Interview with Cindy Busby

The canadian drama series "Heartland" shows Cindy Busby in the role of Ashley Stanton who at first ist a mean rich girl that matures and changes a lot over time. Cindy talks about working with the horses in front of the camera and how cast and crew grew close over the last four seasons. She also tells us a little bit about her guest spot on "The Vampire Diaries" and her upcoming projects.

Foto: Copyright: Ed Araquel
© Ed Araquel

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1. In "Heartland" you play a girl, Ashley Stanton, who's an antagonist first but changes a lot in the course of time? What do you think about the development of your character?

I think Ashley Stanton has had an incredible character arc throughout the last 4 seasons of "Heartland". That's what's great about being part of a TV series because you have more time to really show the development of each character. Ashley's gone from the rich mean competitive girl and matured into a responsible loving hard working young woman. It really is a pleasure creating a 3 dimensional complex person on screen that the audience can relate to.

2. In Germany we have a saying: Horses and men both are precious, but I choose the horses because they are more loyal. Do you think there is a grain of truth in there?

I believe all living things are precious, but I personally wouldn't choose one over the other. I think any human or living creature has the capability of being vulnerable and making disloyal decisions.

3. Working with horses in front of the camera is probably not easy. Do the scenes need a lot of time?

"Heartland" works with some of the best animal wranglers in show business, so because the horses are so well trained we have an easy time working with them. Perfecting and setting up horse stunts is what takes the most time.

4. Ashley rides Rodeos and she does show jumping english style. Do you do all the horse riding scenes yourself?

All the cast members can ride horses, but we all have stunt double. The Heartland production lets the professional stunt riders perform the major riding and jumps. They don't want to compromise the safety of the performers.

5. Were you enthusiastic about horses before you started on the show? Were they what drew you to audition for the part?

Ashley's character description was what interested me most about being a part of "Heartland" and working with horses was a bonus. I was excited to work with animals and immediately started taking lessons to prepare myself for the role.

6. Ashley and Caleb are a couple that never gets boring. Working so closely with Kerry James do you sometimes feel like really falling for eachother?

Kerry and I have fun working on the Ashley and Caleb scenes and throughout we've become good friends. I think as an actor it's important to create a boundary between real life and fiction and not get involved with your co-stars. Kerry and I are both happily in relationships with other people.

7. After almost 4 seasons with the Flemings and friends do you feel sort of like a family? Can you share a little anecdote from the set?

The cast and crew of "Heartland" are very close. We're definitely like a family. We care about each other and we love working together. I remember while shooting season one all the cast was in Calgary over Thanksgiving weekend, so Amber Marshall (Amy) and I invited the cast to her apartment and spent all day cooking Thanksgiving dinner (Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables). It was so much fun!

8. You were in "The Vampire Diaries" pilot. It is one of the hottest shows around at the moment. Actors probably stand in line to get a role. What do you remember from the audition? Who did you read with?

I was so thrilled when I found out that I would be in the scene that opened "The Vampire Diaries" series. The pilot was shot in Vancouver, where I live. I remember the audition being intense because of the scene's circumstances, lots of panic and screaming. The audition room was like most others; the casting director was in the room, a reader, and camera person filming me.

9. What was the best part of working on "The Vampire Diaries"?

Everything about it was an unbelievable experience, but getting to meet and work with Kevin Williamson was definitely memorable for me. I was huge "Dawson's Creek" fan growing up and I loved the "Scream" franchise, so getting to meet someone who inspired my acting career was a dream come true.

10. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming projects?

In 2011, "Heartland" will continue to air all the seasons all over the world, I have a SYFY Network movie coming out called "Behemoth" and the FOX motion picture "The Big Year" starring Steve Martin and Jack Black. It's all very exciting!

11. If you could put together an entire crew for a movie or show: Who would be the director? Who would be in the leading role(s)? And what would the film/show be about?

Good question! I would love to be in a comedy feature film directed by Judd Apatow and starring Paul Rudd, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Emma Stone, and myself, of course (HAHA)... I love comedies and all those hilarious actors!

12. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about TV series, do you have a favorite show?

I love a variety of TV shows like: "Dexter", "Modern Family", "Pretty Little Liars", Seinfeld, "Sex and the City", "Breaking Bad".

Nicole Oebel - myFanbase