And now, the final of three posts looking at some of the most beautiful Canadian actresses around — or what I think of as the “bring your own shovel” list (that’s a joke that makes more sense if you’ve read the intro to the first of these three posts)…
Agam Darshi – whether it be as the feisty ex-thief in Sanctuary or the spunky girl next door in Dan for Mayor (hmm, I’m detecting a pattern) Darshi has an engaging presence. I’m not saying writing her out of Dan for Mayor led to the series’ cancellation…but it may have been a factor in my watching it less in its second season. Hey, come to think of it, Sanctuary was cancelled after her part seemed to be cut back to irregular appearances. Hmmm…
Kristen Hager – as often cast as actual leads as love interests, and building a bit of a genre resume — fighting vampires in the webseries Valmont or as the conflicted werewolf in Being Human where she must’ve been doing something right…because her role has been up-graded from recurring guest star to regular.
Sandrine Holt – an elegant beauty for a number of years, Holt has — depending on your point of view — had the breaks…or not. She’s certainly had a few leading parts in things…but not too many great things, still looking for that good part in a good production. (Which is a recurring theme on this list!)
Hélène Joy – a transplanted Australian who’s carved out a nice career here in the Land God Gave to Cain. Good as the lead in the film Desolation Sound, and as the secondary lead in Durham County. Ironically, her highest profile role is probably in Murdoch Mysteries…which probably doesn’t really show off her talent or her looks to their best advantage.
Karen LeBlanc – LeBlanc’s been around as a pretty actress for a while, but seemed to grow into a compelling presence, perhaps starting with the indie film Short for Nothing which seemed to push her over the top and made me take more notice of her. Often cast as level-headed characters just trying to make it though the day.
Sarah Lind – another actress who blends a kind of super-model cheekbones…without losing the aura of being the girl next door. And yeah, Lind is the third alumni from the teen TV drama Edgemont on this list…but honestly, I don’t have some weird Edgemont obsession.
Natassia Malthe – Norwegian-Canadian former model who, with her exotic/model looks, seems to get cast in things with vampires and elves a lot (I guess that makes her an unearthly beauty). Unfortunately, they often tend to be lesser films (she’s worked a lot with notorious B-movie king, Uwe Bolle) so still waiting to see what she can do in a good part in a good production.
Mayko Nguyen – a kind of quirky, tom boyish, girl next door where you can find yourself smitten even before you know what’s happened. As one corner of a love triangle in Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures you could certainly empathize with the two guys in her life. She was also a co-lead in ReGenesis.
Jessica Paré – another of that recurring theme on this list (and maybe a distinctly Canadian characteristic) of a woman who somehow manages to seem “real”, like the girl next door…even as she has super model features. Maybe there’s some hard to pin down imperfection — and I mean that in a good way! She’s beautiful, without being bland. American audiences seem to have almost discovered her with Mad Men…but she’s been around for years, her first major role in the satire Stardom (appropriately about a normal woman who gets catapulted into the limelight thanks to her looks).
Sarah Podemski – actually the Podemski clan includes three talented sisters — Jennifer, Tamara, and Sarah — but there are only so many slots on this list. So I’ll give the nod to the “new” generation (ie: youngest, Sarah) as part of the “someone to watch for in the future” category. She crops up in a few guest starring parts, but her signature role at the moment is as the junior floor manager (and would be talent agent) in the dramedy Cashing In. One of those series I’m sort of ambivalent about…but I perk up whenever she’s in a scene.
Fefe Dobson – for the final slot on my (somewhat arbitrary) 33 list…I decided to be quirky and pick from out of left field. After all, my own criteria was actresses, and Dobson is a singer. But she’s started to do a bit of acting and she is, well, beautiful. She was a featured guest star in The Listener and, though I won’t say she was winning any awards, she did alright…given it was essentially her first major acting gig (and it was, after all, The Listener). And she’s slatted to appear in the ensemble motion picture Home Again. And yeah, I’m kind of curious to see her in it — and one of my points was to pick actresses that piqued my curiosity if their name was in the credits. So, as a Wild Card pick…why not? Whether she has a future in acting — or even wants one — only time will tell.
(I revisited this theme with my 2014 follow-up of Another Great Canadian Babes List — just fyi).
By now some of you are SHOCKED that certain faces haven’t appeared, ones who usually do crop up on these sorts of lists — and without naming names, let’s just say in most cases it wasn’t an error or an oversight. They just didn’t make my list. Sorry. Pretty actresses and capable performers, just not enough so of either to really fire my enthusiasm.
I had to bite my tongue (or slap my fingers) to keep from listing a few more — but it ain’t a list if everyone’s on it, is it? But I easily could’ve added another dozen (and many still wouldn’t have been the people who appear on similar lists). In some cases, they just didn’t make the cut because I hadn’t seen then in something recent (they might have been in something, just not that I’ve seen) and this was supposed to be “current” hotness. In other cases, I just hadn’t seen then in enough to form an opinion — yet. In other cases, they didn’t make the 33…but would’ve a top 40.
I considered doing a “runner up” list (and I still might)…but then I thought: that isn’t really my point. It isn’t really about who was a runner up, it isn’t even really about who made the top 33! It isn’t even about an excuse to post pictures of pretty ladies (well, okay, it’s partly that)!
As usual with my posts, it’s about making a point about Canadiana and pop culture, about thinking outside the box. It’s about saying that usually “beautiful Canadian” lists draw primarily from those who have a Hollywood profile…and here’s a list that looks at everyone — and some unexpected faces ended up muscling out some of the traditional ones.
So what’s the lesson? There are a lot of beautiful Canadian actresses that warrant some good roles…