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Interview: Brooke Nevin

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Canadian born actor Brooke Nevin is proving that with hard work and determination, you can have a successful and consistent career in the up and down world of acting. She has been a series regular on shows such as Call Me Fitz, Animorph and Breakout Kings.

She has also made guest star appearances on popular shows like Chicago Fire, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Perception. For her guest appearance on the Canadian series Motive, Brooke has been nominated for a 2015 Leo Award for Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series.

Her latest project finds her working with the fine folks from the dead letter office in the hit Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris With Love. The movie will premiere on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel this Saturday, June 6th at 9/8c.

Brooke sits down with the Pop Culture Principle to talk about her latest project, why she loves the science fiction genre and what advice she would give to up and coming actors.

Pop Culture Principle – What was it about the script for Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love that made you want to be part of the project?

Brooke Nevin – That is a good question. I am a fan of the Signed, Sealed, Delivered series in general. The series stands alone in terms of the quality, and I think they are really special characters that carry the series and now the movies. I find that there is a heartfelt effervescence when it comes to the show. It’s also paired with this real honesty and emotional depth.

You find yourself wanting to root for every single character. Even if some of the characters have motives or intentions that don’t square up or align with each other’s, you can still see each characters point of view. I think the show is a beautiful example of themes such as faith, love, and renewal. The words are put in a really honest and grounded way, and I just love it.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us the basic premise of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris with Love and your character Caitlin?

Brooke Nevin – Well of course the job of the Postables is to deliver long-lost letters. We meet my character Caitlin and her husband Joey and, when we see them, they are actually at a pretty strong place in their marriage. With the threat of the delivery of this certain letter, there is the possibility of their whole foundation being shaken and maybe even destroyed.

This letter is sort of an inciting incident which we imagine could be really disastrous, but it actually provides a needed moment of clarity and communication for these two, and they end up coming out a lot stronger and more committed for it in the end.

Pop Culture Principle – What was your experience like working with the main of Signed, Sealed, Delivered?

Brooke Nevin – They were great and so welcoming. The casting process and the preparation process for this project were really fast. I was cast on a Friday, flew to Vancouver on a Saturday, and we started work on Monday. It was such a whirlwind, but they were all so welcoming. They are total professionals and really fun to work with. There was such levity on set ,which was great because there are these moments of comedy within the drama and they know how to interweave those two elements really well.

Pop Culture Principle – Is this the first time you’ve worked with the Hallmark brand?

Brooke Nevin – No, it is not. I did a really fun movie about six years ago called Come Dance at My Wedding. It was fun because I love dance as a hobby, so I got to brush up on my waltz, cha-cha and my tango because I played a dance instructor. It was also great because I got to work with Roma Downey and John Schneider.

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Pop Culture Principle – After watching the movie, what message would you like viewers to take away?

Brooke Nevin –I think the message is that love is unconditional in its true form. I am such a sucker for montages and we have this amazing romantic montage but we also see, in a very short period of time, the union and journey of this couple over the course of ten years of marriage. I think what the audience can come away with is that there are going to be highs and lows in a marriage, and I think you will also see how people can grow as individuals in a marriage and really support one another with their endeavors and their dreams.

Pop Culture Principle – Why do you think the Hallmark brand is resonating so much with its viewers?

Brooke Nevin – Hallmark is such a strong brand in that, when you turn on the Hallmark channel, you know what you are going to get. You know there is going to be a story with strong emotional stakes. You know people are going to be striving to appeal to their better selves. I feel that Hallmark stories a lot of the times challenge individuals to look inside themselves and come from a place of love, strength and acceptance. I think those are always wonderful things to be reminded of, and you also get to see people going through struggles that are similar to your own. At the end of the day, things normally turn out pretty nicely in a Hallmark movie and it’s really reaffirming and lovely.

Pop Culture Principle – You recently had an amazing performance on an episode of the Canadian series Motive. What was your experience like working on that show?

mtve_jw_206a-0159 >Brooke Nevin – I am so excited to say that I am actually travelling to Vancouver soon because I was nominated for a Leo Award for my work on that episode. It was such a fun role for me. I had a blast working with Jason Dohring and he was such my perfect partner in crime: just the energy of our characters together, and I was so glad when they told me they had cast him for the part.

It was such an interesting mixture of friendship, devotion, and total manipulation. It was a treat when Dennis Heaton asked me to come play that character that it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Pop Culture Principle – You were also part of the series Call Me Fitz with Jason Priestley. What was the experience like working on that series?

Brooke Nevin – Oh my God, that’s just another one of my all-time favorite casts and experiences! I am still in touch with everyone on that show. We all bonded through the dysfunctional, crazy antics that was Call Me Fitz. It was so much fun to be a part of that series.

Pop Culture Principle – You also appeared in several episodes of the hit series Chicago Fire. What was your experience like on that series and did you any specific training for the role?

Brooke Nevin – They have experts on set that let us know how to make things look more professional or real. So, I didn’t have any preparatory training except for when we would go over the actual technical and physical things before an actual take.

I think Toronto is cold, but thank goodness we were in those heavy fire suits because it was bone-chilling cold in Chicago and I don’t know how the regulars do it! It’s a challenge, but the entire cast was great and a lot of fun.

Pop Culture Principle – One of your more complex and layered characters was Julianne Simms on The Breakout Kings. How did you enjoy playing a character so complex?

Brooke Nevin – There were a lot of layers to continuously peel away as the series went along. All of us wish we could have done at least another season of that show because we loved working on it. We all had a soft spot for our characters, but I especially loved playing Julianne. It’s so sad that the show ended on such a cliffhanger.

Pop Culture Principle – You also have worked on some great science fiction projects: The 4400 and Supernatural come to mind. How have you enjoyed working on those series and being part of the sci-fi fandom?

Brooke Nevin – I think one of the best things is the suspension of belief. It’s the idea that you are in a new world order. The 4400 was an entirely different universe in a way, but that huge contemplation of what if 4400 people came back after being gone anywhere from four to forty years. The questions that asks and the types of things that science fiction makes us contend with—these huge unbelievable circumstances that have to be rooted in a real way—is so fun to contemplate.

Supernatural is a little campier and action-packed. The fans of Supernatural are so committed and so amazing. I went to a Supernatural convention some years ago because the fans had voted for me to be a guest at the convention, and it was so much fun for me. I would love to do another science fiction series or something in that genre.

Pop Culture Principle – Technology is changing a lot of things when it comes to film and television. You took part in a web series called Imaginary Bitches. What attracted you to that project?

Brooke Nevin – My friend Andrew Miller wrote the series for his wife Eden Riegel, whose comedic talents have not necessarily been showcased on a lot of her previous television work. So he wrote this fantastic sort of subversive, slightly edgy series called Imaginary Bitches. He got all of our friends to join in on the fun. So many of the locations where we filmed were either in their place or friends’ places. Andrew’s sister-in-law was the cinematographer and they had a lot of friends in the business that either guest wrote or guest starred on the series. We ended up getting nominated for a daytime web series award so it was, by all accounts, a pretty cool success.

Pop Culture Principle – You’ve done a lot of drama and comedy in your career so far. Do you enjoy doing drama or comedy more?

Brooke Nevin – I find myself a little bit like a pendulum because I will swing into drama mode and I think sometimes, when I am in that realm for a long time, I just want to get out of my head and be silly and a goofball and make people laugh. I have been really lucky that casting and writers have been able to see me in both lights. I’ve been able to straddle the worlds of comedy and drama pretty regularly and it has afforded me the opportunity to play all sorts of very different characters.

Pop Culture Principle – What advice would you give to up and coming actors who want to get into acting?

Brooke Nevin – Most actors are in general creative people and I think, no matter what, it’s important to have a creative outlet. I think performing and acting is one of those rare forms of art where you almost need someone else’s permission in order to practice it. So, between auditions and gigs when I feel like I have this ball of creativity I need to get out, I use photography as a creative outlet. As long as you stay in touch with different parts of your artistic spirit you never feel stifled with a lack of opportunity, and then being able to express yourself is a fluid and continued journey.

Also, faith with a capital F. What I mean is that, with this business, it’s always “hurry up and wait” and “when it rains it pours” sort-of idea, which is a strange dichotomy. I have trained myself while I’m in the moments of less busy times; I focus more on myself, or trying to better a skill or my knowledge in any particular area. Just keep yourself busy and make sure you keep yourself inspired.

A big thank you to Brooke Nevin for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. You can catch the world premiere of Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris With Love on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel this Saturday, June 6th at 9/8c. You can keep up with all of Brooke's latest news and projects by following her official Twitter account here here.

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