Interview: Laura Vandervoort on Coffee Shop – Exclusive
Laura Vandervoort is set to star in the latest UP Premiere Movie “Coffee Shop“. Laura is perhaps best known for her television work, featuring a successful and extensive career that spans many different genres. Over the years, Laura has appeared in Instant Star, Smallville, V, and most recently, SyFy’s Bitten and the movie “Ted”. The talented Canadian actress can next be seen in the upcoming UP Original Movie “Coffee Shop” in the starring role of Donovan Turner.
“Love is brewing” in the new romantic comedy that also stars Cory M. Grant, Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, Jon Lovitz, and Kevin Sorbo. Directed by Dave Alan Johnson, “Coffee Shop” is set to premiere this Sunday, September 14th on UPTV.
We had the chance to exclusively chat with Laura Vandervoort about her role in the film, working with the cast, what sets this movie apart, and even a little of what fans can expect next from her in the new season of Bitten and beyond.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Laura Vandervoort below:
To start off, for those who may be unfamiliar, can you talk a little about your role in your new film “Coffee Shop”?
Laura Vandervoort: I play Donovan Turner, who is the owner of a hip neighborhood coffee shop. She has this great group of people around her but she lost her true love and she’s sort of given up on love. It’s a romantic comedy. She’s given up on love but at the same time, she’s determined that there’s some sort of science to it and she should study, research, and do her homework before every date to know what the guy wants and likes. She’s sort of on a mission to find love again. At the same time, she’s not told her co workers and family that she’s about to lose her coffee shop. She doesn’t have the money to maintain it and hold on to it. She’s sort of struggling in the small quaint town that she grew up in after her mother passed away and she’s trying to keep this coffee shop in her mother’s name.
She’s got a big heart but at the same time she also wants love for herself. We shot it with Rachel Hendrix, Jason Berkeley, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Sorbo, and Cory M. Grant who plays my love interest. His character comes to town as a playwright trying to get a break from the big city. They don’t really hit it off right away. They kind of rub each other the wrong way and that’s kind of where the comedy ensues. It’s a great cast. We all sort of looked at it like a romantic comedy version of Friends. We had a lot of fun.
I think for me, I’ve been wanting to do indies. As an actor, you always want to do something different. I’ve spent a lot of time on television playing werewolves and superheros, which is great, but when I wrapped season 1 of Bitten, this came across my plate. This seemed like a really fun opportunity for a couple of weeks to work with some incredible actors and do something that everyone in my family could watch, even young kids. A lot of my other projects, not everyone can watch.
The UP Network is all about uplifting television that’s different than what viewers may usually see on their TV. Did that aspect attract you at all?
UP, I think is in like 67 milliion homes or something like that. It was a network that I had no worries about. My grandma and my mom can watch it. My nephew in a couple years can watch it. It’s about heart and family and making people smile. You don’t get a lot of that anymore. I recently saw the movie ‘Chef’, and that’s the first film I’ve seen in quite awhile where you’re expecting something horrible to happen but it’s just this positive, happy film. And you leave there feeling really good and energized. That’s sort of how I compare it to ‘Coffee Shop’. It’s real life, it’s love, loss and believing in one another as human beings.
How was the experience working with the cast?
Fantastic. Everyone was really eager to just be there and do a great job. It was very light hearted. A lot of the stuff I’ve done in the past has been really heavy on the SyFy and drama and blood, which I absolutely love but this was a nice opportunity for me to slow it down a little bit. To be a little more light hearted and do a romantic comedy. All of the cast involved were young, amazing actors and we all hit it off and hung out. It was an interesting experience as well because even though we were shooting in Birmingham, Alabama, there was a blizzard while we were shooting. The cast had to sleep on set overnight because we couldn’t leave and so we all just slept in our trailers and watched movies. It was quite an experience.
That sounds like a big sleepover.
It was sort of like summer camp, only you’re getting paid. You’re challenging yourself as an actor and it’s fun. It was funny because this was not a challenge in a way that I’m used to. I let myself loosen up a little bit and not take it so seriously. It was interesting for me.
You have had an incredibly successful and extensive career that spans many different genres and themes, from Instant Star, Smallville, and Bitten. Do you find you enjoy the many different types of characters or are some more challenging than others?
I think every character has its own pros and cons for me. It’s hard to really get into all of them. But every character I’ve played has taught me a lesson about what I do and don’t want to do in the future. A lot of the Sci Fi stuff gives an opportunity as women in this industry. They write women strong. I have a lot of fun playing that. That’s what I enjoy. Sci fi roles like Smallville and Bitten have been great but then movies like ‘Ted’ and bigger budgeted things, that’s also fun as an actor to get the opportunity to be a part of those. Taking things as they come and different things. ‘Ted’ was comedy and improv and that terrified me with these larger name actors. You throw yourself into it and try to stay afloat.
Are you more comfortable in a movie atmosphere like this as opposed to a series?
It’s very different. In a first season, you have butterflies and jitters and you’re hoping they don’t fire you. You’re trying to prove yourself. As the series continues, you relax and it becomes a family environment and it’s a lot of fun. You know your character and you can relax and do your job and enjoy it.
With movies, it’s a month or two months and you’re done. It’s an intense situation where you’re with these actors for 24 hours a day for 2 months. You build a relationship quickly and you open up quickly with them. It’s less of an opportunity to get to know your character long term. It’s a very different style, I would say.
What would you say sets this movie apart from similar movies out there? What are you most excited for people to see?
I think, like I said, just a film that warms your heart. Not to be cheesy, but the kind of film you sit down, get a blanket, and watch with your family and loved ones. It’s so tough to turn on the television and watch a movie that doesn’t have violence or a negative message. This is just one that everyone can enjoy. It has a great deal of faith and I think all the actors did a fantastic job.
Finally, what else may fans look forward to from you next?
I wrote and created and produced a children’s series with Shaftesbury films called ‘Super Duper Deelia‘. That’s sort of in prep right now. It’s a live action kids series.
Are you currently working on the new season of Bitten?
Bitten is my life right now til November. I’ve been talking about some projects recently that sound very exciting for me. This is blood, sweat and tears, literally, to play Elena and I love Elena so much. I think when we wrap I’m going to take a little vacation maybe. If the right role comes along that I can fall in love with then that will be what I’m doing.
I can’t give away a lot or I’ll get in trouble but Elena has finally accepted who she is as a werewolf and she’s sort of on a mission right now for revenge. The pack has a big thing that they have to deal with this season. Clay and Elena are back together and in love but that doesn’t mean that things won’t be thrown in their path to take them apart. We’ve got some great new actors on the show playing our witches and it’s just darker this season. It’s definitely a darker show.
We’d like to thank Laura Vandervoort for taking the time to chat with us. We really appreciate it!
Keep up to date with Laura by following her on Twitter @Vandiekins22.
Make sure to tune in to ‘Coffee Shop’ on Sunday, September 14th at 6 PM ET on UPTV. Watch a sneak peek of the movie here!