First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who don't
already know you?
Catherine Maura Aidan at your service. I’m a dorky Canadian feral beast who
likes to play pretend. I grew up on Elm St – sans Freddy Krueger – where I
was homeschooled with my four creative and hilarious sisters. I was one of
those kids who wanted to be a detective who is also an actor who is also a
rockstar who is also a clown at the circus. I was a shy kid but really
relished the various forms of storytelling my sisters and I would partake in
– those were the moments where I felt freedom from my shyness. That love for
storytelling never waned.
Any current/future projects you'd like to share?
recently I’ve been in two horror shorts from Andrew J.D. Robinson [Andrew J.D. Robinson
interview - click here] called
Placebo and A Walk Home
Alone, and have a new one with him on the horizon
which is a really awesome, creepy concept where I play a 911 dispatcher to
Erin Kiniry’s distressed caller. I recently saw her in Mitchell Slan’s
award winning short Balloon and she’s a gem. I think people are going to
really dig Dispatch.
What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive
any formal training on the subject?
There was always
character playing in my house when I was growing up. My love for all of
that eventually lead to me pursuing acting and it’s not too different
from what I grew up doing… except now there’s usually a lot of mint
flavoured stage blood involved and HD cameras. I did take a handful of
classes in my early twenties, before that I was improvising different
intense scenarios in front of the mirror. I remember in 1997 seeing Baz
Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and being obsessed with Claire Danes and
was inspired by her emotional range. I would sit alone in a room and
practice making myself cry on command. Feels so silly admitting that.
Can you still
remember your first time in front of a movie camera, and what was that
Two of my sisters, Celia and Sarah, and I
made a few films when we were younger. I think the first one was when I
was 10 and I played this woman who was abused as a child by her parents.
She grows up, marries a fella, has a baby, and ends up killing them both
and then herself. Spoiler alert! It was mostly improvised, too. Clearly a
delightful romp for the whole family! We were usually really goofy, so
that was a dark neighbourhood we went into with that one. We were strange
kids… and now we’re strange adults. I wouldn’t have it any other
Past movies and career highlights so
a good question.
the guts to go to my first ever audition at 20. When I mastered the
surreal and emotional backwards beginning scene of Beauty
Sleep. Having Beauty
Sleep premiere at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, then later
in the year having it show in Ottawa and having two of my sisters and my
dad there. My first time acting in a film by my long time chum Michael
Horrigan (2015’s Posthumous). Giggly bathroom SFX makeup sessions with
my sister-in-law Ashley Robinson. Directing my favourite director Andrew
(J.D. Robinson) when he acted in my 15 second short Ottoline. There are
too many special memories to name.
How would you describe yourself as an actress, and
some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
would I describe myself… a little weirdo? Haha. This is a great
question. I don’t know how I would describe myself as an actress, but I
would love to be Ruth Gordon when I grow up, haha. It all depends on the
character with what kind of techniques and prep I feel will help. My work
with 15 Second Horror Film Challenge is mainly diving into the shoot with
pure instinct. With lengthier work, before the shoot date I’ll usually
come up with my rough sketching out of who the character is, which can
involve listening to certain music, or journaling as them to get into
their head a bit more… whacky actor stuff like that.
the years, you've starred in quite a few movies by director Andrew J.D.
Robinson [Andrew J.D. Robinson
interview - click here] - so what are your collaborations usually
like, and how did the two of you meet in the first place?
met online many moons ago from having mutual connections in the film
scene. He wrote to me about a potential project knowing that I’m an
actor, and that lead to us chatting until ungodly hours in the morning
about everything from the serious to the absurd. In my head I would think,
‘he’s the madman to my madwoman’. You always hope to find someone
you can be batshit with one moment and then completely speak from the
heart with the next. He’s my partner in crime. Working together is this
lovely, focused thing where we often need few words between us because
we’re really on the same wavelength. It’s groovy.
through your filmography, one can't help but notice that many of your
movies are of the horror variety - coincidence, or is horror a favourite
genre of yours, and why (not)?
I’ve always dug horror. I
was that kid who idolized Lydia Deetz and watched Nosferatu and
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on a weekend afternoon while eating pancakes with
my sisters. A lot of my fondest film memories involve bonding over fearful
giggles. I was a semi-closeted morbid kid and was always drawn to the
darker concepts – the bubonic plague, ghosts, whatever scary stories my
sisters and I could get our hands on. That strange conflict of being both
hideously intrigued and yet wanting to recoil is intoxicating.
Actresses (and indeed
actors) who inspire you?
There are so many, but Ruth
Gordon, Tilda Swinton, Conrad Veidt, and Jack Lemmon come to mind. What
they bring to their performances is so rich and their own. I always feel
particularly inspired after watching their work.
Your favourite movies?
all time favourite film is Harold and Maude directed by Hal Ashby. No
piece of art breaks my heart and puts it back together like that film
does. I remember my mom introducing it to me in the days of yore. Seeing
the character of Harold, I felt like whoever wrote it got people like me.
He is fixated on death, but he falls in love with this 79-year-old woman
who is completely eccentric and full of life and teaches him how to live.
Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon give beautiful performances in it, the script is
brilliant, and the entire soundtrack is Cat Stevens. Magic. Watch it if
you haven’t yet.
and of course, films you really deplore?
I don’t know if
there is any film I deplore, but I suppose anything that reduces a human
being into an object without it being satire or a specific kind of
commentary. I tend to roll my eyes when I’m watching a film and suddenly
the camera is panning down a female character’s body like a peeping tom
and it’s not even necessary for the scene.
Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I’m around the Facebook parts at
and Instagram at
Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I could use
this to plug something I’m sure, but what immediately comes to mind is
that I would like to send love and light to whoever is currently reading
this. Yeah. That’s a good ol’ fashioned hippie note to leave it on.