Also Credited As:Camilla Belle Routh
|Camilla Belle Routh on October 2, 1986 in Los Angeles, California, USA|
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Born Camilla Belle Routh in Los Angeles on Oct. 2, 1986, Belle was named after actress Renata Sorrah's character, Camila, on the Brazilian soap opera "Cavalo de Aço" (1973). Belle headed immediately for the spotlight herself, landing her first modeling gig for a national print ad at the age of nine months. The ambitious youngster segued smoothly into acting, appearing in minor roles in television movies such as "Trouble Shooters: Trapped Beneath the Earth" (NBC, 1993), "Empty Cradle" (ABC, 1993) and "Deconstructing Sarah" (USA Network, 1994). After a supporting role in the direct-to-video family feature "Annie: A Royal Adventure" (ABC, 1995), Belle hit the big screen playing a fellow orphanage-dweller of the beloved literary character "A Little Princess" (1995) in Alfonso Cuaron's 1995 remake of the 1939 film classic starring Shirley Temple. The young actress found steady work with roles in "Poison Ivy 2" (1996) and the Jimmy Smits' vehicle "Marshal Law" (Showtime, 1996), returning to theaters in her first major studio film, Steven Spielberg's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997). In the Nicole Kidman/Sandra Bullock chick-flick "Practical Magic" (1998), Belle had a plum role as the young version of Bullock's character.
Meanwhile, Belle attended the elite, all-girls Marlborough school, taking time off to play Steven Seagal's daughter in the HBO thriller "The Patriot" (1998). In her downtime, Belle studied classical piano and became actively involved in charities, including becoming an international spokesperson for "Kids With a Cause," a program created to provide help for children suffering from poverty, hunger, neglect and abuse. She was in her late teens when she landed her next major film outing, starring in the critically acclaimed indie, "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" (2005), as the commune-dwelling daughter of a single father (Daniel Day-Lewis) whose nontraditional family lifestyle leads to complicated relationships. The same year, Belle portrayed another non-conformist teen in the dark ensemble comedy "The Chumscrubber" and took first billing in the campy horror thriller "The Quiet," where she played a traumatized teen taken in by relatives who shakes up her adopted household.
In 2006, the actress finally got a profile boost when she was cast in the remake of the 1979 slasher classic "When a Stranger Calls (2006), in which she gave an appropriately sympathetic portrayal of a young babysitter being harassed on the phone by an unknown killer who is closer proximity-wise than she knows. The film opened at No. 1 at the box office. The 20-year-old acting veteran went on to star as a kidnapped cave girl opposite Steven Strait in Warner Bros. "10,000 B.C." (2008), a critically lambasted but money-making prehistoric epic directed by Roland Emmerich and starring many a computer animated dinosaur. "Push" (2009), a sci-fi thriller about a group of paranormally gifted subjects trying to overthrow the government agency that controls them, was similarly dismissed by critics but also failed to bring in big box office. That year, the low-key, spotlight-shunning actress uncharacteristically wound up in the gossip blogs when she was spotted at a number of events with teen heartthrob Joe Jonas, after having appeared in a music video of Jonas' pop band, The Jonas Brothers.
Amid rumors about relationships with Jonas and "Twilight" (2009) heartthrob Robert Pattinson, Belle began to break away from broad genre pics with a starring role in Bruce Willis' directorial debut "Three Stories About Joan" (2009), a romantic drama co-starring Owen Wilson and Kieran Culkin. In 2010, Belle was a surprising casting choice to play the title character in "Mary, Mother of Christ" (2010), a historic chronicle of the life of Mary co-starring heavy-hitting thespian Peter O'Toole and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.