Celeb Profile

Life Behind the Ring Light   The Morning Show’s Carolyn Mackenzie on hosting a national show while raising tweens…. all from home By Rachel Naud Pre-pandemic, minutes before the cameras would start rolling on Global’s The Morning Show, Carolyn Mackenzie would surround herself with her team and her co-host, Jeff McArthur, in an energetic pre-show pick-me-up ritual. “Have a great show!” the team would sing together, just moments before the spotlight would shine on Mackenzie and McArthur as they would bring entertainment and news to Canadians from coast-to-coast. Now, most days Mackenzie, 45, broadcasts from her home, alone. There’s no more team to rally behind her, there’s no more makeup artist or hairstylist or pre-show cheer huddle to get those last-minute butterflies stirring. There’s just her, her ring light and a prayer that her two tweens will stay occupied and quiet so she can make it through the one-hour broadcast interruption-free. “I still do my own chant,” says Mackenzie over a phone interview from her home in Toronto. “I pump myself up. I say, ‘Ok, Carolyn. Have a good show!’” Life in the Spotlight More than 20 years ago when Mackenzie started her career as a journalist and a broadcaster, she could never imagine she would end up hosting a national show from her living room. Since graduating with honours from Carleton University and becoming a journalist, she has been awarded accolades for her work as a storyteller and a reporter. In fact, in 2005 she won an Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism for her coverage on transit inaccessibility. Today, as co-host of The Morning Show, Mackenzie produces segments, interviews celebrities, authors and lifestyle experts. She shares good news with Canadians nation-wide and has the tough job of bringing bad news to audiences. Before the pandemic, her and McArthur’s chemistry would orchestrate to create fun and informative segments, whether they were sharing fun stories about their personal life, doing a cooking demo with Chef Massimo, or sitting down for a powerful two-on-one interview with a guest tackling tough topics about racism or abuse. They competed with one another in fun quizzes; their work wife/husband rivalry leading to more laughs than questions. On Fridays, she and McArthur celebrated the end-of-week with a well-timed high five. “There actually is nothing I do not like about being a part of this show,” says Mackenzie. “It is fun. It’s creative. I love the process from beginning to end. In all my years

Foster Fail Julie Benz from Foster Boy talks about how the film exposes abuse, corruption in the foster-care system in the U.S. Tell us a little about the movie Foster Boy. Foster Boy is a legal drama about corruption in the for-profit foster care system. It is based on true events. Foster Boy was written by an attorney and is based on his experience as a top litigator in Chicago. How do you think his first-hand knowledge and experience really lends to the credibility of this film? Jay Paul Deratany was able to bring his real-life experience as a top litigator to the page. It adds an incredible richness to the film. As a litigator, he prosecuted numerous child welfare cases against for-profit foster-care companies and won. His screenplay pulls together a number of the cases he has prosecuted in order to tell an extremely compelling story and illuminate the bigger issue of corruption in the for-profit foster-care system. Foster Boy has been described as “Art Activism.” What does that mean to you? Wow. That’s a powerful and accurate description of Foster Boy. To me, ‘Art Activism’ means the ability to inspire change through art. And that’s exactly what this movie does. It holds up a mirror to a very corrupt system in our country and forces you to look at it. It leaves you wanting to make a difference for these innocent children and to fight for reform. Why do you think it’s so important to highlight the abuses within the foster-care system in the U.S.? Foster children are the forgotten children in our country. There are 430,000 children in the foster-care system at any one time. The statistics show that the majority of foster children are abused, neglected and denied basic services.  And over half end up homeless, unemployable or incarcerated after aging out of the foster-care system. What’s your take on for-profit foster care? It doesn’t work. Profits are frequently prioritized over a child’s well-being. These companies are hard to regulate and are not always transparent with their data. It’s heartbreaking because it’s the children that suffer at the hands of these greedy companies. There’s an incentive to make the placements for these kids to intentionally fail so the company can make more money. It’s criminal. You play Pamela Dupree in the movie. Can you tell us about your character? Pamela Dupree is a representation of what it’s like to be a social worker in a for-profit foster-care system. Through

Top Chef Canada's Contestants on Cooking Up Their Careers If life in quarantine has you flipping channels in a neverending search to find something suitable to watch with your teen, you can now put the remote safely down for at least an hour a week. Food Network Canada's Top Chef Canada Season 8 has just started wherein 12 chefs from every corner of the country compete in the most prestigious cooking competition in the country, battling it out for the biggest prize in Top Chef Canada history and the coveted title of Canada’s Top Chef. Yes, they're in for a wild ride but we wanted to talk to the competitors about their lives BEFORE Top Chef. They were open and honest about their journeys that led them to the kitchen (they weren't all as smooth as butter), the importance of family support (one contestant's father STILL won't tell people his son is a chef) and their advice for teens looking to start a life in the kitchen. Adrian Forte When did you know you wanted to be a chef? I was always cooking as a teenager, but I decided to pursue cooking professionally the summer before Grade 12. I had realized I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete and I was already extremely passionate about all things food. I enjoyed being in the kitchen, so I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t I want to do this all the time?” What did your family say when you chose a career in the culinary arts, which can mean a lot of long nights and tough work? I come from a whole bloodline of chefs. My mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles all spent some time in the kitchen. My grandmother had seven children and it was a rite of passage in our household for every one of her kids to learn the craft. The tradition has been passed down for generations, so when I decided to pursue cooking professionally, my entire family was ecstatic about my career choice and they continue to support me. What do you wish you knew back then that you know now? Nothing. I believe life is a lesson and experience is the teacher (it’s sort of my mantra). I’ve always learned from my failures and mistakes, and I apply what I’ve learned to the next situation, endeavor or business venture. I’m a firm believer in trial by fire or sink or swim. Trials and tribulations develop

Real Talk with ABC's A Million Little Things' star Lizzy Greene By Rachel Naud Lizzy Greene, 16, plays Sophie on the ABC hit show, A Million Little Things. The show, currently in its second season, deals with some very grown-up themes including suicide and depression.  We sat down with Greene to talk about her character, Sophie, and why she thinks A Million Little Things is a show every parent should watch with their teen.  A Million Little Things has quickly become a fan favourite! Did you expect the show to take off like it did? Yes and no! I definitely thought it was a super special show because of how it tackled such harsh and difficult topics with so much humanity and respect, but I also didn't expect to get such amazing fan feedback. It makes me and the entire cast and crew so happy to read stories from viewers about how our show has helped them overcome and gather strength to talk about their own struggles. How do you like filming in Vancouver? Have you found some cool spots you like to visit in the city? Most definitely. The city is filled with beautiful attractions and many cute little nooks to relax in during off days. I really love to go to the Vancouver Art Museum, and look at the new exhibits every few months. And I also love to study in one of my favourite spots, The Wedgewood Hotel restaurant. The piano is always playing, and the entire environment makes you feel like you've gone back in time. It’s very relaxing, and an easy place to relax and work on scenes. Why do you think A Million Little Things is so important today, as it openly talks about depression and suicide? I think it’s really important because any talk about mental illness helps break the stigma. Our show is a story of a modern family of friends who is hit with a bombshell they never saw coming, the suicide of one of their close friends. This story is really important because it shows just how common it is for the signs of depression to go unnoticed — until it’s too late. What else I think is really incredible is we have had two stories of suicide on the show thus far, one that was too late, and one that was caught just in time. It shows that not everything is inevitable, all you have to do

The Voice's Emily Ann Roberts on her Someday Dream In 2015, Emily Ann Roberts quickly became a fan favourite on Team Blake on The Voice. Her classic country sound resonated with the judges and audiences, alike, landing her runner-up of the coveted competition. Today, her debut album, “Someday Dream” has already landed on two Billboard charts and is quickly making its mark on the music scene as Roberts herself is carving her own niche as one of Nashville’s rising stars. INBETWEEN sat down with Roberts to talk about her experience on The Voice and what advice she has for other teens about chasing their dreams. What was your inspiration for your new album? The majority of inspiration for my Someday Dream EP came from this crazy journey I’ve been on since my time on NBC’s The Voice. The songs I wrote for this project have little pieces of the things and people that get me through, the thrill of chasing big dreams, and celebrating love. I named the EP after the song that I feel is the message of this EP and chapter of my life. My “Someday Dream” was always to be a country music artist and the fact that I’m able to do what I love and live my dream makes me believe that no dream is impossible or too big. I want my music to be an encouragement to everyone chasing down big someday dreams. How would you sum up your experience on The Voice? I had the most incredible time on The Voice. I learned SO much from all the coaches and mentors and made lifetime friends in all the other contestants on my season. Blake Shelton was my coach and I’ll never be able to thank him enough for all the support he showed me and for his encouragement to stay true to myself. What was your biggest takeaway from the experience? Besides all the things I learned for my career, I learned how important it is to have a community of other artists and friends to encourage and challenge you when you’re chasing after big dreams. Do you keep in touch with any of the coaches? Blake does such an amazing job of helping out the artists off of his team. It truly is more than just a TV show to him. He genuinely cares and tries to help open doors and give opportunities to his artists. He has been so supportive throughout

Outnumbered Overtime Anchor, Harris Faulkner on Raising Confident Young Women   Harris Faulkner may be Outnumbered but she’s succeeding. The first black woman at Fox to host her own weekday daytime show, the journalist and mom has some strong words about being confident, being heard in the world and what she tells her daughters when it comes to both.   You are the first black woman at Fox anchoring her own daytime news program. What does that mean to you and to others who want to be you? I am in fact, the first at Fox black woman with her own weekday daytime show and I was the first woman in prime time for our network, too. Just in terms of Fox’s progress in the area of diversity but also a mom and wife, it is gratifying to see a lot of hard work and barrier busting come true. My rise is more though than just a statistic and it's not just about me and my own ambitions. Having a black woman sit alone on a set designed for her show is necessary, powerful and emblematic of real change.  And I would not be in that anchor seat at Fox News if I didn't feel celebrated.  Diversity is not just about what you will tolerate but, rather what you celebrate. For others who want to be in my shoes:  Your work ethic, your dedication, your courage your determination, your vision for yourself and for what you want to impart on viewers and how you want to do that and the kind of platform you'll need… are all up to you. There is no one who's going to sit and hold your hand and say, “Well you know if you do these 25 things it's going to be perfect.” It is never going to be perfect, but it can be really amazing, which is what my journey has been. I've got a No.1 show at 1 p.m. Eastern on all of cable. I'm doing primetime specials like my franchise, “Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner” for which I travel all over from Arizona to Iowa on all sorts of issues Just this season alone, I was in Iowa with an audience of people from both sides of the political aisle. That's a big thing with me. I get really bored when everybody says the same thing, and I figure if I'm bored everybody else must be bored too. Being

Anthony Alabi: From Football to "Family Reunion" From football fields to production sets, former football player, Anthony Alabi can be found tackling the new Netflix series, “Family Reunion” staring Tia Mowry-Hardrict. As we know, family reunions can be funny, hectic and entertaining. Portraying the fun yet disciplined dad, Moz, Alabi claims he is similar to the character he plays in many ways. We sat down with the father of two daughters to talk about being a dad, on screen and off screen. Congrats on your role as the character, Moz in the new show, Family Reunion. Can you tell us a little about the show? Thank you! Yes. Family Reunion is a new Netflix multi-cam comedy centered around the McKellen family. After playing 15 years in the NFL, my wife Coco and I decide to retire and move the family from Seattle to Georgia, in order to be closer to extended family and get back in touch with our roots. Seattle being Seattle and Georgia being Georgia, we were destined to have a lot of comedic conflict. You’ve acted in many TV series, what makes this series special? Well, for me personally, this is my first series as a lead. Because of that, it is and always will be special to me. As a show, it is the first all-black writer’s room, which is something special in and of itself. I think the fans will find that nostalgia of family comedies from the 90s. We lean into themes and references that are relatable and on the pulse of black culture. Why do you think having an all-black writer’s room is important for the authenticity of the show?  I think an all-black writer’s room allows the show to be written in a way that is authentic to us. Meaning the show comes from a place where we are portraying black culture the way we see it and not a filtered version of it. Do you feel like you can relate to the character that you play? If so, in which ways? Haha! Moz and I are pretty similar in a lot of ways. Both played professional football. Both are fathers and we are both big kids at heart. I think we approach life in the same way with a lot of fun, discipline, and being exactly what we need to be when the situation calls for it. How old are your children? My daughter is two-and-a-half. My son will be one this

We first fell in love with Sean Astin, watching him play Mikey in The Goonies. We then cheered him on in the critically acclaimed movie, Rudy, and we laughed through the Lord of the Rings trilogy watching him play the trusty sidekick to Frodo Baggins as Samwise Gamgee. Today, Astin is playing a character closer to home – and his heart – on the new Netflix show, No Good Nick. Portraying the loveable dad, Ed, Astin says is the closest character he’s ever played to himself. We sat down with the actor and father of three daughters to talk about being Dad, on and off screen.   Congrats on the new show, No Good Nick! It’s very unique compared to other family shows on Netflix. How would you say this show stands out? No Good Nick takes a more dramatic, intriguing turn. It’s more of a thriller. The lead character is a 14-year-old criminal, breaking the law. It’s entertaining but a little disturbing. It’s made for binge-watching and it’s very plot-driven.   What drew you to the character, Ed? I’d like to believe I AM Ed. I like that in this strangely unique show of intrigue, Ed gets to be typical. He’s dependable. Reliable. Upbeat. Happy.   According to the synopsis of the show, “The series will be highly serialized and show how each character is flawed in their own way. People make mistakes and can sometimes do the wrong thing for the right reasons.” How would you say this pertains to your character? For all the reasons I describe Ed as being reliable and typical, as the show goes on, there are other aspects of his character that are revealed that are less than appealing or morally certain. It’s unsettling when these moments come about. I hate it when I see what Ed does and he’s not the perfect family dad — Ed and the “Edness” that I know. But, of course, the writers are correct in wanting to make it more specific. At one point in the show, all the stuff in our garage goes missing and Ed calls the police and insurance and his attitude is cavalier. You think he would be a rule follower.   You have three kids, as a parent how do you relate to sometimes making mistakes and/or being flawed? Frequently. You know, I’m so disappointed in myself a lot for not being better. My life philosophy and sense of myself is that I am

Carlos Bustamante's 5 Truths About Hollywood As a reporter on ET Canada, Carlos Bustamante is used to life in the spotlight. He’s had a front row seat to the glam life of Hollywood and has witnessed first-hand the making of stardom. That’s why he knows all too well that fame is not as simple as it seems. Behind every success story is not only years of struggle, but a team of people to manage everything from hair, makeup and publicity to being responsible for what comes next. What else he sees? Hollywood life is not all it’s cracked up to be, which is something he thinks every star-struck teen needs to understand. We sat down with Bustamante to chat about the realities of Hollywood and fame, and the messages he wants every teen to know. By Rachel Naud   Your kids are still young but if they become interested in Hollywood glam, what will you tell them? They’ll understand how unreal a lot of what they see is. I have friends that are makeup artists and publicists that work with actors. There is a community of people that make a famous person famous. They will understand that. If they become obsessed with fame or want people to know who they are, they will understand that there is work that goes into becoming a top-rated movie star. You don’t just wake up one day and have someone discover you. More often than not, it comes from years of hard work, whether you want to be an actor or a musician. Behind every success story is one about a person working for decades before a big break finally came along and 100 more people that never got their big break. The main lesson I want them to learn is that if they choose a career that might end up in fame, their main focus should be their love for their craft. Because if they don’t have that, they’ll never be happy trying to make it. How do you think Instagram and other social media feeds have influenced the desire to be famous? I think social media has made fame accessible. Anyone can pick up a phone and record themselves. The possibility becomes so much closer to home. You don’t have to live in L.A. to make it big. But they still have to understand that the YouTubers who have the highest followers or have endorsement deals work every single day,