Canadian actress Sarah Desjardins, best known for her roles in “A.R.C.H.I.E.,” “Wayward Pines,” “Clue” and “Van Helsing” can now be seen on the Daytime Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Project MC²” as Maddy McAlister.
Now in its third season, the series follows Maddy McAlister’s younger sister McKeyla and her three friends Adrienne, Bryden and Camry, as they are recruited to join the spy organization NOV8 (pronounced innovate), and work together using their science and technology skills to save the day.
How did you know you wanted to be an actor?
When I was six, I was watching television with my mom, and it just sort of dawned on me that this was someone’s job and maybe I could do it too. From that moment on being an actress was always something I wanted. It took awhile to get there as I had to overcome my very shy tendencies. Once I turned 16 and got my braces off, I found an agent and have been going after it ever since!
What was it like working on a remake of Pride and Prejudice?
Not only was Unleashing Mr. Darcy a Pride and Prejudice remake but a remake that included PUPPIES. It was a very enjoyable experience. I portrayed the role of Zara Darcy (Georgiana in the original), and she was very sassy and fun to play. It was important to recognize that these characters were their own entities while still keeping the essence of the originals.
You play Maddy McAllister on Project Mc squared, so do you feel STEM plays an important role in the effort for gender equality? In what ways?
Absolutely. By showing girls working with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, this will inspire the younger generation to follow their passions and do the same.
The cast is, obviously, really stacked with some awesome ladies. How does that compare to other shows, and how does Maddy fit into the mix?
I’ve never been part of a show that has such a large female cast. The girls are all so talented and lovely. Maddy is McKeyla’s older sister. She’s known as one of NOV8‘s top agents, but when McKeyla sees her at HAVOC headquarters, she must delve deeper to discover whether or not her sister has crossed over to the dark side.
Playing an older sister on Project MC2 (Maddy being the older sister to McKeyla), was that new to you? Do you have any younger siblings of your own?
Admittedly I usually play the younger sibling as I tend to look 12 no matter how hard I try. Playing an older sister was refreshing. Maddy is the mentor, protector, and supporter for McKeyla. I have a younger brother myself, so being a big sister wasn’t necessarily new, but it gave me an opportunity to show off my motherly tendencies.
What can fans expect from your character Maddy?
You can expect to see two sides of her. The loving, supportive Maddy, especially showcased in some flashback scenes that display what it was like when McKeyla was growing up and also the cold, sinister Maddy. Has she gone rogue? Is she working for HAVOC? Does it go any deeper than that?
Do you have anything in common with Maddy or any of the other characters in the show?
One thing I have in common with every girl on the show is the desire to be strong and independent. The desire to learn as much as possible and use my knowledge for the good of others. The thing I relate to the most about Maddy specifically is her passion and unwavering loyalty towards her sister. Family is everything. She will always be there to protect her sister, and that is something I admire about her.
If you could pick one gadget from the show to keep for yourself, which one would it be?
ADISN for sure! She’s capable of so many things, not to mention she could drive me around. I’m 22 and yet to have my driver’s license, so she would be a big help in terms of getting me around to auditions.
You’ve also done a lot of sci-fi sort of shows, with Van Helsing, Supernatural, and Wayward Pines, to name a few. Would you say that’s a favorite genre of yours?
I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of sci-fi projects, which is fantastic and so much fun, but my favorite genre is comedic-drama. I find movies that are real with a little dash of humor stick with me the longest.
Probably Isabel who I portrayed in the family film A.R.C.H.I.E. She had just moved to a new town and didn’t know anyone. Girls were mean to her, and she didn’t have any friends. That is until a certain talking dog shows her the ropes. I moved schools a lot when I was younger and making friends wasn’t always the easiest task. Plus she’s incredibly uncoordinated which just screams me.What has inspired you most in your career, be it another character, movie, show or person in your life?Film itself inspires me. Every time I see a movie, I feel everything so deeply. Sometimes I leave emotionally drained from crying so hard, other times the film has sparked a new idea in me. The actors I surround myself with also inspire me a great deal. I take a game changing scene study class in Vancouver at Austin-Tuck Studios under the instruction of Deb Podowski and watching my fellow actor’s work allows me to learn on a whole different level. Also, without the love and support from my family, none of this would be possible. They inspire me to keep going.
What is something that you are nerdy about?
Gilmore Girls. I have watched the entire series about a dozen times. I can’t wait for the revival on November 25th. I even went to one of the Luke’s diner pop up shops that Netflix used for promotion and had all my Stars Hollow dreams come true. I take any opportunity to show it to everyone I know. I force it on people like brussel sprouts.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us a little bit about?
I just wrapped filming Lifetime’s “Drink, Slay, Love,” starring Cierra Ramirez and Gregg Sulkin, about a teen vampire who delves into the frightening world of human high school. I also guest star on ABC’s “Imaginary Mary,” a new comedy coming out mid-season. I also have a recurring role on Syfy’s “Van Helsing” as Catherine. She’s part of a group of refugees brought in by Mohamad and Vanessa. She definitely stirs up some trouble. Very excited about the variety of genres I’ve had the opportunity to take part in as of late.