Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hip + Urban Girl of the Week: Emily Hampshire

Our new column will feature a local hip + urban girl of the week, who encompasses a fabulous attitude, job and lifestyle. We will feature a mix of entrepreneurs and urban professionals who are inspiring to follow. This week we interview Emily Hampshire, a Canadian Actress who is returning to TIFF this year in the film, Good Neighbours.
What made you want to become an actress and how did you get started?
It's weird, in retrospect I can see that there were two rather defining moments.  The first was when I was really young and my mother took me to see Les Miserables.  It was just the most amazing experience.  I felt like I had left the earth (and of course, I wanted to be Eponine).  The other moment was after I did my first play in high school.  I joined the after school drama club, because we had to join SOMETHING extracurricular and drama seemed like the path of least resistance.  I had this tiny nothing part and yet my high school vice principal seemed to go out of her way to tell me how good and funny she thought I was and felt life changing (ya, I’m THAT easy;-)
My real foray into professional acting happened when I was quite young and a casting director saw me in a play and called me in for an audition, and I got the part. So when it came time to figure out what I wanted to do as a 'career' I already kind of had one and it was the ONLY thing I knew how to do because it's all I had ever done. It's not that I don't love acting, it just never felt like a choice... it just kind of swept me up.
How did you get your first big break?
After I got that first job I got an agent and auditioned to play Genevieve Bujolds daughter in a film called Dead Innocent. That was my first movie slash real part that opened doors to bigger and better movies.
Do you travel a lot for your job?  How often are you away from home and where are you based?
Ya, A LOT. And I love that. I'm away from home (which is in LA) a lot when I’m touring festivals for a film. I've definitely been away more than I’ve been home over the last two years. 
What do you like to do to relax after a crazy long day on-set?
Curl up with a box of wine.... KIDDING! kidding! ...a glass! I just like to go back to my hotel and be alone with a glass of wine and enjoy doing absolutely nothing for an hour.
What did you study in University/College?  Would you have done anything differently?
Um, can I answer these two questions in reverse order because the thing I would have done differently is GO to University and I would have loves to study: linguistics/etymology, psychology/evolutionary, psychology/neuropsychology, anthropology, sociology and neurosis. 

Where are your favourite places to hang out in Toronto? 
I’m a real homebody so the next best thing to Dial-A-Bottle (which, I must say is a pretty fantastic service provided in the T-dot) was to walk 2 doors down from where I used to live in Little Italy, to the Brass Taps Pub (934 College St. at Dovercourt) for a glass of red wine on the back patio. I also like the roof top patio at the Drake Hotel and I’m usually there during TIFF.
What do you wish someone told you when you were younger and just starting out?
To LISTEN to the things people DID tell me when I was younger and just starting out because they DO know better than you now and you’re going to realize that YEARS from now when you find yourself giving that same advice that you didn't take like, "You don't need to try so hard. In fact, you're BETTER when you let go and ALLOW it to be easy." 
What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
Stop trying to figure it out. Seriously, I think that's the real secret to figuring things out. 

Website?  Twitter?  Facebook?
Ugh, I’ve been working on making a website since the dawn of iweb.... and I fear it will FOREVER be under-construction. Twitter: confuses me. Facebook: you don't want to be my fb friend, trust me. I live there. Even my REAL friends regret being my virtual friend. But I don't poke (no one likes to be poked!).

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