Check out our interview with W Network’s new romantic comedy “Learning to Love Again” actress Ann Pirvu.
The film follows Jane played by Ann, who after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend and losing her job, reluctantly heads home to the small town she grew up in. But on her way there, she stops to help a stranger in need who ends up helping her believe in herself, and love, again.
Ann is most recognized for her role in the final season of the hit American historical drama series Reign. She kicked off 2020 alongside the stellar cast of the award-winning show Workin’ Moms recurring on the fourth Season.
Follow Ann @annpirvu
Hi Ann, please tell us a little about you
Hello dear friends, thank you for having me! I’m a professional pretender (laughs) with a fascination for people and a passion for meaningful creative storytelling. I’ve been doing it my whole life, with no end in sight! The cinematic space will always be my home 🙂
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Kindness. Passion. Purpose.
How did you get started into acting?
I’m a firm believer that your purpose finds you… and a bit of an old soul, so I knew from a very young age that performing was where I was happiest.
I grew up in Romania, surrounded by European arts, culture and history. Always exhibiting a flair for the dramatic! My mom wanted to be an actress when she was younger, but my grandfather was in the military… so naturally she opted for an electrical engineering degree (laughs). Our culture is big on academics.
As soon as I was born though, she poured all of her creative energy into —you guessed it, me! Enrolling me in the Romanian equivalent of “America’s Got Talent” competitions as a kid. Singing, dancing, poetry recital — I did it all and I loved every minute. The stage was genuinely my home for a few years, and I was also lucky to have the most supportive schoolteachers that encouraged my interest in the creative arts. I also learned how to speak English from watching Cartoon Network with my brother and re-enacting what we saw so by the time my family and I moved to Canada (when I was 12) I knew acting was not just my passion, but my calling… and my number one goal.
How has this changed your life?
I think it’s made things easier, in many ways. I never had trouble figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. It’s always been acting, or some variation of storytelling within the cinematic medium, and having specific goals in mind has helped me build a solid career as the years went on.
What I didn’t expect… was how often acting saved my life, in so many ways. The skillsets you develop navigating the “artform of life,” which is what acting is, become immensely useful as you navigate… life (laughs). And it makes you appreciate the artform even more. Have I twisted your brain into a knot?
As an actor you have to learn to disengage your ego and share your authentic self; become fearless when it comes to self-expression and serving the story you’re trying to tell. You learn how to be open and attentive in the present moment, imaginative, and adaptive to whatever happens next. You practice surrendering to flow, with structure. And you also learn to be resilient — all the while adapting and collaborating with fellow creatives.
It’s magic and it’s life. And I’m perpetually curious to see what more I will continue to uncover… about myself and the art of storytelling through the gift of this profession.
What is the best part of being an actor?
The process of doing it is definitely the best part, for me!
Breaking down a script — THE most fun!
Sometimes you’re researching a profession you’ve never heard of, something that actually happened to me playing a Therapeutic Clown on a fantastic medical drama called Remedy. One day you might dive into combat training, the next day maybe step right into learning a specific type of choreographed dance —which I actually had to do in preparation for an episode on the CW historical drama Reign.
Acting turns you into a perpetual student of life. You’re constantly asking questions and doing detective work on what drives people to do what they do. One day you’re playing a doctor, the next a lawyer, then possibly exploring an alien species on another planet…. as someone who has a deep appreciation for academics and learning, there is never a dull moment when you’re pursuing this career path!
What is the worst part of being an actor?
A wonderful acting coach and mentor of mine said something once I never forgot. He said, “auditioning IS the job.”
But auditioning is often a very thankless process. You spend countless hours researching and preparing for the opportunity to spent 5 minutes playing a character, and then hoping that experience books you a job. Which, at best, only actually happens for every 1 in 20 auditions.
So, if you don’t love what you do, and do it for the sake of the work you love, the perceived “rejection” is not a satisfying long-term commitment for most actors.
But if you understand that every audition is an opportunity at performance, and actually necessary for practice; to engaged your skillsets as often as possible, like an Olympian trains, through any means (auditioning, class work, personal projects)… you realize it’s all part of the process and learn to enjoy it. You discover that there is value in absolutely everything that you do, and that lesson alone resonates to so many other facets of everyday life.
Once you gain perspective and learn to navigate the lows, you actually learn what it means to be a creator… of your own life experience. Difficulties and challenges are an invaluable part of the process! And progress.
Tell us about your work in the new romantic comedy feature “Learning to Love Again?”
I’m so excited we get to share this beautiful project with everyone, it’s been such a gift to get to work on this film.
Learning To Love Again tells the story of a childhood crush that gets a second chance at true love, and highlights the wonderful way that life sometimes brings you exactly what you need, when you need it.
It follows my character “Pinky” Jane Lane (there is delightful humour to the significance of the nickname) as she reluctantly heads home for the holidays after losing her job and breaking up with her long-time boyfriend. As fate intervenes to reconnect her with childhood nemesis Chris (played by the wonderful Kjartan Hewitt), a stroke of inspiration compels her to recruit Chris in a pretend relationship that would appease her family for the holiday weekend. But will their pretending be so good that they …might actually fall in love?
Expect breathtaking fall colors, more Thanksgiving pie than you can handle, and beautifully nuanced performances from bee-untiful Come From Away star Steffi DiDomenicantonio, the incredible Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek), Richard Clarkin, Barbara Gordon, Tyrone Savage, Winny Clarke and the lovely Sabryn Rock, directed by the wonderful Adam Swica.
It’s a feel good, romantic comedy for the whole family, so it’s safe to say you should buckle up for an unforgettable Thanksgiving adventure!
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
Being part of the Hallmark family is a dream come true for me. I’ve always felt drawn to the family friendly programming at Hallmark, and I feel most at home in the romantic comedy space. I hope I get a chance to do many more.
I also feel pretty lucky that I’ve been able to play a variety of challenging and diverse roles over the years, so continuing to challenge myself, in any capacity, is primarily what I look for in a project.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Watching it be interpreted by audiences and fans alike. That’s the most rewarding part for me.
My dad always taught me that it’s often best not to be the smartest person in the room. That that’s a good thing. That’s what you want, room to learn and grow.
Getting a chance to speak to the process of how we come together, as filmmakers, to create a story is one thing…. having the message of that finished product translated, interpreted and appreciated by an audience is what breathes life back into personal passion and purpose.
As artists, we thrive on connection. And we all need each other to complete that communication loop Interacting with fans, and family and friends as they express what a certain project meant to them is a lot more interesting and exciting to me sometimes than my own thought process in achieving that body of work. It now stands on its own two feet 🙂 and I love watching people take something and make it their own.
We all inspire each other in that way, and I credit my awareness of the value of that exchange to what I do for a living. It’s truly wonderful!
How would your best friend describe you?
I’m pretty sure those close to me know (well) that I’m kind of an effervescent ball of energy (laughs).
I choose to see and highlight the best in people and put some pep in your daily step as often as I can. I’ve actually been described once by one of my dearest friends as an “exposed heart” … (epic!) observing and accepting people for who they are and ready to dive deeply into what matters to them most. I kinda love that (laughs).
What’s next for Ann Pirvu in the last months of 2020?
I’m actually in the process of writing a few new projects, super excited to share developments as they come about.
We also literally just bought a new house! My boyfriend and I are very excited about that new chapter!
I also teach youth acting classes at a terrific studio here in Toronto, Armstrong Acting Studio. We’re doing virtual classes at the moment and it’s been such a tremendously rewarding experience, getting to impart what I know to bright, talented young actors and watch them discover the artform on their own terms… and their own power, as performers, in the process. I love teaching and I look forward to doing more of it.
In a year of huge transitions that’s been so tricky to navigate, from murder hornet infestations to pandemic woes… I’m looking forward to bringing 2020 to a close on a high note! Doesn’t get much higher than being able to share a project like Learning To Love Again with audiences —across Canada. On W Network. On Thanksgiving!
I truly feel so very lucky and thankful to CORUS Entertainment, W Network and Hallmark Channel for making our film the perfect feel good Fall Harvest addition to Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. Across Canada. What a treat!
What was the last book you read?
The Power of Now, by Ekhart Tolle. Wonderful read.
Favorite cheat food?
Nutella spoonfuls. Unapologetically delicious!
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
I actually run an emotional intelligence talk show on Sundays that’s one of the most rewarding initiatives, and favorite part of Sunday’s 🙂
When you study people for a living, and appreciate academics as much as I do, you collected interesting life lessons worth sharing… things I wish they taught in school — like how to think, not what to think. Understanding our emotions by accessing and harnessing our inner resources, finding that personal voice – our spark. And the confidence to share it openly with the world for all of our greatest benefit.
So I first created PepMagazine in 2017, a digital wellness magazine geared towards inspiring youth to do just that— to put some pep in that daily step and make a mindful, positive lifestyle a priority.
The PepLive Talk Show became the next logical step. I call it the “bouncing up place,” a weekly forum where we engage in live meaningful conversations that educate, empower, elevate and encourage the evolution of positive pathways of thinking about the world.An open, safe space to be who you are. This completely interactive, judgement free zone recorded every Soul Sunday on my Instagram Live and PepMag Twitch Channel with anyone that wishes to participate, share, and learn from one another — with kindness, sensitivity and curiosity.
Feel free to join the conversation and find us online @pepmag ️ There are new topics of conversation introduced each week!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’ve always had a fascination with Cleopatra, and Egyptian history. I think it would be incredible to get to meet her.
Best advice ever given?
Michael Gracey’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ taught us the power of “dreaming with your eyes wide open.” As an artist, you know the balance between imagination and structured execution is the key to progress and growth. I love that, both conceptually and in practice.
On a personal note, one of my favorite acting coaches Matthew Harrison (Actor’s Foundry) talks about being up “with” people, never against them. And I found that to be such a valuable visual in all aspects of life.
True connection is a collaborative effort, and human beings are instinctually communal creatures. At the core, we’re meant to share in each other’s experiences… not tear each other down. Framing the concept of competition in such a helpful way has now become a key component of my personal outlook on life.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I currently split my time between Los Angeles and Toronto. Wherever the work is, that’s where I’ll go.
Favorite song? Why?
I’m completely obsessed with the soundtrack of Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga at the moment. It’s absolutely brilliant! “Lion Of Love” is such a hilarious little gem of a song, I love it! But honestly, I’ve got the whole soundtrack on repeat. JaJa Ding Dong all the way ️
What do you think of Social Media?
Plenty of people use social media for their own entertainment, often as a curated window into the best aspects of their lives.
To me, it’s more of a powerful tool for self-expression. I use my social media platforms as a source of genuine connection, meaningful conversation and empowerment, for maximum impact and reach. I love learning and I love sharing what I learn, so my intention is always to uplift and to inspire.
I tend to gravitate towards others with a similar strategy but I truly don’t judge diversity in perspectives on that. At the end of the day, we each lead by example and what we put out into the world says so much more about us than it does about anything else.
At the end of the day, social media is a tool. A tool meant for connection and community.
That’s truly how I see it.
Where can we follow you?
I’m most active on Instagram @annpirvu for fun updates.
Favorite Singer/Artist: I love Queen. And Imagine Dragons. And pretty much anything Lady Gaga touches.
My musical interests are widespread, but what is always certain is that… I’ll always close down a dance floor. Whatever the event. Hands down. Sometimes literally (laughs).
Movie: Ridley Scott’s Gladiator is one of the most well-rounded masterpieces of cinema. I saw it when I was about 10 or 12…. I’ve probably seen it 15 times over the years, and I could probably watch it 100 more and still love it just as much. It’s beautiful.
Travel Destination: Barbados. Such a wonderful place.
Sports Team: Toronto Raptors! What a whirlwind the last two years have been for the NBA!
TV Show: I watch A LOT of TV. Picking a favorite is almost impossible, but I’m a big fan of shows that make you think and incredible performances. Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Haunting of Hill House, The Sopranos, LOST! I also love true crime documentaries. If you haven’t seen The Jinx yet you should definitely take a peek…. it’s mesmerizingly unsettling.
Thank you for the fun chat and looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with you all this year, from the comfort of your living rooms!