French-Canadian actor Karine Vanasse greets me with a sunny smile. She’s in town to attend the premiere of All the Wrong Reasons at the Toronto International Film Festival, an independent Canadian film that also has the somber distinction of being Cory Monteith’s last film. Dressed in a jaunty red Equipment button-up adorned with tiny sailboats and a slim pair of black trousers, and with the lilt of français in her accent, the 29-year old is charming and gracious. Vanasse has also landed a recurring role in the hit drama Revenge—you may have spotted her as Margaux LeMarchal in last Sunday’s premiere episode—and is the face of Canadian beauty brand Marcelle. Over a breakfast of blueberries and scrambled egg, she discusses her dramatic role in All the Wrong Reasons, working with Monteith, joining the cast of Revenge and her personal style.
FLARE: Tell us about the film All the Wrong Reasons.
Karine Vanasse: It’s about these four characters (Vanasse, Monteith, Kevein Zegers and Emily Hampshire) who work in a big box store. Each of them is looking for a connection, but perhaps in the wrong direction and with the wrong person. I play Kate who is married to Cory Monteith’s character. She went through a traumatic event and is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and how it has been affecting her is that she doesn’t want to be touched by people or touch people so she keeps this bubble around her. And although at first Monteith’s character was sensitive to it, as time passes he wants her to get over it. I think we can all relate to that—to his reaction but also to her.
FLARE: What was it like diving into such a serious role on set?
KV: There’s a part of the film that’s really dramatic, but the director Gia Milani, she has a very surprising sense of humour. I got on board very last minute, same with Cory, I think he joined just a few days before we started shooting. The first real meeting I had with Gia in Halifax we were talking and all of a sudden she reached in her purse and put on those glasses with the fake mustache! She eventually gave me a pair and she said that she puts them on when things are getting too serious. So she has that humour, the movie has that flavour.
FLARE: Obviously Cory’s presence was missed at the film premiere here at TIFF. Can you tell us what it was like working with him?
KV: It was good, he was a really nice guy. It’s always nice to see a big name wanting to do something smaller. He was flying back and forth from Halifax to New York, Halifax to L.A. on weekends [to shoot Glee]. You felt that he wanted to take on the challenge, to push his acting skills a bit further. We all knew what he was capable of in Glee, but what would he have been capable of in the future? This film is just something completely different. It was bittersweet to be here with the film, but at the same time having the fans see him do something different, it was a great celebration of the talent he had.
FLARE: Thank you. Let’s lighten up and move on to fashion. How would you describe your style?
KV: I think it depends on my hair! With short hair it’s already a bit more masculine, so you have to put on a bit more makeup or play with jewellery. I also love when there’s structure. I love Greta Constantine and how well-fitted [their clothes] are. There’s no print most of the time, it’s just simple and well made. Another designer I love is Calla. I have a dear friend here in Toronto, Sarah Millman who has helped me a lot as a stylist. I also work with a Canadian stylist who’s based in Los Angeles, Karla Welch.
FLARE: You’ve been the face of Marcelle for just over a year. What made you want to work with them?
KV: I really admire what they’ve been doing for the past 80 years and staying Canadian, which is amazing. Most people don’t know that! They’ve always had the philosophy of being scent-free and hypoallergenic. The fact that they stayed true to who they are and who there were at the beginning, not trying to always follow [the trends of] the industry—that continuity I really admire. They want to offer quality products at an affordable price. It’s makeup and skincare line, which I also really like.
FLARE: You’re now appearing on Revenge, which has such great costumes. I saw a pair of Givenchy heels on your Instagram that were to die for.
KV: Yes! The fashion is amazing. Jill Ohannesson the costume designer, whatever she puts together is so beautiful. Everything is tailored to perfection. In the third season they’re bringing back more parties, like Nolan (Gabriel Mann) has nautical-themed party at his house, you should see the looks.
FLARE: How much can you tell us? Are you a good guy or a bad guy?
KV: I don’t know yet! That’s the thing with Revenge, you’re never sure. Margaux is pretty much the female version of Daniel (Joshua Bowman), she comes from a very wealthy family in France. Her dad sends her to New York to launch the American version of Voulez, a magazine [owned by her family] and finally she starts working with Daniel to find investors. She starts to prove to her dad that she can do it on her own. I can tell you that she will develop a romantic relationship with someone. It’s a fun character. I get to have scenes with just about everyone, so I’m happy about that.