Imagine this: a slovenly, irresponsible bachelor strolls into your life and starts raising your child. This is what Amanda Brugel has to endure on Seed, City’s hit sitcom about the trials of dealing with a sperm donor who becomes unexpectedly intertwined with the children he’s fathered and their not-so-impressed families. The 35-year-old Quebec native plays Michele: a resilient, tight-lipped lesbian mother working tirelessly to combat the idiocy of her son’s unlikely new father figure. After a successful first season, the much-anticipated second season premieres tonight on City (9 p.m. EST/PST). You can also check out Brugel this Sunday at the Canadian Screen Awards (broadcasting live on March 9 at 8 p.m. on CBC), where Seed is nominated for eight awards. How does she prepare herself for the whirlwind of cameras and excitement? We sat down with the rising Canadian talent to find out.
What do you like about being on the show? Have there been any challenges acting on a sitcom with such an unusual premise?
The only challenge is trying to keep myself from laughing. I am the worst out of the cast for trying to keep a straight face. I break into laughter three out of five takes. But I absolutely love playing a character that is so different from myself. My character Michelle is in a same-sex marriage with a nine-year-old son who is cynical…on a good day. She hates fashion and heels and kittens and most people. It’s fun being able to step into the shoes of someone I hardly recognize. To grow to love them, to create how she physically moves, what her voice sounds like. It’s absolute creative freedom.
You’re presenting at the Canadian Screen Awards on March 9. Seed has been nominated for eight awards this season. Are you and the cast doing anything special to celebrate?
We always roll together like a really big, loud, motley crew. There are a lot of pictures, a lot of jokes. A couple nights before the awards, when Seed debuts its second season, we’re going to get together in a hotel room and cheers each other, celebrate the nominations and upcoming season, and drink each other’s company in. I’m sure we’ll be patting each other on the back a lot.
How are you dealing with nerves anticipating this event?
Everything’s written down for me and they tell me where to go: I have a little map, so as long as I follow the map, I won’t get too nervous. I do think I’ll get a little starstruck if I happen to bump into fellow presenter Viggo Mortensen. You just have fun, though, since we don’t usually get a lot of opportunities to do stuff like this, especially in Canada. I think the nerves go away because I’m just so excited to be invited.
What’s your getting-ready routine?
First, I always have to get a facial; it’s my one luxury. Then, the morning of the event, I’m running around like a crazy person (because I have a four-year-old), and then I turn on music, hair and makeup comes, and it’s just the beginning of a big party. I usually like to bring all of my family with me, as much as I can when I go to events, so it’s my family drinking wine and having hors d’oeuvres. We start the party early.
Do you have any special beauty tips for our readers?
The day before, I find what really helps, is to drink a lot of water. Even if you don’t love drinking water, the day before getting photographed or going to an event, you’ll definitely look more hydrated—your eyes will be clearer, you will feel clearer, and your skin will look better.
Interview by Alex Brown