The Joanne Vannicola Website
Actor's 15 Moments with Arcand not up
Actor's 15 Moments with Arcand not up. WHO YA gonna call?
Ghostbuster Dan Aykroyd.
Aykroyd seems to be a good-luck charm for Joanne Vannicola, who was in Montreal recently filming the Denys Arcand movie 15 Moments with Aykroyd. It might be called 15 Moments, but it has a cast of hundreds, including Aykroyd, Robert Lepage and Thomas Gibson (Dharma And Greg).
And Aykroyd acts as host for the series PSI Factor, which Vannicola has joined this season.
"There are about 160 characters in 15 Moments," Vannicola reveals over tea at Bistro 990. She's a mere slip of a thing, with an early Audrey Hepburn gamine hairdo.
Vannicola is Rosie, personal manager of the main character, the model Tina, played by Jessica Pare.
"I organize her life, set up her appointments - I'm this girl's best friend, who sticks with her through until the end. I'm the only one who doesn't use her.
"My character is fun, comedic relief. She's slightly flamboyant, she wears quirky suits; I wouldn't describe her as outrageous, just odd."
Vannicola worked with Arcand before in the film Love And Human Remains, for which she was nominated for a Genie for her role as Jerry, Candy' s love interest. Gibson, who plays a talent agent in 15 Moments, was also in Remains.
"I think Denys had me in mind (for the Rosie character)," she surmises. "I love Denys, what I love about him is his passion for his work, his creativity. If he can't create his vision, he won't compromise."
Because the model takes Montreal, New York and Paris by storm, Vannicola got to explore Paree. It was the first time she was in Europe.
"I spent day/night on my feet, walking 10 miles a day discovering Paris," she reminisces.
She poked around the museums, marvelled at the architecture but gave the couture a miss. She was more interested in the Monets than the Montanas.
"I shot for two days but I was there for six days. I extended my flight."
She would have held herself over even longer if not for PSI Factor, in which she plays one of the team of super scientists investigating paranormalcies. This is season four, and she's the new kid.
"I'm the younger character on the team, Mia Stone. She's gutsy, very open to anything and willing to try new things. She's a brilliant psychologist who graduated from school in Scotland."
And she does get physical.
"I've done some karate but this is not a stunt show, it's sci-fi," she qualifies. "My character is strong so if there is any need to defend myself, I can. I actually take martial arts."
She doubts whether Mia will have a romantic interest: "They focus more on the cases than on interpersonal relationships." But she does admit she had her share of The Girlfriend Of The Male Lead roles.
"I hate that stuff," she protests, "I'm more interested in being an actor than going with the status quo. People want you to be the stereotype - I have fought that all my life, but I was lucky enough to meet people passionate about the work."
Vannicola has been acting for 20 years. Born and raised in Montreal, she came to Toronto as a teenager to attend the Toronto School for The Performing Arts, which, she insists, was unassuming, definitely not of Fame proportions.
"I started dancing when I was 3, with tiny tap shoes on my feet. My older sister was acting. One day, I watched the rehearsals and the little girl was sick. I jumped up: 'I'll do it! I'll do it!' They just gave it to me because they needed a little kid."
She joined a young people's company and did a lot of theatre in Montreal.
"I was 15 when I came to Toronto. I did Wolfboy, a play by Brad Fraser. Eight years later, we did (Fraser's) Love And Human Remains with Denys."
Vannicola is of Italian descent - her family comes from a little mountain village - and now that she has a taste of Europe, plans to visit Italy with her sister Laura, an opera singer. Does Joanne sing too?
"Only after a couple of drinks."
Tea doesn't count.
READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP:
CAPTIONS: ROBERT GALBRAITH FOR THE TORONTO STAR
Author not available, The Toronto Star, 06-25-1999. http://www.thestar.com
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