In the ever-evolving world of film and television, Anwen O’Driscoll stands out as a beacon of raw talent and undeniable charisma.
From her early days in community theatre to her recent breakthrough roles, O’Driscoll has captivated audiences with her dynamic performances. But how well do we really know this rising star? Dive in as we unveil ten surprising facts about Anwen O’Driscoll that even her most ardent fans might have missed. Prepare to be intrigued!
1. Anwen hails from Lindsay, a town in Ontario, Canada.
She began her acting journey at the tender age of seven at the Lindsay Little Theatre. Her mother introduced her and her siblings to theatre as a social activity, and Anwen instantly fell in love with the craft. Despite her rising fame, Anwen remains grounded. She continues to perform at the Lindsay Little Theatre and considers it her home base. Her dedication to her craft and genuine emotion in every performance make her one of the most impressive young actresses of her generation.
2. The O’Driscolls are a family of artists.
Anwen’s mother, Altraire Gural, is a published playwright and director. Her brother Tyrnan has showcased his acting skills at the Toronto Fringe, and her younger sister Ilan made her film debut in the superhero film “Shazam.”
3. Anwen was homeschooled in Lindsay from age seven
At 15, her family moved to a farm near Lindsay, housing over 30 horses. Anwen cherished her time there, often staying home to enjoy the horse farm activities. Her mother, a riding coach, provided ample opportunities to engage in farm life, especially horse riding.
4. Anwen made her television debut at just 11 years old
Her first tv job was on the YTV show “Life With Boys”, where she played Fiona in one episode. Her passion for acting led her to seek opportunities in film and television, with her mother’s guidance ensuring they partnered with reputable agencies.
5. Anwen starred in the Lifetime movie “Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story.”
The film is based on the extraordinary true story of Ashley Reeves, who was left for dead in the woods following a brutal attack. Anwen played the role of Ashley, showcasing her resilience and fight for survival. One of the things that drew Anwen when she first read the script was how she could connect with the feeling of not being believed by people, since that was Ashley’s struggles throughout the movie. Anwen wrote to Ashley to learn more about her.
6. For her role in “Left for Dead,” Anwen had to undergo intense physical training.
Anwen took on a challenging role in Lifetime’s “Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story,” where she portrayed a real-life survivor of a brutal attack. The role required her to depict physical disabilities, which she found emotionally taxing and physically draining: “I didn’t realize how frustrating it would be just acting or being in a scene and not being able to talk. Sitting in a wheelchair was surprisingly emotional as I watched everyone walk around. It was overwhelming to think about people who are wheelchair-bound. It was a new thing for me, and naturally brought out some frustration.” She worked with an occupational therapist to prepare for the physicality and vocal challenges of the character.
7. Anwen’s portrayal of Taylor Matheson in the CBC Television series “Burden of Truth” was her breakthrough role.
Initially slated for a two-episode appearance, her outstanding audition led the writers to expand her role, intertwining her character more deeply into the storyline. She has said in an interview: “For sure it was my biggest break. I’d live there for about four months out of the year and then fly back and forth to Toronto.”
8. Anwen had a recurring role in a Netflix Series
Anwen was cast in the Netflix series “October Faction,” a series based on a comic book that revolves around a family of monster hunters. Anwen plays high school student Cathy MacDonald, a loner who befriends Viv Allen (Aurora Burghart), the teenage daughter of international monster hunters Fred and Deloris Allen. Anwen’s character appears in six episodes.
9. Anwen’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed in Hollywood.
After securing representation with the exclusive LA-based agency, The Burstein Company, she embarked on a six-week trip to Los Angeles. There, she met with studios, casting agents, and producers, aiming to expand her television acting career into the U.S. market. She says she’d love to work in New York, given how much she loves Broadway. “That would be my first choice in which to work in the U.S.,” she says.
10. Anwen is an advocate against victim-blaming
Anwen is vocal about the dangers of victim-blaming, especially in cases where young girls are unfairly targeted. She believes in the importance of continuing conversations around the #MeToo movement and advocating for change. In an interview she said about the matter: “It’s horrifying how people get into this mass thinking,” she added. “The victim-blaming, and misogyny that goes into it. We blame the younger girls more so than the older man who should have [more] responsibility. That’s such an important message. Think about young kids who are trying to find their way. Everyone makes mistakes, but we’re so hard on kids. That message of misogyny, and victim-blaming, is important as the #MeToo movement is still going and I see young girls blamed all the time. I want to keep bringing these messages forward.”