Bearing remarkable talent and the looks of a dyed-in-the-wool riot grrl, Alison Folland has made a distinct impression on audiences and critics with performances in only a handful of films. A native of Boston, where she was born August 10, 1978, Folland acted throughout her childhood and got her first big break in 1995, when she auditioned for Gus Van Sant's To Die For. She auditioned as part of a joke with some friends, and was thus more than a little surprised when she found out she had been cast as one of the three social outcasts (the other two being Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix) whom a murderous weathergirl (Nicole Kidman) attempts to fashion into her protégés. Although the role was a supporting one, Folland managed to stand out, and after appearing in Barbet Schroeder's Before and After in 1996, she landed her first lead in All Over Me in 1997. The film was a hit on the independent circuit, and Folland, playing a teenager coming out and coming of age in Hell's Kitchen, won praise for her subtle, poignant performance. That same year, she gained further--if limited--exposure with a bit part in Van Sant's Good Will Hunting (which also featured fellow To Die For alum Casey Affleck). In 1999, Folland again got a chance to demonstrate her talent with a role in Kimberley Peirce's Boys Don't Cry, which had its premiere at the New York Film Festival.