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Actress Chelah Horsdal plays the role of Irena in the 2011 movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Horsdal was born on Vancouver Island, Canada, to Lindsay and Canadian folk singer Paul Valdemar 'Valdy' Horsdal. She grew up in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver and at eighteen, by way of modeling, appeared in a couple of locally shot TV shows and commercials before moving to the Caribbean for a year. On returning to Canada, Horsdal worked in restaurant management, interior design, creative direction of a magazine, event production and voice agent, until beginning her acting career in 2002 and studying at the Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver. She has since appeared in over 75 commercials and multiple TV series, including DaVinci's Inquest (2003-04), Stargate SG-1 (2004-06), Criminal Minds (2005), Whistler (2006), Saved (2006), The L Word (2006-08), Battlestar Galactica (2007), The Virgin of Akron, Ohio (2007), Exes & Ohs (2007-09) and Blackstone (2009-11). Film credits include the short film Dark Room (2005, for which she received in a Leo nomination for Best Performance), AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem (2007), Elegy (2008, with Ben Kingsley & Penélope Cruz), Nickelodeon's Gym Teacher: The Movie (2008), Flirting With Forty (2008, with Heather Locklear) and Possession (2009, with Sarah Michelle Gellar), lead roles in Burning Mussolini (2009), Mrs. Miracle (2009) and Lying To Be Perfect (2010), supporting lead in The Client List (2010, co-starring Jennifer Love Hewitt & Cybil Sheppard) and a minor role in the American-Canadian revenge thriller The Tortured (2010).

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