Popular Girl: Aadila Dosani
Mar 10, 2021
A massively charismatic actress, Aadila Dosani has had an impressive career so far, a direct result of her hard-work ethic and unmatched talent. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, she graduated from the University of Toronto in 2008 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science and a Double Major in Drama & Semiotics and Communication Theory, and has starred in various TV series and films ever since. Her work led to an AMPIA Nomination in 2014 for “Best Performance by an Actress” for her role in “Double Booked.” She has been in love with performing since she was little, while she was the only female member of the University of Toronto’s champion rugby team.
In one of her latest and most exciting acting efforts, Aadila Dosani is now starring in the second season of CW’s “Nancy Drew” as Amanda Bobbsey, one half of the Bobbsey Twins. Amanda is a charming character, yet possesses a manic energy as a result of growing up poor. She puts herself and her twin brother above everything else as they often resort to petty crimes, which is an interesting take on the original Bobbsey Twins, who were from caucasian, upper-middle-class family. We had the chance to chat with Aadila Dosani and learn more about her acting career, her experience on set with the “Nancy Drew” crew and much more!
Was becoming an actor always a dream of yours growing up? How did you initially get your start in the entertainment industry?
Well… like many, I started in theatre and was such a theatre snob. I often say “playing pretend” is my only marketable skill! Being an actress is the only thing I ever wanted to do growing up. (It is still a dream to play Victor Newman’s long lost daughter in the “The Young and the Restless”). I just liked making people laugh, sometimes cry, mostly laugh. When I moved back home to Calgary, Alberta for a temporary stint I was having the hardest time booking a theatre gig, let alone getting an audition, a general even. My buddy suggested I get an agent and try film. It took a great deal of convincing, but I did and low and behold… I fell in love with making films and this medium.
When you were starting your career in the entertainment industry, were your parents supportive?
I have to say, I am and have been one lucky girl. My parents have always been so supportive of this dream and have truly been a massive part of helping make my dream become a reality. They are my number one fans. It’s funny – I don’t usually let my parents see me uber emotional, but when they do witness me going through the massive emotional rollercoasters this industry carries with it, they are the only ones who know how to kick me out of my funk! I am LUCKY. ONE LUCKY DUCK!
You will be seen in the second season of CW’s “Nancy Drew” as Amanda Bobbsey. How did this new acting gig come about?
It was a rollercoaster! I had read for the role not knowing I was reading for a Bobbsey Twin summer of 2020.
To be honest and well, perhaps a little too candid, the audition process for this was at first incredibly fun (as I fell in love with Amanda the moment I read for the role) and shortly after had the incredible opportunity to meet with two of our incredible Directors and Co-Producers over zoom. However, because of COVID it became painstakingly anxiety ridden as I didn’t get the call until several weeks after! I was initially gutted because my incredible agent decided to play a very well played prank on me setting up the call sounding like the role slipped away…! I am pretty sure I cried from joy all night when he popped the news… and ate way too many plates of nachos. YES – I do that thing where I make a small plate of them to try and “portion control” but then end up eating MULTIPLE plates (no joke!). Emotional eater over here!
How was your experience on set with the “Nancy Drew” crew?
I have got to say, the Drew Crew is BEYOND AMAZING. Everyone welcomed me into their family with open arms and I could not be more grateful. I haven’t laughed as much as I have with this crew! I learn so much from them every day I am at work and they have truly been such a joy to be around & get to know. I know I have made some incredible life long friends on this one!
You are best known for your role in the mini-series, “Unspeakable.” Talk to us a bit about the show.
This one was truly a gift. To be part of a story that is also such an important part of Canadian History was truly an honour. “Unspeakable” chronicles the emergence of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in the Canadian Red Cross’s Blood Banks in the early 1980s and the tragedy that followed after thousands of Canadians were unnecessarily affected by tainted blood via blood transfusions. Created and written by Robert C. Cooper, the series follows the decades long saga as people struggle to survive and change the system.
I played Marta Kirkpatrick, the wife of a Lawyer who not only fought on the side of “the people” but who also was one of the people who needed blood transfusions and who was caught in the deadly crossfires of this epidemic.
I learned SO much about our (Canadian) history during this project. It truly made me realize how much knowledge I lacked/how much I didn’t know about our history and was one of the most humbling experiences I have had.
You were the only female member of the University of Toronto’s champion rugby team. How did it feel to be a woman in such a male-dominated sport?
To be candid, it wasn’t easy! In my first few years of University, St. Michael’s College (at the University of Toronto) didn’t have a Women’s team. I loved rugby – it was my outlet! There were no rules or regulations saying I shouldn’t play so I decided to go to a practice and, well, stayed on the team for a couple of years. Honestly, I should have stepped off the moment I got there – my skill level was not comparable (at all!). BUT – I also do not respond well to anyone telling me that I shouldn’t be doing something (which some of the members of the team did) so I decided that I was going to stay on. Work hard. Suffer the tackles. I have never been so fearful about anything in my life up until being on that team, however, I conquered it! To this day it has been one of my biggest accomplishments. I had some really amazing men support me and stand by me through the tough games and practices and for them I am forever grateful. I had to learn very quickly to stand my ground and work harder than anyone else. I cried a lot but I also grew a backbone!
What in your experience are the biggest differences between shooting for a movie and shooting for a series?
Oh! Great question! I suppose it really depends on the format of the film. For instance shooting a movie of the week/movie for television moves so fast. They usually shoot the film in 12 days and you are filming 10-12-14 pages a day! So sometimes you don’t even know where the day goes because you are moving so fast. It is great – you hyper focus – really feel out the character – have longs days and get it done! You live and breathe the cast and crew for these 12 days!
On a series you are usually shooting 6-8 pages a day. There is more room for specific choices and really flushing out your character’s trajectory, forming relationships and friendships outside of rolling on a personal end. There is also more room for collaboration with the show runners at times because there is time for those conversations!
What’s your advice towards aspiring young actors out there?
Well – first and foremost (and perhaps the most cliché) – always trust your gut,it is the only thing that is within you that has your back!
Say YES to everything – some of the most memorable projects, projects that I have learned from the most, projects that were the most rewarding as an artists were projects that were super Indie. Passion projects really cultivate and hold space for that artistic magic we all yearn for! They are simply the best! Fall Back Down was one of my favorite projects to work on because each and every member of the cast & crew gave 200% to complete the film because they loved and believed in the story so much! It was pure magic and I honestly, a master class!
The quote “This too shall pass.” Heather, the most hardworking and most giving Casting Associate I have ever worked with, had the mantra on repeat. It has now become my daily mantra. When things get tough, I’m emotional, anxious, tired & not knowing how I will get through a day I repeat this to myself.
What’s the most important quality an actor must have in order to be successful?
Hmmm… well… It has taken me a couple of decades to learn this one – but STAYING IN YOUR LANE. I realized that I had to LEARN how to practice gratitude and the importance of self-care. I had to really learn not to compare my journey to others. Something I still have a hard time doing. It was only then doors started to open. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy at all. Some days were/are better than others. Some days were dark as hell. But was it worth the work? You flipping bet it was/is. I’m still working. Like everyone else, I have a slew of insecurities I have projected onto myself. But once I learned to not compare my successes to fellow actors and trust my journey I was really able to flourish.
It isn’t worth all the anxiety you/I manifested in myself comparing myself to others. It truly did hinder my work. Work hard on staying in your own lane and the love for what you do will open doors and place opportunities at your feet!
What’s one thing you love and one thing you hate about your job and the film industry?
I love meeting and developing friendships and relationships with people from all walks of life! That is the best part of this job! Art really does connect us all!
I dislike how the film industry is such a visual medium – in the sense that you have to look a certain way. Things may slowly be changing in terms of diversity as a whole, but in my experience they really haven’t. I have had to go through so many negative experiences because of the size of my body and it has been grueling! (I’m a proud size 6/8 so… think about that). I do have to say that being on Nancy Drew has been a dream! We have the most wonderful team who really is so accepting, inclusive and is proud of diversity in all aspects! The Executives and Wardrobe Department are a dream!
Out of all the different roles you’ve played in your career, who was the one you related to the most as a person?
I think there have been parts of me in every role I have played, but haven’t come across one yet that has felt like me completely!
What are your plans for 2021? Is there anything exciting you can reveal to us?
No major plans besides being so grateful for my health, my family and the ability to work! The past year we have all been through has really put things in perspective for me. Family and loved ones first!
I can’t give specifics as of yet – but I can say that there may or may not be a wonderfully charming Holiday Television Film premiering in the 2021 Holiday Season that is centered around a South Asian Family. The first of its kind and I am so honored that I … may or may not … be part of it! ;) Stay tuned for … said updates!