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TIFF special: Catching up with a couple of Rising Stars
Charlotte and Tatiana at the Tastemakers Lounge during TIFF 2012. Photography by Central Image Agency.
The thing about a rising star is that while dazzling its way to the top, there’s a whole lot of bright lights and big dreams on display for the ride. And that’s just what the Toronto International Film Festival is nurturing into reality with its
Rising Stars initiative, now in its second year of showcasing Canadian actors throughout the 10-day festival (
ELLE Canada’s October cover girl Sarah Gadon emerged from last year’s crop). We caught up with the two leading ladies of this year’s batch of homegrown talent—Toronto-born Charlotte Sullivan and Regina-native Tatiana Maslany (fellow Canucks Charlie Carrick and Connor Jessup round out the docket)— to chat about how talent, hard work and a touch of cosmic alignment helped shape their
star-studded TIFF experience this year.
Read on about Charlotte and Tatiana’s rise to stardom!
Photography by Joanne Klimaszewski.
Where you’ll spot her: In her dazzling, fall-from-grace turn as
Marilyn Monroe in
The Kennedys mini-series; serving and protecting as rookie cop Gail Peck in the Toronto-filmed police drama,
Getting the gig: “I got this email and had to do an interview for it and had to create this awkward self-video and send it off and I thought, ‘Oh my god, they’re going to think I lost my marbles!’ And I didn’t hear anything for the longest time and I was quite shocked that I was chosen to be honest with you. I’m completely touched and honoured. I’m in really great company.”
Dream chat: “I don’t know if they’re going to be there but my dream? I would die to have a moment with Daphne Guinness. I’m head-over-heels in love with her—her aesthetic, her brain, she’s a walking piece of art and I love how original she is. There’s no one else who looks like that!”
Red carpet look: “We’ve been given this wicked opportunity to have this sponsorship by Pink Tartan and they’ve been so generous in lending me some pieces that are quite stunning. And Pamela Barish—all her pieces are classic, and you put them on and they feel so beautiful, they’re made so well.”
TIFF magic moment: “A couple of years ago my husband [Peter Stebbings] directed a film called
Defendor and it took four of five years to be made, it was a real labour-of-love indie film starring Woody Harrelson. It took such long time and I just know how hard he worked on it. And then there was this premiere and they were ushering us on to these golf carts and we were racing—me, Woody and Peter—and I whispered in Peter’s ear, ‘The reason we’re here is because of your movie,’ and we started laughing hysterically.”
Perks of playing a cop: “When I wear that uniform I get free food! I’m not joking, if I go into a bakery—and there was this one time I left the set with my complete regalia—and they were like ‘Officer, what would you like? It’s on the house.’ And I think I also once directed traffic by accident.”
Photography by George Pimentel.
Where you’ll spot her: As angst-ridden, love triangle-prone Claire in writer-director Kate Melville’s debut feature,
Picture Day, premiering at TIFF this year.
On winning the role: “It’s so exciting to be a part of TIFF in this way, to get access to different people, be introduced to directors—it’s like speed-dating with Canadian and American directors and casting agents!” Maslany gushes. “It’s all happening!”
Latest onscreen persona: “[Claire’s] in this interesting grey area; she’s neither victim nor perpetrator nor manipulator. She’s sexually active, but it’s nothing to her. Intimacy terrifies her. Claire’s always had to work hard to be loved.”
TIFF magic moment: “My first experience with the festival was when I first landed in Toronto. I was super new to the city and feeling overwhelmed. But as I was biking through the city I could feel the buzz. It felt alive and everybody else seemed to feel this way. The following year I got to go for the
Diary of the Dead during Midnight Madness.”
Call her, maybe?: “With Twitter, Instagram, texting, we live in a world where there’s hyper-connection, but very little in-person actual connections. There’s a real fear of intimacy in this generation—a fear of just being quiet and still with somebody.”
Next role call: “I’m working on a few things. We’re currently filming
Cas and Dylan, the directorial debut of Jason Priestly. I play opposite Richard Dreyfuss—I’m getting to learn from some great Canadian legends.”