Interview

“Shoot the Messenger” Star Elyse Levesque On Playing Daisy And Finding Her Dark Side

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As fierce young journalist Daisy Channing on the CBC crime thriller Shoot the Messenger, Canadian actress Elyse Levesque must channel her dark side. While the 31-year-old Regina-born star comes across as sweet and bubbly, there’s certainly a powerful inner strength to her spirit which also presents itself on the screen. The former model, who played Genevieve on The Originals, is known for depicting sci-fi characters.

Intrigued by her complicated new lead role, we spoke to Levesque about her experiences bringing Daisy to life on Shoot the Messenger. Here’s what the talented actress had to say about identifying with her character, girl power on the small screen and her surprising hobby when she isn’t on set.

Watch Episode 8 of Shoot the Messenger tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CBC.

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Real Style: What can you tell us about your character Daisy Channing on Shoot the Messenger?

Elyse: She’s the heroine of our story, and a really fun, multifaceted, complex young woman. [The role] was a real treat to get to play. It’s not often that you get a character, especially a female character, that is so fleshed-out, real and tangible. She’s imperfect, and I think that’s what I really love about her.

Real Style: What sets this new role apart from your roles in Motive and The Originals?

Elyse: Part of that is how complexedly written she was. With Motive, when you’re a guest star, there’s not much that you get to know about the character. In terms of just having that amount of material to work with, that allows me to reveal more of her. I’ve played a lot of fancy, sci-fi type of characters that haven’t always been the most grounded in reality. I felt with [Daisy], it was a real person. Also, just the darkness of her was something that was new for me.

Real Style: Can you relate to your character Daisy?

Elyse: I think there are probably a few things. One thing that is charming about her is that she does have this dark sense of humour that comes out every now and then. I understand the need for her to prove herself to a lot of people. As an actor, I can connect to that. She’s quite tenacious, which I like to think that I am, but I think I’m a lot more cautious. She’s more careless than I can be.

Real Style: What are some of the biggest challenges of acting in a crime series?

Elyse: One of them (which is actually a shout out to the writing and the intelligence of Jennifer Holness, who created the show) was how complex and involved the storylines were. I found myself having to read every episode at least two or three times to figure out what was going on, because it was very smart. What made it even crazier was that we block shot all eight episodes. In one day, I would shoot a scene from Episode 1, then one from Episode 7 and then one from Episode 3. We were bouncing around all over the place. It was very challenging on a number of levels.

Real Style: Describe your dream role, if you had to choose just one.

Elyse: I love period pieces, so I would love to do an epic six-part miniseries in Europe somewhere, with elaborate costumes and accents. Honestly, I just think anything that is well-written. I just think there are such few really interesting, unique and well-written roles for women. As I get older, I just want to do good material that I feel inspired by.

Real Style: Tell us three fun facts about yourself that would surprise your fans.

Elyse: I am one third of a rap trio phenomenon called Coupla Hot Chicks…Maybe Three. It’s kind of like a female Lonely Island. My two roommates at the time and I made a rap video in our apartment. One thing led to another, and we kept making them over the years.

I hate seafood. I won’t eat anything with seafood. I’m the worst person ever, because everyone always wants to go for sushi.

I travelled for two years after I graduated high school, modelling in Asia and all over Europe. I kept on booking TV commercials, and I felt like the universe was trying to tell me [something]. I had done acting before, and started when I was 11. It was an opportunity to travel, so that’s why I did modelling.

Photos: CBC 



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