Happy Hump Day, Hearties! Wow! Try saying THAT ten times fast! And a special welcome to the #POstables! I’m very glad all of you are here!
Well, hello! I am SO excited to share a wonderful experience I had with you! I was given a rare and lovely opportunity that only wonderful people like you, my dear readers, would truly appreciate. Remember my #FlashbackFriday post last week, the one featuring the scene of Mary Dunbar asking to borrow one of Elizabeth’s dresses? There was a method to my madness. 😉 The link is in the comments if you’d like to go back and read the article. And you recall that both Erin Krakow and Carter Evancic have early September birthdays? Well, there is someone else who shares Erin’s birthday… besides my son. It is THIS lovely lady!
Photo credit: IMDB.com
Yes, I had such a fun time with my first-ever Skype interview with both WCTH and SSD alumni member, the beautiful, talented and INCREDIBLY kind Laura Bertram. She very graciously agreed to meet with me, and we had a fabulous conversation! She is so easy going; her open nature immediately put at rest all the nerves I was experiencing. I was also awed, but not surprised, by how down-to-earth and family-oriented she is. So are you ready to get to know this wonderful woman a little better for her birthday spotlight week? Here we go!
1. You’ve had roles in historical, contemporary, and futuristic time periods. Which one is your favorite?
• Oh, historical! I have a degree in History. I’ve always been very drawn to the past. I love the costumes, the nuances, the way you have to change your carriage to be correct in the way you present yourself.
• I played a teacher in a western who didn’t have a name because the part started out smaller. But I started getting more dialogue, and really felt she should be named. They let ME name her, so I did a whole bunch of research on what names were popular in the 1860’s, and settled on Alice. It was so fun.
2. My husband loves Andromeda, and I watched a few episodes. How long was that makeup job?
• The first day, it took four to five hours. Probably right in between at four and a half. When we got the routine down, we got it down to 3 hours 45 minutes. Luckily, I got along with my makeup artist really well. We passed the time by constantly bringing in new tunes on CD, lots of conversation, and mentally going to Tahiti. You can’t really read a book when you’re makeup is being done.
• When we had our 100th episode party, Kevin Sorbo had done the math: he said that the hours I had spent in the makeup chair up to that point was equal to the amount of hours a civil servant worked in a year!
Photo credit: IMDB.com
3. Any projects coming up you can chat about?
• I’m in an episode of the reboot limited series of Are You Afraid of the Dark on Nickelodeon. It airs on October 11th, 18th, and 25th.
• I also booked an audition this week, but I’m not at liberty to discuss it yet.
4. What is your ideal vacation? Favorite way to spend down time? Do you have any hobbies?
• I love being with my family. I purposely only work a few times a year so I can be with them. We love to hike and bike.
• I love being in the wilderness, so going to a cabin by the ocean AND mountains to decompress is ideal. My husband Jonathan (my son’s name!) prefers a beach in Hawaii.
5. What is your favorite place to go out to eat, and what dish are you usually found ordering there?
• I don’t have a favorite place or dish, although some girl friends did take me to this amazing Japanese/Peruvian fusion place called Ancora for my birthday. I more see food as a great connector of people, so I like bistro-style restaurants to share great food, conversation, and company.
6. What did you do for your birthday?
• Besides the restaurant, we had a family dinner. I made a cake. My husband only ate one piece because I made him, so I spent a lot of my birthday pawning the cake off on neighbors.
7. Any possibility of Mary Dunbar Graves making another appearance like Tom Trevoy?
• It’s been a long time, so I’m guessing probably not. The storyline of Mary and DeWitt actually went on longer than expected because of audience response, and it was left open, so I guess we’ll see. I had a great experience, and I would happily go back!
8. Tell us about your family, past and/or present. Where were you born? Still live in the same city?
• I was born and raised in Toronto, but I live in Vancouver now. I have 2 sisters, I’m the oldest, we’re each 3 years apart. The middle sister is Heather, and the youngest is Jennifer. Jon and I have been together 13 years, and married 10 of those years. My son, Kaleb, is 6; my daughter, Keira, is 4. (That’s MY daughter’s name, only spelled differently!) I got to pick my son’s name, but my husband got to pick the spelling.
9. What is your favorite role you’ve ever had? Hallmark and non-Hallmark?
• Hallmark would have to be Mary, she gave me a lot of meat and potatoes to work with. She’s a woman who struggled, but didn’t let on, and she had to deal with her son’s very raw emotions. She was needy, and had to deal with a lot, but she made it happen for the sake of Caleb.
• Non-Hallmark is a pilot that never got taken to series. It was a Canadian CBC series called The Cult. I was a cult member, but I read the synopsis, and it turned out my character was an undercover cop who actually gets offed.
• I also really liked Trance because I channeled my inner child to become her. I played hopscotch, I ate lots of chocolate. It was fun!
10. What role would you love to have one day? Who would you love to work with?
• Someone in the French Revolution, or that period in Europe. The storytelling would be very raw, and the costumes would be amazing! And I love history!
• I would have loved to work with the late Alan Rickman. I was sold after I saw him on Sense & Sensibility. But in his other projects, I was amazed at his ability to morph, and become whatever he needed to be.
11. How did you get started in acting?
• I was part of a children’s choir called the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus. We did a lot of musical theater songs. An actress from Toronto was the director of the choir, and introduced me to her agent. That led me to getting my first job, Ready or Not, which turned into a 5-year series.
12. Was it as easy to act with Derek Hamilton and Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh as you made it look?
• Since my real son’s name is Kaleb, that made that part easy, even though he was MUCH younger than Will. But Will is just such a nice boy! And Derek is so lovely! He’s very approachable, on and off screen. And he’s handsome too, so that made THAT easy.
Photo credit: Crown Media
13. What was your best and hardest scene to perform as Mary?
• The best was when Mary and DeWitt meet in the street after the incident at the mercantile, and he asks her to supper.
• The hardest on the heart was Caleb interrupting the dance. I felt like my heart was breaking! The tears didn’t come because of a dramatic choice, I was actually sobbing!
• The hardest one that was actually hard to do was the knitting circle. I CAN’T KNIT! So I’m trying to move my hands, and make it look like I know what I’m doing, hoping no one is looking too hard.
14. Your performance in Signed Sealed Delivered was amazing! What were the pros and cons of being involved with the #POstables? I’m betting it was super difficult to be such an angry person when you seem so happy and kind. (It’s called “acting”, right?) 😉
• Well, the easy part was being the oldest of 3 sisters, since I already am. The best part was getting to meet Kristin (Booth), and actually work with her. I had been in a Hallmark project that she and her husband wrote: Winter’s Dream with Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson. She was just a lovely woman.
• A funny story is that Sienna (the actress who played Mary Louise) and I thought we’d go practice our fight in one of the tents on set. By the time we came out, everybody was looking at us, very concerned. Our voices had escalated, and they thought we were really fighting.
• I think the important thing is to understand where the character is coming from, then don’t fake the emotions. Feel them. Wear a heavy heart. Peggy had a chip on her shoulder because her perspective is she’s managing everything, and thinks her sister ditched her. So her anger is understandable.
Photo credits: laura-betram.com
And there you have it, Hearties and POstables! The voice and heart of our very dear Mary and Peggy. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Now all we gotta do is campaign to get Mary back WCTH, right? Tune in on Friday for Laura’s favorite Mary moment, and her very deep thoughts regarding the feelings of the scene. See you then! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!