Femme Fatale: Kyra Zagorsky

Actress, writer, director Kyra Zagorsky talks sci-fi and her take on the role of strong women on stage.

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-3

Gown: beaded velvet gown, Blue Isis SS 2014

Written by Alice Chiang

“My family doesn’t necessarily understand what I do. They are very supportive; but I have come to accept that I don’t have to tell my family everything. Just be happy with myself, with what I do.” said Kyra Zagorsky with refreshing candor, recounting her parents’ role throughout her acting career. The Colorado-raised actress, now living in Vancouver, is best known for her lead role as Julia Walker on the SyFy network series, Helix.

Between rehearsals, filming, and performances, Kyra found some time to stop by the studio for this photoshoot. The familiar scent of hairspray and makeup filled the air around her as she quietly rehearsed lines for an audition that she would later dash to immediately after the shoot. I managed to squeeze in my interview between takes.

Accentuated by her dark, mysterious eyes, one could sense a poised beauty that blossoms from a strong, inner quality. There is a stillness in her presence, graceful yet tenacious, as if she was already getting into character for our femme fatale themed couture photo editorial.

It is no surprise, really; this narrative is one familiar to Kyra. Aside from her leading role in Helix, she has starred as a number of strong, female characters, including her roles as Vasquez, a high tech operative from the future on Showcase network’s Continuum, and as Veronica in the sold out stage production, The Motherf**ker with the Hat. In the latter, her character battles a drug addiction against a precarious and turbulent backdrop of change. A reviewer describes her as “a creature of terrifying beauty,” marked by her defiantly expletive temper that is every bit the match to her pent-up drug trafficking lover.

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-6

Dress: ribbon organza dress, Serpentine SS 2016

I wanted to know what drew her to different characters. “There are so many different definitions of strong female roles, but to me, a character needs to be 3-dimensional and have a story, not just a vibe.” Citing her character Veronica as an example, she said, “although she is troubled, she is vivacious… I know people like Veronica!” Her fascination with complexity and layers in the development of a character is evident as she listed off some of her favourites. “One of my all-time favourite sci-fi characters is Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) from Alien. She is strong but at the same time vulnerable. She’s more relatable.”

Kyra seems to have found a niche in the sci-fi femme fatale genre, to which she acknowledges with respect, praising its audiences for accepting “someone with my look.” Femme fatales are often morally ambiguous and associated with a sense of mystification and unease. Just the kind of complexity a discerning actor would want to sink her teeth into.

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-4

Top: leather halter blouse, Serpentine SS 2016 | Skirt: checkered knit skirt, AW 2014

“My dad introduced me to Ashland, Oregon where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is because he knew I loved Shakespeare. That’s where I discovered going to theatre school.” She described her road to a BFA in Theatre and a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting as a happy discovery in high school. “I grew up in a small town. I was athletic, very involved in sports. Then, I joined the choir and theatre in high school.” Once she played the baker’s wife in her school play she was hooked.

As the backdrop is drawn, Kyra took to the set and impressed the crew with her innate talent in channeling these characters. In front of the camera is no longer an earnest actress studying lines; instead, we are served a sensuous, assertive heroine from a dark science fiction, ready to go out and catch some bad guys.

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-2

Dress: checkered knit dress, Pantomime AW 2014 | Coat: melton fur coat, Hieland Flouer AW 2015

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-1b

Gown: beaded velvet gown, Blue Isis SS 2014

Roberutsu-KyraZagorsky-5

Dress | ribbon organza dress, Serpentine SS 2016

Couture Design from Atelier Grandi
Photography | Roberutsu
Styling | Alice Chiang & Iris Woo
Makeup & Hairstyle | Terra French

Read this in our publication | Page 18

A Flair for the Dramatic

13120479_10156768092465063_1379182879_o

photography by Roberutsu
custom couture gown by Atelier Grandi

This week, the biggest names in the entertainment industry descend on a small, southern French town for the world’s largest, and arguably more prestigeous, film festival.

On the star-studded red carpet, you will see the freshly 23-year old Andrea Wilde. This ambitious and talented Nanaimo-native has been invited to this year’s Cannes Film Festival for a screening of “Generation Y”, a short film she directed and produced.

We had the distinct pleasure of working with her to create her red carpet look – one that reflects her heritage roots and her “flair” for the dramatic.

We also managed to catch her thoughts on her work with a few questions.

Grandi: I hear a rumour you have a “flair for the dramatic”. How does that transpire in your work?

AW: I love to see my characters in situations that push their boundaries, that’s when they really come to life. And most would argue I have an artistic temperament, perhaps I’m an extremist. Drama is becoming a signature in my films so I’d certainly like to think I have a flair for it!

Grandi: The creative industry is, well, creative… and big! How do you carve out your territory?

AW: Like most writers in this industry, I write about the things I know. There’s a piece of me in every script I write. I think it’s important to draw from your own experiences because that gives your characters the chance to relate to everyday people.

Grandi: Movies are big projects. How do you harness the talents around you?

AW: Hiring talented people to work on a project is paramount, if not the most important part of making a movie. To be honest, it’s always the crew trying to harness me! I like to ask for every person’s opinions because it allows me to see from a different perspective and to learn from the awe-inspiring, talented casts and crews I am lucky to work with. People forget that a movie isn’t just the director’s, it’s the artwork of every cast and crew member.

Grandi: Our readers are always curious about lifestyles. How would you describe yours? What’s a day in the life of Andrea like?

AW: If I film that day, then I usually get a wake up call at 5:00AM and call time around 6:30AM. During the fourteen hour shoots, I might get fifteen minutes of time to myself which I use to sit in my trailer and call my Mom and Dad. After the shoot, I attempt to go through my emails, my manager tells me what meetings I have to prep for and then before it’s lights out, I do some writing. On days I don’t film, I religiously go for a run in the morning! I look forward to the days I have time to go for a jog in the sun!

Grandi: How are you feeling about Cannes?

AW: Being invited to Cannes is an honour, whether you’re Spielberg or new to the industry, it’s an invitation you always accept with gratitude. Taking a film to Cannes is something you dream about but assume will never happen. I know the reason Generation Y is at Cannes is because I had the best cast and crew who all worked tirelessly on this film. I owe them everything.

The Academy Awards with Melissa Stubbs

Grandi-X-MStubbs-Oscars2016-web

Friend of the Atelier, the lovely Melissa Stubbs, sent us sweet photos while walking the red carpet at the 88th annual Academy Awards, in a bespoke Atelier Grandi dress.

She may not be a household movie name, but this incredible woman has just as many blockbuster movies to her name – Inception, The Last Samuri, The Dark Knight Rises, X-Men 2, Indiana Jones, Jumanji, and apparently, she wasn’t joking about The Fifty Shades of Grey. The list continues.

In the industry, she is well-recognized for her work as an award-winning stunts director and performer.

We had the pleasure of dressing Melissa Stubbs for the Adacemy Awards this year. She shone in this couture gown, designed exclusively for her.