‘Bridge’ star Inga Cadranel goes from troubled teen to wearing a badge
Interviewee: Inga Cadranel
By: Tyrone Warner
Date: March 10, 2010
Note: This is an interview with INGA CADRANEL who plays Jill on THE BRIDGE.
Crediting her own past experiences, Cadranel says she’s more informed about the role of police officers than most actresses.
The actress, who plays the detective Jill on “The Bridge,” tells CTV.ca that “as a teenager I spent a bit of time in cop shops, so I wasn’t a stranger to the goings-on of how it all works!”
Cadranel says by looking back on her youth, she can now appreciate the role law enforcement played in her life.
“It’s always one of those things where you say you never regret anything and everything is a learning experience — I never thought my checkered past would come into play someday, but now I go, ‘Wow.’ As an actress, I know the processes and the routines… I guess I had a rough teenage life, and it came in handy! It’s the first time I’ve ever looked at these things from the other side, from the cops’ point of view,” says Cadranel.
“It never would have crossed my mind as a young person that these people (the police) are actually human, with families and problems of their own. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve learned to be more open minded. We’re all humans, and everyone’s got their jobs, and this is a job, and they are doing their best. The public’s point of view is that the cops are the enemy, unfeeling emotional guys who want to make your life hell, and this show has taught me about the reality of these people, their humanity, and what it really means to be a police officer.”
“The Bridge” centers on the world of law enforcement and Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas), the hardened street cop tasked with leading the police union.
On the series premiere of “The Bridge,” Cadranel’s Jill shares a steamy make out session with Frank Leo (Douglas) down on Toronto’s waterfront, before cutting things short with consideration for her own girlfriend’s feelings.
“Jill is quite the cool character to play. She’s a bisexual character which is really fun, and she’s a pretty serious cookie. For a female character, she’s like one of the guys, but she’s kind of a hard-ass,” says Cadranel.
“She’s dealing with some horrific stuff on a day-to-day basis, and being a female cop in that world and getting respect, and being at one of the top levels you can be at as a police officer — she’s not easily ruffled. She’s edge and serious. She’s having an affair with the lead guy, which is another fun element.”
Jill isn’t a typical female police office that viewers usually see portrayed on TV — and the actress who plays her couldn’t be happier! Because Cadranel is constantly reading auditions with her husband, and seeing the kinds of parts he auditions for, she says she’s often jealous of the kinds of roles he reads.
“I’m constantly going; ‘I wish there were female parts like this!’ The cool cops are always written for men… just the style is very specific for men,” says the actress, who remembers seeing something different the first time she read the part of Jill.
“She’s written like a guy! She has the same strengths, the same conviction, and the same manner of speaking as a man would, and female actresses don’t get to do that a lot. This is one of those things where I go, ‘Whoa, this is a gift.’ She doesn’t have elements of weakness, or a style I’m used to auditioning for — she’s just got this strength to her, and that’s what attracted me to the character.”
Raised in a show business family in Toronto, Cadranel began her career with a leading performance in the Young People’s Theatre production of The Cabbagetown Caped Crusaders, directed by her mother Maja Ardal.
Cadranel has also won a Canadian Comedy Award for Best Actress for “Rent-a-Goalie,” where she starred alongside her husband, Gabriel Hogan. The actress has also appeared on the big screen in “Killshot,” which stars Diane Lane and Mickey Rourke.
When talking about transitioning from doing a sitcom like “Goalie,” to serious dramatic fare like “The Bridge,” Cadranel says the change has been difficult.
“It’s hard, I won’t lie. Shooting ‘Rent-a-Goalie,’ you just feel like you are goofing off with a bunch of friends in their basement with a camera, like you feel like you are fooling around and having fun. That’s the way to work when you’re doing comedy — to have as much fun in between scenes as possible,” says the actress.
“Going to something that’s really serious, dealing with murders and children’s abductions, has been difficult. I’m not a method actor, and I think I’m just an actor playing a role, but it’s not until I get home and I realize how much baggage I bring with me. My personality gets heavier and darker. I’ve got a toddler at home, and I have to switch gears very quickly!”
“The Bridge” airs Friday nights on CTV, with full episodes available online at CTV.ca.