Johanna Schneller is one of North America’s leading freelance journalists specializing in entertainment features. She has profiled the most prominent actors of our time – among them, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Diane Keaton, Brad Pitt, Julianne Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Bridges, Liam Neeson, Robert Downey, Jr. and Nicole Kidman. Her cover stories have appeared in major magazines, including Vanity Fair, In Style, Premiere, More and Ladies Home Journal. She was a senior writer in the Los Angeles bureau of GQ magazine from 1990 to 1994. Her weekly Fame Game column in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, has been nominated for four National Newspaper Awards. She also writes a daily What I’m Watching TV column in The Toronto Star and Metro.
As the host of CBC’s new series, The Filmmakers, Schneller interviews directors and film experts about classic Canadian films. She also hosted TVO’s renowned film series Saturday Night at the Movies. Schneller regularly conducts on-stage interviews for the Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Library. She co-wrote the best-selling book Uncontrollable, about Toronto’s notorious mayor, Rob Ford. As a screenwriter, her work includes adaptations of Sailor Girl, based upon the novel by Sherri Lee Olson, for Markham Street Productions; Every Lost Country, based upon the novel by Steven Heighton, for Rhombus Media; Girl Crazy, based upon the novel by Russell Smith, for House of Films; and The Girls in the Balcony, based on the book by Nan Robertson. Schneller holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia. She took the American Film Institute’s script analysis course in Los Angeles, and the inaugural television writing course at the Canadian Film Centre. She and her husband, the writer and broadcaster Ian Brown, live in Toronto.
In 1966, a male baby, Chris, was adopted by an upper-middle-class Toronto couple. From early childhood, Chris felt ill-at-ease as a boy and like an outsider in his conservative family. An obsession with sports–running, waterskiing and especially cycling–helped him survive what he would eventually understand to be a profound disconnect between his anatomical sexual identity and his gender identity. In his twenties, with the support of newfound friends and family and the medical community, Chris became Kristen.