FYIG Chats With “Street Legal” Actor Mikaël Conde

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name’s Mikaël Conde. I am Portuguese and French-Canadian, born and raised in Canada’s Capital. I’ve got a younger sibling and 2 parents that all have strong personalities like mine which makes our family suppers extremely interesting, especially if a debate occurs. I’m very much family oriented; they’ve always supported me in everything I took on and I do the same for them. Before acting, sports were my life and soccer was my main passion. Finally had to choose between playing university-level soccer and pursuing my acting career. Ultimately, I chose acting and don’t regret it for one second. I still have my passion for sports which keeps me active every day and I truly believe it helped me develop the proper skills for my career. I have goals, and I’m doing and putting everything I’ve got into achieving them.

How did you get into acting?

I got into acting in grade 10. I had a meeting with my guidance counselor to discuss my future. The one little problem was that I wanted to be everything from a lawyer to an intelligence agent working for our government. I had all of these ideas but didn’t know which ones to pick. At that time I had one of my good friends represented by this acting agency called AMTI (Angie’s Model & Talent international), and she suggested that I attend their open casting call and give acting a shot. Finally, I ended up attending the open casting call and getting in. That’s where my journey in the film industry started.

You’ve played a lot of television roles including roles on 19-2, Murder U, His Perfect Obsession, and more. How differently do you approach a TV series as opposed to a movie role?

Each role I’ve played for television came with somewhat of a challenge. Murder U was one of my earlier projects. This TV series retold the stories of tragic murders that happened in Universities around the US and each episode covered a different tragedy. In my episode, I played the prime suspect of an ongoing investigation around the murder at a university for the hearing impaired.

On my first day of shooting, our director asked me to have my character communicate using ASL (American Sign Language).  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know any sign language at all. In the end, I worked with an ASL coach daily to ensure I could deliver my line as per the vision of the director.  At the time it felt rather stressful, but I’m so thankful for that experience.

From a process standpoint, I look at both the same way.  With each, I focus on the direction of the story, what is the writer trying to tell and how is the director bringing those words into television or film? I then research the character and their personality and study different ways that I can bring the character to life.  I then start to study the content and how I can deliver it to do the character justice.  With television versus film, the difference comes more in the delivery, a character over 10 episodes of a season has more time to let his character evolve than a 2-hour film for example. 

You’re only 20 years old and yet you have a bunch of acting credits under your belt already. Did you expect to have as much work as you’ve had so early in your career?

Absolutely not, I am still having pinch me moments!  When I entered the industry, I knew I had a lot of catching up to do, many of the actor competing for roles have been acting since they were kids.  I’ve spent a lot of time really pushing myself to learn as much as I can, taking courses and really working with my agent to implement all of the feedback I get from auditions.  There’s so much rejection in this industry that every time I book something, I’m really excited.  I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and others that will present themselves in the future.

Talk to us a little bit about your character Maddox in CBC’s revival of “Street Legal”.

Maddox’s future became compromised due to opioids after abusing pills he received from a wisdom tooth operation. Though he would definitely appreciate monetary compensation, Maddox and his mother demand the pharmaceutical company takes responsibility for not only what they’ve done to his life, but to opioid addicts across North America. He fights alongside his mother for justice.

Maddox is one of the representative plaintiffs of RDL Legal’s class action suit against the pharmaceutical company, Standout Pharma. Once an Olympic caliber swimmer, Maddox became addicted to opioids after having his wisdom teeth removed. Now he and his mother need to decide whether they want to take a settlement offer or testify in court.

Were you familiar with the original run of the series at all?

Initially, I wasn’t! In studying for my role however, I did learn a lot about the series and became even more excited to be a part of it.  A lot of my friends and family were so excited to hear that I was a part of the reboot.

You also play Bill Miller in this year’s Roland Emmerich film “Midway”. What can you tell us about this movie?

I can’t say a lot just yet I’m afraid, but I can tell you that it’s my first role on the big screen! Usually, my family and I sit in our living room and watch my latest project together, but for this one, we’ll probably head to the movie theatre and watch it with some popcorn.  I am extremely for the world to see it.

What’s next for your career? What goals have you set for yourself?

I’m currently in the mix for a few upcoming projects that I’d love to see flourish, but my main goal is to spend more time exploring some possibilities in the U.S.  My agents at AMTI have been working diligently with me to see what we can do to build up my career on an international scale as well.

What advice would you have for aspiring actors?

My number one piece of advice for actors is that you have to love every aspect of the acting lifestyle, both the good and the challenging.  There is a lot of rejection, last minute auditions, long hours and traveling so you have to be willing to make those sacrifices.  I always remind myself that nothing is stopping me from achieving my goals but myself, so I need to show up each day and give it my best shot.

What’s your life like outside of acting?

My life outside of acting is staying active by doing various sports and traveling as much as possible in between my shooting schedules.  Even though I’ve only been an actor in the last few years, I’ve always loved being a spectator of film.  It’s always been a sort of escape for me; a way of refueling myself if I was feeling down or stressed in my life.  So even though I do have a full schedule spending time with family and friends, I do always try and make time to catch a movie here and there.

Let the readers know where to find you online.

Find me on social media: FB, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. My handles are all my name: Mikaël Conde*. Lucky enough to have an uncommon name, makes it easy to find me.