She embarked on her career in Canada with a lead role in the short-lived CBC comedy series An American in Canada (2003-04) and left the west coast shortly thereafter for Toronto. She appeared in This Is Wonderland (2005, 2006) and ReGenesis (2006) and, typical of many talented actors working within the Canadian television industry, has taken roles in several concurrent productions. She is most recognized for her outspoken, confident characters such as Julia Ogden on the lightly serious period detective drama Murdoch Mysteries (2008-), Doc on the primetime soap opera MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives (2008), and Audrey Sweeney on the dark melodrama Durham County (2007-10). She starred in the feature film Desolation Sound (2006) as a woman who, after covering up her involvement in a friend's accidental death, seems to take on the friend's characteristics as if possessed. She appeared in the CBC's filmed musical The Secret of the Nutcracker (2007) and co-starred in An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving (2008) as a poverty-stricken widow with 3 children. Joy has also lent her voice to family-friendly programming in animated series including Faireez (2005), The Secret World of Og (2006) and Pearlie (2008).
Hélène Joy has been nominated numerous times but it was for her role in Durham County that she won a GEMINI AWARD in 2008, for playing a breast cancer survivor and spouse to a depressed and paranoid policeman. The series' ambitious but bleak narrative was without equal in Canadian programming and garnered intense interest in both Canada and the US, with Hélène Joy among the forefront of the ensemble cast.
In 2012, Joy made her Canadian stage debut in Australian playwright Andrew Bovell's play Speaking in Tongues at Toronto's The Company Theatre. The play about contemporary relationships has an intricate and subtle structure that requires each actor to embody multiple parts, and Joy, specifically, to play 2 completely different characters: Jane, a meek married woman contemplating an adulterous affair, and Sarah, a stubborn and neurotic woman who spends the narrative in an extended therapy session.
Author PAUL WILLIAMS