"Whether it's 'Murdoch Mysteries' or 'Durham County,' Helene Joy loves acting." - Interview

Fans of Helene Joy are well aware of the two hit series she’s involved with. “Murdoch Mysteries” and “Durham County” are two of Canada’s biggest hits on television. And even though the Australian native keeps herself busy with taping, a personal life and keeping in touch with friends, Helene Joy still managed to find time to talk about her career in acting.

Q – You’re kind of a TV legend in Canada. The third season of “Murdoch Mysteries” premiered March 14th in which you play the lead female role Dr. Julia Ogden. How did this role come about?

A – Well, before the “Murdoch Mysteries” was a series they made a couple of features and I played a very evil baby killer in one of them for which I was nominated for an award. The original writer of the novels was really impressed with me and started pushing for me to become the female lead in the new series when it went. She was obviously very successful, and here I am.

Q – I read that you’re from Australia. It seems that there are a lot of talented actors from Australia - Mel Gibson and Hugh Jackman to name a couple. Is there just something in the water out there?

A - People ask me this a lot. We have very good British-style theatre training in Australia. That could have to do with it. Mel and many others like him attended NIDA, which is an incredibly good school and Hugh, like me, went to WAPPA, which is also an amazing three-year training. I don't think there is anything in the water but sharks.

Q – Aside from “Murdoch Mysteries,” you were the lead in “Durham County.” How do you balance your time between both projects?

A - The two last years of shooting both were pretty tricky. You shoot though the week in Toronto, you fly, you shoot the weekend in Montreal, and you do that over and over for a month. It is exhausting but you love it.

Q – “Durham County” was recently named the fourth of “Maclean’s” magazine’s “Top 10 TV Shows of the Decade.” That sounds like a lot of pressure. How does it feel being a part of something this big?

A – “Durham County” has been one of the best things I have ever done. I have loved every minute of it. When you are working with such talented writers, directors, designer and actors your job becomes blissful.

Q – “Durham County” just wrapped its third season. Do you favor “Murdoch Mysteries” more or “Durham County?” or do you love them both equally?

A - Oh, that is hard. They are soo different. There is nothing like the charm of working in a period production and after four years the character begins to feel like an alter-ego that feels comforting to slip back into. However making “Durham” was much more my style. I love nothing more than to work my way into a really complicated emotional journey and get lost in it for a while.

Q – Does this leave you any time for a personal life?

A - Oh, there is always time for that. I am blessed with great friends in lots of different cities and countries and I make sure I take time to see them a lot.

Q – What things do you enjoy doing while on location?

A - I am very into a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. I love seeking out cool places to eat and buy food that are sourced from farmers and people who love good food. I tend to meet a lot of likeminded people this way and just like when I am travelling I make friends wherever I am, and end up seeing things I would never have found on my own.

Q – How different is acting in Canada versus here in the United States?

A - I think acting is acting. It is the same job everywhere. You can work on good stuff and you can work on shit. Maybe in America you can justify doing more shit because the pay is way better. However, there is also a lot more good stuff being made there too. I have been very lucky in Canada to work on stuff I like. Now I would like to do that in the States.

Q – Have you ever thought about making the move to the US?

A - I am from Australia originally and grew up on the ocean. So when I am in LA, it actually feels a lot like home. I think moving down is the next logical step... if they'll have me.


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at jason@zoiksonline.com.

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Anonymous said...

Helene Joy is amazing and this is amazing to read. :) Thank you. I so want to meet her one day lol :)
Was she nice or different than everyone makes out?


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