisco Ballet in 2006 and took a trip to Australia in 2008 to star in the filmic adaptation of Li Cunxin’s Mao’s Last Dancer. The film, which was released in North America in 2010, featured Schull in the significant role of Elizabeth “Liz” Mackey, who is Li Cunxin’s girlfriend and later, his first spouse.
In 2009, Schull made guest appearances in various television series such as the Fox TV show, Lie to Me and the Lifetime Movie Sorority Wars, which featured Lucy Hale and Courtney Thorne-Smith. She also starred in One Tree Hill on The CW as Sara, Robert Buckley’s character Clay’s departed wife’s spirit and memory, as well as his potential love interest Katie Ryan. She made guest appearances in the Ghost Whisperer episode (Greek Tragedy) in 2009, and in episode 14 of Bones in 2010. She also made regular appearances as Meredith, Aria’s (played by Lucy Hale) father’s past love, on the ABC Family series Pretty Little Liars. Additionally, she was featured in an episode of Hawaii Five-0. In March 2012, she was seen in a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake commercial and later appeared in an episode of Psych in April. In 2012, she appeared in an episode of Grimm as Lucinda, a Cinderella-like character with a twist. In February 2013, she played Agent Naomi in an episode of Nikita (Black Badge). Schull has been playing Katrina Bennett in the USA Network’s Suits since 2013 and was promoted to a regular cast member for the eighth and ninth and final seasons of the show in March 2018.
In November 2013, Schull secured the role of Cassandra Railly in the television adaptation of 12 Monkeys, based on the 1995 film of the same name. The series was premiered on January 16, 2015.
A Ballet Dancer
Amanda Schull, initially gained fame as a professional ballet dancer. She is celebrated for her leading role in the 2000 movie Center Stage and her repeated appearances in renowned American TV series like One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars. She also held the limelight in the Syfy TV series 12 Monkeys and later clinched a regular role in the final two seasons of the USA TV series Suits.
Schull’s journey into stardom began in the ballet sphere, where she received training from distinguished institutions like the Indiana Ballet Company and San Francisco Ballet School. In 1998, she became part of the San Francisco Ballet’s corps de ballet and quickly rose to a soloist within a year. However, recurrent injuries forced her to take retirement from professional ballet.
Following her departure from ballet, Schull transitioned into acting. She got her big break in 2000 when she played the role of Jody Sawyer, an aspiring dancer in the American Ballet Academy, in the movie Center Stage. This film became a cult favorite, establishing Schull’s position in the acting industry.
After her triumph in Center Stage, Schull bagged repeated roles in hit TV series, including One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars, and made guest appearances on shows like Ghost Whisperer and Bones.
In 2014, Schull scored the principal role of Cassandra Railly in the Syfy TV series 12 Monkeys, an adaptation of the film with the same title. The series, which ran for four seasons, received applause for its intricate plot and Schull’s impressive performance.
Later, in 2017, Schull featured in the USA Network series Suits, taking on the recurring character of Katrina Bennett. She was upgraded to a regular role in the series’ concluding two seasons.
Beyond her acting pursuits, Schull is a vocal advocate for mental health awareness, sharing her personal experiences with anxiety and depression.