THE BRIDGE: Shoe fits as acting duo collaborates

Shoe fits as acting duo collaborates
Interviewee: Inga Cadranel
By: Rita Zekas
Date: January 16, 2010
Source: Toronto Star


Note: This is an interview with INGA CADRANEL who plays Jill on THE BRIDGE.


Mother and daughter share a certain talent but Ardal defers to Cadranel when it’s time to shop.

Actors Maja Ardal and Inga Cadranel don’t have a mother-and-daughter act, but it is inevitable. They share a profession, a shoe size (7), a love of footwear and a wicked sense of humour.

Ardal is back from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where she staged her Dora-Award winning one-woman play You Fancy Yourself, now playing in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille through Jan. 23. Cadranel has a series The Bridge, set to debut on CTV and CBS, and is off to Los Angeles for pilot season.

They converge at Walking on a Cloud at 2010A Queen St. E. in the Beach because Ardal has been drooling over a pair of Hunter rubber boots for weeks. She is going for the Hunters and a pair of MBTs, shoes with a “rocker” sole that are supposed to be a workout for the feet.

“I have an addiction for winter boots,” Cadranel confesses, trying on a tall MBT boot. “Gabriel (Hogan, her guy) makes me do ‘one pair in, one pair out’ if I bring another pair home.”

Ardal puts on a bootie MBT and struts her stuff around the shop.

“Mom upstages me,” Cadranel gripes good-naturedly. “It has been my whole life. I grew up with two actor parents (her father is actor Jeff Braunstein), and an older brother who acted (Paul Braunstein, Train 48). From an early age, I studied acting and learned to be the audience.”

Recalls Ardal: “I was at TWP (Toronto Workshop Productions) playing Medea, a woman killing her children, and Inga was only 4, I played for an audience of 10 people and my 4-year-old daughter. The next night, Inga comes with a huge bag of toys. She said, ‘Look Mom, I brought you an audience.'”

Ardal, who was born in Iceland, played Mrs. Potts on Road to Avonlea. She is a playwright, performer, theatre instructor and director. In You Fancy Yourself, Ardal plays 12 characters using two costumes and a box.

“The characters are not there (in the flesh) but you ‘see’ them,” she explains. “I do crowd scenes where the mob chases a girl and beats her up. It’s a workout and I love it. There is comedy, drama, a little bit of tears and a sense of understanding. It’s a treatment of bullying, cruelty, love and loyalty.”

Cadranel doesn’t get much in the wardrobe department on The Bridge, either.

“I can wear boots โ€“ I am a tough detective, a bisexual cop. I’m the first bisexual on Canadian TV,” she says proudly.

“I have to pull it off and be believable and not be a gimmick. In the beginning, I have a girlfriend but she was scared of my aggression. I have an affair with the lead guy on the show (Aaron Douglas from Battlestar Galactica).

“I wear a fitted man’s suit and a trench coat. You are so butch but it is a nice change from babe roles where I dress up in heels and makeup. In Bridge, there is no makeup. You look like crap and it’s perfect.”

Is Ardal a shopper?

“Inga shops for me,” she insists. “When she buys me clothes, I look better. She tells me what’s hot.”

“My mom had bells all over her dress,” Cadranel recalls. “She was a hippie; I was mortified. Every other mom was in a suit and I longed for a ‘suit parent’ as a kid.”

Cadranel shops everywhere. “I really dress for the way I feel that day. I’ll shop Kensington, American Apparel and H&M for basics. I can do rocker chic and I love vintage. I get weird things like aprons and make them into dresses. I don’t need a label; I can get something at Zellers.”

“She takes after my 84-year-old mother,” says Ardal.

“She would take a blanket, leave the fringe off and make it into a coat.”

Ardal is finishing writing the sequel to You Fancy Yourself, called The Cure for Everything.

“It’s about Beatles, bombs and getting groovy,” she says.

“My mother is sexually coming of age,” jokes Cadranel.

Adral replies: “I’m 60 and doing a teenage sex play. I better pull out that bells dress.”