Johannah Newmarch has worked extensively in film, television, and theatre for 20 years. Her TV credits include; Supernatural, Smallville, Stargate, Rogue, Haunting Hour, Motive, Gracepoint, The Whispers and many award winning independent films. In 2012, Johannah was honoured with a Leo for best Supporting Actress in a feature for her work in Sunflower Hour, and again in 2014 with the Best Actress award at the Vancouver Short Film Festival for her performance in The Weather Girl.
1. When did you know you wanted to become involved in the entertainment industry?
I was a highly trained ballet dancer during my youth, but, for a number of reasons, my desire to pursue that career path professionally waned in my mid teens. But, I loved performing, so deciding to try acting felt like a natural progression. And sure enough… I loved it! Booked my first leading role at age 16.
2. You portray Doc Holliday in the film Last Stand to Nowhere. Can you talk more about the film and what drew you to this role?
Well, as you know, it’s an all female reimagining of the famous ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’, and really… I mean, need I say more?! Ha! The cool factor is next level! And I was drawn to the role of Doc Holiday for so many reasons: Iconic fascinating historical character? Check. Sharp-shooting wiseass? Check. A western (genre I’ve always LOVED)? Check. Ultra-feminist scrip full of gun-toting badasses? Check. Awesome all female writer/director/producer team? Check. FAB cast? Check. Off the charts Bechdel test score? Check. I could go on all day…
3. If you could choose, what four actors would you really want to work with that you haven’t already?
Blanchett, Michael Fassbender, Olivia Coleman, and Meryl Streep.
4. Is there one film/show that made you fall in love with acting?
Oh geez… so many, but ‘A Room With A View’, and ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ definitely made strong impressions on teenaged me.
5. What kind of roles do you prefer when you are looking at a potential character to play?
I’m drawn to confident, smart, tough, mouthy, brave, badass heroine types. But I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE playing villains!
6. What is the best/worst thing about being an artist?
The best thing is getting to be creative, playful, and expressive. The worst thing is the lack of job security.
7. What are some projects you would love to work on?
Westworld, Peaky Blinders, Legion, Yellowstone, Fleabag, Treadstone, Jett, Patriot, Vikings, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Outlander.
8. Is there anything you can disclose about any upcoming projects?
I have a fun rom-com coming out this year called ‘Blueprint to the Heart’, directed by the lovely Jason James who directed me in the delightful indie ‘Entanglement’. And season 7 of my period series ‘When Calls the Heart’ has just started airing on the Hallmark network in the US and on Super Channel’s ‘Heart and Home’ in Canada.
9. What did you learn about the industry that you can share with aspiring actors?
1) Don’t take the endless rejection of being an actor personally. There’s a huge number of factors that go into casting decisions that have nothing to do with your performance. 2) Understand just how important tenacity is to succeeding in this industry. 3) Have a spiritual discipline that supports you in being inwardly defined. External success comes and goes and is utterly unreliable. Hanging your happiness on it will inevitably end up in suffering and disappointment.
10. What is your best memory from set?
I don’t think there is a singular one, but more of a collection of them from when I played the wicked stepmother in the latest film in the ‘A Cinderella Story’ franchise. I just had SO MUCH FUN playing that hot bitchy mess of a character. The lead actor, the delightful Laura Marano, and my step-daughters, Lillian Doucet-Roche and Chanelle Peloso, were all so funny, talented, and fantastic to work with. We laughed A LOT!
11. What do you hope to achieve through your art?
I hope to be a part of telling stories that ultimately contribute to making this world a more reflective, open, intelligent, and compassionate place.
12. What are your hopes for the future?
On a global scale, that humans finally figure out that we’re all in this together, before it’s too late. And personally, that I’ll continue to be healthy, and fortunate enough to continue making a living collaborating with awesome fellow creatives, telling stories that matter and, hopefully, make a difference.
13. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I have 4 biggest accomplishments, and they’re all interconnected: Raising a kind, smart daughter. Being genuinely happy and fulfilled in my life. Taming my inner critic. Loving generously and fiercely.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring more awareness to in the future?
Anything related to female empowerment and equality. To name a few: Ending there scourge of child brides; Fighting human trafficking; The urgent importance of educating women on a global scale; Addressing the worldwide pandemic of violence against women.
Photo Credit Richard Lehmann