Jessica Steen, Lisa Stillman – Heartland
Jessica Steen is the actress who plays Lisa Stillman, a character who is part of the Heartland family. She is an integral character who is part of the ranch and the show from the get-go. She does spend a good chunk of her storyline overseas, but her travels never keep her from coming home. She first appears in season 1, episode 3, and dates Jack Bartlett off and on.
After their relationship goes on for a while, she marries him in season 7, episode 18. Lisa owns Fairfield Stables, a horse breeding operation. When she marries Jack, this becomes a turning point in her life and she is able to become a more caring and supportive member of the family.
The actress, Jessica Steen, who plays Lisa is a Canadian actress and producer. She was born in Toronto in 1965 to the actress Joanna Noyes and her actor and director father Jan Steen. Read on to learn more about Jessica Steen!
- Jessica Steen, Lisa Stillman – Heartland
- Jessica Steen Started Acting at 8 Years Old
- Jessica Steen Is an Award Winning Actress
- Jessica Steen Originally Auditioned for the Role of Maggie on Heartland
- Jessica Steen Grabs Every Opportunity to Ride on the Show
- “Acting is such a small part of the overall toolkit of success”
- Jessica Steen Loves Hanging Out With Her Co-Stars
- Jessica Steen is Adept at the Circus Arts
- Jessica Steen is a Passionate Animal Rights Supporter
- 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Jessica Steen
- Frequently Asked Questions
Jessica Steen Started Acting at 8 Years Old
Jessica was involved in show business very early in life, even though her parents warned her about the industry due to their own experience. One of her very first roles was in a McDonald’s commercial! After that, she began to book many more commercials. When she was 8, Jessica made her TV debut. She appeared in the kid’s show Sunrunners, where her mother also had a role!
This was when Jessica was also diagnosed with petit mal epilepsy and started her recovery journey. She later grew out of the condition and was able to have a normal adult life.
When Jessica was in school, she treated acting as a hobby and did some of the work to get a bit of pocket money. She thought of acting as a family business due to her parent’s jobs, too. Her first movie role came about in 1989 when she starred in the musical Sing. She acted in Canadian TV series and American telefilms until 1991. Then, she moved to New York and filled in for Noelle Beck’s maternity leave on the soap opera Loving.
A struggle with finding roles in New York led Jessica to later move to Los Angeles. She commutes from Los Angeles now for her acting jobs, if they are located in other areas or countries. Some of Jessica’s most notable or recognizable roles include Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Flashpoint, Armageddon, and, of course, the Heartland TV series!
Jessica Steen Is an Award Winning Actress
Jessica Steen won a Gemini award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Nora in a movie called Small Gifts. The Gemini Awards are basically the equivalent of the Emmys in Canada. She also received two more nominations for Geminis. These were in 1988 for her role in the Captain Power episode called Judgment, and then in 2010 for her work on the Canadian cop drama Flashpoint in season 2.
Jessica was asked her favorite role during a fan Q & A interview hosted by CBC, but she had trouble only choosing one! She said that her top four were her roles in Armageddon, Small Gifts, Homefront, and Striker’s Mountain. When looking at the overall experience, though, her pick was her role on Heartland, of course!
Jessica Steen Originally Auditioned for the Role of Maggie on Heartland
When Jessica first auditioned for the Heartland series, she was actually interested in playing Maggie. Maggie, of course, is the owner of the diner called Maggie’s on the show, and she is also Amy’s mother Marion’s best friend. Jessica certainly would have made a wonderful Maggie! However, she was instead asked to audition for the role of Lisa, which we know that she got! She ended up really falling in love with the character of Lisa Stillman.
Jessica felt that she had a lot in common with her character. Both of them have passions for animals and for travel. Plus, they also love to spend time outdoors and can sometimes be too helpful! They both have a fondness for Jack, too. Jessica has described her character as “fun and light and keen and concerned and loving to a cloying degree”.
These are why she loves to play Lisa Stillman so much. Of course, the awesome cast and crew on the Heartland show make the experience that much better, too!
Jessica Steen Grabs Every Opportunity to Ride on the Show
As Jessica grew up in downtown Toronto, she, unfortunately, did not have a lot of opportunities to spend time with horses. When she landed the role of Lisa, she had to take weekly riding lessons in preparation for all of Lisa’s horseback and horse-related scenes. It was important that she execute them accurately, but safely, too!
Even though Jessica was not an equestrian growing up, she loves being on horseback now! She says that one of her most memorable scenes is the cattle drive in season 2 which featured gorgeous scenery and challenging weather conditions to ride and act in. She loves the rides that her character goes on, which is why she is sometimes disappointed that Lisa is not seen riding as often as she used to.
Jessica has had many years of practice on horseback, but she is still modest about it and about her skills. She does not get to have a lot of equestrian time off of the Heartland set, due to her hectic schedule. She usually only spends time with horses on other horse-focused or western-style shows, like the CBC’s Magic Hour episode High Country.
“Acting is such a small part of the overall toolkit of success”
Throughout her acting career, Jessica Steen has run into plenty of highs and lows. For example, in the early years of her career, she had to deal with dry spells and struggles to get work. Then, there was the pressure that came with working on big productions such as Armageddon. These experiences taught her to have a backup plan at all times and have multiple projects on the go.
Having such a busy life does have its advantages, too, though! As an actress, Jessica gets to travel and meet interesting people, all as part of her job. She says that no two days in her life are the same. It must be hard to get bored, in this case! Jessica believes firmly that “variety is the spice of life”.
She advises aspiring actors to manage their time and money wisely and to also make sure that they learn the business as best they can. Good actors should be able to connect with people and should be good at PR and be confident when auditioning, too. In this day and age, having a good social media presence is also important for the profession.
Jessica recommends doing acting as a hobby first, as she did, and having other streams of income so there is less pressure on yourself.
She is a perfect example of the truth that acting as a career is not all sparkes and glamour! It also takes plenty of hard work and dedication. Having a mentor in the industry who can help to set you up for success or place you on the right path is worth its weight in gold, too.
Jessica Steen Loves Hanging Out With Her Co-Stars
One thing that many cast members have said about the Heartland show and set is that it feels like a family! Jessica Steen also loves how close knit the cast and crew is, and has talked about how this makes the show such a great experience.
She has been able to build close bonds with a number of her co-stars, including Shaun Johnston, who plays Jack Bartlett, and Michelle Morgan, who plays Lou Fleming. Michelle sometimes even comes to Jessica’s home in Los Angeles! In earlier seasons of the show, Jessica also spent a lot of time with Wanda Cannon, who plays Val Stanton. The two have known each other for a very long time.
Jessica has talked a lot about Shaun, who plays her on-screen love interest! She says that he is dedicated to the show and really supports his fellow actors and artists. Jessica has also said that Shaun is the “heart of Heartland”. He always organizes fundraisers and get-togethers for the cast, and is typically the first to take someone under his wing. In addition to all this, he is a talented musician and a perfectionist, too!
He often plays the guitar for the entertainment of the Heartland cast and crew.
Jessica Steen is Adept at the Circus Arts
A surprising fact about Jessica Steen, which many people may not be aware of, is that she is a practitioner of the circus arts. She first got into them in 1998 and found them to be addictive. Jessica can do several of the circus arts and do them very well! These include stilt walking and fire twirling. It is often said of her in the media that “she is better at stilts than high heels”!
Jessica Steen is a Passionate Animal Rights Supporter
Animal rights are very important to Jessica. Ever since she was young, she has been a huge animal lover, so she fits right in among the horses on the Heartland set! In fact, Jessica has said herself that many of her favorite moments in her career have involved the scenes or experiences she has had with animals. Because of all this, Jessica has worked to incorporate her passion for animals into her philanthropic efforts and how she gives back to the world and the community.
All this to say, Jessica Steen is a dedicated animal rights activist!She supports animal rights and is also a passionate environmentalist. One of the things she does to help is to make regular donations to non profit organizations that are dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and nature. Some of the organizations that she supports are the World Animal Protection Charity and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. Another foundation that Jessica donates to is the David Suzuki Foundation.
This is a science based non profit in Canada that works to protect the environment and is named for the Canadian television presenter David Suzuki.
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Jessica Steen
We;ve gone over plenty of interesting facts about Jessica Steen in the article above, but we still have a few more for you! Fans of Jessica or of her character Lisa Stillman will be pleased to know some of these little known facts about her and her life.
- Jessica has two half siblings.
- Jessica is a certified driver.
- She has both Dutch and Scottish ancestry.
- Jessica’s family is located all over Canada. Some of her close relations live in Toronto, where she grew up, as well as Vancouver and Montreal.
- She has a lot of hobbies in her free time! She spends time with family, doing the circus arts, as a tour guide, and more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Jessica Steen still on Heartland?
Jessica Steen has been a long-running member of the Heartland cast, and over the years, she has gained quite a fan following! Her character, Lisa, was the shoulder to cry on for many of the family members who are going through tough times. She also helped Lou to organize her wedding. Luckily, Lisa— and by extension, the actress, Jessica Steen— is still on Heartland and will likely have a part on the show for seasons to come.
Is Jessica Steen married?
Jessica Steen is not married, and she has never been married, either. Currently, she is not in a relationship, either. As a busy actress, she does not have much time to devote to her dating life! However, she has probably had multiple relationships. She also was rumored to be dating her co star on the drama series Homefront, David Newsom. In an interview with Rave It UP TV, she mentioned a past boyfriend. Despite all of this she has never made a public statement.