Updated: Feb 20, 2019
Tennille Read stars In The New Season of Workin' Moms. Photos by © Dane Clark
On screen of CBC's Workin' Mom's Season 3, Tennille Read as Bianca, and Juno Rinaldi as Frankie Coyne.
Created by Catherine Reitma, Workin' Moms is back, but as the kids outgrow Mommy and Me, our moms are growing too. This season, Kate, Anne, Frankie and Jenny deal with some important questions – all while working to advance their careers: Can you forgive a cheating husband? How do we keep our kids safe while giving them independence? And how do you define a family? Find the show on CBC/CBC Gem and Netflix!
In Season 1 of Workin’ Moms, fans were immersed into the hilarious yet realistic lives of four women juggling motherhood with jobs and responsibilities. At the end of season two we meet Bianca played by Tennille Read. We’re getting a crash-course in the emotions and doubts that go along with deciding to get pregnant. And, of course, we’re shown the support system Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) can supply.
“It’s a great take on motherhood and starting from the very beginning,” Read says during a recent phone chat. “The fears, the anxiety, the uncertainties, especially showing it through the eyes of a single woman. Bianca is flying solo; she isn’t partnered with anyone and she’s deciding to start a family. I think that is unique to the show and hasn’t really been explored before.” Read teases viewers will see a new side to Frankie as well, because she’s in a place of more stability and can help. (Though, it must be said, Juniper did throw a curve ball at Frankie last week.)"
Interview by Blaine Schlechter
I’d like to start first by congratulating you on recently joining the cast of Workin’ Moms as the character of Bianca. Can you tell us a bit about the character and what she brings to the show?
Bianca is a friend of Frankie’s…their friendship was established in season 2, just at the end there, and she becomes Frankie’s next door neighbour. She is warm hearted and very generous; and she’s courageous because she’s decided to take on parenting alone. Frankie takes Bianca under her wing since she's been through the ups and downs of pregnancy before. I think what Bianca brings to the show is an alternate approach to the traditional model of motherhood; someone who is flying solo with the process of getting pregnant and the challenges that come up within that.
Speaking of Frankie, you and fellow actress Juno Rinaldi have some great on screen chemistry, how did the two of you build that up so quickly?
(Laughs) How did we build that up so quickly? I think Juno and I are just pretty easy going people in general and so chatting with her off screen was really easy and so it kind of just translates very easily on camera as well.
It definitely comes across as some great chemistry and its fun to watch. Was it hard joining a TV show that is already established and showing some success?
It wasn’t, because everyone’s just super nice. I think it helped that most of the scenes that I shot first were only with Frankie, so it was a lot of one-on-one with actor Juno Rinaldo - giving us a chance to get to know each other and feel out our relationship. But I also felt very welcomed by the crew, especially because there were familiar faces who I had worked with on past shows where I was doing those day player roles. And over the few months that we were shooting, every so often I would run into a cast member who I didn't have scenes with…like in hair and make-up or something and they were incredibly down to earth and approachable. Dani Kind comes to mind - she’s just so personable and nice. We could immediately start chatting like friends. Also, Sarah McVie, who plays Val on the show, she lives in my building (laughs), so I got to know her even before I started shooting season 3. So all these little connections helped make that transition onto the show a smooth one.
Turning the attention to you now…in addition to film and television, you also have an extensive stage career, do you find them fairly similar or quite different to do?
I actually find them quite different. I get where they are similar, like when you break down a script it’s very similar, but I feel like with theatre you get so much rehearsal time that you build a tight ensemble. You get to explore different approaches to your character, you get to try big choices, you get to just move around a lot more during the rehearsal process and it sets you up for live performance very well. Whereas with film and TV, there’s very little rehearsal and the rehearsal that I do is generally alone or with my boyfriend running lines and then it’s basically showtime and so there’s just something different about that performance that’s much more spontaneous; it comes out of the environment and the person right in front of you who you’re doing the scene with. It’s just so much more immediate, not to say that theatre doesn’t have that to, it’s just that there’s a backbone structure to a theatre performance that’s already been set and you play within those parameters.
Lots of actors go behind the camera…you moved into even more behind the scenes in a couple of different roles, as a co-founder of the Theatre on the Lake festival as well as one of the founders of the theatre company – Theatre Inamorata. Can you tell us a little more about them and what it means to you?
When I was living in Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories, for a couple of years, there wasn’t much theatre going on. One way to make that happen was to create a venue for that, and so my partner at the time and a small team put together Theatre on the Lake, which was a short play festival that happened during the two great summer weeks in Yellowknife. We built a stage on a lake that was outside a museum in the downtown core and during lunches and in the evenings we would just cycle through all the plays that were submitted. They were submitted by mostly local writers and performed by local actors, and so it was a very nice way to bring a community together during the summer months where normally no theatre goes on because nobody wants to sit inside a theatre when the sun is out finally (laughs). So that came out of a need to want to see more theatre; be in more theatre, and get to know who else are like minded in those ways. Then Theatre Inamorata came out of a group of friends in theatre school wanting to do plays that had heightened text with strong female roles. It’s a group of four women that began it, and although our initial goal to find that perfect classical play didn’t ever happen, we did end up creating a show that was an adaptation of the picture Dorian Gray. It was set in contemporary time but there was still that bit of heightened Shakespearian type text in it during some of Dorian’s monologues and the writer for that, Kris Van Soelen, switched up the genders so Dorian was female. A lot of the characters that are originally male are female, and so it was a way for us to really custom design a play that we all really wanted to be in and just the kind of script we wanted to see with female characters.
Congratulations on that. It’s amazing the bonds that can be formed in acting being in theatre school and how they carry over into the real world.
Totally, and those ladies will be friends forever.
You obviously like to keep busy, that’s clear to see…what are you working on now that you can share with us?
I can be seen in the upcoming Atom Egoyan film Guest of Honour, which I’m excited about. It comes out this year and stars David Thewlis. Working with Atom and David was a very special experience. They are incredibly kind and masters at what they do. Right now I’m back to auditioning. Considering it’s the winter months and things usually slow down, its still been very steady with film, TV, and theatre auditions. So that’s keeping my hands full - landing the next project.
I like to hear when the Canadian Film and Television industry is thriving.
It is….with Netflix and all the shows that are shooting here, it’s a good time to be in Canada and Toronto and the bigger city hubs.
I encourage people out there to check out Theatre Inamorata’s website for current projects and of course, Workin’ Moms airs and streams on CBC Thursday nights and is fresh into its 3rd season…what can fans expect to see as the season continues?
At least for my story arch, they can expect to see more exploration of what constitutes as family, what is needed to have the kind of support system to raise a kid and to nurture everyone involved.
And lots of entertaining laughs and heartfelt moments I’m sure.
Yes, definitely those…heartfelt moments, awkward moments, messy moments and of course funny moments.
Listen to our Soundcloud Podcast Interview with Tennille Read by Blaine Schlechter