Which artists and activists inspire you to keep on kicking?
The people who inspire me are usually characters instead of actual artists and activists. I am always attracted to the under-dog, “loser” type, for whom life is really a struggle, but they manage to find something beautiful or funny in it. It is heartening to see filmmakers and writers express that part of themselves, and treat it with compassion. I don’t really consider myself an artist because I spend a very small fraction of my time practicing any kind of art. Nor am I as politically active as my conscience would have me be. But I really admire documentary filmmakers and activists like Marilyn Waring, Errol Morris, Michael Moore and others.
If you could script your own role for a series or movie, what type of story and character would you create?
I would choose to play a disgruntled psychologist in an after-life setting where deceased souls get to vote for the ultimate destruction or perpetuation of the world. The psychologist would revisit parts of the patients’ lives to try and help them see things in a positive light, like a secular humanist Touched by an Angel, except black comedy.
Have you ever had an emotional connection with a movie or television star in the same way many of your fans do for you? Is there an actor or actress who makes you feel something, regardless of the character, role, or reason?
No, I only feel a connection with the character. I know that actors and actresses are often nothing like the roles they play, and that the situations they are in and feelings they portray are universal experiences. A really great performance leaves me feeling more connected with everybody, not just the character, because they’ve exposed some kind of general human truth. The writer, director, DP, and whole crew are responsible for that, not only the actor.
What advice would you give a teenage girl that doesn’t get the point of living?
Hang on sister! I truly believe that depression is nearly always caused by a lack of human affection. Nobody really knows the point of living, that’s why they invent stories to give us a sense of meaning and purpose. Curiosity is your greatest asset for surviving adolescence.
How is life after adopting your two children?
It is difficult to accommodate one’s happiness to the rather indelicate strains of their musical preferences. And I’m not talking Eminem, I’m talking Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. I feel like I am on a loooooong elevator ride to hell when that is playing.
Do you have a boyfriend? If not, would you like to have one?
My boyfriend and I live together and adopted our kids together. We say we are “partners” because it is the contemporary term that fits.
Which country’s films do you like?
I love French and Chinese films.
Do you have a favorite American actor or director?
Right now I like Alexander Payne.
What’s the last movie you’ve seen?
Sideways and I loved it.
What religion do you follow?
I have a real penchant for Buddhist philosophy, but I love the mythologies of every culture that I’ve read about.
What kind of dancing do you do?
Ballet and tap (a bit, just for fun).
Do you have a favorite American singer?
What’s your favorite style of clothes?
Unobtrusive, if I’m wearing them. But I love clothes that evoke some other era, that remind me that we aren’t living in a socio-historical vacuum, like consumer culture wants us to believe!
Do you take it as a compliment when people tell you that you look much younger than you really are?
No, I think it’s weird that people think it’s worth mentioning. It’s not like I have any control over my looks, nor do I value youth over the wisdom of experience, so I don’t see it as a compliment. But I still say, “thanks!” in case they intended it that way.
Where is a good spot to live in Vancouver?
Hmm, if I could live anywhere in Vancouver I’d pick Kitsilano. I live in the burbs.
Is it weird running into your fans at screenings, conventions, and film festivals?
It is really nice to know people like the movies, very gratifying.
What is your favorite food?
Lemon cake, from a box, with lemon icing.
What is your favorite restaurant?
What is your favorite book?
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
What is your favorite song off Massive Attack’s album Mezzanine?
If you could have only one music CD, what would it be?
My fave is 1 Giant Leap.
How were you able to connect to your character of Brigitte in Ginger Snaps, and what was the biggest challenge in playing her?
I was able to connect with Brigitte because when I was a teenager I saw the process of becoming a sexually mature adult as monstrous. I now understand that it is constructed as monstrous by society (e.g. all the products we have for controlling our natural bodies), and that is the “beast” that attacks every girl when she becomes sexualized by our culture. The hardest thing about playing Brigitte was trying to keep the smile out of my eyes. I was having so much fun!
Which Ginger Snaps movie did you have the most fun working on?
Unleashed, because of the makeup and working with Tatiana, who has an amazing, radiant energy.
How long did it take to have all that makeup applied in Ginger Snaps: Unleashed?
At the latest stages of transformation it took seven hours. And an hour to take off. Made for some long days, but I loved every second.
Is Bailey Downs a real town?
It’s based on suburban Calgary.
Will you be coming to the United Kingdom to promote Ginger Snaps: Unleashed or Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning?
What is your favorite monster?
Dick Cheney is scariest.
Who is your favorite movie villain aside from the ones in the Ginger Snaps movies?
Kathy Bates in Misery. What a performance!
What would your career have been if you weren’t in the entertainment industry?
I think I might have become a psychologist.
What advice do you have for someone trying to make it in the film industry?