By MAYILLAH EZEKIEL

Shenae Grimes-Beech is like we’ve never seen her before as she stars as street smart, complex, and audacious Detective Jack Cooper on The Detail. A great departure from teen dramas, Shenae thrives in her latest role in CTV’s newest female-driven crime show. Candid and uncensored, get to know the multilayered woman in front of the camera, as she talks on her latest venture, badasses, and fashion.

How did it feel to be back and filming in Toronto? It felt so good to be back home! I haven’t spent an extended period of time here in a decade, so it was almost bizarre getting to come back and be in the film scene again. I was so nervous for my first day on set. When I walked on, there was a bunch of cameramen who had been on Degrassi with me when I was 13 and on Naturally Sadie. So it was kind of nostalgic and comforting to walk on set and see some familiar faces. And obviously, my family is here, so that was lovely to get to see them on the weekends. I really got to discover Toronto all over again because I was 18 when I moved away, so I feel like I didn’t get to explore everything it had to offer. Everything has changed so much in the past ten years, so that was really fun!

What captures your curiosity when a new role comes your way? What factors are the most important when you consider accepting a new role? Obviously, the idea of returning to Toronto was definitely a draw for me. I really liked that it was so different from anything I did before. I’ve been typed as the girl next door for a very long time on TV, so to get to play someone who’s a little rougher around the edges and who has a badass edge (being a homicide detective, gun-wielding lady, kicking in doors with some stunt work) was really, really exciting… I’ve never really identified with this picture-perfect image that my past characters have had. So to get to play someone who’s a little bit dryer, a little bit more sarcastic, a little bit messier and imperfect was definitely more familiar to me and something I’m hoping people enjoy seeing me as.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your character? I think Jack and I are very similar, but our lives are different. I definitely have my shit together a little bit more than Jack. I identify with her personality traits a lot – her sense of humor and her unapologetic sensibility. She’s true to herself at all times and goes with her instincts.  I can identify with that, but it’s also something that I feel I had to practice for a long time… It [has] inspired me to tap into that again and to stop apologizing for who I am and to be comfortable in my own skin. If people don’t like it, they don’t like it, and that’s okay!

With a female-driven storyline, the show showcases complex and multi-dimensional female characters… which is rare. How does The Detail challenge ideas about women in general? In the show, nobody fits a stereotype! For a long time, men put women in boxes of what the standard looked like and that women traditionally stayed at home. On the contrary, there are these modern-day feminists who really wanted to put women in the workplace. This whole girl-boss mentally took over, which is great too! The reality of life as a human being is a work-home life juggle and balance. This show definitely focuses and features most aspects of life and how those aspects influence and affect one another! These woman in the show are so dynamic and different from one another. They are imperfect and life is messy and un-pretty a lot of the time.

When you work on a new project like this one, how does it feel to see the countless hours of work come to life, and what is your favourite part of being in a show like this?  I love the beginning because the anticipation is so exciting! We were getting to do a lot of training with the gun handling, we were getting to hear lectures from actual homicide detectives and getting to put the characters together from the mannerisms – the way Jack walks and talks to all the intricate subtleties of the character. I find that all to be really exciting! But now, it’s amazing too to see it come all together.

What are you most excited for the audience to see? I think just me as a grown-up really! I’ve never really been a grown-up on TV. It’s a complete next chapter for my life and career. Audiences have grown up with me since I was 13, so this is 15 years later, and I really hope they are along for the ride!

On another note, I wanted to discuss other facets of your work. How did your blog “Lost In Lala” start?I started the blog because I dabbled in fashion for so long during hiatuses and interning at different fashion publications and TV stations. So that was definitely a major inspiration for the blog! But more than anything, I was finding myself at twenty-something while I was taking a long break from acting. Then, I was starting to think to get back into it while thinking what do I want to do with my life. Then I figured, I can’t be alone in this feeling of being lost. I’m sure that there are a lot of women out there around my age that feel the exact same way and if I can connect with even a handful of them through this blog, then maybe we can laugh at ourselves together; then, great, that’s going to make me feel better about where I’m at. I think people have responded really well to it. It’s a great creative outlet for me when I’m not working and it keeps me very busy.

Is Los Angeles a big inspiration? And has it affected your style? Of course, because I do feel lost in Lala land a lot of the time, so to speak. I love L.A., but at the same time I do feel sucked into it all and kinda lost. It was about wanting to feel connected and I think a lot of it has to do with living in L.A. Fall is my favourite season to dress for, but unfortunately we don’t really get fall weather in L.A. I think it created a more laid back, boho spin on my look because I consider myself to be quite an East Coast girl, so it definitely infused that West Coast vibe into my natural style.

You have an incredible sense of style. Describe your relationship with fashion? It’s all about crafting a style that suits your personality and speaks to who you are! Personal style is one of the strongest forms of self-expression. You don’t have to say a word for people to assess what you are about. I love the timelessness of it.

What are your biggest beauty and fashion influences? I am constantly scrolling through Instagram. I look at bloggers and influencers coming up on my explore feed for inspirations on what’s hot and new. For beauty, my YouTube Channel, that I launched in October, has opened me up to the world of tutorials and reviews.

Any summer beauty & fashion essentials? I’m actually just about to launch my own subscription box for summer, it’s called the Badass Box. We’ve got a lot of summer essentials that are definite musts, like an amazing pair of sunglasses. You want a good, simple pair of sunglasses that will work with every look. As much as trendy sunglasses can be fun to play with, I would never want to spend more than 15 dollars on them because they are not going to work forever and for everything. I also have this really cute portable charger that is a summer-must for me. It’s fashionable and looks like a really cute accessory to your outfit while having an amazing purpose. It holds up to two charges for your phone, so whether you’re at the beach or at a music festival, it will definitely be a life saver.

There is a theme of “badasses” following you, from the show to your blog and the subscription box. Can you name a few of your favourite badasses? Such a good question! I think the girls from Haim are total badasses! They give zero Fs, wear whatever they want and don’t conform to what people say they should look like. I love love love that, so I think they are super inspirational. The women on my show are amazing badasses. They manage to juggle and do so much – acting long hours on set and they both have families at home to take care of. They do it with such grace and make it look so effortless, so I definitely admire those badasses! And also, the bloggers I’ve recently become friends with who honestly inspire me. They have their hands in so many pots and they’re all young moms. They’re on top of what is cool and trendy while being constantly on the hustle producing content, and they’re doing it all at home too. You can notice on my blog, I don’t like to project perfection in anything that I do and I respect women who own being badasses who don’t get it right all the time. I have a lot of respect for people who put that out there!

 

Episodes of The Detail are currently available for viewing online at CTV.ca. Viewers can watch full episodes online at CTV.ca. For beauty, fashion, and general inspiration directly from Shenae, visit www.lostinlala.com and for more information on her subscription box, go to www.thebadassbox.com.

 

Portrait Credits – Josh Beech (@photosbybeech/www.photosbybeech.com

Credits for show shots –  Courtesy of CTV

 

 

Comments

About The Author

Dress To Kill Feed