Friday, March 28, 2014

Gabrielle Miller in Down River

Most of us know Gabrielle Miller as Brent Butt’s gal pal Lacey in the hit series Corner Gas. She’s flighty, sweet, funny and prone to perfectionism. But Miller pulls a 360 in Down River, as a burdened soul in the moving independent film Down River.  She is one of four women in an apartment building who look to one another for moral support.  Miller is Fawn, the only one who is married, who draws strength from her religious convictions.  But as we get to know her better, the fragile façade comes tumbling down. It’s a terrific performance. We spoke with Miller in Toronto:
                                                         Down River
As one of the four women sharing their confessions, Fawn appears to be in a good place, but in fact is not.
She living a faith based life but she has no faith in herself.  She’s experiencing a lack of faith. Age wise she should be beyond that but she is in transition, she’s becoming a woman. Her relationship with Pearl is important and it means a lot to her. She’s learning to be honest and look at herself honestly.
She also starts intelligently examining her marriage and her husband who treats her like a child.
Yes! And she’s rebelling. There were so many themes for me to contemplate preparing for the film.  It’s a deeply personal story for each of us and it’s uplifting. They’re all on journeys especially Pearl who is dealing with her own illness and doubts and feelings.  In a lot of ways she does it by herself while we’re all running to her. All these women look to her for healing.
It’s great to see all these strong women owning this film.
Benjamin Ratner, a man, wrote a really bold film with female characters that are full and human. It’s a beautiful piece of work and I’m proud to be part of it.  It’s not just women who are interested in seeing characters that are full and rich.  Everyone will enjoy these women.
You excelled as a comic actor in Corner Gas and now you’ve made this move to drama.  I think you performances are powerful and subtle, either way.
That’s interesting because that’s the funny thing about comedy and drama.  They’re both just about telling the truth. Things that are the funniest are because the characters really care, the situations and their insecurities are funny. Even in Down River there are moments of levity but before I did Corner Gas I hadn’t done much comedy and I was in the business a long time.  My background is drama but I love comedy.

And that will bring you longevity as an actor.  You have a great look and that fabulous trademark hair!
I have a lot of hair.  When I’m out I wear it down but at home I put my hair in a ball on top of my head. 

Talent and looks aside you have to have special personal traits to carry you through this fickle business.  What are they?
I think it’s important to stay connected to your innocence and excitement about life. My struggle lies in learning not to be such a perfectionist and to be gentler with myself.  I’m harder on myself than anyone else.  Most artists share this. The business can be difficult but I’m so grateful because I love what I do and if you are an artist you can’t make a decision and say it’s too hard, I’ll just move along. You can’t walk away from it, you’re stuck with it. I love it.

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