By Julie Stewart-Binks
Instead of spending Labour Day lounging in my PJs watching Mad Men, I jumped on the 501 streetcar to the Beaches to have brunch with one of Canada’s most promising young talent. Katie Boland, who stars in Michael Goldbach’s Daydream Nation premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, isn’t like any other actors I’ve met – in fact, this lady more closely resembles a good girl friend. She’s confident, smart, and was great to gab with over some poached eggs and coffee at her local neighbourhood restaurant.

“Where’s the Lion King?” a waiter asks Katie. Blushing, she laughs back and then turns to me.

“ ‘Lion King,’ is what he calls my brother because he has a mane of curly blonde hair. I don’t know. I’ve been coming to this restaurant too long. It’s kind of crazy,” she said.

The 22-year old calls the Beaches home, but she also has a place in Los Angeles. It seems like she’s been hanging around this area for years, but this young star hasn’t stopped working since she started acting at age nine. Her early start in the industry was influenced by her film director mother, Gail Harvey. From the age of three, Boland begged her mother to let her act and continued until around she was eight. Finally, after those five years, her mother gave in.

Mums the word

One glimpse of the red-lipped, dark haired beauty and you can tell she is meant to be in front of the camera. The starlet doesn’t need any help, but she says her mother has been in a position to lend critical advice.

“It’s definitely been helpful. It would be stupid of me to say that it wasn’t. She’s a sounding board. She’s someone I can go to for advice and she sort of intrinsically just understands what’s going on in my life. But the way that the industry works in Canada, she can’t help me get jobs, but she can help me prepare for them.”

Katie and I have a lot in common – not the acting, or on stage talent, but the fact that we’re both in the same profession, more or less, as our mothers. My mom, the fab Georgie Binks, is also a journalist and she’s provided me some great advice, but there are also times where I tell her to back off (that’s before I slam my door). Gail Harvey (Katie’s mom) directed Some Things That Stay (2004), which Katie starred in. She says her relationship with her mom changed on and off the set, and that it was challenging to separate family from work.

“On set it was director-actor and then at home it was mom-daughter. I think you always bring work home, you ask ‘how did the day go?’ and work is so much a part of our relationship that we wouldn’t be able to not talk about it if we were working together. But like, I think she did a pretty good job being my boss at work and my mom at home.”

Growing up early
Boland has spent the majority of her adolescence on screen, with a resume that boasts over 25 starring roles in television and film projects including Atom Egoyan’s Adoration (2008) and Growing Op (2008) with Rosanna Arquette. She says growing up around adults more than kids undoubtedly had an effect on her in some way.

“I think that it must have influenced me because I was always working with adults. But I don’t think in a negative way. I just think it has only brought a lot of positive things and fascinating people in my life. Since I had to work as an adult, as a child, I’m pretty sure that did make me more mature.”

Speaking of growing up, Boland takes maturity to the next level in Daydream Nation (2010). She’s says she’s excited for the film’s premiere, but is worried about one thing…

“I have a nude scene in it and I have to watch it in front of an audience of like a million people for the first time. Oh My God…” When asked what it was like to do the scene, she said, “It was actually so funny. Reece [Thompson] who I have the nude scene with, is a really nice guy and we’ve been friends for a really long time, so it was just funny. But, it’s never sexy at all, its just like you’re laughing, and it’s very choreographed. And everyone’s done one, and they’re not really a big deal. Everyone on set is always really respectful, and if there are men in the room they always turn away.”

Boland’s maturity lends itself to her love life, which is no surprise since she’s born on Valentine’s Day. After dispelling rumours that she is not married (contrary to what her Wikipedia page says), the screen star says she’s content with her life, but wouldn’t mind people knowing she’s available.

“I am unmarried. I’m single and ready to mingle. So send men my way! I’m focused on my career, and my life is very full so, I’m happy with the way things are,” she said.

Boland plays alongside Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Andie McDowell, and Josh Lucas in this coming-of-age story show-casing a number of seductive themes, including a love triangle between seventeen year-old Caroline Wexler (Kat Dennings), her teacher Mr. Anderson (Josh Lucas), and stoner classmate (Reece Thompson). Boland plays Jenny, a small town girl who is the complete opposite of the sophisticated and well-spoken Caroline (Dennings) but, just the same, manages to get twisted up in the convoluted romance.

Daydream Nation will be screened on Friday September 10th at 6:00 p.m. at Ryerson and Saturday September 11th at 12:00 p.m. at AMC 3. Tickets can be purchased online at: TIFF.NET