Brittany Johnson is a Toronto-based actor and writer, recently appearing on Space Channel's Dark Matter, CW's Reign, CBC's Murdoch Mysteries, and her new short film, Expiry Date, will grant Brittany her first screen writing credit.
She was kind enough to spare some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions. Check out our Q&A below:
When was the exact moment you realized that acting/writing was your calling?
You know, there was never really an exact moment for me. Acting was something I grew up doing. Putting on shows with my sister, or childhood friends. Always wanting to get the video camera out and record them, so we could watch them back. I was always a ham in that way. Then it evolved into acting classes and singing classes, which turned into plays and ultimately the Film and TV I’m doing now. Writing is in the similar storytelling vein, so I don’t think it’s any kind of stretch that it came naturally to me as well. I grew up reading quite a bit, so writing my experiences and emotions really became, and has become, second nature to me. I did always know I would write books, but screenplays was a bit of a surprise.
You’re a strong supporter of lady bosses. Why?
I do love me a good lady boss. First and foremost, I think it is so incredibly important that we support, pave the way, and make room for each other. I’m a firm believer in helping others up, and creating opportunities for one another. I think that is the only way we can really get our voices out there, and our stories heard. I believe we do have a problem, especially in the film and television industry, with sexism. The only way to fix this is to acknowledge the problem, which I think we are making progress on. Then, to create more opportunities and support systems for women to come in to this field and really create work that isn’t based on stereotypes, and the sexualization of females/female bodies.
Who are some lady bosses that you look up to?
I really support all women who are going out there and shaking up the old of what we think it traditionally means to be a woman. Not only in the work place, but in our day to day lives as well. On a larger scale, I would say I look up to women like Geena Davis who created www.seejane.org, the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in media, who's slogan is “If she can see it, she can be it”. I also can not get enough of Jill Solway. The creator, writer, producer for the show Transparent. Writers like Nora Ephron, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling, to name a few. From my own city, Toronto, I really admire people like Molly McGlynn, a Writer/Director who currently has a film at TIFF, and who's writing takes me from laughter to tears in an instant. Katie Boland and Gail Harvey, are constantly inspiring me, and really make me continually set my bar higher. My dear friend Talia Brown, who although she is in the Fashion Industry, and not directly Film and TV, is a ridiculously gifted Lady Boss, and building her empire by leaps and bounds all the time. And lastly, my own producer of Expiry Date, Mariah Owen. Who owns her own production company, works like no one else I have ever met, all on top of being an incredibly kind soul. Women who inspire me are women who unabashedly go out into the world and say “Here is my voice. Here is my art. Here is my story. Do not feel alone. Do not feel ashamed.” To me, that is what I strive for and what motivates me to create the work I do.
Brittany has a bright future ahead of her, a head on her shoulders, and is extremely grounded. Be sure to check her out on Twitter, Facebook and find out more information about her and Expiry Date here.