Lydia Campbell – Heart Felt
By: Ruth Hill
Back in February, I happened to catch the Ion Television premiere of Heart Felt, which starred the dynamic Matthew MacCaull and the beautiful Emmanuelle Vaugier. As captivating as the main couple was, one of the supporting cast members absolutely enthralled me. I found myself intrigued by Lydia Campbell and the humor and skill she brought to every scene in which she was featured. When I contacted her, she graciously agreed to answer some questions about Heart Felt, as well as her past Hallmark projects and future endeavors.
What inspired you to become an actress?
I think I’ve always been a performer. I was the kid who was making dance circles at my mom’s office Christmas party so I could show off my sweet break dancing moves. I liked to play pretend and make up stories. The first ten years of my life were spent as an only child, so I had a lot of time to develop my imagination. However, I really caught the acting bug in 9th grade. I did my first musical “Pompadours and Poodle Skirts” and it caught on like wildfire after that. I was really intrigued by the idea of getting paid to play pretend, to live in a fantasy. That and I love telling stories and really what is an actor if not a story teller?
You have worked on a couple Hallmark films. What do you like about working for Hallmark?
The people. It’s like they take the most exceptionally talented and kind-hearted people they can find and say, “Ok, let’s make something amazing!” And more often than not, they succeed.
Tell us about your experience with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” & A Country Wedding. What was it like working with the cast?
Oh man, so much awesome all around. “The Impossible Dream” was amazing because I got to get back to my musical theatre roots. Getting to work with Christina Bianco was incredible. It was funny because I remember seeing a video of hers on Facebook that went viral before we had worked together and I thought, “Wow this girl is crazy talented!” Then, two years later, we have connecting trailers that we’re singing show tunes through. My friends were so jealous when I told them. It was a very surreal experience to say the least. Having the opportunity to work with Crystal Lowe was like no other. She was so welcoming and warm–I couldn’t believe it. I mean, you hear stories about divas and then you meet someone like Crystal and you’re like,”How are you this nice?! And talented?! You’re like the perfect woman!” [laughs] Really, every person in the cast was just an absolute pleasure. Geoff’s [Gustafson] humor had me tittering with laughter between scenes. Kristin’s [Booth] grace and professionalism left me inspired. My incredible Postable sister Rhona [Rees] was the icing on this Hallmark cake. Behind the scenes, folks were so efficient and on the ball, it was hard not to have a great time.
A Country Wedding was a blast. I mean, who doesn’t want to work with the undeniably handsome Jesse Metcalfe? Am I right? I have to say when I found out he was cast, along with my “The OC” favorite, Autumn Reeser – I knew it was gonna be a spectacular experience. This role really was a lot of fun. I got to play an awkward mortgage broker that walked in on a sleeping Jesse, which really gave me an opportunity to show off my comedy skills (my ultimate love). So, between scenes and camera set-up, I was cracking jokes at Jesse and making faces and, thankfully, I actually made him laugh. Then, he had to take his shirt off for the scene and it was like my awkward button got turned on. All my jokes didn’t make sense. I was bumping into people and things–I was all over the place. Meanwhile, Anne Wheeler, our director, was laughing at me because she knew exactly what was going on. I’m happy to say I made it through the scene, awkward charm and all.
Heart Felt was your most recent work. How did you get into character for Liz? Your comedic timing was perfect.
Aw, thank you! Liz was an awesome character to portray. One of the things I was taught as an actor was that each character you portray has an element of you in it–it’s just exaggerated or silenced. Liz and I are very similar. We’re both eager and nosey ladies who always have their friends’ best interests at heart. But we’re also different. I’m more of a soft sell, try-and-break-it-to-you-gently and Liz is very much to the point, “This is how it is.” So, it gave me an opportunity to explore that part of myself and really commit to the persona and values I thought Liz would hold dear. Jason Bourque, the director, also played a really big role in helping me discover Liz’s nuances and motivations when it came to helping Molly (Emmanuelle Vaugier).
Speaking of your director Jason Bourque, what was it like working with him? And what about with your co-stars?
Jason is like one of those dream directors you hear about but don’t believe exists. Like you think people are exaggerating when they tell you how awesome he is, but Jason lives up to the hype. He is seriously one of a kind and I can’t even begin to tell you what an absolute joy it was getting to work with this man and his cast and crew. He just made it so great. Heart Felt was my first supporting lead role so I was pretty nervous, but Jason just made things so comfortable and easy. Same with my co-stars. Everyone just seemed to click right away. Emmanuelle and Matt were so incredible to watch and learn from. Edwin [Perez] is like my comedy guru. It was so much fun watching him play as Romeo. In fact, Edwin and I see each other all the time. He comes out to the improv show I’m a part of every Wednesday night. So, Heart Felt not only gave me an amazing opportunity in my career; it also gave me a really great new friend!
What did you like best about your character Liz?
Liz had a great sense of style! Wardrobe did an amazing job and I have to say it was so much fun getting to see the outfits I would get to wear. It was stuff I would never pick for myself and getting to see myself look like a fierce, hot-shot lawyer was really empowering. She’s also very confident and determined, which is awesome to see in a female supporting lead. Liz knew exactly what she wanted and knew how to get it.
Any other upcoming works you can mention?
Not just yet. A couple things are in the works, but nothing concrete. However, if you’re a local in Vancouver and you like to laugh, I’m part of a live improvised soap opera called “Sin Peaks.” We do a show every Wednesday Night at the Railway club. Edwin usually comes to the show to watch. I’m trying to convince him to guest star in our next season. He still needs some persuading.
What would be your dream role? Who would star opposite you?
This one is funny for me because the new X-men movie is coming out. I’ve always dreamed of playing Storm in the Origin stories, which is funny because comedy is more my genre. But the X-men movies are very serious and action-packed, so I don’t know why it’s my dream role, but yeah, I’ve always wanted to play Storm. I like playing strong, determined and motivated women and I also really like making people laugh.
Someone I would love to work with? Well, it’s a toss-up between the comedy queens Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler. Oh man, even thinking about it gets me excited! These ladies are my idols and they’re changing the game when it comes to women in comedy. To get the chance to work with these impressively accomplished women would be the ultimate dream come true! ( Whoa, I use the word “ultimate” a lot.)
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like getting crafty and watching movies. I ‘m also the art director of the live improv show I mentioned so I get to design the sets and props for our show, which keeps me pretty busy. Plus, hanging with my son and fiance (husband in August this year) is always a good time and something I always look forward to!
As I fully digested her responses, I discovered just how well-rounded and versatile Lydia is, as she is a gifted actress and comedienne who infuses enthusiasm into everything she does. I believe it is only a matter of time that this woman takes the entertainment world by storm. Be sure to check out her past works if you have not already, as she has been featured in some spectacular roles and works. But also make the decision now to follow her on social media so that you don’t miss a single thing in which she is involved.
Sin Peaks (Live Improvised Soap Opera)