Canadian actress Tara Yelland will be gracing small screens in the fall.
Yelland has been cast in CTV’s hit medical drama Saving Hope. Yelland will play Summer, the nanny, a role that allows Yelland to show off her comedic side.
“She gets into trouble constantly! She’s inappropriate, wild, and generally just a total mess” said Yelland.
Initially brought in to audition for a smaller role, Yelland impressed right away. During the casting session the director suggested she read for another character. They sent her out into the hall with the sides where she had to quickly familiarize herself with the script.
“I came back in and just had fun with it, and I guess it worked,” she recalled. “They liked what I did with the character, so they kept her around.”
The role required Yelland work primarily with Erica Durance (Smallville) and Michael Shanks (Stargate).
“They’re total pros and the fact that they’re genuinely nice people and giving scene partners is definitely a bonus,” said Yelland.
The two play a recently divorced couple trying to co-parent, and Summer, the nanny, is there to help. However, it turns out she’s not very helpful.
“I don’t think I’ve had this much fun with a role in a long time. She’s so over the top that it really gives me a kind of freedom to be big and outrageous. Summer lives in a world where consequences aren’t a real thing, so she doesn’t really have any fear. I kind of admire that,” she said. “Summer is a bit out of control, and there are plenty of opportunities for comedy, and physical comedy, in particular.”
Yelland also worked alongside actor Greg Bryk for the role, who describes her as a “special actor.”
“Tara is beautiful, charming and sensitive. She is also gifted with a fierce intelligence. She is very serious about her craft and has grown immensely as a performer in the time that I have known her,” said Greg Bryk. “She brings together a whimsical sense of humor with the emotional depth to fully realize more dramatic roles. That combination is incredibly rare and makes Tara one of the most unique people I have ever met. It would not surprise me if she became a star.”
The role allowed Yelland to experiment with challenges she had not frequently encountered in her acting career.
“I don’t have a lot of experience with children, so working with a set of twin babies was definitely a challenge! But an exciting one. I was so nervous about holding a baby, but it was actually kind of great, I was so focused on carrying this baby and not dropping him and trying to stop him from crying that it kept me very present during the scenes. You never knew how they were going to react during a take, whether it will be laughter or tears,” she said. “It kept things fresh.”
Playing Summer gave Yelland the opportunity to play around with a character that was extremely different than what she was used to.
“The fun thing about acting is that you get to keep a part of all the people you become with you, and I guess what I took away from Summer, and my time on Saving Hope, is her sense of risk and freedom. I mean, imagine being a person who just follows their impulses and does whatever they want, whenever they want…I kind of liked it. Summer is irresponsible. I am way too much of a control-freak to ever even show up late for work, let alone the kind of shenanigans Summer gets herself into.”
However, they have their similarities.
“We can both be a bit impulsive, but luckily, I’m far less self-destructive than she is,” Yelland concluded. “We’re also both very fond of big floppy hats.”
Saving Hope returns for its fifth season this fall.