Hi Tasya please tell us a little about you?
I’m a Toronto born, Vancouver raised actress, who was brought up in a very off-beat, multi-cultural family. We ate organic granola instead of Cheerios, multi-grain bread instead of whole wheat toast, and don’t even try to sneak Wonderbread near our house! The only junk-food that made it through the front doors was Nutella, which is why I’m still mildly obsessed with it. I grew up surrounded by international art, music, dancing, singing and all kinds of crazy foods and exotic smells radiating from our kitchen. Our Christmas dinners would feature a roasted turkey, served with Ukrainian perogies, Brazilian rice and beans and African stews and spices. It was strange, but awesome. Between all my family members I think we spoke around twelve different languages.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Loyal. Fun-Loving. Passionate. Oh and curious!
Who is your biggest supporter?
My Dad, who always encouraged me to follow my dreams, and my Mom, who taught me how to turn these dreams into goals and actions.
How did you get started in the industry?
I first started acting in my childhood, but my schedule was quickly overrun by soccer. I had a lot of energy growing up and I needed to run around as much as possible. Acting was always my dream. I was always very expressive, theatrical and performed for whoever was willing to watch, but I just didn’t have time for more activities outside of soccer. It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I really had to ask myself what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Acting was the only choice that felt good in my soul. So, I finished my degree in business, I moved to Vancouver and studied everything I could about acting until I felt ready to get an agent. Shortly after I got representation, I booked Direct TV’s Rogue, and everything just started rolling after that.
What was your first acting role?
My first role of note was Kendra on Rogue. I was terrified. At the table read, Thandie Newton got up from the table, ran over to me, held my hands and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Welcome!” Then she gave me a hug. I still love her for that as It left a lasting impression on me. I’ll never forget how important it is to make sure everyone I work with feels relaxed, safe and welcome. That is how great work is achieved.
I remember the first scene I shot, I was getting “strangled” against a wall by Clayne Crawford in a dark, grimy alley. It was a high-intensity scene and the directors and crew were across the street filming quite a distance away. I was feeling all sorts of crazy emotions, but I just kept telling myself to be cool and it’s all going to be okay. Plus Clayne’s a pro, so I just trusted in my scene partner, stayed with him and it all worked out!
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best is being part of a team of creative nuts like myself and working together to tell the most compelling story possible. I love that each day can be totally different from the last and that I’m constantly learning, taking risks and challenging myself. The worst is never being able to book a vacation without 20 schedule changes!
Best advice ever given?
Keep learning. If you want to be the best, you must continue to educate yourself. Your self-esteem is rooted in knowing you’re good at what you do.
How did you find out about The CW’s “The 100”. And tell us about your role as Echo?
I had gone out for several Grounder roles on The 100 and felt really connected to these characters. I love how wild and powerful the women are. They remind me of beautiful Amazonian warriors from stories I knew as a child. When the role of Echo came up, I fell in love immediately. I laughed pretty hard when I read she spits in Bellamy’s face within moments of meeting him. I thought,‘damn this girl has some sass!’ The more I get to know her, the more I get to see how much cheek she really has.
Echo is one of the most lethal and badass warriors of them all. She hails from Ice Nation and is fiercely loyal to her clan. That’s why her relationship with Bellamy is so interesting. Bellamy can reach Echo in a way no one else can. And what makes it even more interesting is he’s the enemy. This relationship continues to challenge Echo throughout season four, as she wrestles with how to make the right decision and what’s best for her people.
What has been your most memorable experience from the set?
There was this one day we were shooting in the middle of a quarry gravel pit and it was an epic day with tons of big shots. Lots of pressure, extras, horses and lots of rain. Everyone was standing in this dirt hole, huddled beneath these massive umbrellas because it was thundering down rain at 5:00 AM. It felt as if this rain wouldn’t stop. It was so heavy, we couldn’t do anything. We all had to sit in tents and wait for a short break where the rain would lighten and then we’d run out and film for five minutes before the rain started hammering us again. Every time I hopped on my horse, I heard this wet ‘squish’ as I landed because the blankets on the horse’s backs were drenched. Despite all of it, we were all laughing and having the best time. The sky eventually cleared and a rainbow formed in the background of the valley. It was magical. So when you see me and King Roan riding up on horseback in this grey rocky valley, behind us is this beautiful bright rainbow cutting right down the screen. It’s so perfect it looks fake, but isn’t. Definitely worth all the rain.
Also you will be in the new Fox’s season of “Prison Break”. Tell us about it?
I play Tricia, a tight-collared, high-level NSA agent who gets taken by an ex-girlfriend of hers. Tricia has the security clearance to access live drone footage in the Middle East where we believe our main character is breaking out of prison. I get an impromptu visit at work from my ex-lover who throws me into a situation which backfires. Sigh. Love at the workplace is never a good mix.
What other projects you have been part of?
Supernatural was one of my favorites as well as iZombie, Witches of East End, Skin Trade, Autumn Dreams and of course voicing Sitara in Ubisoft’s new video game Watch Dogs 2, which just came out. It was a dream role.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
Cate Blanchet. She has so much grace and power. I love how she supports and champions the theater. Theater breeds strong actors and Cate is a perfect example of that.
Photo Credit: Jason Harynuk