Your new movie Montrťal
Girls - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us
about your character in it?
is a coming of age story about a young poet who finds his true
passion in MontrealÖ with the help of some lovely ladies! I played one
of the ĎMontrťal Girlsí, Yaz, in the feature. Yaz is an intriguing,
awe-inspiring character who captures the heart of Ramy (played by Hakim
Brahimi) and teaches him a thing or two about the underground music scene
in Montreal, as well as matters of the heart.
What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how
much Sana Asad can we find in Yaz?
many of my characters - thereís always a little bit of truth to each of
these personalities. I always try to put myself in a lot of these
situations and build a character from there. I had a lot of fun being this
Ďall-consumingí feminine vixen who can be a little manipulative and
mysterious. Thereís a lot of layers to who she is and why she does
certain things throughout the narrative of the film.
How did you
get involved with the project in the first place?
Patricia Chica [Patricia Chica
interview - click here] had requested an audition, and after reading the script for
the project I was ready to bring her story to life. Itís a collaborative
process and it was an absolute joy getting to explore each scene during
the rehearsal process for the project.
can you tell us about Montrťal
Girls' director Patricia Chica, and what was your collaboration
Patricia Chica is someone incredibly driven and is able to facilitate a
space where artists can come together and collaborate. Earlier on in the
process, I attended one of her workshops where she taught us ĎChi
Energyí, which sort of created a language between director and actor. It
dealt with the various chakras and as an actor who is in constant training
- gave me more tools to pick and choose from during my process from script
Girls is said to be the first film to be made with Chi Power
- so how has this method informed your acting, and maybe you personally?
took a lot away from the Chi Energy process. It was the first time I was
able to connect to a script and to a character in a spiritual way, which was an
interesting and unique process to explore. Iím extremely open-minded
about exploring different ways of opening up the mind and body because as
actors, our bodies, our voices, our experiences are our biggest assets.
What we bring to the work is an authentic experience that stands alone. My
interest in the artform starts from exploring my sense of self and
building a personality, a character from there.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!
shoot was fantastic. Being in the city of Montreal (since Iím a Toronto
local) was amazing. Itís such a brilliant world over there and Iím
glad I got to be part of a project that showcased that. We shot during the
pandemic where lockdowns were being enforced, so of course there was a
lot to work around. But everyone on set had such amazing energy that we
were able to fluidly create what we needed to and get the tasks for the
day done cohesively.
future projects you'd like to share?
be on set for a lead role in a series entitled Get
very soon! Itís a comedy about a girl who strives to Ďcure her
depressioní, and the theme alone was enough to grip me and see the
narrative play out. Mental health is all encompassing and Iím so
grateful and fortunate to be able to relate to, and bring my character Aishaís story to life. Being an artist and doing
impactful is honestly such a gift. Iím really excited to share this
project when itís ready.
What got you into
acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the
school plays led to drama classes. Drama classes led to theater school.
And from there I got scouted by an acting agency and have since been doing
it - itís a passion that sort of has always been there for me. It was
nothing that I intended on or set out to do. Itís just a part of my life
that feels right and feels like a purpose. I love what I do.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Montrťal
been working in the Canadian film market for the last 6 years. A lot of my
work consists of Canadian features and roles on American TV shows. I love
both cinema and television and have enjoyed both markets equally.
How would you
describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your
characters to life?
Iím extremely open-minded to a lot of processes that involve self-work
and script-work. It depends on the writing and how Iím able to connect
to and elevate these characters. Fundamentally, I always start with what I
know and who I am as a person and how that translates to the character
Iím cast as.
Actresses (and indeed actors) who
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor - all the actors from old
Hollywood are what made up for a lot of my childhood. They - unbeknownst
to me - inspired what would become my passion!
Your favourite movies?
a hard question. I donít have one. I donít even have a favourite genre
- mostly because I love all of it. I love comedy. I love horror. I love
drama. I love romance and I love tragedy. I think thatís what is so
special about film and TV in general - you get to be in and experience
these different worlds at any time. Thatís magic to me.
and of course, films you really deplore?
have one. I donít think I could talk poorly about someone elseís art.
I think what matters more is that inclusivity in casting is showcased more
as that has not always been the case for North American film and TV. As a
Pakistani-Irani actress, itís important that I am seen and heard and
social media, whatever else?
can imdb me for recent work: www.imdb.me/sanaasad
for live updates: @_sanaasad
for the interview!