The Canadian born actress discusses her career and her upcoming projects, including a film with Steve Martin
If you don't know who Cindy Busby is yet, you soon will. The actress has starred on the popular Canadian TV show Heartland for four seasons now and the series just recently began airing its first season here in the US. Busby also has an impressive film resume including Picture This with Ashley Tisdale, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The actress will soon be seen in the upcoming comedy The Big Year, which opens in 2011 and also stars comedy legend Steve Martin, Oscar winners Anjelica Huston and Dianne Wiest, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. In addition, she will also soon be starring in the Syfy movie Behemoth, which will air early next year. We recently had a chance to speak with Cindy about her career, how she got started, her TV series, working with Steve Martin, her new Syfy movie and her goal to be in Ben Affleck's next film. Here is what she had to say.
To begin with, tell us how did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
Cindy Busby: I grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and basically my whole life I have been a performer for family and friends. I liked having a lot of attention as a kid and was in all of the school plays in grade school and high school. I loved it so much that I just couldn't ever see myself doing anything else. So I tried out for a theater program in Montreal and got into it. I graduated and I've just been acting professionally ever since.
Was your part on "Heartland" your first big role?
Cindy Busby: Well, it's kind of funny, a lot of things happened at once. I got the part on Heartland and we shot the pilot in November of 2006 when I also shot the movie A Life Interrupted with Lea Thompson. Then the following year when we started shooting the first season of Heartland, the show got picked up and I landed the role in Picture This, so it was a very hectic year and I was very busy. I remember there was this week and a half where I flew from Montreal, where I shot Picture This, to Calgary, which is where we shoot Heartland, about six times in one week. It was a pretty hectic week.
"Heartland," finally started airing in the United States, is that correct?
Cindy Busby: Yes, we are actually airing the forth season in Canada right now and we just started airing the first season of Heartland in the states in September. But before that it was sold in Europe, Africa and South America. So it was running in those countries first, before it started running in the US. But it just started running in the US so it is still in the first season, meanwhile we are on our forth season here so its hard to go back and watch it.
Next year you will be appearing in the new comedy "The Big Year," what can you tell us about this project and your role in it?
Cindy Busby: I can't even believe that I am a part of it. It's incredible. Just as I was shooting it they kept adding more names to it like Jim Parsons and Rashida Jones. I was like, oh my god this is the greatest cast ever. We have Anjelica Huston, what are the chances? It's a really great story, I can't say too much about it but it's a comedy with an awful lot of heartfelt moments in it. It takes place over a year and it has to do with bird watching and this competition. I was lucky enough to play Steve Martin's daughter-in-law, which is pretty amazing. All of my scenes were with him so that was pretty amazing. Most of my scenes are with Steve Martin as well as JoBeth Williams, who has been around for ages and Paul Campbell who plays my husband.
What was it like working with Steve Martin? Is he funny on the set or very serious?
Cindy Busby: I wouldn't say that he is serious but he has been around for so long that for him it is a job. He comes from the era when the whole Internet and media thing didn't really exist. So you can kind of see that he is different from most of the younger performers today, which I thought was really interesting to see and I actually learned a lot from him. He's not serious but he does like to keep to himself. But every now and then, when you don't expect it he'll just say something that cracks everybody up. Between scenes he would play his banjo in the green room and it really doesn't get any better than that. He kind of keeps to himself but he is also very friendly, very understanding and works really hard. So I definitely feel that he is like a really cool guy. I just wanted to watch him and learn from him.
The movie really does have an incredible cast, did you have an opportunity to meet any of the other actors who are in the film?
Cindy Busby: I met Jack Black once. Actually my first day on set I was sitting eating lunch with Paul and he came and sat right next to me with someone and they were having a really serious conversation. I remember just playing it totally cool because I couldn't believe that Jack Black was sitting right next to me. I remember Paul and I just kind of looked at each other. We totally played it cool, the both of us and we never said hi but I totally wanted to.
You have another film coming out next year called "Behemoth", what can you tell us about that movie?
Cindy Busby: It's a Syfy movie that will be out in January of 2011. It looks like a pretty awesome movie and I'm really excited to see it. I loved being kind of an action star, running around screaming. Apparently I have a really good scream so that is good. It's an action movie and not really horror but I guess for the characters in it, it's kind of horrific. It's definitely an action, science-fiction movie with a lot of action and special effects. As an actor you have to use a lot of your own imagination because the monster was never really there, obviously. They were making it while we were shooting it so we never saw too many pictures of it. But the director was always expressing to us and explaining to us what would be happening in the scene and what we would be seeing. That is really cool as an actor because that is what it is all about. Using your imagination to create circumstances and in that movie I feel like it was really what I had to do. That was the first time I've ever gotten to do something like that.
Would you like to do more action movies in the future and play parts where you get to kick a lot of ass?
Cindy Busby: I would love to do that. I just want anything that is really challenging and that I have to work my butt off to achieve. Because then I watch it at the end of the day and it is so rewarding for me to see my work. Then I really feel like I have done something out of my comfort zone. So for me that movie is definitely the most challenging thing that I have done.
Which do you prefer, acting on a television series or working on a film?
Cindy Busby: There isn't one that I really prefer. People don't realize that TV and film are so different. In TV you don't have as much time to shoot so it is a lot faster pace. You have a certain amount of pages to get done in a day. So you have to go through those and you don't have as much time as you would on a movie. On a movie the budget is way bigger and you have more time. I definitely think TV moves faster and if you have a chance to be in a series then you have a lot more opportunity to work on your character arc and go through so many emotional things. In a movie you only have two hours to develop a character and show all those differences. I love them both and I wouldn't want to pick one over the other. In a film you are confined to that particular story so any sort of character decisions, or that kind of thing, you have to do your own work on and any changes you have to make you have to go over with the director beforehand.
Finally, after you saw "The Town" you wrote on Twitter that you want Ben Affleck to cast you in his next film, have you heard from him yet and are there any other directors that you would really like to work with?
Cindy Busby: Well, I think Ben Affleck is an amazing filmmaker. I thought Gone Baby Gone was great. I just think he has a really great way of showing people the way they are. It doesn't feel like a movie when you watch his films. It just feels like you are in these people's lives, its like reality TV without the annoying people. But yeah definitely, there are a lot of filmmakers that I see, that I respect and would love to work with. All in good time, obviously the more I do high profile roles the more opportunities I will have to meet those types of people and get them to notice me.