Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, sure! I recently read Slaughterhouse Five so I’d like to steal a character description from Kurt Vonnegut: ‘A perfectly nice, standard-issue, brown-haired white woman with a high school education’ I cracked up when I read that, tack on film school and it’s a pretty accurate description of me.
How did The Actors Group in Calgary help ignite your passion for acting and lead you to Vancouver Film School?
I’m not sure how I found The Actors Group but I was hooked from the very first moment. Sharon Broccoli was teaching Meisner classes in an empty art space somewhere downtown. We would spend every Saturday sitting around this glorious, dusty room full of colourful glass and strange sculptures doing repeating exercises and scene work. She would assign me dark and crazy monologues from scripts like Fahrenheit 451 and Postcards from the Edge and it was everything that had been missing from my life. I was pretty young when I studied there, I think from 12-14 but that place was my sanctuary. I would spend the whole rest of the week waiting for 4:00 on Saturday.
What can audiences expect from your latest film, “Scarborough”?
The story is anchored around three kids from a low-income community mired in poverty, addiction and housing instability. They come together through a morning school program run by a particularly caring and inspiring teacher and together they navigate the ups and downs of life and community in a system that is failing them.
What can you tell us about your role as Jessica?
Jessica is living a hard life and in Scarborough we watch her struggle to keep going. She’s a devastatingly neglectful mother, completely unable and unwilling to care for her daughter Laura, played masterfully by Anna Claire Beitel. We see Jessica drowning in the disease of addiction as the bills and late rent notices pile up. Although she isn’t particularly sympathetic, I tried to play her as a whole person and not a caricature of someone who’s easy to hate. She’s a lost and lonely victim of society’s failures as much as any of the characters we meet in the film.
You’re also starring in the horror feature, “Motherly”. What was that experience like?
It was a total blast to make, I’m such a big fan of the genre and Motherly hits so many of my favourite scary notes. It’s a thriller with an isolation horror vibe and we shot it in an old, country farmhouse. Shooting that one was surreal. We were all staying out in rural Ontario, the cast and crew isolated together, working nights and sleeping in the daytime. It was March of 2020 so the pandemic was just being realized but we were somewhat insulated from it out there. We’d wake up every evening with a bunch of bizarre and scary news to absorb but what I really remember is a communal sense of relief that we were so busy working and sleeping that we didn’t have the time to be glued to the media. Although we were essentially a big pod we ended up wrapping a day early and having to pick up a couple of scenes later on but it came together really well. You can catch it this October at Grimmfest in the UK, CIFF in Calgary, Cinefest Sudbury in Ontario and a few more festivals will be announced in the coming weeks.
What’s next for your career?
Lately, I’ve been working away hosting a short documentary series called Auto Aficionado. I get to do some crazy stuff like drifting and drive some outrageously powerful cars so that’s been a lot of fun. Beginning in the late spring of next year we can keep an eye out for another feature, this one is a horror-comedy called ‘Sorry About the Demon.’ I can’t give much in the way of story just yet but it’s the second collaboration between director Emily Haggins and Paper Street Pictures, their first being Scare Package which is an absolute riot.
What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses?
Always take care of yourself, it’s tough out here, and starting out you’re a core team of one. Leave anything that doesn’t feel right, and quickly. A wise actor friend once told me ‘For every project you’ve got to have at least two or three: good people, good money, good script. Two of those or you don’t do it.’ That rule has always done me well.
What’s your life like outside of acting?
I love spending as much time as possible outdoors, regardless of the season. I’m from the Rockies so we’re big campers and snowboarders in my house! I recently went river surfing out in Calgary with my sister and I’m thinking of looking for a board and a wetsuit. I’ll have to see if there are any good waves around here in Ontario and recruit some friends.
Let the readers know where to find you online.
You can find me on Instagram and Twitter: