Toronto-born actress Sarah Gadon dishes on celebrity culture, the measure of success, and her role in the much-anticipated Antiviral.
"Writers always set the scene," says Sarah Gadon, choosing her words carefully. "When I read articles about young women, they begin with a description of how they look or what they're wearing.... It starts with 'She ordered this with a side of that' so that we can know how anal-retentive 'she' is about her diet. It would be refreshing to me if you didn't start the article in that way."
The 25-year-old Toronto native is right, of course. It's very easy to begin a profile of an actress that way—especially when her outfit is casually elegant and what she’s eating, and serving you, came out of her fridge. It’s also business as usual at this point in an article to sketch out the subject’s career arc: to mention that Gadon has been acting since she was 10; that the first time she performed was at the National Ballet of Canada, as one of a group of lambs who "galloped around the stage"; and that she did guest shots on many Canadian television shows before popping up in two films by David Cronenberg, holding her own opposite Michael Fassbender in A Dangerous Method and slyly shutting down Robert Pattinson in this summer’s Cosmopolis. It’s definitely relevant to note here that she’s going to be featured next in Genie-winning auteur Denis Villeneuve’s An Enemy as part of an international ensemble that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent and Isabella Rossellini.
But the fact is, it’s a lot less interesting to try to construct a glossy, idealized image of Sarah Gadon as some sort of It girl than to let her set the scene herself with regard to her career and her startling new movie, Antiviral, which dropped jaws at Cannes and is touching down at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I find,” she says, “that [in magazine articles] actors are not given the opportunity to explain what they want people to take away from their films.”