Canadian-born actor Shawn Ashmore first came to the attention of American audiences with a fan-favorite supporting role in a popular comic book franchise before going on to leading roles in a series of smaller genre films. After earning acclaim in the Canadian musical biopic "Guitarman" (1994), the teen actor made the jump to the States with appearances on several television series. Ashmore's big break came when director Bryan Singer cast him as Bobby Drake, the cold-controlling mutant known as "Iceman" and the romantic interest of young Rogue (Anna Paquin) in the superhero adventure "X-Men" (2000). The young actor cashed in on his youth appeal with more roles in several teen-themed TV movies, as well as with increased screen time in the sequels "X2" (2003), "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006) and "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014). Post "X-Men" work frequently found the young star fighting for his life in smaller-budgeted genre efforts like the Mayan temple horror movie "The Ruins" (2008) and the mountaintop survival thriller "Frozen" (2010). Television roles in hits including crime drama "The Following" (Fox 2013-15) and legal thriller "Conviction" (ABC 2016- ) kept Ashmore in the public eye. Exuding a boyish charm and genuine sincerity, Ashmore consistently proved to be an easily relatable addition to any young cast.
Born Oct. 7, 1979, Ashmore and his twin brother Aaron (older by one minute) were raised in Richmond, British Colombia. Both brothers enjoyed performing from an early age, already appearing on camera by the time they were seven years old. By age 10, Ashmore appeared in a 1998 episode of the Canadian television show, "Katts and Dog" (1988-1991), and as a pageant contestant in the Canadian film, "Married to It" (1991). He also appeared in an episode entitled "Colonel Stonesteel and the Desperate Empties" of the Canadian-produced fantastic anthology series, "Ray Bradbury Theater" (1985-1992) during its final year. But it was in his leading role as musician Waylon Tibbins in the 1994 Canadian TV movie, "Guitarman" that he first drew critical notices. Coming seemingly out of nowhere, Ashmore was nominated for a Gemini Award, the Canadian equivalent of an Emmy, that same year. Ashmore followed with small roles in several Canadian television series and movies, including an appearance on episodes of the cult genre favorites, "The Animorphs" (Nickelodeon, 1998-99) in 1998 and "Earth: The Final Conflict" (syndicated, 1997-2002) in 2000.
Around this time, the young actor was tapped by director Bryan Singer for the feature adventure "X-Men" (2000). Although his part was relatively small in the first film, the role of Bobby Drake was instantly recognized by comic book fans as that of superhero, Iceman. All he had to do was make a snowball to impress fellow young mutant, Rogue (Anna Paquin) and with that, Ashmore made an immediate impact. Following the enormous success of the "X-Men," Ashmore starred as part of an ensemble on the Disney Channel series, "In a Heartbeat" (2000) about teen-age paramedics. He followed this run with appearances in a handful of TV movies, such as "The Big House" (ABC) and "Blackout" (CBS), both in 2001, as well as the Disney Channel's "Cadet Kelly," opposite Hilary Duff, in 2002. At the same time Ashmore was making inroads professionally, his twin, Aaron, continued to act as well, with regularly recurring roles on television shows such as "Veronica Mars," (UPN) and "The West Wing" (NBC).
In 2003, Ashmore again played Drake in Singer's "X2: X-Men United." For the sequel, his character was far more integral to the movie, in effect, competing with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine for the affections of Rogue. His larger role in the sequel, which ended up being a bigger hit than its predecessor, raised Ashmore's Hollywood profile. More parts started coming his way, including a recurring role on the superhero series, "Smallville" (The WB, 2001-2011), where he played Eric Summers in the 2002 episode "Leech" and in the 2004 episode, "Asylum." After the initial "X-Men" rush passed yet again, Ashmore appeared in a few more made-for-television movies, including, "Earthsea" in 2004 and "Terry," in 2005, as well as the theatrical release, "3 Needles" that same year.
Following a run of lower-profile gigs, Ashmore returned yet again to the "X-Men" fold, as Bobby Drake. Although Bryan Singer left the project to pursue "Superman Returns" (2006), Brett Ratner stepped in to finish up the original "X-Men" trilogy. Thankfully for Ashmore, the planned expansion of his character did not undergo any last minute changes. In "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), an additional love interest, as well as more special effects showcasing his superhuman abilities, were added to showcase Iceman, as well as other young mutants - a move, some thought, to steer the X-Men franchise toward a younger audience for its next offering. Ashmore next appeared in "The Quiet" (2006), a psychological thriller about a family whose dark secrets are exposed after they adopt a recently orphaned deaf girl (Camilla Belle) harboring her own disturbing past.
Ashmore was later seen alongside emerging star Amanda Seyfried in the supernatural thriller "Solstice" (2008), in addition to the horror movie "The Ruins" (2008), in which he and a group of vacationers find themselves prey to an ancient evil atop a Mayan temple. He revisited Iceman for a pair of episodes of the animated kids adventure "The Super Hero Squad Show" (Cartoon Network, 2009- ) prior to being seen in the survival thriller "Frozen" (2010) as one of three unlucky skiers stranded on a chairlift overnight. Ashmore was in survival mode once again for "The Day" (2012), a gritty, post-apocalyptic action-drama covering a 24-hour period in the lives of five people hopelessly surrounded and fighting to see another day.
Along with returning to his breakout role in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (2014), Ashmore joined the cast of the Kevin Bacon thriller "The Following" (Fox 2013-15) as an FBI agent tracking a serial killer with a cult fanbase. Along with a role ins treaming series "Relationship Status" (2016), Ashmore returned to TV as the star of legal thriller "Conviction" (ABC 2016- ).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Landed small role on Toronto-filmed TV series "Katts and Dog"
With brother Aaron, landed bit parts in "Married to It"
Earned a Gemini (Canadian Emmy) nomination for his performance in Canadian TV movie "Guitarman"
Was cast in a minor role opposite Kirsten Dunst and Lynn Redgrave in "Strike"
Landed first regular TV series role on "Animorphs" (Nickelodeon) as Jake Berenson
Was cast in CBS movie "At the Mercy of a Stranger," starring Joanna Kerns and Tim Matheson
Made brief appearance in "X-Men" as Bobby Drake (aka Iceman)
Guest starred on two episodes of "Smallville" (The WB)
Reprised role of Iceman in "X2"
Cast in lead role in Sci Fi Channel miniseries "Legend of Earthsea" as a young wizard-in-training
Co-starred in "3 Needles," one of three short stories about global HIV pandemic from Canadian writer-director Thom Fitzgerald
Co-starred in Jamie Babbit's sexually charged indie "The Quiet"
Reprised role of Iceman in the third installment of the "X-Men" series, "X-Men: The Last Stand"
Cast in horror-thriller film "The Ruins" with Jonathan Tucker and Jena Malone
Played an FBI agent alongside Kevin Bacon on Fox drama thriller "The Following"
Reprised his role as Iceman in "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
Joined the cast of the action series "Quantum Break"
Co-starred as Sam Spencer on the short-lived legal drama series "Conviction"
Played a recurring role on the comedy series "Relationship Status"
Was cast in horror flick "Devil's Gate"
Was featured in mystery thriller "Hollow in the Land"