This holiday season has sure been an exciting one for Lisa Durupt. First, she starred in Hallmark’s Reunited at Christmas, which came out back in November. Now, she can be seen starring in Lifetime’s Christmas Lost and Found. But she won’t be slowing down once the New Year hits, as 2019 will bring even more starring roles for her. When she’s not busy acting or working, you can find her playing sports, hiking, or skiing. We chatted with Lisa Durupt about her character, Gloria, the experience working on Christmas Lost and Found and her upcoming film projects.
Cliché: What inspired you to get involved in acting?
Lisa Durupt: At 19 years old I suffered a sports injury which required me to get surgery. After that, I ended up taking a theatre course on a whim at the University of Winnipeg. The first thing that I had to do was review a musical. I saw Chorus Line for the first time and fell in love with Val singing “Dance Ten, Looks Three.”
Your fans are in for a little extra treat this holiday season as you have two big films coming out before Christmas. You will be seen in Reunited at Christmas and Christmas Lost and Found. What was the experience like when working on these two films?
Reunited at Christmas teamed me back up with my very close friend Nikki DeLoach and Director Steven Monroe. Nikki and I had played sisters before so it was easy to work with her every day. We all got along so well. On Christmas Lost and Found, I got to work with Director Michael Scott for a third time so it was like going to camp with one of your favorite counselors. He is so easy to be around and just a kind soul. Tiya Sircar and Diane Ladd were so welcoming and funny.
What would you say is the central theme in both films?
Both shows are quite different, but the common theme is the idea that, at some point, we all need to stop and think about what is truly important to us. What do we want in life and who do we want to spend our time with.
What were some challenges and obstacles that you were faced with while working on Christmas Lost and Found and how did you manage to overcome them?
The biggest challenge was accepting that, after an overnight shoot in a beautiful department store, I was no longer the CEO of that company when we wrapped at 7 a.m. Besides that, it was trying not to laugh at Tiya as she was dressed in wool in almost every scene. Her exact words were “I am a Texan who lives in L.A. and does not do winter! Help!”
Can you describe your character, Gloria? Do you relate to her at all?
Gloria is a no-nonsense businesswoman with a heart of gold. She loves her family’s business but knows it needs an update. I related to her in many ways. I believe in standing your ground for your business or what you want out of life, but you need to do it with grace and compassion. Like Gloria, I think you earn respect, you cannot command it.
How did you manage your time while working on two films?
I was fortunate that they shot back to back so the shooting dates did not conflict. However, I did need to sneak in a couple of quick trips back home, throughout the two shows. I had to attend a wedding of some dear friends, there was no way I could miss it! I wrapped at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, was on a plane by 9:45 a.m. and changed in the car on route to the wedding at 3:20 p.m. I made it just in time and flew home 24 hours later. A week later I was able to fly back home for three days of family lake time before cutting it short to come back and start the next show. You just learn to make it work. You sleep when you can but missing out on really important friends and family time is not an option.
There is also more exciting news as you will be seen in Benchwarmers 2 which is slated for release on February 5th, 2019. What was racing through your mind once you heard you got a role in the movie? Who was the first person you told?
Honestly, I panicked because it had been years since I saw the original. I knew I had to track it down and, of all places, I found it at the public library. Without movie stores anymore, it can be tough to find films that are not on a streaming service. My next thought was to call my hubby and tell him I was playing a pregnant woman, again. I love playing pregnant! This was my seventh time. He knows how much I love it so he got a good laugh out of it.
Are there any genres you’d like to try to act in that you haven’t yet?
100 percent an onscreen musical!
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
I have been pretty lucky but I think the day I landed one of my first jobs as a dancer. Shall We Dance, of all things. I was so green and had only been dancing a couple years, so I had no expectations. I went to the open call with a friend and just had fun all day. Six hours later, I was in the top 20 of all the dancers in the city that came out. I got to meet J-Lo, Stanley Tucci, Richard Gere, and Susan Sarandon. It was a “pinch me” kind of moment.
What advice would you give people who are looking to pursue acting?
Take a business class! Being creative is so rewarding but you need to understand the business side of it. Be smart about playing the long game, don’t do it if you just want attention. It will eventually wear you down.
You are actively involved with “Hockey Helps the Homeless” and other causes like Multiple Sclerosis? Can you describe your relationship with these organizations and why you felt it was important to support these causes?
Hockey Helps the Homeless is a brilliant event that puts upwards of half a million dollars of support and assistance right back into the community in every city in which it is held. It is a one-day hockey tournament held throughout the country with NHL alumni. It raises not only money but the spirits of the homeless community, which is sadly growing daily. The cost of housing, unfortunate circumstances, and drugs can land even the most unlikely people on streets in a flash. I see it in my city every day so I was so happy to come across the event and quickly agreed to take part. As for multiple sclerosis, I was diagnosed at 16 years old and fortunately, have had very few complications. I think it is important to give back and lend my support to others that are going through tough times with the disease. Every case is different but if I can help even one person see the positive side to it, it is worth it.
What are some things you enjoy doing when you’re not acting?
I enjoy skiing, running, hiking, and playing hockey. I even took up curling and golf a few years back. I love to paint and draw. There is something really calming about it, it completely centers me. Last but not least, I adore music. I have a little ukulele that I tinker on and I sing around the house all the time.
Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?
I am excited for everyone to check out Breakthrough which will be in theaters on Easter weekend and The Chronicle Mysteries on Hallmark in March.
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Lisa Durupt Spreads Holiday Cheers in New Christmas Movies and Opens Up About Her Support For Health Foundations. Image Credits: Kristine Cofsky