Dawn Chandler illustrates the magic of being a performer. She is able to interpret and tell a story that invites an emotional connection to her viewers, allowing them to truly feel part of the narrative being told. From theatre to television, she has begun to place her artistic mark with each performance credit. Her dedication to her craft is also portrayed in her desire to continue expanding her levels of presentation by going beyond each roles initial expectations. To watch her authentically interpret each character she embodies is always enjoyable to witness. However, we also believe one of her biggest merits lies in her genuine personality that she displays outside of her work as an actress. Her heartfelt messages to fans and our ease of conversation during this interview made us realize how grounded and humble she truly is – and we would love nothing more than to be able to sit down and enjoy a drink with her one day. It is with great pleasure that Sass3 presents the talented Dawn Chandler. We feel honored to have had the opportunity to communicate with her after the completion of Season 2 finale of Outlander.
Dragonfly in Amber was an episode filled with an array of sentiments that every Outlander fan can undoubtedly remember. In the midst of the events of this episode lies the truth that the future could not be changed. It is in April 1746 that we witness the signing of the Deed of Sasine, ensuring that the ownership of Lallybroch would be transferred to his nephew – Young Jamie Fraser. As dedicated Outlander fans, we recognized this moment and its symbolism of the future. Mesmerized by the events that transpire, fans watched the clarification and recognition of this document in both time continuums. As we flash forward to the 20th century, we find Claire Randall Fraser entering the records office in Inverness looking for information. It is here that she speaks to a caring records clerk, played by Dawn Chandler, hinting at Lallybroch’s future.
The Season 2 finale was a brilliantly executed episode that could only be completed with the steadfast dedication of all actors who were cast. Dawn Chandler’s performance contributed to the honest portrayal of the difficulty in reliving the past and moving forward while in the present. In this blog we will learn more about her story: how her acting career began, the joys and challenges of her profession, and her participation in the Dragonfly in Amber finale. Most of all, we were able to discuss what her future holds and ways fans can continue to follow her growing career.
Dream Big: High Aspiration and Pure Talent Lead to Success
“As an actor I feel it is my job to adapt to all challenges thrown at me. When working professionally I have had more filming work than theatre, to which I have received nothing but praise. Therefore even though my heart will always lie with theatre, I feel that television and film work is where my interest currently lies.”
We love learning more about an actor’s beginning. How did you discover that you wanted to become an actress?
Cheesy as it sounds, I’ve always wanted to act! All through my life, I have been involved with drama. Starting with amateur dramatics when I was younger then leading onto completing my acting degree a few years ago. I was also taken to the theatre by my parents from a young age which I absolutely loved!
Looking at your professional credits, you have had some highlighted roles. Is there one you enjoyed the most and which one was the most difficult?
I have been fortunate enough to be part of many wonderful productions. One that particularly sticks out was when I was involved in a theatre production called ‘Confusions’ by Alan Ayckbourn. A black comedy which is my all time favourite genre. I got to play two very contrasting characters and loved every second of it! I’d definitely like to revisit this play in the future.
The most difficult role I have had to master was the character of Bernie in the Scottish adaptation of The House of Bernarda Alba. This was the lead character in the play and a part I wasn’t expecting to be cast as! As a character she had so many layers and an extremely commanding presence whenever she entered the room. Even though this was probably my toughest challenge to date, I totally adored playing her and even discovered a new way of approaching a character thanks to our wonderful director.
We greatly admire the level of dedication it takes to work in all acting settings. Do you feel that there is a difference between performing at a theatre production versus on the screen?
“Theatre is instant and often comes with more pressure as there is no ‘Take 2.’ While this can be terrifying, it is also thrilling and really challenges you as an actor. You really feel like you’ve achieved something great!”
I feel there is definitely a difference, which if you’re used to one more than the other, it can be hard to get your head around. I had been involved in only theatre for many years before delving into the world of television. While at college, I was told by my tutors that film work wasn’t for me and that my expressive face and all around ‘big’ nature wouldn’t suit this kind of work … oh how wrong they were!
We can’t imagine being told this! We imagine a dynamic personality would be a great attribute to has an actor. ♥ When you think of your acting role models, who comes to mind?
There are many actors out there whom I admire and strive to be like, but there are three who, for me, stand out: Julie Walters, Dawn French and the late, great Victoria Wood. All three of these women have had the most fabulous careers and have attacked all of their roles with complete and utter fearlessness or at least that’s how it has appeared. Women who are comfortable in their own skin and can command a screen or stage or radio with total conviction. They are goddesses!
We completely agree! There is nothing more powerful than a woman that recognizes her own strengths. We love seeing these types of strong female roles on the screen. ♥
We loved your participation on Outlander. Could you tell us a little about how you heard of this role and the audition process?
I received word about the Outlander audition through my agent Dougie Stiven. I had to prepare the scene which was ultimately broadcast at an audition in Edinburgh. The audition went really well (so it seems) and Simone (the casting director) and her assistant were completely lovely which put me at ease straight away. Also she said she loved my blouse…I was onto a winner!
Outlander has a huge fan base across the globe. Did you know about the series before you auditioned?
I had heard of the series! A few friends of mine had starred in Season 1 and obviously the show is so huge I couldn’t miss it! It was on my ‘To Watch’ list. When I had the audition, I started from the beginning. Very quickly I fell in love with the series like millions of others round the world and when I got the job I just couldn’t believe my luck!
It is so exciting to hear of your experience! Do you have any memorable moments while on set?
On set I was treated like royalty at all times! I felt incredibly blessed to be working with such an incredible cast and crew. Near the end of filming I received a wonderful gift from the very beautiful and talented Caitriona Balfe. She gave me a scarf as a token to remember my day by! While thanking her she told me to look at the scarf closely to which I noticed it had dragonflies on it, reflective of the episode I was in – ‘Dragonfly in Amber.’ It was a wonderful end to a wonderful day!
You were part of an important scene that resonated so much symbolism of the past and future. How did you feel about playing this valued character role?
“At this point in the story we are in the late 1960’s and Claire is looking for answers. Being part of her discovering the tear stained Deed of Sasine she signed all those year ago was beautiful. It was a privilege to be part of such a significant section of the story.”
I was really excited to play the Records Clerk particularly in the Season Finale. The records office was set in a small room which had been kitted out to look like 1968. All the paper documents you see are written on and ‘worn down’ to make the whole scene look authentic. The general feel was to be enclosed and stuffy and, even for the time, old fashioned which felt very real on set and I felt was portrayed on screen.
We filmed in one day! We started very early and filmed into the evening. This is mainly down to getting different camera angles, etc. Even though it was a long day, it was a very fun!
We can’t wait to hear what your future holds. Do you have any current or future projects that you are excited about and can share with us?
I have had auditions for quite a few exciting projects within the last few weeks with a some more to come shortly, so fingers crossed I will have some news to put on my ‘Dawn Chandler Actor’ Facebook page soon. Please stay tuned! As well as my Facebook page, I have the following website www.dawnchandleractor.com. In addition, I have a YouTube channel, ‘Dawn Chandler Actor,’ where I have covered a number of well known songs. I am hoping to do more of these in the near future!
We will certainly follow your sites. We have watched your YouTube videos and love your voice! Do you have a message you would like to send to your fans?
First of all, the fact that I have fans is very mind blowing for me! So crazy! Thank you all so much for your support and kind words with regards to Outlander! Thank you also for your interest in my career and your continued love and support. It doesn’t go unnoticed and is appreciated more than you know. Mwah! ♥
We can’t help but ask a few more fun questions! Could you tell us what’s on your DVR, or what your favorite tv shows or movies are?
I am a total TV junkie! I watch so much stuff! Everything from The Big Bang Theory to Doctor Who! I love it all! My particular TV obsession, though, is a UK show called The Great British Bake Off.
The Great British Bake Off is truly my daughter’s favorite show. We have seen every episode and can’t get enough!
It’s wonderful! If you haven’t heard of it/seen it it’s a competitive baking show where amateur bakers battle it out in weekly challenges. It may only be some eggs and flour, but it is just the best show! And it can get really intense! Will the souffle rise? Will the lemon drizzle cake have a soggy bottom? The drama!!!
This interview just gets better! We can’t wait to hear what movies you enjoy. Are there any that stand out for you?
My top 3 films of all time are ones which some would class as guilty pleasures…I have absolutely no guilt!
- No 3. Disney’s Hercules. The music is just sensational! “Honey, you mean HUNK-ules!” So funny!
- No 2. The Muppets Treasure Island. Clever, funny and timeless. The songs are also amazing! Oh and Tim Curry is in it…what’s not to love?!
- And No. 1…Love Actually! Laughter, tears and some of the best British actors to ever exist. No other film gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s just the best!
Even though we are so far away in California, we have so much in common. ♥ I also have to admit, I have a great love for romantic comedies! I am a huge Colin Firth fan – adore him in Bridget Jones Diary!
When you are not acting, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Apart from the usual things like spending time with friends and family, I’m really into photography – particularly sunsets and candid shots. This isn’t something I would do professionally. However, I do love capturing a once in a lifetime moment – whether that be the sun setting over the Isle of Arran after a rare sunny Scottish day or a loved up couple taking some time just for themselves in the middle of a busy bar. These moments and everything in between are special and to capture it is pretty fantastic.
As you can see from our blog, we enjoy every aspect of Outlander. It is obsessable! Are there any series of which you are a hard core fan?
I love loads of television and once I get hooked on a show, I’m there till the end! A few of these have included: The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother (alternative ending obviously!), Friends, The Following, Life on Mars, Jonathan Creek, Doctor Who, The Fall, Hannibal, Man Down, Not Going Out, Peter Kay’s Car Share and many, many more!
A Look Towards the Future
Thank you Dawn for spending time with us. This was such an amazing interview! We loved every moment of your fun, engaging, and dynamic responses. Perhaps one day, we will be able to see you in person on our next visit back to Scotland. We undoubtedly believe that your future looks bright and full of possibilities – we can’t wait to continue following your journey and we know our readers will too!
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