Fresh from winning a Leo Award for Best Lead Performance a Female in a Feature film for her work in Amazon Falls, Vancouver-based actor April Telek is at the dawn of her career.
In Amazon Falls, directed by Katrin Bowen (a powerhouse of a woman who I will profile very soon), Telek plays the role of Jana, a B-movie actress who refuses to let go of her dream of being a star. Despite her best efforts to expand her skills and live a healthy life, Jana is ultimately overcome by the burden of a dream in a business that punishes women who are aging and losing their youthful looks.
“It’s kind of an ironic break out role,” she says the 36-year-old actor. “At the time I booked the role, I was a new mom and wondered if I was past my prime as an actor.”
But when the cameras started to roll, she knew that this film was going to be very special and do wonders for not only her career, but everyone else’s on set.
“It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” she says. “I’ve never been on set where there was this amazing, supportive energy.”
“The head of every department was a veteran and everyone underneath them was so eager to learn. And everyone on set was a true artist in their own right. And of course, Katrin is a genius and a wonderful woman.”
Though Telek has worked consistently as an actor in town for years, her work in Amazon Falls has given her new legs. Today she is busier than ever and is currently shooting AMC’s new show, Hell on Wheels, in Calgary. She credits her new-found success to Amazon Falls as well as what she believes in a shift in film for telling stories of women who are actually, well, women.
“A decade ago, women in their 30s and 40s were given a good shot in the good roles,” she says. “But if you look at the actress who have won Oscars in the past five years say, very few have been under the age 40.”
Telek has a few ideas as to why this shift is happening, including more women directing and writing, but she also points to the increasing popularity of reality television.
“The irony of the situation is that reality television is so unrealistic and that we watch it for entertainment so now we watch films to see real characters and real lives.”
“I’m not quite sure what exactly is happening but it’s definitely interesting and for the better. Finally doors are being open.”
And it makes sense that more and more leading females roles would go to actresses with more years under their belt, she says.
“Five years ago, I didn’t have my daughter,” she says, “Every year of life experience makes me a better actor and a richer person.”
You can check out the Amazon Falls Facebook page for updates and screening event information across Canada.
This feature was written exclusively for Miss604 by actor, writer, and producer, Michelle Kim. Read all posts contributed by Michelle for Miss604.com and follow her on Twitter @miju.