Actress extraordinaire Laura Vandervoort talks about auditioning for Smallville, and her first comic-con experience
Actress extraordinaire Laura Vandervoort talks about auditioning for cult sci-fi hit Smallville and, her first San Diego Comic-Con experience. Also, Laura discusses Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent, giving her advice during acting classes.
You grew-up in Canada first getting your start in TV commercials, and before landing your first role in the 90's hit "Goosebumps", and later on the Nickelodeon series “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” Can you tell us how you got started acting, and at what point did you realize I want to make this a career?
I started acting at the age of 13. It At that point, it was merely out of curiosity. I was somewhat quiet growing up and perhaps it was a way for me to express my emotions. I began doing background work on Canadian TV series as a child and eventually started doing commercials. I took scene study classes and worked with coaches, but nothing could have prepared me more than just being on a set. You learn so much just by experiencing it- crew members' jobs, the pace of television vs. film, the hours. I wouldn’t say there was an exact moment when I decided on making it my career. I just enjoyed the work, challenging myself and learning as I went along.
At age 19 you attended "York University" studying Psychology and English, while taking acting classes to build-up about your craft, and keep auditioning for more roles. Do you have a favorite memory from taking acting classes, and did you have an acting coach, or mentor who gave you any career advice?
I attended York as a backup plan (laughs). Fortunately as acting continued, I realized how I could use what I was learning at York in my auditions and roles. Gordon Pinsent is a well known Canadian actor who also happened to be my grandmother's cousin. I reached out to him as a child when I first started acting. He and I wrote letters and he often gave me advice about this business and encouraged me. I remember on one of my first jobs (Goosebumps), he came to set. He’s always been like a mentor.
In the first weeks of your life you contracted meningitis, which, is a very serious condition that, affects both the brain and spinal cord. The doctors actually told your parents you wouldn't live I'm wondering how that experience effect your life, and what would you say to a family who, might be going threw the same life changing ordeal?
I was obviously rather young so I don’t remember the ordeal, but my parents tell me it was scary and overwhelming. There was a chance I would be deaf. I was paralyzed all down the left side of my body, but my mom says I had some serious fight in me and that’s how I overcame it.... along with some incredible doctors at North York General.
I suppose that fight still exists. I’m competitive and I don’t like letting people down. I try to accomplish as much as I can with my time here. Growing up, the meningitis affected how I perceived things. I had a learning disability and I was a visual learner. I had to memorize text books and rewrite them. I was a straight ‘A’ student however, I just got there in a different manner. So in a way, that has benefitted me with memorization techniques. I definitely felt a need to prove people wrong in school. That fight continued growing up and continues to this day.
You're most well known for playing Kara Kent on "Smallville" the Kryptonian cousin of Clark Kent who, was trapped on Krypton by Brainiac after traveling threw time. Also at the time you joined the cast of "Smallville" in season 7 the series was a huge hit on the WB network. Can you remember your audition for "Smallville", and how did you feel after you got the role of Kara?
I do. I did a self-tape for the show. It must have been over a month, and I had heard nothing. I finally got a phone call that they wanted me to fly to LA to do a screen test and I had never done one before. It all sounded so terrifying, not to mention they wanted me there tomorrow and I was up North in Canada at my cottage. We quickly packed up and drove home. I got on a plane the next morning and immediately went into the screen test upon landing. I recall three other girls in the waiting room. We signed the paperwork and one by one went in to audition for producers. I was nervous but excited. After it was all said and done they asked me to stay and a day later I had the job!
You were listed in Maxim Magazine's 100 Top hottest women two years in a row, and have hundred of thousands fans around the world. At Comic-Con conventions fans of "Smallville" have come-up to you crying just letting you know how much "Smallville" effected their life. When you're at conventions like San Dingo Comic-Con how dose it feel when the fans express their love to you? Do you have a favorite fan story?
It’s always so incredible and overwhelming. Sci-fi fans really are the best. I love hearing how the show(s) have impacted them. I remember my very first San Diego Comic Con experience as Supergirl. A gentleman came up to the table and had a tattoo of my face on his leg. I remember saying something like, “Wow! That’s my face permanently on your leg! Does your mom know?! Why would you do that!? But wow, thank you!”
Congratulations you have a new horror thriller coming-out on October 28th "Jigsaw" directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig where, you play the character of Anna. Can you tell us what kind of character you play, and how much of your own stunts did you do in "Jigsaw"?
I can’t say much. I was thrilled to be a part of the “Saw” franchise! You first meet Anna in the traps and she’s a character we hope the audience roots for. Anna seems to be in denial as to why she belongs there. It was a physically and emotionally draining movie but in the best possible way. Every scene was high stakes. We all did a fair number of stunts and the cast was fantastic.
Lastly you're very much involved in different charities including "PETA", "Humane Society International", and "Elton John AIDS Foundation". At We Blab Entertainment we're much in support of celebrities giving back to causes that effect our society. Can you tell us which cause your most passionate about, and what can someone do what wants to get more involved?
I’ve worked with World Vision Canada as an Ambassador for a while now. I’ve sponsored children through the organization for over ten years. Sponsoring a child through an organization such as World Vision is a start, along with encouraging others to do the same or just finding a local shelter or organization with which you can donate your time or items. I am working with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation now as well, and promoting awareness and hoping to raise funds in the month of October for breast cancer awareness month. I have set up a donation page at https://give.bcrf.org/fundraise?fcid=1145244. I just feel that love and compassion, especially in this day and age, are so important.
Watch Laura on classic episodes of Smallville now streaming on Hulu.
Don't miss Jigsaw in theaters October 27th.