Born in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Saskia Slaaf lives and works in New York City as an actress and voiceover artist. Saskia grew up most of her life alternating living between America and The Netherlands. During sabbatical leaves of her father, Professor and Chair of the Department of Biophysics at the University of Maastricht, she lived with her parents and older brother in Seattle, Washington, and in Louisville, Kentucky. Thus, she grew up bilingual, speaking Dutch and English.
At age six, Saskia moved from Seattle to The Netherlands where she started ballet, field hockey, tennis, gymnastics, speedskating, and skiing. During this period, her interest in acting grew. She started writing, directing, and acting in her own plays at the Maria Montessori School in Maastricht at age 8; as a result, she became the youngest alumnus of Acting Academy of Maastricht at 13.
At the age of fifteen, she joined the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, where she studied classical ballet, pointe, modern, and jazz while also attending the arts program at DuPont Manual High School, where she studied painting and drawing. She graduated cum laude at both schools at age sixteen with full scholarships for numerous colleges for the arts, which she declined to finish her studies at FIT in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
After studying sociology, psychology, marketing, fashion Management, and design at the University of Amsterdam, she directed several music videos for MTV Europe, where she was discovered by a modeling agency. This led to her shooting with Karl Lagerfeld for French Vogue, launching her career as a high-end fashion model. Residing in Paris, Milan, London, Japan, New York and Amsterdam, she appeared in all of the most distinguished international publications, such as ELLE (French, Italian, and Dutch), Marie-Claire (German and French), V Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar (United States, Spanish, and Russian). She appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine along with many others, such as Vogue (United States, Italian, French, Greek, Russian, Japanese, and German) and W Magazine. She has also been featured in leading advertisements for the prestigious clients such as Louis Vuitton, NARS Cosmetics, Bumble & Bumble, Jill Stuart, Barney’s New York, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bobbi Brown, MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Thermasilk, Clairol, Commes des Garcons, and L’Oreal, in addition to being featured in the fashion shows of many successful designers in Paris, Milan, London, and New York.
While modeling in Paris, director Roger Avary was so impressed with her that he had her sign a contract on the spot for his film “The Rules of Attraction,” and with that Saskia returned to her love for acting. As Saskia is dedicated to her craft, she trained in Stanislavski’s System at HB Studio with thirty-year resident Katharine Sergava. She also trained with David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University’s Roger Hendricks Simon and George DiCenzo, studying audition monologues, scene study, movement, improvisation, staged readings, on-camera television/film acting, audition technique, and voice production. Saskia was coached by Sam Chwat, speech therapist/dialect specialist at the Sam Chwat Speech Center in Professional Speech, in voice improvement and accent and dialect acquisition. Her private coach for TV and Film auditions, Shakespeare, and Broadway plays was Broadway legend Eve Collyer, also known as ‘Gubi Mann.’ In addition, Saskia studied with Sabra Jones the concept of a repertory theatre, which created an extensive body of work ranging from Chekhov’s repertory to Tennessee William’s “Streetcar Named Desire.” She also participated in the two-year Meisner technique program at The William Esper Studio with Suzanne Esper. Finally, she trained with Wynn Handman at The Wynn Handman Studio, where she studied the works of Eric Bogosian; Sam Shepard, whom he discovered; an extensive body of Shakespeare’s work; and the works of Spoon River anthology. There, she also studied audition monologues and scene study.
US, Dutch, and worldwide audiences have seen and heard her as a principal in TV, film, commercials, voiceovers, and advertising campaigns since her voice work includes a wide range of European languages. She is fluent in Dutch, English, French, Flemish, and German. She speaks Spanish at conversational level and is currently studying Russian. She not only speaks Standard American English (SAE) but can also speak the American language with several accents: French, Russian, Dutch, Southern, and Received Pronunciation (RP), also referred to as Queen's English and Essex.
Saskia’s voiceover work include Ang Lee’s Gemini Man ADR in French, German, Dutch, Flemish. She is also the voice for Grey Goose’s national TV commercial, which includes three spots: ‘Empty Gift’, ‘The Final Ingredient’, ‘The Art of Summering.’ Other voice clients include Xerox, Skype Integration with Microsoft Dynamics, Nielsen Values, CHEP, Human Rights Watch, Spike TV, XBOX’s Brothers in Arms: Hells Highway, and Chase Bank, just to name a few.
Saskia has worked on film and television productions such as Showtimes’ Nurse Jackie, now streaming on Netflix, co-starring opposite Edie Falco and directed by Steve Buscemi; “I Love You Daddy” starring opposite John Malkovich and directed by Louis CK; and Comedy Central’s “Big Lake” produced by Will Ferrell, playing opposite Chris Parnell and directed by Emmy Award-winner Don Scardino ("30 Rock"). Saskia plays ‘Self’ in the Netflix documentary “It Takes a Lunatic,” the subject of which is renowned acting coach’s Wynn Handman’s life and the history of The American Place Theatre.
Saskia is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is managed by Ken Park Talent in New York for film, television, commercials, and print. Atlas Talent Agency and KMR represent Saskia for voiceover.