Home celeb profile Shawn Ashmore

Shawn Ashmore

by devnym

Photography by Corey Hayes

Who were your role models growing up? If you could play one iconic film role, what would it be and why?
My role models growing up were my parents. I loved Wayne Gretzky as a kid growing up in Edmonton but I didn’t really learn anything from him. My parents taught me everything I know and they also supported my decision to be an actor from day one. They’re great role models when I really think about it. As far as an iconic role, I’ve already played my dream role. Terry Fox is a Canadian Icon and I had the honor of portraying him several years ago in a film that documented his cross country run to raise money for cancer research. Ask another Canadian what Terry Fox means to them and you’ll understand why it was the role of a lifetime!

When was the moment of “big break” for you? What was your first thought? What did you do the moment after you realized this was your big break?
Looking back I think booking the first Xmen movie would turn out to be my break. However, I didn’t know that at the time. It started as a few lines and I only really worked a few days. After the film came out and people recognized me I knew it was the start of something amazing. four films and 13 years later it turned out I was right. It’s been a truly amazing ride over the years.
Is there any element of competitiveness in your relationship with your actor, identical twin brother? How would your life be different if you weren’t a twin?
There is always a level of competition with twins, like with most siblings, but now that we are adults it is a healthy competition. When you’re kids you don’t recognize that you don’t always have to win. You claw tooth and nail sometimes to be the one that comes out on top. As far as what my life would be like if I weren’t a twin… I think that’s almost impossible to imagine. Like saying what would your life be like if you were born a woman? My experience is so completely molded by my best friend and brother I can’t imagine who I would be today without him!

Since you’ve been acting most of your life, do you feel like acting is your life’s work? Or do you have other career goals?
I think acting is a big part of my life’s work but maybe not all of it. I love great stories. If I break down why I became an actor, it was probably to live in some small way the stories I loved reading when I was a kid. Acting was the most accessible when I was young but film making is definitely a possibility. Who knows…. maybe I’ll be directing in the future.

Talk about landing your role on “The Following.” That is one intricate, suspenseful show. What drew you to the part of Agent Mike Weston?
Kevin Williamson’s great script and knowing that Kevin Bacon was
attached was a one, two punch. It was the project more than the
character that drew me in. I liked the Weston character immediately but on the page there wasn’t a lot there at first. I knew that KW really writes for the actors he casts, and so if the show got picked up he could write to my strengths and he has.

Has your now wife, Dana, ever confused you for your brother (or vice versa)?
Yes a few times, usually after a few cocktails. It’s to be expected. We
always crack up when it happens!

Do you prefer to work on Sci-Fi movies? Or do they just present themselves to you?
I’ve always loved genre work because it presents a world where spectacular and heightened things can happen. As an actor it creates a challenge to react to things realistically that would or could never happen to you in “real” life. There is a sense of play that is fun.

Would you rather have Jake Berenson’s Animorphs powers or Bobby’s Iceman powers in real life? Why and what would you do with them?
Bobby’s and I would save my household money by never having to turn on the AC 🙂

What is the best advice you ever ignored? What’s the worst advice you’ve ever taken?
Get a haircut. That shirt makes you look cool.

The world ends tomorrow, but tonight you get to drink with 3 people from all of history. Name your 3.
Nicola Tesla, Bob Marley and
Terry Fox

Just making sure you know this – There is a Buzzfeed article entitled “How to Tell Shawn and Aaron Ashmore Apart.” Are you a fan of Buzzfeed’s infamous lists?
Yes and I thought it was pretty cool we made a list!

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