In conversation with one of Canada’s coolest acting talents.

Welcome to’s official TIFF journal! This festival, Laura deCarufel and Jennifer Lee, the co-editors of
Hardly magazine
, have the high honour of reporting from TIFF’s coolest events. Stay tuned for party coverage, profiles, and behind-the-scenes scoop! In
A Night for Dying Tigers, Lauren Lee Smith gives a performance with bite. One of the hottest Canadian tickets at TIFF,  the film focus on a day in the life of a brilliant, complicated family rocked with tragedy. (Think
The Royal Tenenbaums…in Vancouver.) It’s packed with stars—Jennifer Beals, Gil Bellows, Kathleen Robertson—and dark surprises. ELLE caught up with Vancouver-born actress Lauren Lee Smith (
CSI, The L Word), who imbues her volatile character, Karen, with humanity, even grace. Smith talks about her favourite scene in the film, bonding with the
Tigers cast, plus her style icons, favourite films, top spot in Vancouver and much more.
Karen is such an intense and complicated character. How did you prepare for the role? “I found out about the film just a few days before we started shooting. Terry [Miles] sent me the script a month or so before, and I fell in love with it, but it looked like I wouldn’t be able do it as I was supposed to be shooting something else. A few days before shooting, the actress for the role of Karen fell out, and Terry called and said, ‘By any chance at all are you available?’ It just so happened my other project had been pushed—I was even thinking of calling Terry just to see if there was any chance. So long story short: There was no real prep. But I knew, from the first time reading it, that Karen was in me.”