Check out our interview with talented actress Brit MacRae who is set to star as Jessica Hicks in the highly anticipated third season of the hit suspense drama series Departure making its premiere on August 7th on Global.
Brit stars alongside Emmy-award winning actor Archie Panjabi this season which follows the investigation into the sinking of a sea ferry, The Queen of the Narrows that was destined for Newfoundland, Canada.
Follow Brit @britmacrae
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Resilient, Passionate, Donuts
How did you get started in acting?
I was in my third year of Clinical Psychology with a very different future set in sight and a free period one afternoon, I went to see a movie on “cheap Tuesday”. Sitting in a half empty theater, in my row I clocked a businessman in a noticeable full suit (who looked like he should be doing something else within these 9-5 hours, not eating M&M’s and popcorn.) I must add, when I see a man in a suit, I can’t help but think of someone who’s a shark ready to discuss interest rates and/or politics (it’s a bias, I know, and I promise…I’m getting to the point…) During the movie, I watched as this once stoic businessman…exploded into laughter, burst into tears and despite his tweed set of armor, allowed himself to feel everything he was feeling while watching this movie. I thought “he’s going to walk out of here CHANGED and he may not even know why.” It was at that moment I realized the power of empathy that film and cinema create space for. That was the moment I realized I wanted to affect change. I wanted to be an actor.
How has this changed your life?
I’ve always had 2 main goals: To make cool sh*t with my friends and to work a job where there’s no separation between who I am and what I do. The artistic life is a tough but fruitful path and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
What is the best and most challenging part of being an actress?
The lack of stability. Creating waves in a highly gate-kept industry
How do you prepare for a role?
To start, I tend to read each script like a story. Often I’ll have a friend read the script aloud to me and I’ll just listen (similar to a kid listening to a story at bedtime). This not only helps me see the world I’ll be existing in, but removes any judgment I might have “oh I should totally say the line THIS way”, it helps me remove the ego from the process. I also love music. I tend to find an artist or a genre that fits the style of the character or project and listen over the course of the project. Music moves emotions like no other.
How was working on S3 of Departure?
Working on Season 3 was amazing. There’s something magical about shooting on location. You can’t go home after a day of work so you end up truly getting to know each other. It almost feels like an elevated version of summer camp where people from all over come together to create something great. Archie, Kris, Eric and everyone the cast was so generous… and TJ Scott was a fantastic director.
What fans can expect of S3 and for Jessica Hicks?
Departure is an action-packed procedural drama where every season the team tackles a different tragedy. Season 1 we watched investigators work to sort truth from conspiracy around a plane crash, in Season 2 there was a horrific train crash.
Season 3 centers on the mystery of The Queen of the Narrows ferry, destined for St. John’s Newfoundland. En route, an explosion occurs on the ferry and it sinks in record time with 500 passengers on board. My character, Chief Officer Jessica Hicks, is a rookie and is completely caught off guard when an explosion occurs… Throughout season 3, I work with the investigators to help figure out what happened and why things went wrong. My character is a big feeler, and I’m feeling a LOT of things through the season.
What other projects do you have in the works?
I have a rom com that’s coming out called “Writing a Love Song” that I’m excited to watch. I had to sing throughout this film and we laid down all my audio tracks in the studio before filming. I’m very excited to see how it turns out.
Also, in 2022 I Co-Founded a venture-backed indie film company called KINO that was founded with the mission to make the film/tv industry more equitable for all. In a world of Studios exploiting artists, KINO’s model ensures that everyone (from actors to PA’s) receive a piece of the backend. We have two films currently in post-production, another film in pre-production and two more in development. I feel very passionately about equitability within our industry so I’m very excited to see the impact of creating film/tv this way.
What kind of roles do you like?
The dream: Working on a 1970’s psychological drama on David Fincher’s set opposite Adam Driver and a role in Schmigadoon!
If you weren’t acting, what would you be up to right now?
If I wasn’t acting, I’d be doing exactly what I’m doing with KINO. Building toward greater equitability for artists and championing the stories that the world needs to hear.
Which fictional character would be most exciting to meet?
Idk why my brain went “Hopps” from Zootopia. First thought, best thought they say?
3 Actors/Actresses you’d love to work with?
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
PA’s make the world go round, be nice to them. Similarly, learn what every person on a set does. It truly takes a village and knowing what “that guy with a c-stand” is doing will help you have much more empathy and appreciation for what you’re all building together.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
Don’t stop your life in fear that you’ll “miss out”. Go on the trip. What you “fill your life up” with will feed your art. Don’t worry about “auditions you may miss while away.” NOTHING that is meant for you will pass you by. You’ll be more interesting for it. So get on the damn plane.
What is your favorite food?
Sushi (for dinner) and coffee ice cream (for dessert)
What is your own definition of happiness?
Making cool shit with my friends
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Reese Witherspoon. Reese is a talented versatile actress (Legally Blonde VS Wild VS Big Little Lies…THE MORNING SHOW…come on!) but she’s more than an actress. Reese is a business woman, a powerhouse producer and a finder of stories. I love to read and love how she finds ‘fan favorite’ stories through her book club, options them and turns them into TV shows and films where she works alongside her friends. That’s the dream.
Best advice ever given?
Fail hard and fail forward.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Love is an Open Door” (both parts of the duet)
Where we can follow you?
@britmacrae – on every platform, but I use Instagram mostly.