Iqaluit-born actor Anna Lambe would have never pursued acting professionally if it hadn’t been for her drama teacher at Inukshuk High School.
Her teacher Grace Main encouraged the then 15-year-old to audition for the Nunavut set-and-shot film The Grizzlies, which she tried out for at the last minute. But even after gaining the role as teenager Spring, Lambe still saw acting as a pipe dream.
“I thought The Grizzlies was just a fluke—a one-time thing—and I thought, ‘I’m never going to get selected for another role, so why bother?’” says Lambe. “But a lot of that was not having confidence in myself as an actor.”
That began to change, however, when she saw a casting call on Facebook for the role of Sarah in the CBC series Trickster. At first, Lambe says she stuck to her guns and ignored it, but after a few people tagged her in the post, Lambe finally gave in, auditioned, and landed the role.
Based on the novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, the show aired on CBC in October 2020. The supernatural thriller follows an Indigenous teenager struggling to keep his family together when a stranger arrives and turns his world upside down.
Lambe’s character is a foster child and the protagonist’s love interest—best recognized by her eccentric hair and outfits, as well as for her activism. Her role as an unapologetic and confident young woman contrasts greatly from her first acting part in The Grizzlies.
“The strength and power Sarah carries is really beautiful,” says Lambe, whereas Spring, in the 2018 film, is shy and easily intimidated.
But like her character, Lambe grew more confident as filming progressed.
“The characters I played evolved with me as a person,” says Lambe. “I grew into my strength through filming The Grizzlies. And by the time I started playing Sarah, I felt like a very powerful and confident person going into that role.”
Currently, Lambe is finishing her education in international development and globalization at the University of Ottawa. And while she’s continuing on in her studies, Lambe says her most recent role has inspired her to keep pursuing acting.
“I feel empowered to continue acting and searching for opportunities,” she says. “I’m a creative person, I love the arts, and it’s something I’m passionate about... there’s something about it that’s freeing.”