Monday, August 29, 2011


From Lady Gaga's manly masquerade to Beyonce's womanly baby bump, some of the occurrences at the VMA's were considerably exuberant; as for the rest, not so much. And, of course, this completely reflects on the outfits they wore. Some were simple and sweet, while others were just simply tamed and tired. Just take a look for yourself.

As always, Beyonce looks fabolous! With a pregnant glow and newer, more temporary curves, Beyonce can still don orange without looking like an orange herself (and I mean "orange," as in the fruit!)

Speaking of colours, Jersey Shore's Deena clearly couldn't just pick one, so she decided to wear all of them! But, you can only catch a taste of the rainbow wrapper; Deena's goodies stay in the jar (well, most of them, anyway).

In other Jersey Shore news, JWoww and Snooki can compare in sparkle but contrast in brightness. JWoww's dress may match her earrings and eyes, but trust me when I say "no one is looking there!" Snooks cut it at a more appropriate neckline. Remember, you can only flash so much leg and boob simultaneously...

Leave it to Katy Perry (or Gaga) to step up the costume attire! What could possibly beat Nicki Minaj's vibrant locks and restricting robotic dud? Katy Perry's sexy little Bo Beep - with pink hair. What else?!

Kim dazzles in silver, but perhaps the fabric fit doesn't flatter her crazy curves with the utmost compatibility.

Once you go black, you can't go black! Selena Gomez spices it up Latina styles with a lower neckline and a higher hemline. You go, girl!

Friday, August 12, 2011


A few years ago, you may have watched Ashley Leggat as brainy brunette Casey on Life with Derek or even as Megan Fox's blonde sidekick Marcia on Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. But, just recently, Ashley played the legendary role of "Baby" in Dirty Dancing here at The Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. Add that to her spots on Aaron Stone, Murdoch Mysteries, Vacation with Derek, and Made…The Movie; an impressive resume barely cut 12 years or half of her 25 years aged. It's no wonder Ashley wrapped up two Gemini nominations, which includes one for this year's: Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series for Vacation with Derek. Here's Ashley to reel us in with details about her latest movies - The Perfect Roommate and My Dog’s Christmas Miracle. P.S. Did you know she's married?

V.B. So, tell us about your new film The Perfect Roommate. Where can we see it? The plot looks pretty intense.

A.L. The Perfect Roommate is a suspense thriller in which a crazy woman pretends to be someone she is not to get to my father. It was the first intense drama I have filmed, and I loved getting to play in a darker film. It has aired on TMN in Canada and various other channels. I am sure it will be airing elsewhere; I'm just not sure when.

V.B. You've played the popular cheerleader type, the perfectionist, etc. Who would you say was the most eccentric or multi-faceted character you have portrayed or want to portray? Any characters very distinct or similar to your personality?

A.L. All of the characters I have played have had a bit of me in them. The popular cheerleader was not my personality, but we had the love for dance in common. Casey was probably most opposite of me, as I am definitely not a perfectionist or very organized. I'd say I was more like Derek in that sense. Casey and I share a strong determination and care for others. The most similar out of all the characters I have played would probably be Baby in Dirty Dancing. That role was very reminiscent of me when I was younger and more naive. I found it the most rewarding to play her, as it felt like I was reliving my youth every night.

V.B. You have danced and acted for an array of theatrical productions. Would you ever audition for a reality TV program, like So You Think You Can Dance Canada?

A.L. I do love to dance, but I would not audition for So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Although I absolutely love the show, I would look more to do something like Dancing With the Stars. If you had asked me when I was 17, I probably would have wanted to do So You Think..., but at this time in my life, and where my career has taken me, it would not be an option.

V.B. Speaking of dancing, you performed as the lead for the Broadway version of the classic film Dirty Dancing. How was it like mentally adapting and becoming a character so famously known? Have you ever watched Dirty Dancing? If so, what's your favourite part of the movie?

A.L. Taking on the role of Baby in Dirty Dancing was one of the scariest, most exciting adventures of my life. I was very nervous to play a role that people had come to love so dearly, because it's difficult to match the amazing talent of Jennifer Grey. Eleanor Bergstein worked with me and really gave me confidence in what I was doing, and that pushed me to fully let go and be consumed by the character. I did watch the movie and tried to match Jennifer's voice, so people really felt like they were watching her on stage. As for the movie, my favourite part would definitely be the end: the "Time of My Life" dance and the lift. That was my favourite part of every single show, too. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.

V.B. You have performed alongside celebrities like Hilary Duff (in Cadet Kelly) and Megan Fox/Lindsay Lohan (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen). What's it like meeting and working with (these) stars in your own hometown?

A.L. Working with celebrities is always exciting, and there is a bit of apprehensiveness that goes along with it. At the end of the day, you are all there to make the same movie or show, and they quickly become just another person you work with. If you treat them like you treat everyone else, it makes them more comfortable and the shoot a lot more fun.

V.B. You've starred in local programs, such as Life With Derek, Aaron Stone, and Murdoch Mysteries. Please enlighten us with your advice on how young adults and youth especially can break into the entertainment industry here.

A.L. This is an important question, because I get people asking me all the time how to get into the business. Sadly, a lot of people are taken by scams of agencies promising false, unrealistic hopes. It is most important to get an agent who is reputable, and this is as easy as googling to see what others are saying about the agency. If you contact ACTRA, you also will get a list of agents whom they recommend. I also suggest taking acting classes at local theatres or summer programs. You are never too good to take classes and become better, and most of the actors I know still take them. You can always go to open casting calls or local theatres, which is how I got my first role. The biggest thing to remember is that it takes a lot of time and energy to be a successful actor. It may take months of years to get your first part, but every actor has been there, so stay strong. You will be a better actor for it in the end.

V.B. Any last words? Where else can we look out for you?

A.L. Lastly, I am so excited to be nominated for my second Gemini. It is such an honour, and I couldn't be more proud. I began shooting a new Shaftesbury show, which will be a whole new direction for me, since it will air on SmartPhones. I am really excited as it is the first of its kind. Also, My Dog's Christmas Miracle is coming out in December.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


She’s been deemed “reminiscent of a young Natalie Portman or Jodie Foster.” “In a movie called Mount Pleasant, she put in a heartbreaking performance as a prostitute and is, hands down, the best thing in the picture, as she so often is.” In 2009, Katie Boland was selected by Elle Canada as one of the three Canadians to watch. And when Eric McCormick (Will & Grace) is the one who compared you to a “young Natalie Portman or Jodie Foster,” people have good reason to believe it. Publications like The Toronto Star have held Katie in such high regard for her acting that they have even allowed her to display her impeccable writer’s craft for their own use. Over the past decade, Katie Boland has morphed into a triple threat: a Canadian writer, actress, and director.

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Katie Boland is the offspring of Canadian film director Gail Harvey and retired journalist Kevin Boland. Inheriting her parents’ artistic talent and creative hunger, Katie – even as a little girl – dreamt of becoming an actress. When Katie was eight, her mother sent her to an agent. Katie landed her debut in the CBS mini-series The Third Twin (1997), starring Kelly McGillis and Jason Gedrick. At only 11, she began collaborating with her mother as a director in Striking Poses (1999), starring Shannon Doherty. Katie then made her big break on the children's puppet TV series Noddy. One guest appearance on the Disney Channel series In a Heartbeat led to her main role as Gwen on YTV/Fox Family Channel's The Zach Files. The program, with their vast demographic being pre-teens, completed two seasons and created another opportunity to work with her mother, who directed a few episodes. Katie also squeezed in another CBS TV movie called One True Love (2000) starring David Hasselhoff.

But, was this too much for a growing girl to handle? Katie doesn’t think so. “I think being in the industry as a child instilled in me a strong love of being productive. It really fed my desire to be busy, working, and successful. I feel working as a child taught me to juggle many things, and that is a wonderful skill in this industry. Finally, I think being a child actor taught me to have a sense of humour about the realities of this crazy industry.”

Even though Katie stayed positive about her real life hectic work schedule, she could reach into the hypothetical yet realistic and negative mindsets of very dark characters. She played a younger version of Ellie Nesler, a woman who kills her sexually abusive camp counsellor, in Judgment Day: The Ellie Nesler Story (1999). Katie also converted into prostitute Nadia for Mount Pleasant (2006).

“What has stuck with me the most is that people are just people. I love doing a lot of research, and after having spoken with people who were molested/raped/worked in the sex trade industry, I was struck by how, at the end of the day, we weren't so different. Having something horrible happen to you, having a dangerous job - it definitely shapes you and molds you, but when you get right down to it, everyone wants the same things. We all want to be loved and happy. The sameness of the human condition is so moving, and if being an actress has taught me anything about people and life, it's that we're all in this together and no two people are as different as we'd like to think. I could relate to everyone I spoke to on a very human level. Lastly, I learnt that people can be victims of horrible circumstances (abuse) or wonderful circumstances (fame and fortune), and at the end of the day, it's their choice what they make of it.”

Her first starring film role was in the independent feature Some Things That Stay (2004), which was also directed by her mother. In October 2004, she traveled to Sudbury to film a role as Shania Twain's older sister Jill in a CBC biopic about the singer then relayed back to Toronto to act in a new drama series titled Terminal City. Playing Annie Putnam, the ringleader of a group of girls who suspect adults of witchcraft in the CBS miniseries Salem Witch Trials, opened doors for Katie to work with actors like Kirstie Alley, Peter Ustinov, and Shirley MacLaine. Katie also then snagged a 2004 Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries.

Katie has most currently starred in Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, and “Daydream Nation” (alongside Kat Dennings). She is now also concentrating on her journalism career; her work has been published in The Toronto Star, Blog TO, SheDoesTheCity and TChad Quarterly.

Not surprisingly, Katie prefers to ink about those much like herself. “I really love writing about people. I love writing columns about women I admire and how they've chosen to live their lives. I also love writing articles where my subject focuses on their past, what they wished they'd done different, what they did right, what they learnt and how they've changed. I am fascinated by the idea of past and future selves; who we once were and how we became who we are.”

Katie also pens her own novels. “ Although I love journalism, I really feel that I am best writing fiction and creative non-fiction, like personal essays based on my own life. I love writing short stories and novels. I love the leaps that you can take while creative writing. It just feels more free.”

Could she ever choose between writing and acting? “I never would have pictured myself saying this a few years ago, but the funny thing is, no. I love them equally and couldn't picture my life without either one. They also feed one another. I use the same part of my brain, the same tenderness and separateness to write and the act, and I think they rely on one another. I always thought I loved acting more than anything, but now it's tied with writing.”

Katie Boland travels and resides between LA and Toronto. “I just finished working on the new Paul Thomas Anderson movie called The Master, which starts Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. It was a total dream come true and a joy to go to work everyday. All the people were amazing, and I'm so grateful I got to be apart of it.”