Check out our interview with “My Perfect Landing” drama series actress Helena Marie. My Perfect Landing is about a family of gymnasts who struggle with a life-changing move. The show is airing now on the Family Channel and CBCC. In the series, Helena plays Whitney Cortez, a former gymnast who loses her job and decides to move her two kids from Miami to Toronto to start a gymnastics club with her father.
You can also catch Helena as Claire Marlowe, a woman stuck in the middle of a very dangerous love-triangle, in the thriller His Fatal Fixation airing now on Lifetime.
Follow Helena at @_helenamarie
Hi Helena, please tell us a little about you?
Well, I’m an actor! I live in Toronto, but I was raised in Montreal, so I speak both English and French.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Sarcastic, loving, excited.
Who was your role model as a child?
How did you get started into acting?
I took my first drama class in high school. From there I studied theatre in college, followed by roles in some independent student films. I tried to do anything that would help me learn more about the craft.
How has this changed your life?
Not everyone is able to pursue their dream job. That I can is a privilege not lost on me. Being an actor has made me truly thankful for the opportunities which have come my way, as well as lots of support from my friends and family.
What is the best and also most challenging part about being an actress?
Being an actress means I live on a different time schedule than most people. This isn’t a 9-5 lifestyle. I don’t know when my next paycheck is coming, or from where. I might have to work while on a vacation – or be forced to cancel it completely. There are many unknowns in this career which is hard to get used to. Once you do, I think it’s beautiful and exciting to be able to live life more freely and look forward to whatever opportunity may be on the horizon.
Tell us about your work on the new drama series “My Perfect Landing”
I play Whitney, a widow with two kids. She’s a former gymnast who tends to be strict with her daughter, Jenny, about the level of gymnastics she is pursuing. Some might say she’s too strict, but she’s really just trying to protect her daughter from getting hurt. How do you prepare for a role? I start by reading as much of the script as is available to me, a few times through. Depending on how complex the character and show is, there could be a lot involved. When I read this script, I felt like I knew who Whitney was right away, which allowed me to mostly act on my instincts. I felt her in my bones.
What other projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about?
Right now you can catch me as Claire Marlowe in ‘His Fatal Fixation’ on Lifetime.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I would love to do a biopic. I think playing someone who really existed, whom people know and have feelings and opinions about, would be a great challenge.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The performance itself is what I live for. The feeling of being completely committed to playing a character, feeling like them, thinking like them. There’s nothing like it.
How would your best friends describe you?
What’s next for Helena Marie in 2020?
Well, everything is on pause right now. The entertainment industry, like so many others, has completely shut down. So for now, my plan for 2020 is to read as much as I can, do yoga from my living room, and keep working on learning Spanish.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Accomplishment. When you finish something that you have set out to do. Whether it’s a goal as simple as getting those dishes done, or finishing a huge project, I feel happiest when I have accomplished something.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If they didn’t tip their server, or if they made fun of vegans.
What is a typical day in your life like?
It always begins with snuggles from my dog, Charlie. I love to start the day with hot yoga and once I’m done: coffee! A protein shake for breakfast and from there, who knows? Probably prepping for a self tape (an audition done from home), which means lots of memorization and getting my hair, makeup, and wardrobe ready. Doing the audition can take anywhere from 20 mins to an hour, depending on how much material there is. Once that’s done I edit and send it off! In the afternoon I’ll usually go for a walk with Charlie and my husband, Jason. We love to watch Charlie play with other dogs, it brings us so much joy. In the evening I either cook or order in (sushi is my fave). If I’m staying in, I enjoy watching TV and movies, or maybe playing a game like Scrabble or Beat Saber! If we’re having a night out, it could be to the movies, a play, live music, dinner or drinks with friends, or dancing!
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Lounging around with coffee in bed. And then wandering around a farmers’ market in the afternoon. Maybe take a bike to said market? Then a big pot luck dinner with friends where we all cook together in a kitchen filled with laughter and love.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Angelina Jolie. She seems to have brought a good balance to her life between work, family, and philanthropy. I’d love to speak to her about this to learn how she does it, and what her life feels like for her.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Baked broccoli with a homemade tahini drizzle.
And your favorite cheat food?
Best advice ever given?
I had a singing coach tell me to imagine I could reach one note higher than the one I was struggling with. She said if I could make myself believe that one wasn’t so hard that I’d be able to reach it more easily. I think that advice can translate into any goal you want to achieve.
Do you support any charities?
I’m a big fan of Animal Justice. (animaljustice.ca). They are leading the legal fight for animal rights in Canada. They are the people who will help prosecute animal abusers. They are a voice for the voiceless, and pursue their goals legally and ethically.
Name 3 things you can’t live without
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I would love to be travelling a lot more for work so I could be introduced to new places while also being productive and getting my work done. It’s one of the perks of this business that I’ve always looked forward to.
Favorite song? Why?
A Lost Find, by STORRY I only just met this beautiful artist recently and I’m obsessed. She was nominated for a Juno this year! This particular song made me bawl my eyes out the first time I heard it. I love it when a song can touch you to the core.
What do you think of Social Media?
I personally enjoy social media, although I really only use Instagram. I like reading funny things and seeing photos of my friends.
Where we can follow you?
On Instagram @_helenamarie
Quote: ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Favorite Singer/Artist: Beyoncé
Travel Destination: Cuba Sports
Team: The Montreal Canadiens, aka. The Habs
TV Show: Lost in Space
Photo Credit: Kristina Ruddick