ENI had a chance to catch up with Smallville's newest cast member, Laura Vandervoort
. Starting this season, Laura will be Clark Kent's cousin, Kara Zor-El
, better known to comic book fans as Supergirl
. Today, Laura shares some of her background and interest in acting and writing. On September 24, we will hear her views on Smallville and Supergirl as we prepare for the season premiere on September 27 at 8 p.m. EST on the CW
Hello Laura, first let me thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for us and our readers.
- Could you tell us how you got into acting, and what was your first acting job?
- I first got into acting when I was 13 or so. I was watching the movie My Girl and told my mom that I wanted to act just like the girl in the movie…she allowed me to pursue it with acting classes. I began doing background work on shows in Toronto like “Road to Avonlea” and eventually landed a few commercials and finally guest stars on Canadians kids shows like “Are You Afraid of the Dark,” “Mom’s got a Date with A Vampire” (Disney MOW) and three episodes of “Goosebumps...etc.” Additional guest appearances followed.
Time passed and I found myself working on movie of the weeks, working on the series “Instant Star” and finally doing my very first feature film “The Lookout.” Now I'm working with a network I have always wanted to work for and on such an incredible show…”Smallville.”
- How do you prepare for a role? What kind of background do you do on the character you are going to play?
- Preparation for me involves more of how I perceive the character then about looking at the outside work for help. For instance with Supergirl, I chose not to watch the Supergirl movie from 1984. I felt I didn’t want to mirror Helen Slater’s character. I feel each actor should take there own spin on the person they are portraying or playing and literally ‘play’ with the character until they find a ‘happy’ zone that best suits both them and their character. When it comes to a physical trait in a character, speech, accent etc, I will usually study someone with those qualities and try to duplicate what they are doing. (For example a British Accent or someone with a handicap-such as my character in “The Lookout”)
- You were a double-major in writing and psychology at New York University. What kind of writing do you enjoy? Has any of your writing tied into your acting career?
- I enjoy writing freestyle…no boundaries…just letting the words come out naturally onto the page. When I write I mostly seem to write darker and more mysterious tales, very mythical similar to M. Night Shyamalan style. He combines the minds desire for fairytale and horror into an element of beauty and wonder.
- As both an actor and a writer, you must draw inspiration from a variety of sources. Who are your role models in acting and writing?
- It’s hard to find role models these days in the acting world for my age group. However Cate Blanchett is someone I would consider a role model for myself. She has such presence, power, beauty and intelligence. When it comes to writers…I certainly can’t say I have a favorite. As I previously mentioned, M. Night Shyamalan is someone I admire for his unique style and creativity.
- How have you prepared for the role of Supergirl? Before taking on this role, were you familiar with this character, the Superman mythos, or other comics in general?
- Preparation for creating the role of Supergirl was very quick and is definitely still evolving. When I was hired I only had a few days before I had to move to Vancouver and start shooting. Really my first day I was still learning and working the details of the character out in my head. The producers sat with me and had a discussion about my character and kind of gave me a starting block to take off from and take the character wherever it leads. Even now after being here for over a month I am still working out the finer details of Kara, however I feel now she and I are connected and I know what she is all about. Her wants, needs and weaknesses.
I hadn’t ever read comic books before this role but I am definitely into them now. I have a few Supergirl comic books and I am always asking the writers questions about the story behind it all, about Krypton, about my father and so on.
That's it for Today’s interview with Laura. Be sure to check back to ENI on Monday, September 24
for the second part of this interview where we talk to Laura about more specifics on her role as Supergirl.