How Are We Coping With Self Isolation: Insight From Around the Country With Dahlia Legault

Dahlia Legault is Canadian born actress best known for her portrayal of a recurring co-star of The Walking Dead.

Dahlia Legault in The Walking Dead

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Dahlia took a very early interest in acting and entertainment. Her mother, and American, moved her to the South East in her teens, where she began a semi- professional career in the South East theatre industry. After attaining a degree in theatre performance she went on t win several awards in local theatre industries.

Once the film and tv industry came to the South East she decided to broaden her mediums and attempt to start a career in film/tv.

Not too longer after, she succeeded in attaining the role of Francine in The Walking Dead without a SAG card where she remained as a recurring character for four seasons. Other small roles followed suit until she moved to New York

Dahlia Legault in The Walking Dead

T2C: How are you dealing with home containment in Montreal?

Dahlia Legault: All I can say is that it is strange. It’s been almost twenty years since I’ve lived in Canada, and of course the differences are not monumental. There is still a significant amount of alienation that comes with abruptly moving to another country.

T2C: What would you say is the difference of being in self lockdown between Montreal and NY?

Dahlia Legault: There is a little more freedom here, but of course all bars and restaurants are closed, as well as any public space that would potentially put people at risk due to the lack of social distancing. Being a city that also significantly relies on public transportation, things get a little iffy, but of course the population is not as extreme as NYC so they have the ability of using that to their advantage. As everyone knows, NYC has been hit the hardest and nobody was expecting the results of it or the severity of it until things became catastrophic. The primary thing is that Montreal has barely suffered a fraction of it. Montreal is half the size of NYC with half the population, but out of 12,487 confirmed cases, only 1,039 has died as of two days ago and that statistic is mind blowing.

 Dahlia Legault and Dayton Sinkia in Eurydice. photo by Brian Becker

T2C: What have you been able to accomplish in this time?     

Dahlia Legault: Well not much! Of course all productions have been put on hold which means auditions are pretty much suspended as well. You will get one here and there and thanks to the self taping options we have these days, it’s not so impossible. But in the meantime I’ve been writing quite a bit. Trying to work on screenplays of my own. Reading plays and searching for monologues and scenes and things of that fashion. Basically doing some productive work so that I don’t get too rusty.

T2C: What has this time stopped you from accomplishing?

Dahlia Legault: Obviously, just finding quality work. Or even just the basic networking activity you have to do is almost non-existent as well. There are online classes still available for networking purposes, but of course the ability to make a marking in these classes does not reach the capacity that live classes can do. In NYC it is very important that you keep up with your own networking and marketing, otherwise you may fade into the background of the industry’s knowledge.

Dahlia Legault in Hamlet

T2C: What kind of emotions does this time bringing out of you?

Dahlia Legault: Disappointment and deflation. You work so hard to get to a place where things in your career can be augmenting, but then a situation like this arises, the unimaginable situation, and it basically puts you as well as a ton of people back to ground zero.

Dahlia Legault in The Walking Dead

T2C: If you were to equate this time to a song or song cycle what would it be? 

Dahlia Legault: “Land of Confusion” by Genesis.

T2C: What message would you like to give the world right now?

Dahlia Legault: Stay calm, stay safe, stay positive

T2C: What is the first thing you will do when we are no longer self quarantined? 

Dahlia Legault: Try to get back to NYC and get the ball rolling again. Aaaaand enjoy the outdoors more.

Dahlia Legault in The Great Gtsby

T2C: What are the things that are getting you through this time?

Dahlia Legault: The future. I have been blessed that my health has not been affected by this catastrophe and there is a tomorrow. As morbid as this sounds, it has put a lot of perspective on a lot of different issues and topics in my life and ideas on how to progress and better myself. It has brought self-reflection which I think was necessary for this time of my life. Always attempt to look at the benefits of every situation.

T2C: What haven’t we asked you that you would like to say?

Dahlia Legault: I have been to so many places and done a multitude of different things in order to broaden and improve my range of ability in this career path that I chose very long ago. I have stuck with this as long as I can remember. I’ve had an intensive month long study at Cambridge University for Shakespeare and other classical theatre. Similarly, another intensive at Trinity College, Ireland for Irish theatre. I’ve won several awards and managed to break into what was the biggest television program of its time without the conventional requirements. I’ve played more male characters in Shakespeare than female ones. Done so many different variation of work, and not for fame (that’s a bonus), but for my love of the craft and the opportunity to learn and grow and teach what acting is and what it could become. I do it for the love of it.