Q&A with ‘Rising Star’ and Cinema Studies student Sarah Gadon

Karam El Masri


Twenty-four year old Sarah Gadon recently graced the Toronto International Film Festival red carpet as one of David Cronenberg’s leading ladies from his recently released film, A Dangerous Method. She was also recognized as one of the Festival’s “Rising Stars.”

Born and raised in Toronto, Sarah spent most of her time in the performing arts, training as a Junior Associate at The National Ballet School of Canada. She has had numerous film and television roles on the Disney Channel, ABC, and CBC. With over a decade of experience behind her, Sarah has had her chance to stand out in the limelight this year starring in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Mary Harron’s The Moth Diaries, and Jim Sheridan’s Dream House.

Even with a flourishing acting career, Sarah has managed to remain focused on her Cinema Studies degree at Innis College.


Please tell us about your experience working with acclaimed filmmakers such as David Cronenberg?

When you’re a young actor, you are not always in control of which projects you will get the opportunity to be a part of. You seem to be at the mercy of casting directors, agents, producers and studios.  So, having been given the opportunity to work with a director like David Cronenberg so early on in my career is nothing short of amazing.


Congratulations on being selected as part of TIFF’s “Rising Stars Programme”. How does it feel to be recognized by such a prestigious film festival?

TIFF is one of the largest and most important film festivals in the world and navigating your way through such a large festival can be intimidating. The Rising Stars Programme not only gave me the opportunity to stand out among international talent, but also provided a valuable avenue for networking with important people in the film industry.


What is next for you?

Right now I’m trying to get a handle on all my school work, but I’ll be starting production on Brandon Cronenberg’s first feature film, Antiviral.


How do you balance school and work life?

I’m actually in the middle of writing a Cinema Studies essay right now. It’s 11pm on a Sunday night and I’m jumping between answering your questions and trying to write an essay. I don’t really think about the balance, I just do it. I’m a part time student and a full-time actor. I think it’s equally important for women to study film as it is for them to be actively working in the film and television industry, so it only seems natural that I do both. U of T is a very traditional university in terms of attendance and course options, so it is difficult when I’m shooting outside of Toronto.  That being said, the Cinema Studies community is very supportive. We have a great group of students and faculty who remain invested in encouraging and helping students and artists.


Just out of curiosity, what is your essay on?

Feminist Approaches to Cinema: Compare and Contrast Mulvey and Doane. This is for a course with CSI Professor Rob King. His film history course was one of the most comprehensive and well-rounded courses I have ever taken. As well, the films screened in Carlo Cohen's Italian Neorealism changed my life as a Cinema Studies student and actor. Kass Banning's course in British Cinema also had fabulous readings. She really planted us in another culture.


Sarah, congratulations on all your success. We look forward to hearing more about your future projects.

Thank You.


A Dangerous Method is out in theatres on Friday, January 13, 2012


To read more about Sarah Gadon and her work with David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis and Dangerous Method:

680News video: Sarah Gadon at the Toronto Film Critics' Association Awards
Actress Sarah Gadon says Cronenberg and son share poise behind the camera
Dangerous Beauty


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