Lifetime’s hit breakout comedy UnReal is pleasing critics and audiences alike. The show mimics reality television and explores the producing side of it in all its chaos and glory. Because it’s filmed in the Lower Mainland, many local actors are finding guest and recurring roles on the show. It was even renewed for a third season prior to its second season debut.
Sunita Prasad is a Vancouver-based actor who landed the role of London this season, she plays a conservative contestant on the fake dating show setting. We chatted with Sunita to learn more about her acting career and work she’s done:
How did you first pursue acting in Saskatoon before moving to Vancouver?
There was a lot of driving involved haha! At the time there was more going on in Regina for film and television than there was in Saskatoon. There was one acting coach in particular that was instrumental in having me get more serious about acting and she happened to live in Regina. She had come to Saskatoon to do a weekend workshop and I found myself being pushed and challenged in a way I had never been before. She exposed me to acting methods and techniques they weren’t teaching in high school. And I loved that. So from then on I started making the two and a half hour trek out to Regina to attend more of her classes and do one on one coachings with her. What was great was she’d also occasionally bring in casting directors/directors from Vancouver and LA to give workshops. Being able to get in front of those casting directors at that point in time helped take away some of the nerves down the road when I did eventually move to Vancouver and get in the audition room with them.
Is your character of London on Lifetime’s hit dramedy “UnREAL” similar to you?
There are definitely aspects of her character that are similar. She’s very sure of what she stands for and isn’t someone you can easily convince to stray from her beliefs. She’ll speak up for herself if she’s not okay with a certain situation. That’s the way I am too. London’s also someone who has always been very focused on her career, and because of that has never allowed herself to let loose until now. Which in a way parallels how I was. In high school and college I was always extremely focused on getting good grades and doing the best work I could. So because of that I never really went crazy or had any kind of wild phase. Not to say I had a crazy wild phase later, but I learned there needs to be a balance. Plus I can see some of her conservative tendencies in myself. Neither of us will be the loudest ones in a room and we both weren’t fans of wearing those booty shorts on “Everlasting” ha!
What was it like to work on the production of Crashpad starring another young Canadian actress Nina Dobrev?
Crash Pad was a really fun experience! I didn’t have the pleasure of working with Nina but everyone I did get the chance to work with on set was really welcoming and down to earth. Being given the chance to work on a comedy is always something I look forward to.
What drew you to ABC’s new fall comedy “Imaginary Mary” starring Jenna Elfman and Rachel Dratch?
I was fortunate enough to be brought in to audition for a role in the pilot. I was thrilled with the opportunity because the script was so funny, and very original in that it combines live action with CGI. It was something I was extremely happy to get to be a part of.
What do you do in Vancouver when you’re not working?
Writing for television is something I’m really interested in so I’ve been spending time working on spec scripts and developing my own ideas for a pilot. I’ve also got a huge love for exploring and getting out in nature whether it’s discovering new trails, going hiking in the mountains, or getting out on the ocean. For me it’s a great way to unwind and get reinvigorated at the same time. I think by growing up in Saskatoon, where everything is mostly flat, I’ve been given a deep appreciation for all the amazing places Vancouver has to offer. I love the opportunity to get outdoors and off the grid for a while– even if it’s only for a few hours.
Advice for aspiring actors?
Give everything you’ve got in the audition room and then let it go. There’s so much rejection and so many close calls in this business you’ve got to learn not to dwell on the roles you don’t get and instead look forward to the next opportunity that comes your way. It will come!
Photo credit: Ryan Orange
By Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch