Campbell was born as Neve Adrianne Campbell on October 3, 1973, in Guelph, Ontario, where she was raised. Her Dutch mother, Marnie (née Neve), is a yoga instructor and psychologist from Amsterdam. Her Scottish father, Gerry Campbell, immigrated to Canada from his native Glasgow, and taught high school drama classes in Mississauga, Ontario. Campbell's maternal grandparents ran a theatre company in the Netherlands, and her paternal grandparents were also performers. Campbell has three brothers: Christian Campbell, Alex Campbell, and Damian Campbell. Her parents broke up when she was two years old. She is descended from Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands and converted to Catholicism.
Neve Adrianne Campbell (/ˈnɛv ˈkæmbəl/; born October 3, 1973) is a Canadian actress, who is an influential figure in popular culture, and is recognized for her work in the drama and horror genres. Campbell is regarded as a sex symbol and scream queen, and appeared on People magazine's list of "50 Most Beautiful People" twice.
At age six, she saw a performance of The Nutcracker and decided she wanted to take ballet, enrolling at the Erinvale School of Dance. She later moved into residence at the National Ballet School of Canada, training there and appearing in performances of The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. After accumulating numerous dance-related injuries, Campbell moved into acting at the age of 15, performing in The Phantom of the Opera at the Canon Theatre in Toronto while attending John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute in Guelph, where she trained in acting and worked in theatre.
Campbell revealed during an interview on the Kelly Clarkson Show in 2021 that she survived a bear attack at the age of 17, an incident that occurred while filming an unnamed project. Describing the attack, she said "I dipped my hand in honey and I run to this rock, and I turn around and I put my hand out and the bear is not slowing down and he’s not coming for my hand, he grabs me by the leg and he pulls me through the forest. My mother was visiting set and she’s screaming. The whole crew is frozen because nobody can believe what’s happening. All I can think to say is, ‘He’s biting me,’ like it’s not obvious." Neither she, nor the rest of the personnel present, suffered any life-threatening injuries.
Campbell began her professional career appearing in a 1991 Coca-Cola commercial, and promoted its sponsorship on Bryan Adams' Waking Up the Nation Tour (1991–1992). She followed this with an uncredited cameo appearance on the series My Secret Identity in 1991. The next year, she played the minor role of Laura Capelli on an episode of The Kids in the Hall, and landed her first starring role as Daisy in the Canadian drama series Catwalk. She subsequently made several guest appearances on various Canadian television shows, such as Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, both occurring in 1994.
With a desire to perform in Hollywood, Campbell went to Los Angeles to find a talent manager to represent her, and ended up going on several auditions while she was doing so. One of these auditions was for Party of Five, which cast her in the role of orphaned teenager Julia Salinger, whereupon Campbell permanently relocated to the United States in order to play the role. Party of Five premiered in 1994, and went on to receive critical acclaim, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama in 1996. Campbell's performance on the series was lauded by critics and audiences alike, described as "television's most believable teenager"; the series is credited as her breakthrough role.
Campbell married Jeff Colt on April 3, 1995, and divorced in May 1998. In 2005, Campbell began dating John Light, whom she met while filming Investigating Sex. They became engaged in December 2005 and married in Malibu, California, on May 5, 2007. The couple lived together in Islington, London for five years, until Campbell filed for divorce on June 30, 2010, in Los Angeles.
After appearing on Party of Five for six seasons, Campbell did not renew her contract for a seventh season in order to pursue film work, which led the series' end in 2000. Her first widely released film was The Craft (1996), which she starred in alongside Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk and Rachel True. The movie was a surprise hit, earning $55 million against a budget of $15 million. Her work in The Craft was noticed by director Wes Craven, who specifically asked her to audition for the role of Sidney Prescott in 1996's Scream, believing that the actress could be "innocent", but also handle herself once emotional and psychical conflicts arose. Scream was released to major commercial and critical success, earning over $173 million at the worldwide box office which made it the highest-grossing slasher film until the release of Halloween (2018). Her performance received significant critical praise. For her performance, she won the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actress and the Saturn Award for Best Actress.
In 1997, Campbell reprised the role of Sidney in Scream 2, which earned over $170 million and alike to the first installment, was critically acclaimed. She won her the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance. Patrick Mullen of Medium stated that "I've always appreciated Neve Campbell in the lead just as much. She plays the role so straight while everyone else winks at the camera. It may sound like it wouldn't work, but it actually does. Sidney Prescott is a more compelling heroine than you usually get in a horror movie." She won the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance for her work in Scream 2. Campbell next appeared in the 1998 films, Hairshirt and 54 and voiced Kiara in the Disney animated musical film The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. She followed this with a massively-acclaimed role in the erotic thriller film Wild Things (1998) alongside Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon and Denise Richards. Glamour praised the film's female characters by describing Richards and Campbell as "two of the most well-rounded, fascinating, and exciting characters to ever grace the screen."
Campbell went on to appear in several films that received a limited theatrical release, but were well reviewed by critics, including the film Panic, in which she starred with William H. Macy and Donald Sutherland. Campbell starred again as Sidney Prescott in Scream 3 (2000), which earned over $160 million but marked a temporary end for the franchise following mixed reviews. In his review of Scream 3, Roger Ebert wrote: "The camera loves her. She could become a really big star and then giggle at clips from this film at her AFI tribute." In retrospective, the parallels between Scream 3's themes of abuse and the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases came to light. In 2002, she starred in Last Call with Sissy Spacek and Jeremy Irons, for which she won a Prism Award for Performance in TV Movie or Miniseries.
Later in 2006, Campbell performed again in the West End in Love Song, alongside Cillian Murphy, Michael McKean and Kristen Johnston, to mixed reviews. The latter half of the 2000s saw sporadic work from Campbell; most notably, on June 24, 2009, she had a starring role on NBC's short-lived series The Philanthropist.
Campbell co-wrote, produced and starred in the 2003 film The Company, about Chicago's Joffrey Ballet, and the independent film When Will I Be Loved (2004), which was praised by critics, but received only a brief and limited theatrical release. In March 2006, Campbell made her West End theatre debut, in a version of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at the Old Vic theatre. Matthew Modine and Maximilian Schell also appeared in the play, which received mixed reviews. Resurrection Blues was directed by Robert Altman, with whom Campbell had previously worked in The Company.
In 2011, Campbell starred in The Glass Man, which received a limited release. Also in 2011, 11 years after the previous installment, Campbell made her comeback to the Scream franchise with Scream 4 (2011), which received positive reviews and earned over $97 million. For her performance, she was nominated for Best Actress at the Scream Awards in 2011. On reprising the role of Sidney Prescott in future works, Campbell stated that "It would have to be something really special and really different. They'd have to be really convincing about who they decided to bring on as director, and I'd still have to do a bit of soul-searching on that one."
In March 2012, Campbell and her partner, actor JJ Feild, confirmed that they were expecting their first child together. Their first son, Caspian, was born in August 2012. On June 29, 2018, Campbell announced on Instagram the adoption of their second son.
Campbell next starred in the drama film Singularity, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival in May 2012. She also appeared in the 2012 miniseries Titanic: Blood and Steel, and starred in the 2013 Lifetime crime film An Amish Murder. Campbell guest-starred in several television series, including the NBC supernatural drama Medium, the Fox animated sitcom The Simpsons, the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, the AMC period drama Mad Men, and the NBC sitcom Welcome to Sweden. In 2015, she guest starred in the WGN period drama series Manhattan.
On June 30, 2015, it was announced that Campbell would star as Texas-based political consultant LeAnn Harvey in the Netflix television drama House of Cards, beginning in the fourth season. On the role of Harvey, the actress said in an interview with Business Insider that "I knew that what I wanted was a cable show with a good cast, and good writing, and it was respected, and an ensemble where I'm not carrying it, and then this came along. And then I couldn't have asked for anything better." Campbell was particularly praised by GQ magazine for her performance, who called her the "best thing" of the season and wrote that "she was exactly the competitor that the show's anti-heroes needed".
On June 22, 2017, it was reported that Campbell would star in Rawson Marshall Thurber's action film Skyscraper. She played Sarah Sawyer, the wife of Will (Dwayne Johnson). The film was released on July 13, 2018, to box office success. Campbell co-starred as Valerie Gannon in the 2018 independent drama film Hot Air. In 2019, Campbell starred as Rebecca Fine, a single mother struggling with a serious illness, in the Canadian drama film Castle in the Ground. The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received generally positive reviews.
It was announced in 2019 that Campbell would star as author Laura Sobiech in the biographical musical drama film Clouds, which is based on the true story of Zach Sobiech. She detailed her experience in playing the role, saying that "I’d have some stuff to shed every evening, there were days of heavy crying, and I’d just be drained." It was released in 2020 to positive reviews on Disney+. Variety magazine described Campbell's acting as "well played within narrow bounds". IndieWire stated that she does "a fine job of balancing unimaginable pain with hard-fought moments of joy" and that she "distills Laura Sobiech’s religious fervor into a more general desperation".
In September 2020, it was confirmed that Campbell would be reprising her role as Sidney Prescott for the fifth Scream film, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. She was initially "apprehensive" during production due to the passing of Wes Craven, however she was convinced to join once "the new directors came to me with this beautiful letter saying that they've become directors and love film because of these films, and because of Wes, and they really want to be true to his story and his journey with these films, so I was really happy to hear that." The film was released on January 14, 2022, and earned widespread acclaim. Campbell was lauded for her performance once more, and she was particularly praised for her "fresh" take on the role of Prescott. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "... it's a pleasure to see Campbell again in fine form as Sidney, striding back into Woodsboro to take care of unfinished business." Elle magazine named her the "Reigning Queen of Scream" and stated that "Sidney might not have that impact on people were it not for Campbell's portrayal, rife with vulnerability, intelligence, and a palatable dose of humor."
In February 2021, Campbell was cast as Mickey Haller's ex-wife Margaret "Maggie" McPherson in a television adaptation of The Lincoln Lawyer for Netflix.