Just like that, an entire eight months has rocketed by since the cameras stopped rolling on the set of This Life last fall. Since you’ve welcomed the Lawson clan into your busy lives, we’ve voted in a new Prime Minister, bore witness to the spawning of Hiddleswift, and saw PK Subban traded to Nashville (le sigh). Needless to say, things have changed. Same goes for the talented actors who bring our favourite TV family to life.
Here’s what they’ve been up to since that last time you needed extra tissues:
Like her character, Torri Higginson (Natalie Lawson) has launched herself into new territory, artistically of course. Since stepping out of Natalie's season one shoes, she’s been nominated for an ACTRA award for This Life and starred in the hit play Domesticated alongside Paul Gross for a successful run at the Sony Theatre in Toronto. Along with being Natalie Lawson, this summer she managed to find the energy to work on Inhuman Condition, a paranormal webseries that shot all 200 pages of its scripts in a relentless five days.
I guess when you scratch off five more states on your lifelong journey of driving through every state in the US will centre you enough to do that. That’s right, Higginson drove all the way from Silver Lake, CA to Montreal to get to this gig. The only state left for her to conquer? Alaska.
Not to be outdone, Rick Roberts (Matthew Lawson) temporarily traded in his This Life badge for roles in a few of Toronto’s most critically acclaimed plays of the past year, including An Enemy of The People and Within The Glass at the Tarragon Theatre. He also guest starred in season two of TMN/HBO Canada’s Sensitive Skin alongside the great Kim Cattrall and a smorgasbord of naked extras (spoiler: they accidentally stumble upon a nude beach on the Toronto Islands).
The lives of our actors haven’t just evolved professionally, they’ve also undergone personal transformations. Lauren Lee Smith (Maggie Lawson) gave birth to little Tula in April of this year. As far as I am concerned, the little one is a lock for This Life’s unofficial mascot job. Though her pregnancy saw her sidelined for new roles, her last feature, How To Have an Orgy in a Small Town was released in the U.S. in May to a bevy of good reviews.
Kristopher Turner (Oliver Lawson) wasn’t without his own slew of transformative experiences post This Life. Just as Oliver had to return to Montreal to be there for Natalie, Turner had to return home to Winnipeg to be with his grandmother before she passed. Turner told me that his role, in some small way, helped equip him for what happened.
Fortunately, soon thereafter, Turner got engaged (!) and is due to be married in September. He has also extended his artistic exploits to include some awesome shorts like Timber, Golden Boys, and Alison.
As for the Lawson kids, Stephanie J (Emma Lawson) was nominated for a Young Artist Award earlier this year; an event that’s celebrated the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Natalie Portman.
She also went on to graduate from Villa Maria High School in Montreal in the spring, where I am sure she was voted most likely to win an Oscar like Leo and Natalie.
Julia Scarlett Dan (Romy Lawson) followed up her impressive performance in This Life with roles in a few feature films, including Arrival and The Rooftop Christmas; both are due out later this year. She also grew up a whole lot, got straight A’s in school and has been getting into some intense video game making.
James Wotherspoon (Caleb Lawson) has been living it up in Toronto, working on more than just his acting chops. The former Krispy Kreme employee spent the past few months turning his short hitman-gangster film script into a full length feature script. With local producers flocking around the project already, Wotherspoon might not have to wait too long to fulfil his childhood dream of writing and directing his own feature.
Finally, the grandparents of the family haven’t rested on their laurels either. Peter McNeil (Gerald Lawson) was tabbed for a few feature films, including First Round Down and Sweet Darling while Janet Laine Green (Janine Lawson) starred in Static, a short film, alongside Murdoch Mysteries’ own Yannick Bisson. She also performed in Late Company, a Governor General’s award-winning play as part of the Page on The Stage reading series.
With the family back together again, all of us at This Life are excited to deliver new stories to laugh, cry and hug about. I guess when you add that to the equation, some things stay the same.
Keep it locked to this blog for weekly behind the scenes nuggets throughout the season. All new episodes of This Life air Sundays at 9pm starting Oct. 2nd on CBC Television!
I'm Max Morin, Junior Writer, Story Coordinator and your official insider for all things THIS LIFE.