Family & Companions
Blonde and statuesque, with the grace and confidence to back up her stunning appearance, actress Natasha Henstridge successfully transitioned from cover model to young starlet, eventually settling into a respectable career as a working actress in both film and on television. After placing high in an international modeling contest, Henstridge went on to grace the covers of fashion magazines and appear in dozens of commercials. Her film debut came with the science fiction thriller "Species" (1995), cast as Sil, the deadly by-product of alien and human bio-engineering. From there, Henstridge went on to star in several film and TV movies - among them the Jean-Claude Van Damme slugfest "Maximum Risk" (1996), the sequel "Species II" (1998), and the Homerian adventure "Jason and the Argonauts" (NBC, 2000). She had a supporting role in the Ben Affleck/Gwyneth Paltrow tearjerker "Bounce" (2000), just prior to showing her comedic chops in "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000), opposite Matthew Perry. Although Henstridge followed these projects with the lead in "John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars" (2001), the film proved to be a disappointment with both fans and critics. She reappeared on television as one of the stars of the short lived action series "She Spies" (NBC, 2002-04), before reprising her role in the sequel "The Whole Ten Yards" (2004), and making recurring guest turns on shows like "Eli Stone" (ABC, 2007-09) and "Drop Dead Diva" (Lifetime, 2009-14) as well as co-starring in the series "The Secret Circle" (CW 2011-12) and starring in numerous TV movies. While never achieving the level of A-list actress, Henstridge found her niche playing beautiful, intelligent, confident characters in a wide array of projects, both large and small.
Born Natasha Tonya Henstridge on Aug. 15, 1974 in Springdale, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada to parents Brian and Helen, she grew up in Fort McMurray, Alberta, near the oil fields where her father worked as a contractor. At the age of 14, Henstridge's mother submitted her photo to the John Casablancas Modeling School in nearby Edmonton. Immediately recognizing the young beauty's potential, the school invited her to enter "The New Look of the Year" modeling contest it was sponsoring with the Elite agency. Within months, an unchaperoned Henstridge was off to Paris, placing first runner-up in the contest and landing a modeling contract and assignments which took her to exotic locales such as Russia and Argentina. After appearing on the cover of magazines like the French Cosmopolitan, Henstridge eventually landed in New York City, and while continuing to model for brands like Lady Stetson and Oil of Olay, began taking acting classes in an effort to transition out of the cutthroat world of modeling. It would not take long before she made her impressive feature film debut alongside Ben Kingsley and Michael Madsen with the lead role in the science fiction thriller "Species" (1995). As Sil, the gorgeous but deadly product of human and alien DNA, Henstridge performed admirably in a challenging first role, surrounded by a cast of highly respected veteran actors. With her entre into film now complete, the model-turned-actress made the move to Los Angeles, setting her sights on an acting career in Hollywood.
Henstridge's sophomore effort was the uninspired Jean-Claude action adventure "Maximum Risk" (1996), in which she played the girlfriend of the martial arts hero's dead twin brother. The same year also found her appearing in an even less impressive project, the sci-fi thriller "Adrenalin: Fear the Rush" (1996), alongside Christopher Lambert as a police officer in the near future tracking down a virally-mutated killer. Henstridge went on to co-star with Robert Sean Leonard in "StandOff" (1998), a drama inspired by the events surrounding the David Koresh religious cult tragedy in Waco, TX, before popping back up as Sil's lusty clone in the inevitable - although far less successful - sequel "Species II" (1998). Trying her luck on the small screen, she took part in the epic Greek myth miniseries "Jason and the Argonauts" (NBC, 2000), playing the beautiful warrior queen Hypsipyle opposite Jason London in the title role. On cable, Henstridge portrayed a woman caught up in Johnathon Schaech's plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela in the political thriller "Caracara" (HBO, 2000). Despite her recent spate of television and direct-to-DVD projects, she did enjoy a small but pivotal supporting role in the feature "Bounce" (2000), as a woman for whom Ben Affleck alters his air travel plans - with devastating consequences.
Henstridge scored a much meatier role, however, in the caper comedy "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000), as the estranged wife of a hit man in hiding (Bruce Willis) who finds love with a neurotic dentist (Matthew Perry), who also happens to be her assassin husband's next-door-neighbor. The film was a substantial commercial success, and the following year Henstridge was offered the lead in the sci-fi action adventure "John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars" (2001), after an injured Courtney Love was forced to drop out. Given that she was in virtually every scene, the demanding role provided Henstridge the chance to prove that she could carry a film as a full-fledged action heroine. Unfortunately, the tale of evil alien spirits possessing humans on an isolated outpost was far from the return to form that the horror director's fans had been hoping for, practically being booed off screens during its short run in theaters. Henstridge next returned to television, starring in her first series as sexy super agent Cassie McBain in "She Spies" (NBC, 2002-04), in addition to delivering a respectable performance as Judith Campbell Exner, the reputed mistress of both President John F. Kennedy and mob boss Sam Giancana, in the period biopic "Power and Beauty" (Showtime, 2002).
Back in theaters, Henstridge reprised her role in the sequel "The Whole Ten Yards" (2004), in which her character - now married to anxiety-plagued dentist Oz (Matthew Perry) - is kidnapped by a vengeful mob boss (Kevin Pollak). She also made a brief appearance as the clone Eve in the second sequel to the film that made her famous, "Species III" (Syfy Channel, 2004). The next year, she appeared opposite James Brolin in the melodrama "Widow on the Hill" (Lifetime, 2005), as a hospice nurse who cares for Brolin's terminally ill wife, only to seduce and marry him after her death. Continuing a successful run on the small screen, she took on a recurring role on "Commander in Chief" (ABC, 2005-06) as Jayne Murray, assistant to the U.S. Speaker of the House (Donald Sutherland). Due to poor ratings, the political drama was termed out after a single season. After further sporadic television performances, such as a recurring role in the quirky comedy drama series "Eli Stone" (ABC, 2007-09), Henstridge appeared opposite Ewan McGregor in the sexual thriller "Deception" (2008), as a doomed woman involved in a mysterious and exclusive sex club. She followed with a starring turn in the scientifically preposterous "Impact" (ABC, 2009), an impending-disaster miniseries about the moon's imminent collision with earth. Henstridge found more recurring guest work on the life-after-death dramedy "Drop Dead Diva" (Lifetime, 2009-14), in addition to starring with Tom Everett Scott in the "The Da Vinci Code" imitator "The Devil's Teardrop" (Lifetime Movie Network, 2010), based on the best-selling Jeffrey Deaver novel. Henstridge co-starred on teen drama "The Secret Circle" (CW 2011-12), and appeared in recurring roles in comedy-drama "Republic of Doyle" (CBC 2010-14) and romantic fantasy "Beauty and the Beast" (CW 2012-16). She returned to the big screen, starring in the horror film "The Black Room" (2017).
Cast (Feature Film)
Began modeling at age 14, moved to Paris
Landed first magazine cover, the French edition of <i>Cosmopolitan</i>
Made feature acting debut in "Species," playing a genetically engineered Alien/Human Hybrid
Co-starred with Jean-Claude Van Damme in "Maximum Risk"
Played a clone of the alien in the sequel "Species II"
Had pivotal supporting role in "Bounce"
Was cast opposite Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry in "The Whole Nine Yards"
Played the female lead in John Carpenter's "Ghosts of Mars"; replaced an injured Courtney Love
Starred in the short-lived action series "She Spies" (NBC)
Had title role in the Showtime movie "Beauty and Power: The Judith Exner Story"
Reprised role of Cynthia Oseransky for "The Whole Ten Yards"
Was cast as chief of staff Jayne Murray on ABC drama "Commander-in-Chief"
Was cast on the short-lived ABC series "Eli Stone"
Co-starred opposite Tom Everett Scott in the Lifetime Movie Network crime drama "The Devil's Teardrop"
Had a recurring guest role on "CSI: Miami"
Starred as Dawn Chamberlain on the short-lived fantasy drama series "The Secret Circle"
Appeared on an episode of the "Hawaii Five-0" reboot
Had a recurring role on the short-lived sitcom "Selfie"
Appeared on the fifth season of "Republic of Doyle"
Appeared in the boxing drama "The Bronx Bull"
Starred in the thriller "Inconceivable"
Appeared on the short-lived fantasy adventure series "Medinah"