FYIG recently had the chance to chat with actress Megan Hutchings about her role on BET’s new legal drama In Contempt. Find out more about her role in the show, her role in CBC’s original comedy Crawford, her non-profit Dreams of Rescue, and much more right here!
Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of acting.
Outside of acting, I’m busy building personalized dream catchers for my non-profit ‘Dreams of Rescue’ in which all proceeds are donated to an animal rescue/shelter. I’m also a transport volunteer for an amazing rescue ‘Save Our Scruff’ founded by Laura Bye here in Toronto. Transporting involves picking up new rescues from the airport, taking dogs to their vet appointments, picking up supplies etc. I spend a lot of time with my own pups, Chloe and Henry, practice yoga on the regular, work out, read and spend time with my friends and family! I love a good night on the couch with wine, vegan pizza, and Netflix.
You started studying acting with coach David Rotenberg of The Professional Actors Lab at the age of 18. Was pursuing a career in acting something that was always in the back of your mind or did it develop as you got older?
I was always interested in acting before I really even knew what that meant. My Barbie’s lived pretty dramatic lives. I remember always feeling a little out of place in school and like something was missing. Once I found drama class everything seemed to make a little more sense and when I started training at PAL I really felt like I found my home. I think as I got older I realized that there’s a big difference between the art of acting and pursuing an actual career as a working actor but obviously I made the choice to follow that path.
What did you learn from your first recurring role on The Smart Woman Survival Guide?
I learned that actors work LONG hours! I was only 18 when I started filming this show and had no set or camera experience other than class. I was shocked at how many times we do one scene and how the camera is only on one person at a time (coverage). I was really fortunate on that particular show to have cast members who were so patient and supportive. My first scene ever coming onto the set was a monologue about erectile dysfunction – it must have taken me half the day to get through!
Recently, you had a recurring role as Jane on the CW series Reign. How was your experience on the show?
I had a really great time working on Reign and I learned a lot there. The show has a massive following, a huge production and a lot of money behind it which can be intimidating. I hadn’t worked in a few years due to some personal reasons so walking into something as big as Reign made me really nervous at first. The cast and crew had been working together for years and had built their relationships and connections so it’s hard not to feel like the new kid at school. Rachel Skarsten instantly made me feel welcome and part of the gang – she really is the coolest girl. Working on Reign was the perfect introduction back into being a working actress. Long hours, intense scenes, great directors and crew members, a talented cast and just lots of fun!
You star in the new BET legal drama called In Contempt. Tell us a little bit about the show.
Our show follows the personal and professional lives of a group of Public Defenders working in New York. There’s all the juiciness of love triangles, rivalries, broken relationships, friendships etc., but we also deal with really real, complicated issues. We’re defending people who are often oppressed because of the colour of their skin, mental illnesses, poverty etc. I don’t think we’ve ever really seen anything like it on TV. It’s sexy and entertaining but really dives into complicated territory.
You play the character of Tracy Campbell. What sets your character apart and what drew you to the role?
Tracy really is her own person. She’s a sexy, powerful woman who isn’t afraid to use that sexuality to her advantage. BET is pitching Tracy as the ‘seductress’ and I think that’s a fair word for her. She seduces without apology which I think as females we don’t often do. She’s not scared to break the rules, crosses all sorts of lines, and does and says as she pleases. What drew me to her was that despite her carefree, sexy persona there’s a lot of depth to her. She comes from a broken, complicated past which drives a lot of the mask she’s putting forward. I think many of us can relate to hiding who we truly are for fear of what the world will think of us and Tracy is no exception to that. She was a lot of fun to play.
You also star in CBC’s original comedy Crawford. What can viewers expect from this series and from your character?
Viewers can expect a lot of weirdness! Good weirdness. Mike Clattenburg is such a creative genius. He’s created something really unique, special and DIFFERENT. I hope viewers will fall in love with the quirkiness of it all. My character Veronica is a mean girl. She’s Jill Hennessy’s office rival and truly believes the world should revolve around her.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors/actresses?
Be kind to yourself. Don’t let whether you’re working or not define your self-worth – our world is too inconsistent for that.
Do you have a dream role? If so, what role would you like to play?
I’d really love to play something raunchy and raw like Charlize in Monster or Abbie Cornish in Candy.
You’re an advocate for animal welfare, shelters, and rescues. How would you encourage readers to help out in their own communities?
Volunteer at your local animal shelter! Or do some research on organizations in your area that need help. Rescues are always looking for volunteers and fosters. Donate old blankets and pillows to shelters. Instead of buying another useless Christmas or birthday gift donate to a local shelter or cause and put the receipt with a card.
You mentioned earlier that you founded the non-profit organization Dreams of Rescue where you create personalized dreamcatchers with the proceeds donated to a shelter or rescue. How did you come up with that idea?
I’ve always loved making the dream catchers so when people started asking me to create one for them and how much they cost I thought this would be a good way to give back to what I’m passionate about and not feeling guilty about charging for them.
Might we see you starting your own animal shelter in the future?
That is the ultimate dream! I’d love to own a large piece of property with a barn where I can take in alllll the animals!
Being a vegan, what’s your favourite vegan dish?
Pizza! Vegan pizza. I also love a good veggie burger with sweet potato fries and vegan chipotle mayo dip.
Tell the readers where to find you online.
I’m not witty or interesting enough for twitter 😉 but you can find me on Instagram @megsishere