TORONTO: A local actress is celebrating a major accomplishment this week.
Allie MacDonald of Port Hawkesbury is the winner of a 2018 Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her work on CTV detective series Cardinal.
“I’m super happy and excited,” MacDonald told The Reporter. “It’s my first time being nominated for anything, so it was such an honour to win.”
MacDonald has appeared in a variety of genres from horror to comedy. She is also known for her role as Belinda in the CTV sitcom, Young Drunk Punk.
“Doing that was really fun and happy and I had a great time, but doing Cardinal was more of a challenge, and more of a learning experience for me,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald said playing the role of villain Edie Soames in the first season of Cardinal was emotionally draining, but her director and co-stars helped her feel comfortable on set.
“My character was somebody who was going through a really, really dark time and she’s kind of hit rock bottom,” said MacDonald.
“Everyone was really supportive and encouraging through the whole process, which was amazing because it gave me the freedom to go to that dark place and still feel like I could come back.”
Although she now lives in Toronto, MacDonald still considers Port Hawkesbury her home. She started acting in plays while attending SAERC.
“When I was 15 I did Oliver at Theatre Antigonish, and that was when I realized that I like to play different characters. It was the first time I felt I could actually do this professionally,” MacDonald said.
After working with Neptune Theatre in Halifax, she attended the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC and became interested in film and television. She credits her family with encouraging her as she navigated the ups and downs of a career in acting. Her father was by her side in Toronto last week as she accepted her award.
“In school, drama and music was the only thing I really excelled at, so they kind of knew they had to encourage me,” she said. “My parents have been so supportive as I try to figure out my path.”
MacDonald has also been working on two movies slated for release this year. She will play movie star Lillian Gish in Why Not Choose Love: A Mary Pickford Manifesto. She will also appear in Under the Silver Lake starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough.
“I have a small part in it, but I play a singer, so I’m really excited to be able to sing in something,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald produces her own recordings of original songs with acoustic guitar and vocals under the name Sureilla. In 2016, she released an E.P. and has started to book performances in Toronto and Los Angeles.
“I’ve been a closet musician for a long time. I used to busk at the Granville Green when I was 12,” said MacDonald. “It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve felt like I’m ready to pursue it and put it out there.”
When she is not performing, MacDonald enjoys using her platform to pursue one of her biggest passions, which is helping animals. She volunteers with Dogs without Borders in Los Angeles and Toronto Cat Rescue, where she is a foster care coordinator for 50 homes.