Brittany Drisdelle – A rising star
By: Sharman Yarnell – mtltimes.ca
Brittany Drisdelle caught the acting bug at a young age, doing musical theatre in Hudson where she grew up. That led her to television, in the Quebec production of Lassie staring Corey Sevier, Tod Fennell, Susie Almgren and Walter Massey. And, of course, Howard, the collie owned by the Weatherwax family of the original series. Lassie was shot out in Howick, St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and Riverfield, was a great success and has since been translated into numerous languages, playing across the world. So not too bad a start for a young kid!
When Drisdelle decided she wanted a career in acting, her parents, who have always been really supportive of her choices, told her that she could continue only if she got her marks up by the next semester…which she did. “I guess that told them how serious I was about the whole thing”. Because she had success as a child, they didn’t question her ability to forge forward with a career in acting. “Their parenting style was always to let us do what we wanted to do.”
Neither of her parents are in the business, nor are either of her two brothers. Her mother is a flight attendant and her dad is an entrepreneur in renewable energy.
One brother is a carpenter and the other is in IT marketing.
But she did have her influences – as a child it was Julia Roberts, “because she was a redhead and I gravitated to that”. She has since moved on to greater things…Jessica Lang. “She can do no wrong as an actor and she does such solid work.”
From age ten to 17, acting was second to her schooling, but by the time she left school she knew exactly what she wanted to focus on. Honing her skills. New York and the Neighbourhood Playhouse were next, after she took classes in Montreal in the “Meisner Technique”. Sanford Meisner was part of the faculty of the renowned Neighbourhood Playhouse and became the Director of the Acting Department until his retirement. He also had a workshop for professionals that saw the likes of Sandra Bullock, David Duchovny, James Franco, Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Watts, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight,, James Caan, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, Eli Wallach, Jack Lord, Bob Fosse, to name but a few. (Knowing Sandy Meisner, I’m not sure he would approve of the term “Meisner Technique” but that’s another story.)
After Drisdelle saw Shakespeare in the Park (Repercussion Theatre) a few weeks back, it kind of sparked another interest. “I would also like to have a better understanding of Shakespeare and the classics. I haven’t done any of that other than studying it a bit in school.”
Drisdelle’s CV is filling in with some pretty stellar work on it: Orphan Black, Neverending Story, 15/Love, Being Human and the Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. She has just wrapped The Summer Villa with Hillarie Burton and Victor Webster, for the Hallmark Channel.
One of the mainstays of any actor, especially in our neck of the woods, is voice work and Drisdelle is presently a regular in the Belle and Sebastien animated series. She has also picked up a few commercials along the way for Mott’s, Baton Rouge and Videotron.
What’s next for her? “I would like to eventually do the ‘mecca’ to LA for the pilot season. I just want to continue to work constantly – always with something challenging. I would just be happy if I could do that. I would really love to do American Horror story. It would be totally awesome to be part of that because they bring the cast back every season as different characters with a new story line.”
“That would be my dream to do!”