Joan Allen (born August 20, 1956) is an American actress. She worked in theater, television, and film during her early career, and achieved recognition for her Broadway debut in Burn This, winning a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play in 1989. She has received three Academy Award nominations; she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and for Best Actress for The Contender (2000).
How do we escape who we are? I think going to college, I felt freer. I loved the clean slate. I wasn't known as the sort of nerdy, studious girl. I met gay people for the first time in my life. I needed that expansion from a very conservative little town.
I was the good girl. The straight A student, on the honor roll, part of the choir . . . I played the cello badly. I did plays.
I was a very good girl for a long time, that's what really drew me to acting. The stage was the perfect place to be outrageous, to be sad, to be angry, to be all these different things.