Cliché: From stage to film, TV, voiceovers… What was your first “love?”
Ellen Dubin: Stage is and will always be my first love. I started as a ballet dancer and at the end of each season, we would do a staged performance in front of a live audience. I loved feeling the energy of the crowd. It is such an amazing sensation, feeling them watch your every move—hold their breath, and laugh or cry depending on the genre of your performance. Ballet recitals were the start of my love of stage and my movement into stage musicals, dramas and comedies. Nothing like that feeling—a total natural high!
What do you still want to accomplish in your career?
I would like to produce my own films and hire all my talented friends, find a project that I am passionate about, and collaborate with some truly wonderful people. There are so many roles out there. I would love to do a huge mini series set in the world of Greek mythology. I love period pieces. I would also like to get on a new sci-fi show as a powerful villainess.
Is there any actor/performer in particular that you thought of as a role model?
I love actors that don’t quite fit the mold, who are unique. I am not a traditional leading lady with perfect features but I am also not a total character. I call myself a leading lady with character and a character lady with leading lady qualities. I love the actresses in the older movies—Bette Davis, Rosalind Russell—the dames with the snappy comebacks and the amazing wit. I am inspired by anyone from Gary Oldman to John Noble to Cate Blanchett to James Gandolfini. All different types. I love actors with depth, heart, soul, and guts who embrace their own special qualities!
You’re so wonderfully statuesque! Have you found that to be an asset?
In the beginning of my career, I hated being tall. I wanted to be that cute, petite ingenue type. While my cute looking girlfriends were getting all the work, I was not being cast as much. But later on as I got older, I realized it was an asset because of all the powerhouse roles that are more readily available as you get older: the lawyers, the detectives, commanders, etc. So I am embracing my height, finally!
You travel between LA and Toronto often. Have you ever been called “flighty?” [Laughs] Joke, joke! Seriously, that can be difficult, yes?
[Laughs] Love that! I am exhausted. I feel more like a zombie in the twilight zone. I find the three hours makes a huge difference to my body clock. I end up going to bed very late but getting up at the crack of dawn. It takes me awhile to adjust to the times. I sometimes forgot what city I am in and where I live. I always take one thing with me to both cities, like my pillow, so I have some comfort that is consistent no matter where I go. It is a necessary part of being an actor to try to go where the work is. But I want to be with my family as well, and so have to juggle two cities.
You have quite a fan following for your work in sci-fi productions. Was that something you always intended to do—concentrate on building a brand in that area?
I never even thought about sci-fi until I had my first audition for that genre with the show LEXX. I never even watched it. After I booked the job, I realized how wonderful the roles were for women in this genre. There are so many different variations of parts within the genre itself. Some really great emotional arcs and some very intriguing characters. Plus the fans are the greatest and most passionate people! So it wasn’t something I purposely concentrated on but I am so glad to be a part of this fabulous genre.