Canadian actor Sarah Dugdale talks all things Virgin River in conversation with pal and fellow actor Louriza Tronco.
As the next generation of YA thrillers takes to the big screen, Canadian actor Sarah Dugdale has emerged has one of the scene’s most promising new talents. The 25-year-old got her start in showbiz by way of R.L. Stine’s the Haunting Hour (you know, Goosebumps guy) back in 2010, taking a whole host of projects from TV movies to guest spots in mega-series such as Arrow and Supernatural in the years that followed. These opportunities, of course, would all lead up to her breakout role in Netflix’s Virgin River, starring opposite Alexandra Breckenridge as the town’s well-intentioned yet disruptive new arrival.
Here she sits down with long time friend and star of The Order, Louriza Tronco, and delves into roles past and present, like upcoming teen-horror There’s Someone Inside Your House for instance, as well as dishing on the music (and Wonderland featured musicians) that have seen her through the past few months.
Check out the interview below…
Sarah: Hey Louriza! It’s so nice to see your face even if it’s just over zoom. How long ago did we meet each other? Louriza: All I remember was it was a sunny day in California.
Sarah: Yes! Set up by our lovely agent Deb on a friend date. Louriza: Literally! It felt like a blind date. A little friendship blind date that turned into a lifelong friendship. It has to have been four or five years ago now. Sarah: Not only are you an awesome friend but I’m also a big fan of your work. I loved you in The Order, I mean, if I could be anyone on that show it would be Gabrielle because your part is so fun and you absolutely kill it.
Louriza: Thank you! Figuratively and literally. I’m a fan of your work too. Our friendship feels rare because for me anyway it can be hard to find genuine friendships in this industry. I’m so proud of you because you’re absolutely killing it. Virgin River has obviously blown up. Why do you think it’s gotten so popular and what do you think the fans relate to when they watch Virgin River? Sarah:Virgin River is a show you can sit down and watch with your whole family. There’s really something for everyone: drama, romance, suspense. The show has such universal themes of love and loss and explores them with an authenticity that feels fresh. It’s full of heart and joy and I think that’s what people need right now.
Louriza: Exactly! So you play Lizzie, and she’s a bit of an outsider with a wild child spirit. Do you relate to that part of her? Sarah: I feel like I related to her being an outsider especially joining the cast in their second season after everyone had already been together since season one. I feel like the dynamic was perfect for that. As far as wild child spirit goes, I relate most to her desire to be older and independent and the rebelliousness that goes along with that. But I have to admit I was a pretty tame teenager.
Louriza: Well there’s nothing wrong with that! Now, we got to know each other in our young adulthood so we didn’t know each other in high school so I’m curious, what were you like in school? I feel like we would have been friends back then. Sarah: I agree! I was extremely shy, but I was a drama geek. I was in all the plays and musicals. My favourite classes were Shakespeare theatre class, English literature, and philosophy. Oh, and I was perpetually late.
Louriza: Me too! We would have definitely been friends. Now, because you’re such a fantastic actor, you’ve had great versatility in your work. What character have you related the most to and why? Sarah: It’s hard to pick one because as an actor you’re at the core of every character you play so you have to find that commonality. If I had to pick one, I’d probably say playing ‘Amy’ in In The Shadow Of The Moon. Her driving force was her desire to be seen and understood by her dad. I feel like that’s a very universal desire. People are striving to be seen and understood by the people around them. So because of that, I found her really easy to tap into.
Louriza: That’s so beautiful. You have the horror movie There’s Someone Inside Your House coming up as well. We all know I love horror (I don’t). They terrify me and I get nightmares. Do you like horror movies? Sarah: I do! I’m a fan, so I was over the moon when I booked this. Even in the callback I remember being so excited to be there that I could feel myself shaking a little. The movie is based on a book with the same title by Stephanie Perkins. Not only is it a horror movie, it has this lovely coming of age story. We can watch it together. I’ll give you a heads up about any jump scares.
Louriza: Perfect. If you could sum up your experience of playing Lizzie in five words, what would they be? Sarah: Surprising, freeing, fun, unpredictable, and nostalgic.
Louriza: And I’ll add fashion. Sarah: Yes! I had the cutest clothes playing Lizzie.
Louriza: What had been your most fun and challenging day to film to date? Sarah: Honestly probably years ago when I did this guest star on this show called Rush. I was playing this pregnant teen and I had to give birth in a scene. It was emotionally and physically demanding. I wanted to make it as authentic as possible and didn’t want to push it (no pun intended). It was my first time having to be that vulnerable on set. I remember driving home feeling so exhausted and needing a bit of time to recharge.
Louriza: I know you love music and that it’s a huge part of your life (you’re the one that got me into Maggie Rogers), what is a song that would be a representation of your life right now? Sarah: She is so amazing! Okay, I’ve been listening to Phoebe Bridgers a lot. I think she’s brilliant. She put out a new album called Punisher in June and that has been my current obsession, especially the song “I Know The End”. I don’t know if that’s a little ominous but it’s a beautiful song.
Louriza: For sure! Last question. Do you think Virgin River will be renewed for a third season? And if it is renewed what arc do you think Lizzie will have? Sarah: I really hope it’s renewed. I mean, come on, it ended on such a cliffhanger there has to be a season 3. I would love to learn more about Lizzie, her past, and her relationship with her parents. I think there’s a lot of opportunity for her to evolve. Lizzie is still trying to figure out who she is, what she wants, and what her path in life is. I’ve grown quite fond of her and hope for the opportunity to continue learning about her…