What happens when a young girl born in Edmonton moves with her family to Vancouver and takes an acting course? For Genevieve Buechner, the seed got planted for a rewarding career in acting. Her debut lead role at age 10 was in the Toronto-produced film Saint Monica which went onto screen at international festivals.
Now the 24 year-old actress plays overeager Madison on the hit Lifetime series UnREAL.The dark comedy and drama series stars Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer in a reality television producing setting which mimics (or mocks) ABC’s The Bachelor and reality TV in general. UnREAL films right here in Hollywood North and was renewed for a third season – ahead of its second season premiere.
We caught up with Genevieve to discuss acting and Vancouver:
What’s the most impactful thing you remember from your youth theatre career?
When I was 9 years old I asked my mom if I could enroll in Vancouver Youth Theatre in the Kids’ Writes program. I remember being really nervous about performing in the show at the end of the program, but I enrolled in the program because I knew talent agents would be scouting at the shows for young talent. I ended up being recruited by my agent after one of the shows, which was absolutely the most impactful moment of my childhood theatre career.
Are there differences to acting in films and television movies?
I suppose one of the major differences is production time. In my experience films have a longer shoot schedule as opposed to TV movies because they have shorter scripts and a packed schedule.
What’s the most memorable role you’ve played or project you’ve been a part of so far?
I was 9 years old when I was cast in my first movie SAINT MONICA as Monica. It was an amazing experience. I hold that film very close to my heart, and it made me fall in love with what I do. Working on SyFy’s “Caprica” as Tamara Adama was also incredible. It gave me the opportunity to do things I’ve never done before such as choreographed fighting and handling weaponry. It was fascinating. And of course Lifetime’s “UnREAL” as Madison. She is one of the most oddly relatable characters I’ve ever played. The set of the show has such an amazing atmosphere, we’re like a big family to the point where I miss everyone when we finish filming!
— UnREAL (@UnRealLifetime) June 21, 2016
Describe your character on Lifetime’s critically acclaimed drama UnReal:
I play Madison. She is a quirky little thing. She’s always in the way and always saying the wrong thing. In the first season she is working as a production assistant on the set of “Everlasting” but she aspires to work her way up to being a producer like Rachel. She will do anything to make that happen. Right now she is really learning the ropes and figuring out how to be a producer for “Everlasting”. She loves her job but can tend to come across as being overeager. I think that’s part of her strange charm.
You’ve appeared in numerous Vancouver productions so where do you see Hollywood North in 5 years?
I don’t think anything will change, it’s been this way for so long. It has its usual ups and downs. This year was a great one for Vancouver, there were so many shows filming here! Everybody I know was working on something. I feel like it will always be a hub.
A photo posted by Genevieve Buechner (@genevievebue) on
When you’re not on-screen, what do you do in your spare time?
I spend a lot of time with my family, we are all very close! I also do a lot of painting and reading. I just finished reading the first two books in the “King Killer” chronicles, and now I have to wait for the third. It’s difficult, I need to know what’s going to happen!! My job can be so chaotic, in the best way, so I try to keep everyday life laid back.
Favourite hangouts in Vancouver?
There are so many beautiful parks in this city. I really like walking around the quay area in New Westminster. It has a lovely boardwalk and park that seems to get better every time I’m there. There are a lot of great coffee shops to read in as well, Old Crow is a favorite of mine. I also really enjoy just sitting by the water downtown.
Advice for aspiring actors?
Have patience! It takes a lot of time to work your way to where you want to be! If you get too impatient it’ll only make it harder on you. It can be a really tough industry sometimes and you have to be ready for a little bit of disappointment, but remember that it’s always worth it in the end! One of the best parts of this job is that it’s always changing. The whole process is riveting!
Photo credit: Kyla Hemmelgarn
Interview by Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch