What is it like working on “The Vampire Diaries”? It’s odd to say that going to “The Vampire Diaries” set is work. I have such a fantastic time with the cast and crew, so I look forward to spending my days with them. My character, Jenna, continues to develop through interesting new plotlines that keeps me on my toes and wanting to breathe new life into her. I love how the storylines get more exciting and shocking and complex as the season goes on.
What is your most memorable experience on that set? I think the most memorable moments are whenever a castmate has a birthday on set. We have this tradition where we decorate each others’ trailers. We’ve really become a family so it’s funny to see how well we know each other with what the trailer decorations entail.
What is your favorite item in your closet? My favorite item in my closet is this wool sweater I’ve had for years. It’s kept me warm all over Canada and followed me to Atlanta, where I don’t necessarily need it.
What kind of music do you listen to? I listen to a very wide variety of music. It ranges from classic rock artists like Neil Young and The Rolling Stones, to jazz – I love Ella Fitzgerald, to bands like The Strokes, Muse and Weezer. Sloan is my favorite Canadian band! I also like Feist and Metric.
Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes. My parents gave me a great pair of black BOS and Co. equestrian style boots for Christmas this year, to replace a previous pair I’d worn down from trekking all over Vancouver.
What do you do to let off steam? To let off steam, I go to hot yoga, or paint. I don’t consider myself a painter, but the action of painting never fails to calm me. My best friend sends me lists at the end of her day of what she is grateful for in life, and I always go to bed happier when I send her one back.
What is your favorite movie and why? My favorite film is “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. It is one of the most truthful love stories I’ve ever seen, told in a unique and very unconventional way. And I have a huge admiration for Kate Winslet.
Where is your favorite spot on Earth? My favorite place on earth is a beach I used to play on when I was growining up in Newfoundland, Canada. There’s a whole world of imagination that I left on that beach.
What kinds of charities do you/would you like to support? I’ve spent a lot of time in Vancouver, which is a fantastic city, but it opened my eyes to the importance of women’s shelters. I’d also like to get involved with education initiatives in third-world countries.
Tell us about growing up in Canada. One of the best things about Canada is its diversity. I spent half of my childhood in Newfoundland and the other half in Alberta. Living in the two provinces were completely different experiences and shaped me in different ways. I was a figure skater growing up, and also am accomplished in most every other snow sport. Canadian summers are fantastic – because they tend to be so short, Canadians revel in every second of summer.
Did you like vampire movies growing up? What is your favorite and why? I first became intrigued with vampires when I saw a school production of Dracula. I loved the dark romance in the story, and from there watched all the vampire films I came across, from Nosferatu to Dracula: Dead and Loving It. My favorite vampire movie is a recent Swedish film, called “Let the Right One In”. It is a story focused around two children, very simply told, but beautifully shot and acted. I think it captures a major theme at the base of vampire mythology, the idea of forbidden love.
What is your advice to aspiring talent? I can only say what drives me as an actor: wanting to understand why people are the way they are, from all walks of life. I think the best actors are impeccable storytellers, so it’s very important to immerse yourself in great fiction, films, plays and music. In the midst of training and auditioning, be open to the world around you.
What is one thing no one knows about you? I fainted on stage in my fifth grade Christmas pageant. I was a star. A falling star.
What are your plans for the future? Future plans are hard to put on a page. I hope to continue to do what I love doing, and have many opportunities to work on great projects with people I’ve always looked up to. I would like to write and direct my own material someday. Have a family, and an eccentric home somewhere across the world, where I can practice my decorating skills. Oh, and have an article published in National Geographic.