Without a doubt, Michelle Thrush has been one of the most compelling women on Canadian television and one of the shining lights of the industry. The riveting series “Blackstone” made her a household name and she continues to mesmerize audiences as the recovering alcoholic Gail Stoney who struggles with the tribulations that life can so often deal. One can almost feel the pain she has to go through in each episode, as she tries to overcome her troubles. As we identify with her, Michelle who is a Cree Native has herself faced typecasting and prejudices which has been a blight on the history of entertainment. It’s great to know she’s at the forefront of a movement that is seeing a bevy of Native American actresses winning the attention of the world with their authentic and emotionally moving performances. Michelle will be heading to the Canada Screen Awards 2014 which is held in Toronto and is considered to be Golden Globes/Oscars of Canada. I’m blessed to be able to write about Michelle, an award-winning actress and a star in her own right who has the affable personality viewers will adore. Keep your eyes peeled for her this Sunday March 9th if you’re watching as she hits the red carpet in what will be a most elegant dress. She belongs to the select group of Canada’s favorite TV sirens garnering the nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role. She won the this category two years ago and in her very words this time around included in a group of powerhouse women that includes Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany and Hélène Joy from “Murdoch Mysteries”.
She’s also won a Leo award (the equivalent of an Emmy Award) for playing Deanna Martin on the hugely popular show “Artic Air”. Deanna is all about making the public aware of political affairs that has a bearing on their livelihood and social well being which makes for enthralling drama. Watch Michelle in the behind the scenes video (above) of her shoot for Season 3 in the province of Manitoba alongside fellow actor Adam Beach who is of course Bobby Martin. Early this year, Michelle was at Cannes promoting the film “Jimmy P” which also starred Benicio Del Toro. She plays Gayle Picard, the sister of his character Jimmy who are both very close and cares for him religiously after he suffers a head injury during World War II. This was a dream role for her having always wanted to act alongside Benicio and she did prove to be a fascinating vision in “Jimmy P”. For now, the stargazing will be on Michelle and she should be already be acknowledged as a screen enchantress.
It is the awards season in full swing and Jan Haley should be celebrated for appearing in “This is Martin Bonner” which won the John Cassavettes award at The Independent Spirit Awards 2014 only a few days ago. She plays Angela Helms, the wife of straight-minded Christian counselor (Robert Longstreet) who is one of the central figures in the life of the titular character Martin, a lost soul. You can watch a snippet of one of her scenes here on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/video/demo_reel/vi1447077913/. It’s easy to see why her handle on Twitter is @starjan for she has an ebullience about her. The euphoria over the Oscars has certainly not overshadowed the other award shows and the intriguing depth of the nominated films are a boon for audiences. Congrats should also go out to Director Chad Hartigan and Cherie Saulter for creating such a beautiful story about the dreaded middle age crisis. Being part of an award-winning indie film would no doubt put Jan on the radar of persons of influence and lead to even more roles. It’s great that mature actresses such as Jan are given the license to delve into some great character development. The depiction of women across age groups is important as this would be on a realistic plane for any plot.
Jan is also a great voice-over artist and she is best remembered as Wendy, the maid to the Cranes in NBC’s Passion during its run on TV. Having done her fair share of commercials and billboards for Casinos in the state of Nevada, she has stuck in the minds of many people. The indie film world may just be the avenue for her to keep dazzling us both as a beauty and a confident, accomplished entertainer.