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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

Take a Bite Out of iZOMBIE’s Elysia Rotaru

For any Canadian actress with a blossoming career, Vancouver, British Columbia is the place to be. Not only does it hold a consistent place in the Canadian film industry, but the city is known for hosting many of Hollywood’s film and television shoots. So it’s all the luckier that film and television actress Elysia Rotaru gets to call Vancouver her hometown.

Growing up in Vancouver, Rotaru enrolled in dance classes and developed a sense of performance at a very young age. She became involved in the arts at school, acting in as many school plays as she possibly could. Upon her high school graduation, Rotaru enrolled in Simon Fraser University as a psychology major, but changed her focus to theatre halfway through the program. She signed with her first agent in 2008, and with roles on USA Network’s Psych, the CW’s Supernatural and Hellcats, FOX’s Fringe, her career quickly expanded.

Now with a number of plays, television shows, voice over work, and films under her belt, Rotaru can be seen on two network shows this spring: the CW’s iZombie, a drama-comedy about a zombie medical student employed at a morgue, and CTV’s Motive, a police procedural set in Vancouver. With more projects than ever on the horizon for 2015, The Hudsucker chatted with Rotaru to hear all about working in television, chinese medicine, and, of course, zombies.

Credit Karolina Turek

The Hudsucker: You’ve always had an interest in the performing arts, but originally enrolled in university for psychology. What inspired your change of heart halfway through your program?

Elysia Rotaru: Originally, I was planning on being a psychologist, as I always wanted to connect with and help people.  But it was in a statistics class when I had the “moment”: I realized that I was more interested in being on the front lines of psychology, by diving in to the work and embodying the work via acting, as opposed to studying it and displacing myself from it.

The Hudsucker: Do you have a preference for stage, television or film work?

ER: I believe that my practice of the craft of acting is enriched by an eclectic body of training and work. The theatre, TV, film and voice-over work that I’ve done serve as a brilliant platform to support my growth. Trying different things allows me to explore and expand my body, voice, and imagination.

 The Hudsucker: You’ve been involved with a number of TV shows throughout your career so far. Do you have any particular favourite memories from working on some of the more well-known shows in your repertoire?

 ER: Working on Psych is definitely a memory that will stick with me, as it was one of my first roles—I had so much fun. Smallville will be always remembered as the first time I was CGI’d to look possessed! Supernatural was my first guest starring role in which I played a period character—someone from the past dressed in period clothing. I developed great friendships on that show, and was actually booked on Supernatural a second time. I had a grand time reconnecting with Jensen and Jared on set. Fringe introduced me to Tim Guinee, who, unbeknownst to him, encouraged me to purse beekeeping. Last year, I became an apiarist!

Credit Karolina Turek

The Hudsucker: You’re appearing in the new CW show iZombie. Based on the synopsis, it sounds like a pretty unique type of show. What can audiences expect from the pilot episode?

ER: All I can say is that it’s a very cerebral show where you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled. Every scene will blow your mind!

The Hudsucker: In iZombie, you play Tess. What is she like as a character?

ER: Tess is a call girl, and she really has gusto. We had a lot of funny moments on set for me because I was playing her, mostly during prep. The wardrobe fitting was the best—you’ll get to see why after you tune in to watch the pilot. Tweet me and let me know what you think!

The Hudsucker: Do you like zombies or zombie media?

ER: Yes! I love taking part in the annual Vancouver Zombie Walk.

The Hudsucker: You’re also appearing in Season 3 of Motive, a police procedural. Who do you play on that show? What is unique about Motive compared to other police procedurals on television right now?

ER: I play a woman who is a yoga and beer aficionado. She makes a move on the brother of her new friend. The great thing about Motive and what makes it unique is that it is a show that is based and set in my home town of Vancouver, British Columbia.  I think it’s engaging because it reveals the killer and the victim from the beginning, and throughout the episode, you follow the path of the investigation. Plus, they use really creative transitions between scenes… you’ll see what I mean when you tune in to watch!

Credit Jamie Lauren

The Hudsucker: You’re currently producing and starring in the short film The Wall. What attracted you to this project? How’s it going?

ER: I was drawn to working on The Wall because it offered me an avenue to explore a new role, both in front of and behind the camera. Filming went smoothly; we’re now in post-production, and are looking forward to submitting to festivals!

The Hudsucker: In addition to your work in film & television, you’re also studying to become a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). What inspired you to follow that path? 

ER: Holistic medicine was integrated into my life as I was growing up, and I developed a fascination around it over the years. This eventually lead me to pursue a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for it. My studies of TCM have helped me grow a heightened awareness of the mind, body, and spirit. It provides me with the knowledge base to help maintain a balance in those areas, which enriches my acting. TCM also provides me with a skill set I can use to help better the life of others, which I love doing.

The Hudsucker: What else is coming up on the horizon for you this year?

ER: 2015 has so far been a blast, and I’m very excited and open to see what other riches, lessons, and adventures await me. I do have roles lined up in film, TV and voice work, as well as a few fun independent film projects I am going to produce and act in. I also plan to travel and see more of this vast and beautiful world. And, as always, I plan to have fun, enjoy life, and be grateful!

iZombie premieres Tuesday, March 17th on The CW, while the third season of Motive airs on Sundays on CTV. To keep up with Elysia’s many adventures, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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One Comment on “Take a Bite Out of iZOMBIE’s Elysia Rotaru”

  1. delete tagged March 19, 2015 at 4:01 am #

    I absolutly loved this show!!!! i try and not watch a tv show until its at least in its 2nd season because i HATE getting sucked into a show and then have it ripped away (like the secret circle) but this one i couldnt help myself! it was awsome! hopefully it will last!

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