Actor Amanda Schull attends a special screening of Hallmark's "Unthinkably Good Things" at The Athenaeum on August 10, 2022 in Pasadena, California
Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Before Hallmark, Amanda Schull Was A Professional Ballerina


Whether you were a fan of Suits or just love the Hallmark Channel, you've seen actress Amanda Schull. For five seasons, she appeared on the popular legal drama as Katrina Bennett, an Assistant District Attorney who becomes Louis Litt's go-to associate at Pearson Hardman. She's also slowly becoming one of Hallmark's latest leading ladies in an array of Christmas and feel-good romantic movies. Unlike many other actresses in Hollywood, Schull fell into acting in a really unexpected way.

She was a professional ballerina

Schull grew up in Honolulu, where she started dancing ballet at the age of three. Her mother is even the current president of Ballet Hawaii. She trained at the Hawaii State Ballet and earned a scholarship to dance at Indiana University. While majoring in ballet and journalism, Schull attended the San Francisco Ballet School Summer Intensive and was asked to stay on for a year as an apprentice. She accepted, a decision that would really change her professional career. Not only did she receive an offer to join the company, but she landed her first role in a film, Center Stage.

"Towards the end of my year is when the casting director came," Schull explained in an interview with EW, looking back on Center Stage 20 years later. "At that point, they were just looking for company members, but I happened to be at the right place at the right time when she came into the studio where I was working for our end of the year showcase."

Schull ended up nabbing the lead role of Jody in the film, her only acting experience at that point being some musical theater. Although she technically wanted the role of Maureen, the uptight yet talented student at the ballet school who was battling an eating disorder. At her audition, Schull was sent into the hall to work on some sides for Maureen but had no idea she had already landed the role of Jody.

"I went out in the hall and worked on the scenes and it turned out that she [the casting director] just wanted more of me on tape," Schull explained to Us Weekly in 2020. "While I was out in the hall apparently she called one of her bosses and said, 'I think I just found Jody. And I'm just putting more of her read on tape.' So then I came in and auditioned for the other role but not really realizing that they didn't intend for me to ever get it."

The 2000 film became a cult classic, featuring a cast ranging from seasoned professional ballerinas to a young Zoe Saldana. After filming, Schull returned to the San Francisco Ballet and continued dancing with them until she formally retired in 2006. She then decided to pursue an acting career.

Notable acting roles

The beginning of Schull's career started with various roles on shows like Lie to Me, One Tree Hill and Ghost Whisperer. A notable recurring role on Pretty Little Liars followed before she landed the memorable role of Katrina Bennett on the beloved legal drama Suits. In 2013 she also landed the lead role of Cassandra Railly on the Syfy series 12 Monkeys, based on the popular Bruce Willis film from 1995.

Personal life

Schull has been married to Australian graphic designer George Wilson since 2011. They are based in Los Angeles, where they recently welcomed their first child together in 2020, George Paterson Wilson VI. She told People after announcing his birth that they decided to call their baby by his middle name.

"We are going with Paterson, but accepting any and all nickname suggestions!"

The Hallmark Channel

It's safe to say that Schull has a really diverse acting resume -- from angsty teen dramas to dance movies and even science fiction. But she said out of everything she's in, she always receives the best responses to her Hallmark projects. She's appeared in a few films for the network since 2018, including Love, Once and Always, Project Christmas Wish, One Summer, and her latest film, opposite Hallmark's popular leading man Brennan Elliott, Marry Go Round.


"When I'd talk to people about doing Hallmark movies, the responses were interesting," Schull explained in a 2020 interview with Media Village.

"I used to take a ballet class and the women in the class were kind of my barometer for certain things. When I did 12 Monkeys and Suits, they'd watch it for my sake, but when said I was doing a Hallmark movie, everyone's eyes lit up. They all said, 'They make me feel so good!' It was really special to be part of something like that, and something people had an affinity to. Now I'm enjoying these new stories they are telling."

She adds that she absolutely loves working with the feel-good network and always gets excited by their calls.

"I love working for them, and when I get the phone call saying there's another script coming my way, it makes my day. I get very, very excited."


READ MORE: 'Virgin River' and Hallmark Star Benjamin Hollingsworth Is a Devoted Family Man and Dad of 3

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