Wanda Cannon’s responses!

Posted on Dec 15, 2009

Ask Wanda

Well, it's the fourth installment of the Heartland Blog Q&A's. There were a bunch of great questions, and Wanda had a blast answering them! Click though to read her responses!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey I'm a fan. love you in the show Wanda, but i was wondering, as Val is portrayed as a "tough lovin" kind of mother was it difficult to get into character??
Posted by: Emma on December 07, 2009 at 01:10 PM

A: Thanks, Emma, so pleased to hear from you. As an actor, I draw on all my life experience to play different characters and I have definitely met women AND men who are a lot like Val and of course, acting is imagining onesself in similar situations - how would I (Wanda) handle this scenario. Also, we all have different sides to our personalities and I pull out those Val-like qualities when I need them. It's a great question and is one that actors love to talk about.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hi Wanda! first of all i want to say you do a wonderful job of playing val! you make her character so interesting by being so mean but you show val's soft side as well!:) My question is: do you ride at all or are you around horses outside of the show?
Posted by: tori on December 07, 2009 at 01:13 PM

A: I was raised on a farm, and was around horses, but didn't really learn to ride. I've always wanted to, however, and just recently started riding lessons - I LOVE it!! Thanks so much for watching, Tori!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What was the hardest scene to film with Cindy as Ashley? Like with all the emotion and drama between those two, what was the hardest scene to shoot? You do a GREAT job and i think you are JUST how Val should be!( except you are really nice and you probably don't hurt horses! )
Posted by: Margaret on December 07, 2009 at 02:19 PM

A: Hi Margaret! I believe the most difficult scene was in the second season when I had to actually slap Cindy - also it was very emotionally charged and we said very hurtful things to each other. Plus we have become very good friends since the show started which made it even worse.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: I was on set as a background performer during one of Wanda's scenes where you was angry at Ashley riding in a horse jumping event in season 2, and I must say I was impressed how you "turned on the emotion". Val is gaining warmth in her character, do you prefer to play her with more edge? Thanks, and I enjoy your work.
Posted by: Delane on December 07, 2009 at 05:21 PM

A: Because Val has had to deal with a potentially life-threatening disease, she's softened her outlook a bit, but I don't think that people lose their core personality. One of the things I love about Val is her edge and would hate for that to disappear - it's part of her strength. Thanks Delane.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hello Wanda! You are very good actress. My question for you is: What is your "favourite" actor/ actress? Thank you :D
Posted by: horselover on December 07, 2009 at 11:21 PM

A: My favourite actress is someone we don't see much anymore - her name is Gena Rowlands - she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for a film called "A Woman Under the Influence". Helen Mirren is wonderful as well.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hi Wanda, I just wanted to say what a wonderful surprise it was to see you at the Chapter's DVD signing in Vancouver! It was great to meet you. My question for you is, what do you enjoy doing during your time off?
Posted by: Kathryn on December 08, 2009 at 06:19 PM

A: I'm a scuba diver, so if I can, it's great to go somewhere warm and swim with all the creatures. More realistically, I work out a lot, love to cook and have friends over and recently, as I mentioned have started riding lessons which is becoming a favourite thing. Thanks Kathryn!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hi Wanda! My question for you is: What is the funniest thing that happened to you or one of the other cast members on the set? BTW, I think you do an amazing job playing Val!
Posted by: Morgan December 08, 2009 at 06:20 PM

A: Well, Morgan, I can't off the top of my head think of one particular incident, but you can imagine on a set of at least a hundred crew and cast plus a lot of horses and other animals a lot of funny things happen! Plus Cindy (Ashley) is hilarious and keeps us in stitches most of the time!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey Wanda. I read earlier in this post that you live in Ontario. Does that mean that you do a lot of travelling to Alberta, or do you just stay here for a couple of weeks/months per year?
Posted by: ponygal on December 08, 2009 at 07:25 PM

A: Actually, I lived in Toronto for many years, but moved to Vancouver a few years ago. So, whenever I'm needed on Heartland it's a pretty easy trip.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey Wanda. Just wanted to let you know that you do an awesome job playing Val Stanton. My question is this: what is your behind the scenes relationship with Cindy Busby, knowing that your characters have an... interesting relationship on screen?
Posted by: Milly on December 08, 2009 at 08:01 PM

A: Cindy and I are really good friends - she calls me her "west coast" mom. It's really nice to have a good relationship with her offscreen as I think it makes our work on Heartland better. Thanks for writing Milly.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hi Wanda, my question is: Do you find it discouraging at times to play one of the "meanest" characters on Heartland? After all, your character is one which is hard to love, and consequently I doubt you get to feel the same loving fan response! To make everything clear, I do love your character, and think she is one of the most realistic and in-depth ones on Heartland. The show wouldn't be as emotionally intense or realistic without you! Keep up the great work!
Posted by: Twe on December 09, 2009 at 07:55 AM

A: A good question Twe! I love playing Val because it is a challenge to make her three-dimensional and not just a meanie! She is tough because she's had to be - a woman who's become very successful in, for the most part, a man's world. I try to show her other sides and appreciate people like you who notice.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: hi wanda my question is what horse is your favourite horse on the heartland show thank you maddi
Posted by: madison c on December 09, 2009 at 09:48 AM

A: Hi Madison, well, my favourite horse is one you haven't seen yet - in an upcoming episode and his name is Muldar. He's lovely and allows me to make mistakes - he knows I'm a beginner

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey Wanda! I'm a huge fan of your work! Anyways here's my question: What do you enjoy most about acting on the show? Thanks for answering my question (if you pick it) Your biggest fan Shanna :)
Posted by: Shanna on December 09, 2009 at 01:23 PM

A: Thanks so much Shanna - firstly, as I've mentioned, I so enjoy playing Val, but part of the joy comes from the actors I get to "play" with. Not only are they good at their jobs - they happen to be wonderful people. The cast and crew of Heartland is one of the best I've ever worked with - it's a treat to be on set and I look forward to work every day I get to go!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Greetings, Wanda!
I've really been enjoying watching the evolution of Val's character over the past two-and-a-half seasons, so credit goes to you and the writers. Val is the character I love to hate, because one minute I can be appalled at how she can (sometimes) treat Ashley, and the next I can be sympathetic towards her because of her illness. Bravo for portraying Val's complicated personality so convincingly!
My question to you is: What was your reaction when you learned about the plans to saddle Val with serious health issues?
Thank you for taking the time to answer these fan questions.
Posted by: TC on December 09, 2009 at 05:28 PM

A: Hi TC... I was pleased because I thought it would add dimension to the character's personality and allow for different scenarios to emerge. I especially thought it could change Val and Ashley's relationship for the better, I really wanted that - as would any mom, right? And I agree, kudos to the writers!

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey Wanda
You're a very talented actress. Vas is a complex character and sometimes difficult to portray but you do an excellent job! When and why did you decide to be an actress? If you weren't actress, what do you think you would have done? Sorry it's two questions so choose your favourite one!
Posted by: Charlotte on December 10, 2009 at 02:11 PM

A: Hi Charlotte! I started performing when I was very, very young, but as a singer and then moved into musical theatre. Acting sort of evolved - first live theatre, then TV and film. If I weren't an actress, I would love to have worked with aquatic animals - dolphins, whales, etc - they fascinate me. Biochem was not my best class, however, so...

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hi Wanda, you're an awesome actress in Heartland!!! What was your favourite episode that you played in? Thank you =)
Posted by: Jessica L. on December 11, 2009 at 09:38 AM

A: Thanks Jessica! My favourite episode hasn't been on yet - it will be coming up after Christmas, so I can't really talk about it, but next to that would have be the one with Ashley when I sell Apollo and have to deal with her anger and how much hurt I've caused her.

------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Hey Wanda, for giving me your autograph on the plane to calgary and at the autograph signing. Someone said you were the nicest person on set so my question for you is, is it hard to play someone so mean?
Posted by: kelly on December 09, 2009 at 08:16 AM

A: Hi Kelly, you're very welcome - we love fans our fans! It can be difficult if the character is only mean because then people really just get bored with watching the same old thing all the time - like in real life. But I think Val has many sides - she can be gentle and kind at times and she also has, I think, a good sense of humour - she can definitely laugh at herself and can say she's wrong when she's wrong. I think our writers have given me many opportunities to show that she is not just a big old nasty!

------------------------------------------------------------

Well, that's it for the Heartland Q&A this week! Thanks so much Wanda!