We talk to Whatever, Linda star Hannah Cheesman about living in Toronto, travel & how Shopper’s Drug Mart receipts rule her wallet.

What spaces in Toronto do you find inspiring?

When I take the subway across the Don Valley River, especially at night, this is more of an inspiring moment in the city, rather than a space. I like that it’s one of the few places I actually feel a sense of perspective in Toronto, and it feels romantic to me.

Also the Beaches—walking the boardwalk, or sitting on the grass and people watching on a summer day. These are the best, especially alone. It feels sprawling and long and big.

And then in general, I like to work from home for stretches of time, so I guess I would call home inspiring. It’s not often super tidy, but when it is, and I’ve burned some Palo Alto, and it’s nighttime and the lamps are all alight—the best. The best.

What aisle do you spend the most time in at the grocery store?

The fruit and vegetable section. You have to be the most choosy there, because ripeness! So these aisles naturally lend themselves to loitering! But I’m a big fan of eggs, so I can be found in the dairy section, and then I get roped into yogurt and 5% cream and cottage cheese.

Which virtue do you try to cultivate within yourself?

Shoot, lots. I really try and cultivate happiness. I know that’s not a virtue, but I think it’s fertile ground for a lot of virtues. Some of which are: presence, letting things go, generosity of spirit, kindness, compassion, positivity, belief in myself, gratitude, and acceptance. And love. Always love!

The receipts in your wallet would indicate what?

I am self-employed and save all my receipts. And Shoppers Drug Mart owns my goddamn, no-good soul.

If you could reinvent your career and be something totally different, what would that be?

Dang! Great questions! I think I believe we can be no other than we actually already are, and so ‘being something totally different’ is possible, just not possible right now cause I ain’t other than I am. But now I sound all Scientology! Probably one of two things: I would have followed my passion for other languages, and been something like a language teacher somewhere far-flung, or maybe: I would study the brain—whether that’s behavioural (psychology) or neurosciences.



When you dream about travel, what place in the world comes to mind?

EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. Morocco, Italy, Turkey, Russia, the Czech Republic. Japan, China. France, often France.

What makes you happy?

Dancing. First and foremost. Partying, to be honest, makes me happy. Big-n-small-n-in-between-sized partying. Friends, being comfy with friends and people who know me, cracking jokes. Performing. Making people laugh while performing. Biking. Traveling. Kissing. Flirting. Good sex. Watching good movies, good TV. Reading kick-ass books. Working on something I believe in and care about, with people whose talents I believe in. Working while traveling. There are themes here.

What makes you cringe?

Passive-aggressiveness, petty behaviour, in myself and others. Very forward advances from men (mostly always men, amiright?), that’s icky. Lame. Sexism. Racism. Meannesses. Belittling. Ageism.

What quality do you loathe most in others?

Hm, see above. Closed-mindedness.

What, in your opinion, is overrated?

Pop zeitgeists. They change so quick! Running. Those knees, boy oh boy, save ’em.

How do you feel about life at this moment?

Zingers! Keep em coming! Wow. So. I feel a lot of things. I feel stressed because I am balancing many projects. Verging on overwhelmed, at times. I feel—perhaps finally—that I may actually be an artist, and I may be that for the rest of my life, which looks simultaneously freeing and exhausting. I feel excited about what’s to come. I feel more solid in myself than most of the rest of my life up to this point. I feel like life is really difficult for so many people; I can’t imagine being a parent; I am always so bolstered by other peoples’ positivity. It’s so important. I am examining how I can be generous of spirit — my boss is really generous; it’s so great. I feel like I want adventure from life, always. I feel like (if we’re lucky) life is long, and it changes, a lot. So one needs to be flexible, and generous. I feel, in the same vein, that I want to play the long-game; I want to slow down and not say YES to everything.

What quality do you value most in a lover?


What is your favourite thing to do on a Saturday?

Lie in bed. Read, preferably with a coffee and snacks in bed. Workout. Meet with friends. Laugh over dinner. Go dancing.

What is your comfort food?

Chocolate and baked goods.

What word holds deep meaning for you?



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