Yes, it’s true. Miranda Frigon is truly one of the greatest actresses in Canadian history, and does so much more beyond the lens. Upon hearing about her latest role in the super intense and cool series, Day Of The Dead, I just had to talk to her and learn more about her. Even though I’ve spoken to Christopher Russell about it and his role, I’m always open to talk to as many other actors as I can and learn about their experiences. But I got more than just what happened on DOTD, I got a lot of amazing info.
HNMAG: Tell me a bit about your latest role on Day of The Dead.
Miranda: I play Mayor Paula Bowman, and she is initially an intractable stereotype. She’s a gun-loving rightwing mayor trying to use her power in force, and she’s very driven and determined. She kind of forgets her humanity and she’s forced to see through this undead invasion over this 24-hour period. She’s forced to see her political views and how her actions have affected her son and the world around her. She goes through some sort of awakening which makes her remember who she is and why she chose this path in the first place.
HNMAG: What was it like working during the first season?
Miranda: It was interesting. We were smack-dab right in the middle of COVID, so we got shut down twice. We couldn’t even start and it was an amazing experience. Zombie shows are not typically my genre, but I was surprised at how much fun I had running around blasting zombies with a gun and chasing them (laughs). The cast was lovely, I met so many wonderful people, executive producers Jed, Ellen Offman, Scott Thomas. The writing was amazing, and it was a great experience playing this role in particular because it was probably one of my most favourite roles that I’ve ever played. It was kind of like a parallel to what was going on in this world because we’ve got this group of survivors from all sorts of different political views and backgrounds forced to work together for the greater good. It’s kind of like the show sort of demonstrates the importance of adapting to change and learning to come together with our differences and political beliefs.
HNMAG: With the subject of needing to be together, with different viewpoints, have you experienced similar happenings in the past?
Miranda: Yeah, I mean you always sort of encounter people with different viewpoints than yours and even some of my friends have different viewpoints than mine and we were on the same page as everything else. But this pandemic has split us up with everything in our belief systems. For us to come together despite those differences, to do what’s best for all of us. Because we are all one and trying to support each other.
HNMAG: Do you have any idea what fans can expect for season 2 or any upcoming series in the franchise?
Miranda: We have no idea right now, so I have no news to report on that front. But if we happen to get a second season, that would be incredible because I think there could be really interesting stuff. We talked about it on set and thought maybe it would be about Impala and what led her down this dark path, learn a little more about the characters.
HNMAG: Have you played in other roles for movies with a living dead theme?
Miranda: No. This was my first zombie series, I think. I’ve been doing this for a long time but I’m sure this is my first one.
HNMAG: Do you hope to be in more living dead series in the future?
Miranda: It’s a lot of fun and while it’s not my genre to watch, they’re really popular. Yeah, I would totally go for it, I feel like this is as close to a superhero as I’ve ever gotten so I’m up for it.
Yes, Miranda has done quite a lot of roles, but she’s known for much more than that. Off-camera, she speaks on behalf of people with mental health problems, and knows lots of good tips about body positivity and the importance of keeping yourself stable. I talked to her about that subject next since it’s always very important and I feel it needs to be highly discussed.
HNMAG: Now I’d like to discuss mental health awareness. What have you done to raise awareness about this stigma?
Miranda: For mental health, all I can do is speak on my behalf of what I’ve experienced so that’s how I want to use my platforms to speak about my own struggles with anxiety because people don’t talk about it in the open and a lot of people struggle with it, particularly right now. Psychologists and Psychiatrists are the busiest right now because people are really struggling. But it’s not really something we talk about much because people judge it or they can label you crazy or there’s something wrong with you. But I think we have our own set of challenges whether we struggle with anxiety or alcohol or drug addictions, eating disorders or whatever it may be, we all have our own experience. I think what I would like to do is bring it out in the open and normalize it so people feel less alone and people don’t feel like they’re insane or a bad person or that they have these issues that no one else has because we all have something we struggle with. It’s judged in some way because people don’t really understand it.
HNMAG: You’ve struggled with anxiety in the past. How have you found ways to overcome it?
Miranda: That’s been a lifelong thing, I meditate every morning and I rarely miss a day so I find that sets me up for the day to get my mind in a good place. But sometimes things happen, my grandmother died the morning I had a photoshoot and it was while I was dropping my daughter off at school. I was feeling overwhelmed, and that’s usually when it kicks in with moments of stress. I think what’s helped me the most is not being angry at it but finding that place to love myself because if I can love it then I can place myself in understanding instead of judging myself. That’s the mental aspect, but there’s also exercising, eating well, getting good sleep, because all those things can wear on our system. If we’re not exercising, or having foods that are giving us optimal energy I think that can set us up for more stressful situations, where we’re feeling more stressful.
HNMAG: What other ways do you overcome obstacles in life?
Miranda: Life has many, many struggles, and I think the way that I like to approach any struggle is to come from a place of belief that our struggles are here to help us. Every struggle I’ve had, I think ‘How is this here to help me? To serve me, and my soul, and my growth as a human?’ and if I can look at my struggles that way then that makes it more peaceful because you’re searching for the opportunity for growth instead of being angry at this thing and feeling like you’re a victim to what’s happening.
HNMAG: Have you ever had to play any roles that were similar to experiences with anxiety?
Miranda: Most of the roles I’ve played have been the chief of police, the lawyer, the attorney, the cop, the CEO. Those types of roles where I’ve got it all together. Maybe that’s why I love playing those roles because I’m in power during those times. That’s typically more what I play, strong female characters that are often the antagonist or sometimes the villain. Though I often like to bring myself to it, I think that even strong characters that want control all the time have some sort of anxiety underneath that leads them to want everything to be in control because the inside of them is not in control. I can definitely use that in those characters and I do a lot of it when playing Paula in Day of The Dead.
But wait, there’s more! Miranda doesn’t just speak up on anxiety and other issues, she’s also very talented in music. Miranda is a successful singer, who even got her songs to be in movies. It’s like her work can appear in films that she’s not acting in at times.
HNMAG: You have also had previous work as a singer even to the point of your music getting into movies and films. Have you taken on any singing roles in productions?
Miranda: I did a funny little movie for Hallmark called A Cookie Cutter Christmas with Aaron Crako from When Calls The Heart. It was so much fun, I played a very quirky manipulative character and we actually had a sing-off. We sang Silent Night at the end of it and it was very much like The Bridesmaids. Other than that, not really. I haven’t been able to use my singing much. That would be a FANTASTIC thing, in a coming role to use my singing.
HNMAG: So you’re looking into auditioning musicals?
Miranda: That’s actually my background, I went to musical theatre school back in New York City. I was a dancer growing up so my world was singing, dancing, and acting.
HNMAG: How did you get from acting to musicals?
Miranda: After my first year in school, I was at home with my family and I got an audition for a Disney Show called Honey I Shrunk The Kids and this was in the middle of school. I ended up traveling back and forth from New York to Calgary which is where it was filmed. I ended up leaving school because even though this was a recurring character, I thought it was my big break. I ended up moving back to Canada and leaving school, but the series got canceled. That is sort of where I got my start.
HNMAG: What do you feel are some of your greatest songs and how have they been used in film soundtracks?
Miranda: My song Hiding Place was placed in a sci-fi show where we were chasing dinosaurs instead of chasing zombies. But I had a lovely placement in that and my song got a lot of recognition and that’s actually my most played song. I wrote that song in a really difficult moment where I was trying to help somebody but couldn’t, and all movies have that moment. Like a love story where you can’t pull someone out of their darkness. It was sort of one of my bigger placements. But my music getting placed into movies and TV started back in 2005 with a sci-fi series called Jake 2.0. I was a recurring character on that show and I was there for all 16 episodes of the first season. I spent a lot of time in my trailer, so I would bring my guitar, and just play around and write songs. I always liked writing songs for situations I would see outside of myself. There was kind of a love story on the show and I wrote a song for those love interests. I played them in the Hair and Makeup trailer one day and then the next thing I knew Paramount called me and said they’d like to use two of my songs in their show. That’s the beginning of me playing music, it’s a fun little thing I get to do on the side of acting.
HNMAG: Do you plan to do movie soundtracks as a side business?
Miranda: That’s a whole other career to pursue, and my music is more songs that I write and release as I make more albums and singles. Directors will take those songs and place them in their shows, so I’ve done a few things where I write songs for advertising and commercials. But I think I’m more acting focused than writing music. If someone wants to use it for their show, that’s awesome but it’s not something I’m really into pursuing.
HNMAG: What about your other talents? Do you plan to do more specific roles with these as well?
Miranda: There’s never really any plans because roles just come up. You get an offer or an audition and it’s sort of down the road for you so I can’t really plan for any of that but it would be really great to use some of those things. I’ve auditioned for roles where dancing or singing was required, but none of those have crossed my path yet so we’ll see what happens.
Miranda was fun to talk to and gave me lots of information. She’s doing incredibly well for herself, and I can’t wait to see what other roles she plays in the future. Right on, Miranda!