Magazine > Lifestyle
Keeper of the Peace
The Fourth Period Magazine :: Summer 2010 Issue
By David Pagnotta
Laura doesn’t share the same fate. She’s fully human, but like Lisa, she
does have a soft spot her fellow females – especially when she practiced
look like the girl next door; all innocent and sweet,
blonde hair and blue eyes. She even comes in peace.
But this bombshell will kick your ass and you won’t
even realize what happened.
You see, Laura Vandervoort is a second-degree black
belt in karate. Yeah, that’s right. I couldn’t believe
it, either. The star of the ABC hit series V is,
technically, a lethal weapon.
“I started martial arts when I was seven,” Vandervoort
explained. “It’s just something I was interested in.
My dad always laughs, but he had two girls; I was the
youngest and I felt I kind of owed it to him to do
all honesty, I was a tomboy. I played basketball
and soccer. I wanted to try martial arts. I kind
of excelled at it and stuck it out until I was
about 19 and had my second-degree black belt.
That’s kind of where I lived after school.”
Karate was a part of Laura’s life well before
acting. She didn’t dive into the film scene
until she was 13, when she was inspired by
probably two of the most non-tomboy-esque movies
at the time, My Girl and The Little Mermaid.
“I just kind of asked my parents if I could go
into the industry and just try it out,” she
said. “I had been doing martial arts for so
long, I think my parents kind of welcomed the
idea of something artistic. It was kind of a
different side of the brain that I’d have an
opportunity to use. I started doing background
work and commercials.”
With appearances on Canadian shows Goosebumps
and Are You Afraid of the Dark when she was
younger, Laura got her big break at age 19 when
she landed the lead role of Sadie Harrison on
the CTV series Instant Star.
After four great years on the hit Canadian
series, she starred as Supergirl/Kara Kent on
the CW’s Smallville, where she played Clark
Kent’s cousin and got the chance to beat up a
few people along the way before jumping on as
Lisa, Recruiter for The Visitors, on V.
“Every show I’ve been on has taught me something
new,” Laura said. “Every set is different. A
movie is a very different feel from television.
I’m still learning. V is the first show I’ve
been on, besides Instant Star, that’s been
somewhat from the ground up and I’ve been able
to develop my own character.
“It’s such a successful show, and I’ve been
there since the beginning. It’s a nice feeling.”
While Laura’s character isn’t as vicious as the
Queen V, her mother, she boasts arguably the
most conflicted role on the show.
“She’s confused. She had all these new emotions,
like a young teen would,” Laura explained. “At
the same time, she’s such a grown adult dealing
with heavy issues; next in time to Queen V and
her mother trying to take over the world. She’s
torn between the two species.”
“I enjoyed sparring. I got a lot of my frustration out. But, I didn’t like
hitting the girls,” she said, laughing. “I had issues with that, so I’d
always pair up with the boys. It was easier to hit the guys.”
The success of V has propelled her status to a new level. Laura drew
attention from her time on Instant Star and Smallville, but now she’s
being recognized everywhere she goes.
don’t think you every can get used to the attention,” she said. “I think
if you do, and you start to expect it, you’re going to have issues.
“We go out somewhere
and someone is starring at me funny. At first you wonder what’s on your
face; you don’t actually think about the fact that they’re trying to
figure out where they know you from. And then there’s people who actually
do and they just want to say they like your work, and that’s always
“I’m always very friendly to anyone that does recognize me, and they’re
actually pronouncing my name properly! It’s still very new and I’m a nice
With V returning to ABC for a second season, Laura will divide her time
between filming the series and shooting the thriller Entitled, co-starring
Kevin Zegers and Ray Liotta, which hits theatres in 2011.
“All of my projects have been in Vancouver,” Laura said. “I think that’s
uncommon. I can work in the United States, but every American project I’ve
got shoots in Vancouver. I feel like Vancouver’s my second home to
When she’s away from the set, and back home, Laura enjoys her spinning
classes, hot yoga and tennis. She doesn’t Tweet and doesn’t have a
Facebook account – sorry, fellas – and even with a bit of dangerous side,
you won’t find her letting loose at the pub or dancing away at the hottest
club in town.
“Oh my god, I’m a cottage girl,” she exclaimed. “First of all, I don’t
drink and I’ve never really been into the bar or club scene. An ideal
weekend to me would be going to my cottage and sitting on the dock,
playing badminton or going on a walk and doing my photography instead of
She’ll even sneak in a hockey game every now and again.
“It’s in my world, now. My mom’s a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan...
unfortunately (laughs),” she said. “I get the gist of it, and I have to
say hockey boys are the best looking sports boys. That’s pretty much all I
get from hockey (laughs).”