Alaina Huffman

By Yong Lee,

The beautiful and talented Alaina Huffman spent some time chatting with us about her current roles in the WB's Smallville, where she plays superheroine Black Canary, and SYFY's Stargate Universe, where she plays the strong-willed medic Lt. Tamara Johansen.

Alaina discussed her modeling career, acting, busy family life, and her Twitter habit.

TCC: I saw in a recent post that you're pregnant...what's the news on that?

AH: I had my third child, a daughter, on December 8. We only revealed it on SGU eight episodes ago, and we didn't mention it for a while.

TCC: When you were 13, you hopped on a bus and headed to an open casting call...hundreds of kids, you get the role in your first shot. Did you think to yourself, "This is easy!"?

AH: No, not really. I did a bit of children's theater when I was younger, and my parents were always very supportive. They told me, "We'll support you, but we won't drive you to do it." So I hopped on that bus and went by myself.

TCC: That must have been kind of intimidating for a 13-year-old?

AH: It wasn't, actually...it was fun. They put us into circles of like 30 kids, and told us to read parts. Then some kids moved on...kind of like American Idol.

TCC: You made your first TV appearance when you were 13, then modeled in Europe and Japan before moving to the US. What inspired you to quit modeling?

AH: I'm originally from Canada, then we moved to Texas. While I was there, I auditioned for a movie and got the part. I thought acting was way better than modeling (like, "I can eat!"), and just really enjoyed it.

TCC: What do you think of acting vs. modeling? Do you like one more than the other?

AH: I think it was just a transitional point. I was never really a big model: I got lots of catalog work, I made great money, but I felt that acting would be a better career.

TCC: You've made appearances on Smallville, and you're a regular on Stargate Universe. You've definitely got geek appeal. Are you into geek culture (comic books, sci-fi)?

AH: Thanks...my geekdom came along slowly at first, but I realized it's a BIG genre. Before SGU, I was on a show called Painkiller Jane, and that's where I got my first exposure to it. Then I started on SGU, and it was like a whole other wave. What I like about comic books is that it appeals to everyone, from 90 year olds to kids.

TCC: That's a pretty wild costume you've got for the role of Black Canary in Smallville. Did your husband ask you to keep it?

AH: Actually, he did! They didn't tell me what the role was at first because they hadn't released the story yet, but when they told me, I Googled the character and was like, "Ok..." But it's fun. They custom-made the suit for me so I can jump around and move pretty easily.

TCC: You're athletic, and it seems like staying in shape is important to you, what do you like doing?

AH: A little bit of everything: yoga, running...more recently, I like just throwing the kids in a stroller and running, then I do lunges at the park or something. My husband and I just got into P90X, it's great.

TCC: What's been your favorite role to play so far?
AH: I'd have to say SGU. So many human moments, love the cast, and I've gotten to develop the character.

TCC: How so?

AH: During the original conversations the cast had with the creators (Brad Wright and Robert Cooper), they told us to talk to them, and they'd learn to listen. I get to bring up my concerns, and we collaborate on what the character is like.

TCC: You're a supporter of independent films. What is it about indies that appeals to you so much?

AH: The collaboration. I got involved while living in Texas. Austin's a big hub for independent film. It's a really close-knit community, and like Hollywood, it's all about who you know.

TCC: Do you feel like you have more freedom as an actor?

AH: You get more protection from the business side of things, and I love being directed.

TCC: You've mentioned collaboration a couple of times; do you have any aspirations to write?

AH: Not writing, but possibly producing. I'm working on a project right now where I do some work there, but I can't say much about it.

TCC: Can you give me a hint, like an overarching theme or something?

AH: Well, it's in the sci-fi genre, and...I'll reveal more on Twitter! (You can follow Alaina at @AlainaHuffman on Twitter)

TCC: I saw that you're on Twitter, and I saw in a personal blog that you're asking for questions from fans. Why is it so important to you to connect with fans?

AH: In sci-fi, the fans are really invested, and they'll tell you if they don't like something. They're either invested in a good way or a really bad way, but I think it's important to recognize their passion.

TCC: Are you big into social media?

AH: I don't have a blog, and I only use Facebook for really personal stuff. I was introduced to Twitter while following the 2008 election, when everyone on the news was like, "What is this Twitter?"

I'm not sure if I should admit this, but I didn't realize right away that you could respond to people. I thought at first it was this really narcissistic thing to do ("I'm at the pool!"), but once I figured out you could respond and have conversations with people, I really started to enjoy it. I was instantly engaged. I've gotten nothing but positive feedback from fans, and I was able to make some instant connections.

TCC: It's kind of cool that everyone gets to see you're a real person, huh?

AH: Yeah!

TCC: Are you working on anything else that you are allowed to talk about?

AH: I'm busy on SGU until December, and I've got an episode of Smallville that airs May 14.

TCC: How are you balancing being a mom and an actress?

AH: You gotta use it all. I feel very lucky actually. I live in L.A. with my family, and we all go back to Vancouver on Sunday. It can be a little challenging sometimes. But my husband owns a new media business so he can work from home, and I get help from my brother-in-law with the kids. It's fun, you just have to make time when you can.

TCC: What's been your most memorable moment as an actress so far?

AH: I think just being part of such a big franchise with SGU. I just signed up to do a convention circuit, and I'll be doing the London Expo later this month. It's been a lot of fun!

TCC: What's your dream role?

AH: Oo...there are so many roles out there. I think I'd like to be a Bond girl. There's never been a Canadian Bond girl...

TCC: What would she be like?

AH: Very sassy!

 

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