Each year at TIFF, four talented up-and-coming Canadian actors are selected as the festival's official Rising Stars. They receive special consultations with filmmakers, casting directors and film executives. Plus, we're also pretty sure they get to go to all of the parties. This year, two of the rising stars are Shannon Kook and Julia Sarah Stone.

Kook is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and has starred in TV shows like Rookie Blue and Degrassi: The Next Generation. But his most exciting project is the adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Dark Places starring Chloe Moretz, Charlize Theron and Christina Hendricks.

Stone made a big splash at the age of 16 in the movie, The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom. This year she appears in the TIFF pick Wet Bum about a young girl who befriends two elderly retirement home residents. Plus, she will be working on projects with Werner Herzog and Charlie Kaufman coming up.

But we wanted to find out some of the interesting facts about these stars that may not be in their official bio. Check out what they want you to know below.

Shannon Kook:

2014 Toronto Film Festival, Shannon Kook
  1. I use fluoride free toothpaste.
  2. I used to crash on Nina Dobrev's couch a lot, and took over her room when she moved for The Vampire Diaries.
  3. I speak Afrikaans. It is my mother's first language.
  4. My mother is mixed, and natively South African; my father is born and raised in Mauritius and Asian.
  5. I was one of the Mini-City Councilors of Johannesburg, a Prefect, Head of House and Head of Choir.
  6. I won several ballroom and Latin-American dance competitions, and medaled in the Gauteng Provincials.
  7. I did a lot of karate as a boy, I was obsessed. I now do Muay Thai Kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and some wrestling four days a week.
  8. My parents thought it would be cool to name me after Bruce Lee's son. They realized a couple years later Shannon was Bruce Lee's daughter, but liked the name and stuck with it. Meant to be. I love my name.
  9. My Chinese middle name means "Little Dragon" which is now what Joey King and Shanley Caswell on The Conjuring call me.
  10. I believe in aliens and past lives.

Julia Sarah Stone:

2014 Toronto Film Festival, Julia Sarah Stone
  1. I have a bird! Her name is Flicker and I've had her since she was six weeks old. Now she's six years. Her feathers are blue, green and yellow, and she's very cute!
  2. My favourite sport is karate. I've been doing martial arts for a few years and I love it. In the future, I hope to do a wide variety of films and that includes more action-oriented projects! I also am planning on getting my stunts certification.
  3. I play the violin and I want to learn the guitar.
  4. My family has a place in Whistler, which is just a one to two hour drive from Vancouver where we live. We go up to Whistler almost every weekend, when I'm not on set. I absolutely love being on the mountain in nature, whether it's for skiing, hiking, or just going to the lodge for coffee! The mountain air feels so great.
  5. I love cooking and baking, especially during the holidays. When we ski during winter break, we bring our baking to the "lifties," people who operate the mountain chairlifts. They work so hard and stand in the cold all day, and they're always very grateful!
  6. I know a lot of (pretty useless) animal trivia… did you know that a chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body?
  7. The first movie that I fell in love with was The Princess Bride. Every time I watch it, I notice something I didn't before. It's also, in my opinion, one of the most quotable movies ever!
  8. My favourite crystal is citrine. It's significant to me because it represents a bright energy (and combatting dark energy), focused willpower, elimination of the fear of judgment, and mental clarity/creativity. I have a citrine necklace and a citrine ring, which I wear very often, even in many of my Rising Stars photos.
  9. My favourite coffee flavouring is hazelnut.
  10. When I'm shopping, it's hard for me to focus because I get so distracted by books! If I see a bookstore, there's nothing much than can stop me from going in. I can get lost in a bookstore or a library for hours on end. It's so magical to me to be in a place where there are so many stories, so many different worlds to explore.

Stay tuned for to find out more about their fellow TIFF Rising Star Alexandre Landry here.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.