Screen Time: 90%
Age: 9 years old
Rating: 8 (3 votes)
Current Age: 23 years old
Current Age: 23 years old
Samantha Weinstein's BiographyAt 13, Samantha Weinstein already a TIFF veteran
ANDREW WALLACE/TORONTO STAR, 2008
Native Torontonian Samantha Weinstein, 13, plays one of two kids who go on the hunt for the Cabbagetown Monster in "Toronto Stories."
Samantha Weinstein has grown out of her red carpet dress.
It was red, to complement her hair, and it has served her well. She has been in five TIFF films: Siblings in 2004; Big Girl in 2005 (for which she won an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female); Ninth Street in 2006; The Stone Angel in 2007; and Toronto Stories this year.
It's all the more remarkable considering she just turned 13 in March.
Weinstein will be wearing a frock by Pam Chorley of Fashion Crimes so she'll rock that carpet. But she's not really that interested in clothes.
"I'm not girlie," she shrugs. She is wearing jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt, her usual look. "I don't give in to peer pressure; I don't have to wear skirts."
In the black comedy Siblings, she wore Coke-bottle glasses that made her look like Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys as a little girl.
The native Torontonian has been acting since she was almost 7 and is currently shooting a new CBC comedy drama series. Weinstein gravitates to offbeat roles, like the one in the film Toronto Stories, an anthology of four short stories connected by a little boy gone missing. It screens Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
In the "Shoelaces" segment, she plays one of two kids who go hunting for the Cabbagetown Monster.
"It's based on a story actually in the newspaper," she explains. "The director/writer Aaron Woodley saw it in the paper when he was a kid. It was about the Cabbagetown Monster, this giant creature in the sewer. The artist did a rendition of a creepy gremlin covered in slate-grey fur."
It would be covered with more than fur if it were in the sewer. Eeeewwww.
It's also about the friendship between the two kids, her character Kaylie and Jacob, played by Ricardo Hoyos. It's not a Nancy Drew Mystery of the Sewer book, Weinstein emphasizes.
"Kaylie is tough; she doesn't take crap from anyone," she says. "She has a troubled home life and I think she pretends (she has a rich imagination) to escape reality at home. His character is the dorky kid, but not in a cheesy way.
"I like unique roles, something out of the ordinary – like Danielle in Siblings and Sarah in Ninth Street," she allows. "They were misfits. I like oddball characters because they keep up the challenge as an actor. I am a little quirky, but Kaylie is different from me – I don't have a troubled home life, for one thing. But I'm a little adventurous like her."
She is going into Grade 8 in a performing arts school and is a straight-A student.
She and her kid sister Sabrina, 9, also a budding actor, write scripts and make home videos.
"We're always yelling `Quiet on the set' and telling our dad not to flush the toilet," Weinstein laughs.
She has wanted to act "totally forever. It is my passion. It calls to me. I hope in 10 years I'll be graduating from film school. I want to direct, I want to act and I am open to a musical career. I play jazz piano. Sometimes I print out sheet music on the Internet."
She's never studied voice, but "I find myself singing all the time. I'll learn to play guitar."
What she would really like to do is an action film. She'd love to be an action chick.
"I love James Bond films," she says. "I'd love to be firing guns and doing stunts."
What if this acting thing goes south?
"I'd study to be a lawyer or doctor," Weinstein surmises. "But I find acting so much fun."
The rejection part of the job isn't so much fun.
"I can't get all the roles I audition for, but my mom told me everyone has a path and if sometimes you are not on it, it's not that big a deal," she says. "Another role will come along. It was not meant to be."
Should you find the Cabbagetown Monster on the path, then all the better.
[Thanks to Elmtree]