Marie-Sophie Nélisse (born March 27, 2000) is a Canadian teen actress. She is known for her Genie Award–winning performance in Monsieur Lazhar, and as Liesel Meminger (the lead character) in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak.


Nélisse was born in Windsor, Ontario, on March 27, 2000. She is of French-Canadian descent. Her mother, Pauline Belhumeur, left her job as a schoolteacher in 2013 to act as a talent manager for both Sophie and her younger sister, actress Isabelle Nélisse, best known for her role in Mama.[2][3] Nélisse is fluent in both French and English.

Her family moved to Montréal, Québec when she was four.[4][5]

She spent her early years training in gymnastics, aiming for the 2016 Olympics, and signed to a talent agency to make money to pay for the training, but after getting the part in The Book Thief (and subsequent accolades) she shifted her focus to acting.[6][7] Besides her Genie Award for Monsieur Lazhar, she won a Jutra Award for her performance and a Young Artist Award nomination as Best Leading Young Actress in an International Feature Film.[8] She held a recurring role the Québec sitcom Les Parent and she also starred in the title role of the 2015 film The Great Gilly Hopkins. In May 2016, Nélisse was present on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival for the first time to present Canadian thriller movie Mean Dreams.[9][10][11]


2011Monsieur LazharAlice L'ÉcuyerAcademy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Jutra Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress in an International Feature Film
2012ÉsimésacMarie Gélinas
2013The Book ThiefLiesel MemingerSatellite Awards for Best Breakthrough Performance
Hollywood Film Award Spotlight Award
Phoenix Film Critics Society for Best Performance by a Youth in a Leading or Supporting Role—Female
Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film[12]
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Actor/Actress
2014Pawn SacrificeYoung Joan
2015EndorphineSimone de Koninck
2015The Great Gilly HopkinsGilly Hopkins
2016Mean DreamsCasey CarawayChosen for Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight
2016Wait Till Helen ComesMollyAlso stars her sister Isabelle Nélisse
2016The History of LoveAlmaPost-Production
2010MiradorJeune fille de Ralf1 episode
2010Toute la véritéFille de Violaine1 episode
2011-2016Les ParentZoéRecurring
2012VertigeRosalie RousselMain cast
2015Les Dieux de la DanseHerselfDance competition (1 episode)

Awards and nominations

2012Genie AwardsBest Performance by an Actress in a Supporting RoleMonsieur LazharWon
2012Jutra AwardsBest Supporting Actress (Meilleure Actrice de Soutien)Monsieur LazharWon
2013Satellite AwardsBreakthrough PerformanceThe Book ThiefWon
2013Hollywood Film FestivalSpotlight AwardThe Book ThiefWon
2013Phoenix Film Critics Society AwardsBest Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role—FemaleThe Book ThiefWon
2014Young Artist AwardsBest Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film (tie)The Book ThiefWon
2014Saturn AwardsBest Performance by a Younger ActorThe Book ThiefNominated
2014Online Film & Television AssociationBest Youth PerformanceThe Book ThiefNominated
2014Critics Choice AwardsBest Young Actor/ActressThe Book ThiefNominated