Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an actress living and working in Toronto, I have a senior dog I love and friends I adore. Life is good. I try to keep things as simple as possible in this complicated world and I spend as much time as I can in nature or riding my dog around on my bike in her bike trailer.
How did planning on heading to an art school in Switzerland turn into a career as an actress?
As a child, I was always either drawing or doing some kind of acting in plays, either back yard, school, or church productions. I was accepted into art schools in Switzerland and Toronto and then I was approached by a modeling agent. I was longing to get out of the small town I grew up in and start my life so I jumped at the chance to come to the big city and try modeling. During my modeling career, casting agents and photographers would tell me that I had the face of an actress and that I should study…I’d forgotten how important acting was to me when I was young. After a while, I needed a new challenge outside of modeling and decided to listen to them. When I stepped into my first acting class all the feelings came back to me and I knew I was in the right place, doing what my heart desired.
How have you evolved as an actress over your 25 years in the industry?
I’ve grown a lot as an actress during my career because I’ve grown as a person. As I discover and integrate all the parts of myself it allows me to have access to them as an actor. I’m able to go deeper and I’ve grown into more powerful roles. I’ve learned a lot about the power of listening and being still in front of the camera and also taking my time. I’ve learned most of all to trust myself and my instincts and that I am enough. All of this has come to me concurrently in my acting work from my growth as a person in real life. For me that’s the way it works. Probably the biggest change is my voice…having access to it, having it be grounded and centered in my body. I was terribly nervous and shy in the beginning of my career and it all showed in my voice.
What can audiences expect from your latest film, “Night Raiders”?
From Night Raiders you can expect to, first of all, see a really good film! Although it’s a fictional story, all of the elements are pulled from Canada’s real-life past and the attempt to colonize it, the reality of the residential schools that existed in Canada, and the reality of what was done to the Indigenous people of Canada. Expect to be moved.
What can you tell us about your role as, “The Headmaster”?
The residential schools were funded by the Canadian government and run by the priests and nuns of the Roman Catholic church plus ministers from the Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United churches. My character Headmaster is representative of the people who ran these schools and how they thought and behaved and what they did to break the children. One of the reporters on the red carpet said to me, “I’m not a big fan of your character.” I said, “That’s a good thing.” That’s what you can expect, to not like my character and that means I’ve done my job.
What’s next for your career?
Next, I have a role in Christmas With a Prince, A Royal Baby. It’s the third in the series of these incredibly popular Christmas movies. I play Gabriella Kahn, an Oprah-style talk show host who interviews the Prince and Princess.
What advice would you have for aspiring actors/actresses?
For young actors and actresses starting out, I’d say first of all get into good classes or a good acting school and enjoy learning about everything that acting is. Soak up all of it! Connect with great teachers and like-minded people. Find your way and don’t give up, keep looking for the doors that will open. Develop trust and belief in yourself and cultivate a life outside of acting that’s rich and feeds your soul.
Let the readers know where to find you online
Come and follow me on Instagram @suzannecyr_