Laura Vandervoort’ Bitten Space Saturdays 9 EST10 PST
Conflicted werewolves!? Sure, why not? Female!? Yup. Just ask Laura Vandervoort who plays one on TV. The Space series Bitten is the first to feature a strong female lead that is indeed a deadly creature of the night. Vandervoort is bringing home fearlessly and embraces her powers. In terms of her human everyday self, Vandervoort is a woman with a generous heart, dedicated to animal welfare and living her best life. First, we had to know just how bad Elena becomes this season, armed with this new knowledge about her capacity for mayhem.
Elena had a pretty major personality change when she discovered she was in fact, a werewolf. What lies ahead now that we know she’s turned the corner?
This season, my character Elena is bloodthirsty. She is seeking revenge. Compassion is out the window. It is a nice change from season one. Last year she was torn between her two worlds. Indecisive. Elena was afraid of her true power and true self. This season looks epic and moody. We have some major losses that will shock audience. Major revelations as well. Elena is separated from her pack around episode 3 and this forces her to handle all that is thrown at her on her own.
Have you been able to have her “grow” with you over the two seasons?
Yes. Oddly enough, despite obvious existing and necessary story lines and story arcs, I tend to always relate to what Elena is going through. Season one we were all nervous to be a part of the series and get it right. This worked, as Elena is uncertain and afraid. Season 2, I feel we are hitting our stride and Elena is becoming her own woman. Personally, I was able to pull from my own upsets in terms of respect, lies, deceit, betrayal and anger to live in the moment with her. Feeling ‘trapped’ Elena has to truly think things through and fight through her on demons.
It’s always good to see Toronto as Toronto. What is the best part of filming here?
Being with my family. Spending time with them on the weekend and seeing my amazing nephew, Asher grow. I do not want to always be the aunt on FaceTime!!
You have had a great career and lots of success. What factors have contributed to it?
Growing up in Canada as a child actor definitely prepared me for the long haul. This industry is tough. It takes thick skin of which I still am growing. I think the training ground of growing up acting in Canada helped prepare me for later in life. An incredible support base from my family makes the difference as well. Focus and determination as well as persistence when times are tough all seem to be factors.
Comedy, drama, sci-fi, film, television, you cover the waterfront! It must give you great satisfaction to be so versatile and to have those chances.
I think most actors would say they want to “do it all!” There are definitely genres I feel I need to work on or have not grasped just yet. So many things I want to try. There are genres I feel I have a good groove in and understanding of. They all challenge me which is all I could ask for. Sci-fi has been very generous. For that I am grateful. I do enjoy sci-fi because the women are generally more layered and self-sufficient. Strong and intelligent. I would love to try my hand at comedy more. I believe it is one of the hardest forms of acting.
Part of your actor’s toolbox is your appearance and energy. How do you keep on top of these things even as you are trying to learn characters and lines and do your job? What beauty and exercise tips can you impart?
There is a pressure to maintain all of this while filming. Our show is extremely physical. We get a workout everyday on set with stunts. However, workouts before or after work do help. It keeps our energy up. Hot yoga was a great tool while filming season 2. If I was too tired for a heavy workout, hot yoga allowed my mind to turn off and my body to relax. We all try to maintain healthy diets while filming; drink lots of water and rest. I tend to be in bed as early as possible…it’s a boring life this way but that is where I learn my lines and prepare.
You’re involved with the Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty Free Canada campaign. I admire anyone who actually gets in there to help the animals…. I love it. Why do you believe in animal rights so strongly?
There is no doubt in my mind (And I would like to believe the majority of the world’s minds) that testing products on harmless animals is wrong and unnecessary. Without a voice, the animals have no way to stand up for themselves. The thought that merely for vanity we test cosmetic products like wrinkle creams, makeups, perfumes on animals is outdated, barbaric and repulsive. Terrified rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throats, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin and are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief. This is the ugly secret of the beauty industry. There are OTHER options, existing data that companies can use. The array of cruelty free products exist. They are accessible. Consumers can and should seek out those products to support cruelty free living.
Do you see results? Do you believe people are being more cautious with what they will buy and support?
People seem to be more aware of their options and aware of the horrible process of testing on animals. We have seen the videos and images. But we need to continue supporting the cause to ban this nationwide. Recently, polling found that a majority of Canadians (81%) are supportive of a nation-wide ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals. This is a huge step. We need to continue moving forward! Animal testing has already been banned in the EU, Israel and India. Over 30 companies in Canada support the campaign. Over 70,000 Canadian’s have signed a petition to the government. Let’s keep moving forward!