Laura Mennell „I fell in love with acting at a young age“

Laura Mennell ist eine Kanadische-Schauspielerin: Aktuell spielt sie die Rolel der Nina in der US-Serie Alphas.

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I fell in love with acting at a young age.  I always was more of a creative child, preferring painting and dancing to math class…  and finally found my way to acting. 

Laura Menell

How did your passion for acting develop? Do you remember a particular moment in your life when you decided that you wanted to be an actor?

I fell in love with acting at a young age.  I always was more of a creative child, preferring painting and dancing to math class…  and finally found my way to acting.  My mother got me into play-building classes as a child and I fell in love with it!  It was a wonderful outlet for self-expression. 

In Germany, many actors start their careers at the theatre and proceed to work in television / the movies only later. Is it the same in the Canada / US? Where did you start your career?

Careers vary, especially in the acting world.  I don’t think there’s a by-the-book way of doing anything.  I was very much interested in doing theatre, even studied it in college, but went down a different path because the film and television community was opening doors to me.  I’m happy to have made that choice, it brought me where I am today and without it I might not have done Watchmen, Flight 93 or even Alphas.  But in the past couple of years, opportunity has knocked and I have been lucky enough to also do some theatre work. I just finished doing a wonderful piece called Tear the Curtain! in Toronto, Ontario with Canadian Stage and the Electric Company and originally performed it two years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia in the Stanley Theatre with the Arts Club. 

„Hard Ride to Hell“ releases in Germany in the next few days on dvd. What do you remember when you think of the production?

I did Hard Ride to Hell  so long ago… I guess what I remember most was improvising a lot of deviant behaviour in scenes where I was possessed by the devil. I’ve never made so many weird guttural sounds it my life!  There was a lot of thrashing about, biting and mint flavoured bloody drool… It made for a very glamourous end to the shoot.  I’ve never looked so good as I do as a crazed woman!

As an actor in a US-Movie, how much freedom do you have to interpret your character?

I think it really depends on the project and the people you’re working with.  I always tend to go with my gut instincts and see where it takes me on set.  Sometimes your interpretation fits what a production is looking for, or you exceed their expectations with something new… other times you might be guided down a different path.  But it’s nice when productions can be more open to your own interpretation.

You are a co-star in the Syfy series Alphas. Your character’s name is Nina Theroux. How would you describe your character Nina?

Nina’s strong, yet vulnerable underneath it all.  She also has a haunted past and this past season she reverted back to being a bit of a „bad girl“.  As the season progressed, Nina had a lot of redeeming to do with those she truly cares about.  She also has the ability to manipulate and persuade others to do just about anything she wants through a sort of hyper-hypnosis/mind-control.  It’s interesting playing a role that has so much easily attainable power.  It’s something many fans of the show envy, being able to have the freedom to do, or essentially get, anything you want.  But I find the detrimental effects of having that kind of unlimited power to be more interesting.  It’s got to screw you up to a certain extent, and those downfalls were something that were nicely explored this year.  It’s hopefully something that can be expanded upon in a third season, if we get renewed.   

Are there similarities?

Between Nina and I?  Sure, she comes through me… so there are bound to be some similarities.  But generally speaking, we are very different.  Nina’s at times edgier, definitely smoother and well put together compared to me.  I’m a little softer, quirkier, clumsier and like to live a simpler life.  Nina’s a definite city girl, whereas I like to balance city life with nature and the outdoors…  guess that makes sense since I’m from Vancouver, BC.

What are your plans for the future? Where will we see you next?

Hopefully in Alphas season 3…  We’re all very hopeful for a third season, but we have to be patient.  But my next project?  Who knows…that’s kind of the exciting thing in the film and television industry.  Things are constantly changing. 

When you think about Germany, what’s your first thought?

My God Father, Uncle Hans, was German. He passed away a few years ago and was a lovely man.  So, I think of him first.  Secondly, I’d love to visit Germany at some point, perhaps sample some Riesling while I’m there.

Have you ever been in Germany?

No.  Not yet, some day.  When I was in Europe at nineteen, I didn’t have a chance to get there during my month long visit.  Perhaps, on my next European tour.  I’d love to! 

Do you want to say something special to the German fans?

Hallo! Mir gefällt Deutschland! Setzen Sie fort zuzusehen Alphas!*
(*I’m trying to say: „Hello!  I love Germany!  Keep watching Alphas!“… If I said something completely off, please delete it.) 

With who would you not like to sit in a sauna?

My cat Louie.  He’s generally in love with me, will follow me to the end of the earth.  But the one and only time I put him in water to bathe him,  he thought I was going to kill him.  I got a few war wounds that night.  Can’t imagine what would happen in a sauna! 

© Daniel Pietrzik |