Canadian actress Lisa Berry continues to establish herself as one of the industry’s most promising talents with her upcoming projects in 2012. She is the kind of actress that sets her sights on something and goes after it with passionate determination. Since graduating from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, Lisa has worked at both the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, and has played lead roles on all the main Canadian stages. Notable roles include her reprisal of Mayme in Lynne Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, which made its Canadian premiere at CanStage, and Mrs. Muller in Doubt. A Parable where she shared the stage with Canada’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Fiona Reid.
Lisa will soon appear on the Emmy nominated CTV series Nikita as Harriet, a local news reporter eager to get her next big story. Coming up, she can be seen in episodes of Showcase’s XIII: The Series as assassin Grier airing later in the season. As well, you can catch Lisa in the upcoming feature film, The Colony starring alongside Lawrence Fishburne.
While Lisa continues to establish herself as one of the industry’s most promising talents to watch, her passion is not limited to entertaining. This extremely hard working actress continues to push her self — literally — in her personal life. She is her own success story, losing over 80 lbs. herself, and it is that same passion that she has for health and fitness that she puts in to each of her roles.
How did you get started on your current career track?
Well, I was a make up artist for years when I was lovingly encouraged to do the Lion King open call auditions by my family and friends. But the only experience I had as a performer was doing Fame The Musical in high school. I didn’t get the part in the end, but I did make it pretty far in the call back rounds. And getting a callback; never mind three of them; for the role of Rafiki was all the encouragement I needed to show me that if I got some training and worked hard, I might actually have a shot in this business.
What gives you the most satisfaction as an artist?
The process. I love the discovery period, when you’re just playing.
I am motivated to do what I do, because of how I feel when I watch others do something fantastic. I love being the source of what make someone laugh, cry or just ask questions. And anyone who knows me knows I love to tell a great story.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Yes I do! “Put more energy into love and faith than fear and doubt. The outcome just looks better”.
If you weren’t doing this, what could you see yourself doing?
I could see myself being a motivational speaker. I love to encourage others to be the best that they can be. And I am proof that your past does not determine your future, having changed my own life. I quit smoking over seven years ago, lost 85lbs and changed careers, to doing what truly feeds my soul. And I continue to push myself in a positive direction – so when it feels like doors are being closed in my face or someone says “you can’t” – I say in an even louder voice YES I CAN!
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently filming XIII The Series. And man, is it a fun role. I play Grier: a kick-ass assassin for hire. She’s like a modern day version of Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown. I get to do wicked fight scenes (choreographed by the AMAZING John Stead). It’s a lot of fun.
What gets you interested?
What keeps you interested?
His ability to make me laugh.
What’s your number one deal breaker?
On a first meeting, rude or inappropriate behavior. In a relationship, closed mindedness.
To stay in shape, what’s your basic diet look like?
I eat pretty clean, but I’m human and have a bit of a sweet tooth – so on the days that I indulge, I train a little harder. But I also believe in earning a treat.
I’m a circuit and martial arts training kind of girl. My favourite thing about the human body is the harder you work it the stronger it gets.
What’s next for you? What’s your next big idea or project?
I want to continue to learn stunts. I love the physical challenge it brings. And I started writing: I’m currently working on a series inspired by my boyfriend, fellow actor Dion Johnstone. He made me a super hero for Valentine’s Day – best gift ever!
Favourite workout tip: Holding your core tight when doing a squat (you get a nice lower abs workout at the same time).
Favourite recipe: My vegetarian spaghetti: Smart Pasta with Yves Veggie Ground with Primo Thick & Zesty (low in fat) pasta sauce (little bit of a cheat – but I’m a busy woman) then add garlic, red peppers, onions and mushrooms.
iPhone or Android: iPhone all the way.
What are you driving: Ford Focus.
One thing guys should know when talking to a beautiful woman: They’re just people, so be yourself. Cliché, but true. And try to make them laugh; that works every time too.
Absolute WORST experience on set/shoot:
I did a commercial where I had to be wrapped up like a mummy wearing really high heels, and had to find a way to get unwrapped as eloquently as possible, to reveal a perfectly preserved woman. Now, I never learned the skill of walking in really high heels – being 5’10 and all. So, needless to say, my walk was less than elegant. No one was impressed, and the shoot took longer than needed. It just felt like I let everyone down.
I am a geek! And proud of it! Favorite animated series right now, Green Lantern The Animated Series. Favorite comic book George Perez’s and Len Wein’s Wonder Woman – now that is a role I’d love to play. A black Wonder Woman; I can see it.
Lisa Berry on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2484864/
Lisa Berry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Berry/158208894221735
Lisa Berry on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/_LisaBerry
Lisa Berry’s Website: http://www.lisaberrylive.com/