Y-mag.net Interview

By S. Schwager

1) Y-mag.net: You were in several episodes of the TV show “Lexx” and you were in 24 episodes of “The Collector.” Would you say it’s an advantage to be on a series regularly?

Ellen: Yes there are several advantages. As an actor you can develop your character with more nuances and shadings. It is wonderful to have your audience follow your character arc and see what happens in your public and personal life. It also gives you the unique opportunity of developing stronger relationships with the other characters on the show. An audience can sense that strong bond - whether it be a mother and child in THE COLLECTOR or me antagonizing the male lead in LEXX - all build strong connections with the other actors and your viewers. It creates a more multi-layered performance because you have the luxury of being a series regular.

2) Y-mag.net: In “Lost and Found” you’re not only acting but also working as an executive producer. Would you say it’s an advantage of doing jobs both, in front of and behind the camera?

Ellen: It is a tricky situation. I was lucky that I had a good support system. I worked with two other actors in a producer's capacity so we divided up our assignments. So I was able to concentrate on my work when I was wearing my actors' hat and then when I was done, deal with producer's concerns. We were very organized coming into the project so that also helped . It was a short 6 minute piece which was advantageous too. I don't think I could have done both jobs on a full length feature. It would have been too much plus it was my first venture out as a producer. There is lots to learn . 

3) Y-mag.net: Do you also have experience in writing or directing?

Ellen: I have no desire to write. I have read a lot of friends' scripts and made suggestions but I don't pretend to write. I admire the discipline of writers who can sit and write all alone. I have also sat in on play rehearsals and assisted directing but I feel I don' t know enough about the camera technically to direct for film and TV. I need to learn a lot more. When I first started my career as a dancer, I did choreograph some ballets and musical numbers. That was challenging. I am happy to put my energy into acting and helping and networking with other actors. Producing more projects does interest me. I like putting people together. I am not crazy about the raising money part. That is a hard thing to do.

4) Y-mag.net: : “Nature’s Guard” is in pre-production and you’re doing the voice of “Empress Webula” on this show. Is it the first time that you’re doing voice work?

Ellen: I love voice work. You can be anything from a 9 year old child to a 90 year old woman. It is fascinating to bring words to life. I am doing several voice auditions now for scifi games, CD-roms and commercials. Have done some voice-over work for animation and for movies. Love it. You are not judged on how you look but how you sound. Can't wait for Nature's Guard to go into production . Empress Webula is a fascinating, larger the life, sexy villainess - lots of fun and based on a comic book. 

5) Y-mag.net: Looking back on your career, which character or movie/TV project are you the most proud of and why?

Ellen: I love working so it is so hard to pick one. I adored going to work on THE COLLECTOR because of the experience of spending almost every day working with a child - it is so rewarding working with a very young actor - their instincts are so amazing . I was proud to be nominated for a GEMINI AWARD (equivalent of a US EMMY) for my series regular work in that.

I love doing theatre. I really enjoyed my recent stage work doing a comedy called BOEING BOEING. Working on physical comedy opposite Peter Scolari from BOSOM BUDDIES (opposite Tom Hanks) and THE NEWHART SHOW was one of the highlights of my career. The audience response was phenomenal. Had a great time. There is nothing like the immediate reaction of live audience. You are in control of your performance. 

6) Y-mag.net: Did you ever audition for Stargate-SG1 or Stargate Atlantis?

Ellen: I did get an offer to do an SG-1 and was working at the time. I was so upset because it is one of my goals to get on that show. I have to do that show! I am so sorry it has now been cancelled. I never got on Stargate Atlantis . Didn't have the audition for it. Stargate has the best fans of any show that I know - they are incredibly loyal and dedicated. 

7) Y-mag.net: Any chance you’ll make a guest appearance on Stargate Universe?

Ellen: I HOPE SO. I am working on it. Everyone wants to be on the new show. What a fabulous cast they have. Hey, if the fans want to write the producers that would really help and I would so appreciate it.

8) Y-mag.net: How was being on camera with Michael Shanks (Stargate) in the movie “Swarmed”?

Ellen: Wow - we were so happy to work together. We had heard of each other and had met at GATECON. I loved working with him - he is sweet, natural a team player and tall enough for me! He is not bad to look at either! I hope we can work together on a project in the near future. 

9)Y-mag.net: You’re a spokesperson for “Make-AWish” in Toronto and Ontario. Why did you pick that charity? How many wishes did you help make come true so far?

Ellen: I believe so strongly in what they do - the premise of granting a wish to a terminally ill child and his/her family. What they do is astounding to me. It is horrible that children have to get so ill, but their work is truly amazing. I am not sure of the amount of wishes granted so far but world wide it is thousands, I am sure. I hosted a big event last year and raised over 70,000 dollars for them in a live auction atmosphere. I was thrilled to meet one amazing young lady in person who helped me with the auction . She was so inspiring to me . I kept crying throughout the show and this sweet Make-A-Wish child kept telling me not to cry!

10)Y-mag.net: Other upcoming projects?

Ellen: I just finished four months of a show on the Toronto stage. I loved going back to the theatre - my roots. I am waiting to hear what film festivals our movie LOST AND FOUND will be in. I currently have movies of the week airing all over the world and THE COLLECTOR series is starting up in various countries. I am doing a workshop of a new musical theater piece in LA - going back to singing next month. 

I continue to spend quality time with my parents and hope to do more work at the Los Angeles Mission. You can also check out my recent projects on http://www.ellendubin.com and also http://www.imdb.com.

Y-mag.net is an internet-only publication. No print issues. Provided here is a PDF file with the Q&A and photos.