FYIG Chats With Actress Catherine Lough Haggquist

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a happily married storyteller who loves acting and teaching. I love all aspects of the creative process and I also enjoy helping other people discover the creativity that lies within them.

How did you get your start as an actress?

As a teenager, I did modeling and commercials, but I consider the real start of my acting career to be when I was hired as a stand-in for Holly Robinson on 21 Jump Street. I learned a lot about the business and where to learn more about the craft. The friendships that I made on that show were instrumental in helping me establish a place for myself in the industry and pushing me forward to bigger experiences, bolder risks, and even greater rewards.   

You have over 125 acting credits to your name including roles in shows like Supernatural, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Universe, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Bates Motel, Van Helsing, Zoo, Godzilla, The Good Doctor, and Life Sentence. What keeps you motivated to play the next role after participating in so many diverse projects?

Well, most of all, I love the variety. Being able to go from head to toe in a gold lamé dress as The Fairy Godmother on Once Upon a Time to being post-apocalyptic in Van Helsing to going animated for Iron Man: Armoured Adventures is a great way to experience life. To make it a career is an honour.  

Exploring the characters is fun too, but there is no doubt that the fabulous work of the costume designers (and animators) who inspire the looks of my characters makes it that much more enjoyable for me as an actor.

You have two new Christmas movies coming out with Christmas Pen Pals airing on Lifetime on December 15th and Jingle Around the Clock which airs on the Hallmark Channel on December 22nd. What can you tell us about these movies and the roles you play?

In Jingle Around the Clock, I play Fiona, who is the boss at an ad agency. Elle – played by the amazing Brooke Nevin – works there as well and I mix up her Christmas plans by setting her up in an advertising campaign alongside Max (played by Michael Cassidy). Through their eyes, we get to see how new life choices are made and how important it is to have friends and family nearby when we are going through challenging times.

As for Christmas Pen Pals, I play the business partner of Hannah (Sarah Drew), who has created Perfect One, a dating app. After a surprise breakup just before Christmas, Hannah goes home and tries to breathe new life into the business, but there’s a surprise waiting that will change her life in unexpected ways – just in time for the holidays.

I really enjoyed being a part of two distinct stories with strong, empowered women leads who are both, in their own ways, on journeys of self-discovery and personal growth.

In Canada, Christmas Pen Pals airs on Super Channel and Jingle Around the Clock airs on the W Network – both on December 22nd.

In the USA, Christmas Pen Pals airs on Lifetime on Saturday, December 15th at 8PM ET/PT and 7PM CT and Jingle Around the Clock will air on The Hallmark Channel on Saturday, December 22nd at 8PM ET/PT and 7PM CT.

You’ve played a lot of roles for Hallmark. What draws you to these types of films?

Hallmark projects are great to work on for a few reasons. First, the casts and crews are always first-rate and expertly efficient. Second, I know that any Hallmark projects I’m involved with can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Photo credit: Kristine Cofsky Photography

It’s especially grateful to hear people tell me they’ve watched one of the Aurora Teagarden Mystery movies with their kids or grandkids and that we contributed to a special moment for their family to experience together. I think this is a big reason why Hallmark is so successful at what they do and I’m pleased to be part of it.

You have a couple of roles coming up in 2019 in Endless and Love & Oatmeal. What can audiences expect from you in these films?

Love & Oatmeal was a treat for me because I worked with the great Ben Platt. He was such a pleasure to work with and I think we both had a lot of fun with our scenes. I play the therapist for him and his sister (Lola Kirke) who is attempting to help them navigate their complicated relationship. 

In Endless, I play Alexandra Shipp’s mother. My character is concerned about her daughter’s well-being after she suffers a tragic loss. It’s a story that will offer a lot of emotion and heart.

What’s next for your career? Might you be interested in doing some behind the camera work (if you haven’t already)?

This year, I was an associate producer on Reel Women Seen, a short film that won a number of awards internationally. Being on the team of creative forces that were behind the performances represented a change of pace for me that I really enjoyed. I could definitely see myself doing more producing in the future.

What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses?

Read and watch the news. Once you plug into what’s happening around the world, you will see that all of the stories that are around us are reflections of the human condition.

You also founded BizBooks.net in 1996. Tell us a little bit about what prompted you to start that endeavour and what it means to have it still be around 22 years later.

Early on in my career, I was on the board of the Union of BC Performers. That opportunity gave me the chance to travel to other film locations. While in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, I realized that anyone interested in getting into the entertainment industry had numerous resources at their disposal to find information about how to get started. Vancouver, on the other hand, was missing one. Biz Books was started to give people the key material to grow their dreams.

That Biz Books has been supported by an incredible community of customers – first as a store on Cordova Street in Vancouver and now as a flourishing online business at BizBooks.net – means the world to me and it only inspires me to keep going.

What’s your life like when you’re not on screen?

Outside of acting, you can usually find me spending time with my friends and family or traveling in search of the next adventure.

Let the readers know where to find you online.

You can find me @ThCatLH on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or on my website at TheCatLH.com.