Actress, Lauren Hammersley has been emerging as a distinguished and effective actress within the Canadian entertainment industry. Having appeared in various series such as Single White Spenny ,Hammersley brings her talents and energy to the role of the sweet and innocent teacher, Lisa in CBC’S hit sitcom Mr. D.
With Mr. D progressing through its second season, I connect with Lauren to discuss her experiences working on the show, insights into the development of her character as well as her perspective on why the show has had such a strong resonance with viewers.
Read through the complete interview with Lauren below.
Abbas Karimjee:When Mr D first launched, Lisa presented herself as a very nervous teacher starting at Xavier Academy. Do you feel the character has developed since then and how so?
Lauren Hammersley :Lisa is less nervous and a bit more aware of where she stands in the school and socially. Unfortunately, the more she speaks out, the more everything blows up in her face. Aw, poor Lisa.
AK:How do you relate to the character of Lisa?
LH:Not very much, actually. She’s very sweet and innocent – but I’m outspoken and can be inappropriate at the best of times. Maybe her enthusiasm – I have a hard time hiding my excitement which makes it difficult to be ‘cool’ about anything. Yes. I’m not cool. That’s what we have in common. Thank you for reminding me, Abbas.
AK:What challenges have been involved in portraying the role of Lisa?
LH:This is my first series, so there were a lot of learning curves. I found it hard to feel funny as the ‘straight guy’ in a show surrounded by a lot of very talented comedians, but after watching it, I started to understand there was humor in Lisa’s straightness, in her ‘niceness’. When people are so mean to such a desperately nice character – it’s hilarious.
AK:Lisa attracted the attention of Gerry’s roommate, Bill back in season 1 when he initially asked her on a date when they encountered each other at the school dance. Although she refused then , she recently showed an interest in attending the poker game in the episode,”Poker Night” when she discovered Bill would be present. What do you think is drawing her to Bill and what are your thoughts on the suitability of the two as a couple? What is your preference on this matter?
LH: I think Lisa needs to make some terrible life-altering decisions. Take her to the dark side: (rubs hands together maniacally) Yes…. she’ll like it there.
AK.What else is in store for Lisa and in the second season of Mr. D in general, with the season approaching its end?
LH: We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we? (I don’t think my NDA will let me tell you that)
AK:Lisa has a more tolerant response to Gerry’s antiques than some of the other characters on the show.How would you describe the two’s working relationship?
LH:. I think deep down Lisa admires Gerry’s caution to the wind approach to everything in life. Secretly, I think she wishes she could be like that, even though he insults her 90% of the time.
AK: What are some of your favorite moments from Mr.D this season, either on-screen or off-screen?
LH:All of it. I’m just so happy to be a part of it. You can see why in our blooper reel:
AK:It has been previously reported that Mr D brings attention to the importance about under qualified teachers such as the character of Gerry being responsible for educating today’s children about subjects which they know little about. To what extent do to think Mr D raises awareness about this somewhat comical yet serious situation?
LH: Hmmm… I haven’t seen those reports, but the majority of people who approach me to say they love the show are teachers. I think it brings more of an awareness that teachers are humans. Gerry’s playing a character of himself, in real life he was actually an awesome teacher (I’ve met a few of his past students and they’ve all said he was their favorite) and kids light up when they’re around him. I’d imagine he is a bit of a hero to some in leaving a world of academia and pursue his dream of stand-up comedy.
AK:Mr D has achieved record-breaking ratings on CBC since the debut of CBC’S hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie with the series premiere earning a 1.3 million rating. Why do you think the show resonates with such a large audiences?
LH:I hope they watch because it’s a funny show, but I think it’s relatable as well. Everyone has known at least one or more teachers they can relate to in Xavier Academy.
AK:.What message do you have for the fans of Mr. D?
LH:You guys make the show – there wouldn’t be a show without you. I know that sounds super cheesy and cliche, but it’s true.
AK:Are there any other acting projects you have been involved with, which you would like to share with readers?
LH. No projects to speak of at the moment, but I do sell jewelry at http://www.etsy.com/shop/cheekyqueen.