Hellion Magazine - Laura Mennell, The ALPHA


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(click on image to view editorial and photo spread)
(Photography By James Fabius)

 

Laura Mennell, The ALPHA

By James Fabius

August 31st 2012

Laura Mennell currently plays Nina Theroux on the hit TV show ALPHAS which plays on the SyFy Network

Sitting down with Laura Mennell, you will think of her and her beauty as nothing less than ALPHA.

This vegetarian loves East Indian food, art, traveling and fashion. She is one of the most polite and reserved actresses you will find, whose mind and beauty are nothing less than boundless.

The TV Series that Laura Mennell currently stars in is about super humans with special tactical abilities that they call “pushing”.

I asked Laura about the TV series that she currently stars in called ALPHAS and the character that she plays, which you will find on the SyFy Network starting again September 10th.

“She's extremely capable, she's a strong woman. I love that she's an extreme asset to her team. She can get them out of difficult situations, she can source out really tricky information that would be difficult to get without her ability, or impossible to get. And her ability is being able to manipulate people into doing whatever it is that she wants them into doing. We call that pushing on the show.” says Laura.

“She's a lot of fun to play.” Laura Mennell told me.

Vancouver is Laura's home although she shoots ALPHAS in Toronto.

The show's premise is based on seemingly ordinary people who all have these special abilities, be it mental or physical. They use their abilities to solve crimes that the government can't seem to crack because they generally involve ALPHAS, people like Nina Theroux. Her team is called the ALPHAS, although there are many other characters who are ALPHAS also, including their nemesis, “Red Flag”.

“I think that there can be ALPHAS among us. There are little moments, where anybody like you or I could have a special ability that could come out of no where, like if you have fight or flight response and your adrenaline kicks in where you can get this super strength and your body could lift a car to save someone underneath. Just certain little instances like that have really happened in real life.” Laura explained to me as we sat down in her hotel room.

“Where there are people like Nina who you could say, have a hypnotic ability, where they can work with people through hypnosis, although with Nina it is more like hyper-hypnosis, or mind control. There are obviously certain examples of that like Darren Brown for example.” She continued to talk about and explain how Darren Brown in his YouTube videos shows off his own special abilities where Laura says that, “You can see little bits of ALPHAS in the world.”

I asked her if she thought that she had any unique ALPHA like abilities herself. She told me that she didn't think she had any special abilities. “If I had Nina's ability, I would feel a little guilty afterward.”

What got her into acting in the first place, was her special interest in it when she was a young girl. How she was always interested in the arts, and in creating art. Dancing, visual art, a little music, was what she enjoyed some of the most a young girl and woman growing up.

She told me that her dance and art classes were getting too expensive so her mother signed her up for an improv class instead, which she really enjoyed and has had her acting ever since.

 

Laura grew up in Mission, in the Frazier Valley nearly an hour and 40 minutes right outside of the city of Vancouver in Canada. She first started studying at the University of Frazier Valley, then went to Simon Frazier University to finish up her studies.

Shay Hampton in Vancouver and Iris Quin were her former acting teachers who had been a great inspiration to Laura through out her whole life. She continues to admire and love them for helping start her career.

Acting for Laura was a, “Way of self expression.” she told me. Her mother didn't want her to act professionally until she got into adulthood although she spent much of her time, studying acting, dance, art and improv growing up as a child in western Canada. Laura finally started working as a professional actor at the age of 17, and started booking more work in her twenties and on.

Although her parents never stayed together and broke up when she was around 7 years old, Laura Mennell said that they never stopped loving, supporting her, her dreams and work.

“I have a great older sister who is 8 years older, who I've always looked up to.” She told me of her older sister.

When I asked her to recall and describe her childhood to me, she told me that it was a “loaded” question. I agreed and she tried her best to answer my “loaded” question anyway. Remembering her childhood, Laura said that, “I loved to draw, I loved to paint. Then I started liking acting a lot. I remember my mom put me into something, called the Vancouver Youth Theatre. In the 80s it was especially really big and a great place for kids to go and learn about theatre, and do plays. I had a great childhood.”

Laura Mennell bragged about her graphic designer boyfriend named James who was then in Manitoba at the time of our interview, and who is usually in Toronto with her on set when she was filming.

“If I wasn't with James at the moment, I'd probably take a little bit of time to myself. I think when you're looking for someone you never really find the person that you want. When you're not looking, it comes to you...Somehow when you least expect it, at least I find with me, someone just pops in there.”

She spoke of how her hobbies include going to farmer markets and getting local organic food. She explained on how she loves to cook as much as she loves to do anything on the planet. She spoke of her cat Louie who she found 5 years before when she rescued him.

She told me about how her favorite cities include her home Vancouver, New York City, Montreal, Havana, and San Francisco. “It's hard to find one favorite place. There are too many in the world.”

“I usually like local (fashion) designers. That's usually my thing. So whatever sort of town that I am in, or city it is fun to find local talent. Like when I am in Vancouver, I love Allison Wonderland... She has great stuff, really fun sort of quirky. My sister used to own a clothing store, so I met Allison a whole bunch of times and she's great. In Toronto, I've kind of fallen in love with Preloved. They have cool stuff, but I really do love Stella McCartney... I've worn it on ALPHAS a few times and her stuff just fits me beautifully.”

Laura Mennell was absolutely fun and positive to be around. You will all find her hit show ALPHAS on the SyFy Network starting again September 10th.