Several years ago, Carmen Moore did a thing so dramatic, that it altered the direction of her acting career. She cut her hair.
“It was a nice little bob,” she says with a laugh.
Gone were her flowing, dark tresses. Swept away with all the long hair were the “beads-and-buckskins native” acting roles that the actress of mixed Wet’suwet’en/Scottish/Irish ancestry felt she was getting boxed into.
Suddenly, she started getting calls to read scripts for all kinds of diverse roles. A cop one day, a lawyer the next. She became known as a “sci-fi girl” after landing a steady string of parts in science-fiction shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis and Supernatural.
The Burnaby-born veteran of over twenty years in the film and TV business has grown her hair long again, and returned to playing “native” roles — but she’s happy to take them on.
So she should be. Her portrayal of counsellor Leona Stoney in the gritty drama series Blackstone on APTN recently landed Moore her second Leo Award for Best Actress in a Dramatic Series.
For a special edition of Our Vancouver celebrating National Aboriginal Day, Carmen Moore joined me in our CBC Vancouver studio to talk about stereotyping of aboriginal actors, and audience reactions to all that violence in Blackstone. We gabbed about haircuts, too.
We’ve got plenty of other cool stuff on our Aboriginal Day edition of Our Vancouver, including my visit with Curtis Clearsky of the Tu’wusht Project, a community garden that connects aboriginal people living in the city with fresh good and indigenous food practices;
We check out “Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth,” the latest exhibit at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology;
We dig into our CBC Archives to rewind the clock to the 1920s and 1950s, to see how aboriginal people were depicted in film and news at that time; take a sneak peak of a new CBC documentary about Mohawk bluesman Murray Porter; and discuss the future of First Nations education, given that the federal government’s proposed Bill C-33 appears stuck in limbo.
All that and lots more on Our Vancouver, which airs on CBC-TV in British Columbia 11:00 a.m., Sunday, June 22 and 11:00 a.m., Monday, June 23.