Canada has bestowed on us yet another talented actor… Laura Mennell. Recently starring in the sci-fi television series Alphas, Mennell is taking on her role of Nina at racing speed in her super high stilettos. What’s not to love about that image?! As a dedicated actress, Mennell has appeared on both the big screen and the small screen and is best known for her roles in Watchmen and Flight 93. Her resume is endless and her looks are timeless. As a Hollywood actress with attributes such as these, she’s definitely climbing further and further up the celebrity ladder with each new role she takes.
Tell me about Laura Mennell, the vegan.
I've been a vegetarian for more than half of my life—it's been a great lifestyle choice for me. I've just always loved animals and never really enjoyed the idea of what I was eating. That's when I made the change. Plus, vegetarian food can be pretty creative! Especially East Indian food, I can't live without curries!
Mmmm. You’re making me hungry. Okay, how about Laura Mennell the cat-lover?
I seem to be a sucker for black and white homeless kittens. My first cat, Michat, I found dropped off in a box at my elementary school. It was such a cold winter day, and all of the other kids had gone, so I was able to convince my mother to let me take her home for the night. And, it didn't take much to convince mom to keep Michat in the end; she was a pretty cute cat. I found my current little guy, Louie, in rural Manitoba inside an abandoned school that was falling apart. He was so tiny and scared, and so excited to have found my boyfriend and I, I just could leave him there. I felt this weird maternal instinct to him, I couldn't leave him there... So I flew him back to Vancouver with me.
Aw, you’re quite the heroine when it comes to animals in distress, huh. I’m a sucker for puppies, myself. Okay, moving on to the subject of the hour… most importantly, Laura Mennell the actress…
I've always loved being an actor. I love the constant change and how you continue learning no matter what stage you're at in your career. Mostly I think I like doing things I'd never even imagine doing in real life—pretending to be someone completely new. Sometimes you're asked to do crazy things as an actor, and there's a weird rush that comes from letting go and seeing what happens. At times, my job can be like fulfilling a series of dares, going for it and seeing what happens.
So, an animal lover and an artist… What else do you enjoy being a part of or doing in your spare time?
I love going to the movies. I really love old movie theaters and I think drive-ins are pretty fun! Being from Vancouver , I also really love the outdoors—I need to be around the ocean and mountains. Simple things are fun, like going for walks around the seawall, on hikes, or even for some wine on the beach.
I love drive-ins! I wish there were more around. Well, I hear you love spending time in the kitchen as well. When it comes to cooking, what do you consider to be your signature dish?
I like experimenting, but I really love curries. I make a pretty great Aloo Gobi, which has cauliflower, potatoes, peas, cumin, and turmeric. But, I also like making different types of casseroles and hearty salads with things like nuts, goat cheese, beets, or maybe some artichokes. I like going to local farmers’ markets and randomly picking up some lovely fresh and organic produce and popping them into the night's meal.
I hear ya on that. I’m all about the freshness when it comes to food. Okay, so after over a decade of acting on the big screen and small, what do you feel are some of the key things you’ve learned about the industry?
I think perseverance is a good thing as an actor; it can be tough sometimes, especially in the beginning. And, I think you need to be open to change and learning new things. That's the great thing about my job—it's always changing and I'm always learning new things. That's the only way to keep getting better.
Well put. So tell me about Flight 93, being that it was such a powerful film. What was it like being part of a project that took place in such a powerful time in our generation’s history as a nation?
It was such a great experience being part of Flight 93 and I thought Peter Markle did a lovely job directing it. To this day, it is still one of my favorite films I've been in. I think it was an important film to be a part of, and it's a wonderful tribute. It was a difficult shoot, particularly because we all wanted to honor the lives of those we were portraying. We knew the families of those lost would be watching, so it really heightened the importance of the film for all involved. But, despite being a demanding shoot, I'm so glad I was involved in it.
All right. Let’s move on to Alphas. What kind of demands does a sci-fi, action drama like this have on you that other genres don’t?
Well you have to be a little more imaginative on set at times, especially reacting to crazy special effects that aren't really happening at the moment. There's also a whole lot of action and running in high heel stilettos, which might look good, but can be somewhat demanding to run in!
I think every woman can sympathize with you on that one. Tell me more about your character Nina on the show.
Nina's been a lot of fun to play. She's super intelligent, strong, capable, and she has the best ability... at least that's what I think. She's an influencer and is able to manipulate people into doing whatever she wants them to do. It's a great ability on the job—she gets the team out of tricky situations and can get honest answers out of uncooperative suspects or witnesses. But, she also has tons of fun with her power. I love that she does things that most people could only dream of doing! Like getting a cop to eat her speeding ticket. If only life could be like that! But, Nina's life isn't perfect. She has a bit of a past she doesn't like getting into, and of course the audience will learn more about Nina as some walls come down as the series progresses…
Gotcha. How about the rest of the cast? What’s the vibe like on set?
Everyone on set is really wonderful, and super talented—I love working with David, Ryan, Warren, Malik and Azita! And of course all the guest stars we've had on the show have been amazing. I wish I could give you some names, but the network would kill me! There will be some wonderful surprises, I'll tell you that much!