Elise Janae Bauman (born October 23, 1990) is a Canadian actress, best known for her role as Laura Hollis, the lead character of the popular LGBT web series Carmilla.

Career

Bauman began working professionally in the theatre from an early age. In 2009, she made the move to New York City to further her studies, she attended Circle in the Square Theatre School,[2] where she was cast as Anya in the graduating classes' production of The Cherry Orchard, performed on Circle in the Square Theatre's Broadway Stage. In the fall, she returned to the stage once again in Red One Theatre Collective’s The Skriker, by Caryl Churchill, which garnered rave reviews and was rated 5 N’s in Now Magazine.[3]

Carmilla

In 2014, Bauman was cast as the lead character Laura Hollis, the naive and headstrong student of Silas University, in the Canadian web series Carmilla, based on the 1871 Gothic vampire novella of the same name by J. Sheridan Le Fanu.[4]

Bauman initially auditioned for the role of Carmilla, which eventually went to her co-star Natasha Negovanlis, before accepting the role of Laura instead.[5] The first and second seasons each consist of 36 three to seven-minute episodes.[6] A twelve-episode prequel mini-season, "season zero," was announced just after the release of the final episode of Season 2 and premiered online several weeks later.[7]

The series has become popular online for its depiction of LGBT characters and has been viewed over 45 million times on the Vervegirl , attracting over 150,000 fans worldwide. When interviewed about how she feels playing a queer character in a series that isn't about being queer, Bauman said:

You don’t see any of the characters being ostracised because of it [their sexuality]. In a way, it’s exactly the opposite of what happens on additional shows. Their sexuality isn’t the thing that's sticking out about them. It’s the norm. I think that's so refreshing and that it is so wonderful to see... [Sexuality] isn't what they're struggling with or dealing with. They are dealing with all the additional crazy shenanigans...[8]

On February 13, 2016, it was announced that Carmilla will air its third and final season in the summer of 2016.[9] In 2016, the series won a Canadian Screen Award[10][2] and a Rockie Award for Branded Content at the Banff World Media Festival.[2]

As a result of Carmilla's popularity online, Bauman has garnered much attention on social media for her role, primarily on Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram, where she has after amassed more than 100,000 combined followers.[2][2] In 2015, Bauman was placed ninth on AfterEllen's Hot 100 List.[2]

Other work

Recently she co-starred in the feature film Almost Adults, directed by Sarah Rotella.[2][2]

Personal life

Bauman was homeschooled for most of her life, although she attended a mainstream high school. Bauman currently resides in Toronto where she studies regularly with Shaun Benson and David Sutcliffe.

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
2013Everything's Gonna Be PinkFeature film[2][2]
2014–presentCarmillaLaura HollisMain role[2][3]
2014Worst Thing I Ever DidFallon(TV Series)
2014The SkrikerGirl skriker
2014Young BadlandsBunnySeries[3]
2014Canadian StarHerselfDocumentary
2015Face the MusicAmandaSeries[3]
2016Almost AdultsMackenzieMain role; feature film
2016SlasherEliseGuest role; 1 episode
2016Below Her MouthBridgetFeature film[3]
2016Paper CraneMain Role; Short Film

Awards

YearAwardCategoryResult
2014AfterEllen Visibility AwardsBest Lesbian/Bi AllyWon[3]
2015Shorty AwardsBest ActressNominated[3]