It wouldn’t be fair to call Sarah Gadon an “It Girl.” She certainly has the looks, the style and the charm to be one, but It Girls come and go. Gadon is here to stay.
Although she’s only 27, Gadon has been booking acting gigs since the late nineties. She’s graced dozens of TV shows (Being Erica, World Without End), critically acclaimed movies (A Dangerous Method) and top-notch film festivals (Cannes and TIFF, where she was named a Rising Star a few years ago).
The homegrown starlet first fell in love with performing after joining the National Ballet School of Canada. She recalls hitting the stage in a production of The Nutcracker, where she played, of all things, a lamb. “I can remember the first time I stepped on stage, I loved everything about it,” she told ANDPOP in an e-mail. “I loved the costumes, the hair and make up, and that feeling of giving in to the dark infinite abyss.”
I think every time I work with David [Cronenberg], I learn to trust myself more as an actor. He really challenges you with the layers of meaning in his work.
To this day, Gadon still uses many of the skills she acquired as a dancer. “When I work I think a lot about my body, my character’s posture and movement,” she says. “The body can express a lot of emotion and I learned that directly from dance.”
Gadon has come a long way from her first performance. She recently picked up her first Canadian Screen Award for a role opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy back in March, and the Toronto-native has not one but two movies out this month: the critically acclaimed British drama Belle and a small role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, her first taste of blockbuster movies.
“It was weird to be laser scanned and talking directly into the camera,” she says of her on-set experience in the Spider-Man sequel. “I really enjoyed working with Mark Webb. I was a huge fan of his and it was vey cool to be able to work with him.”
It’s also no secret that she admires another director by the name of David Cronenberg. She’s worked with the horror genius on three projects – including the Robert Pattinson-fronted Cosmopolis and the upcoming thriller Maps to the Stars.
She compares working on a David Cronenberg film to “trying to crack a code.”
“I think every time I work with David, I learn to trust myself more as an actor,” she admits. “He really challenges you with the layers of meaning in his work.”
At this point, Gadon is practically an extended member of the Cronenberg family. She has collaborated with the director’s equally talented kids, Caitlin and Brendan on other projects, including the latter’s full-length directorial debut, Antiviral bacn in 2012.
Gadon, who studied film at the University of Toronto, reveals she’s interested in stepping behind the camera. “I love film as an artistic medium and I love being a film actor,” she says. “I recently directed a TV episode of Reelside about my work with Caitlin Cronenberg and that was a lot of fun. I would certainly like to try directing a little bit more, but I know I have a lot to learn.”
There’s at least one more thing the star has to do before she sits in the director’s chair once again. Gadon is currently shooting the upcoming period flick Girls Night Out. “It’s about Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret out in public celebrating with all the people on VE night,” she explains. “I’ve always wanted to do a film that is set in the 1940s, so this is a dream come true.”