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Celeb Profile

Hitting New Notes: Bria Danielle Singleton as Bobbi Kristina in Whitney Houston Biopic By Arianne Granada     Growing up, Bria Singleton was a Whitney Houston fan — her music was a mainstay in the Singleton household. Today, in a full circle moment, the rising star and actress portrays Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in the biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. We sat down with Singleton, to talk about how the film honours Houston's legacy and the challenges and valuable lessons she learned along the way.   On Being Bobbi Kristina   Taking on the role of Bobbi Kristina in the Whitney Houston biopic was a new and significant challenge for Bria Singleton. "It was such an experience because this is like a job where I haven’t had a lot of auditions for a character based on a real person," says Singleton. "I’m portraying a real person so this was an entirely new thing and this is the biggest project I've ever done." Singleton approached the role with a unique perspective, determined to find the real Bobbi Kristina behind the cameras and avoid any negative portrayals in the media. She shared, "I researched a lot on Bobbi Kristina but I tried to steer clear of what everyone was wanting to portray of her in a negative light. I wanted to find the Bobbi Kristina that was behind the cameras and just try to search for that type of conflict to where I could just get something more authentic." In her search for a deeper understanding of Bobbi Kristina, Singleton says she also found similarities between herself and her character. "I’d say that Bobbi is a lot more patient, to be honest. I think we're both very patient, but we're also very understanding, always available to help anyone and just very supportive people."   Her Full-Circle Moment as a Long-Time Whitney Fan Growing up, Bria Singleton was surrounded by Whitney Houston's music. "I've been a fan since birth. My mom raised us on her. She's one of those people who was always present, never in the background. My mom used to make us watch The Bodyguard when we were young, and she still does. We'd rewatch it sometimes and just listen to her music while going on a drive, on our way to school, and waking up to it. She was just always around." Playing Bobbi Kristina in the Whitney Houston biopic was a personal and enlightening experience for Singleton; it was a full-circle moment

Out of the ER: From Grey's to Reindeer Games Homecoming Sarah Drew Talks About Her New Holiday Movie and Her Family's Favourite Traditions by Arianne Granada   Making her mark by playing iconic characters like Dr. April Kepner from Grey’s Anatomy and Sarah Brown from Amber Brown, Sarah Drew is set to make her writing debut with the upcoming Holiday rom-com Reindeer Games Homecoming as part of her two-picture deal with Lifetime. We sat down with Drew to talk about how she navigates motherhood and parenting while being a full-time actress, director, producer, and writer.     Your new show Amber Brown has recently premiered on Apple TV+, can you tell us more about your role? I play Amber’s Mom, Sarah. She loves her daughter so much and is trying hard to navigate the giant changes in their lives with grace and kindness. Sarah creates healthy boundaries for Amber and is committed to repairing when there is a rupture in the relationship. Sarah is also coming into her own. She’s in therapy, learning how to identify and pursue her own desires while also parenting well. It’s fun to see both Sarah and Amber navigate these changes together.   How similar or how different is Sarah Drew to Sarah Brown? I’m very similar to Sarah for all of the reasons I mentioned above. I’m always thinking about my kids. I believe in setting good boundaries. I’m committed to raising kind and brave kiddos and part of that comes with moments when they don’t like me very much. Like Sarah Brown, trust is absolutely essential to our family dynamic. We have a rule in our home that we never go to bed angry. We must make peace before saying goodnight.    What is your favourite part about filming for Amber Brown? I loved the community that we built. I loved the brilliant words that Bonnie Hunt gave us to say, and how playful the set was. It was also a joy to watch Carsyn grow and blossom into a truly brilliant artist on set!     How has being a real-life mom affected how you played your roles? I’m more selective about the jobs I take. Every job takes me away from my kids — sometimes out of the country even. I think about the fact that they will probably watch all of my work at some point, so I am sure that I’m making art that I’m proud of and that I’ll be proud to share with them. It

Kara Alloway: More Than a Real Housewife of Toronto By Arianne Granada   Known as the feisty fashionista in Slice’s Real Housewives of Toronto, we sat down with Kara Alloway to learn more about her family life, her philanthropic side, and how she enacts changes for the world in her own way.     It's been five years since The Real Housewives of Toronto aired, how has your life changed from that point in time?  Incredibly, drastically so. Where do I begin?  Before the show even started, I never really wanted to be on reality television. I wanted to produce reality television. I have a background in journalism, so I see myself as a storyteller. So, before the show, I was in touch with a production company with plans to produce a reality show about charity events. Being involved in that world made me think it would make great organic content for a reality TV show, so I contacted the producers. There was a lot of back and forth until they said “Look, you should do Real Housewives of Toronto! It could be a sizzle reel or your show, you can do a spin-off.” But I never actually wanted to be on it.  Immediately after I came to LA, I was very fortunate and grateful to have tons of acquaintances who connected me with the right people to produce reality television. I jumped right in and I now have three-week projects in development. After RHOT, my world just changed dramatically. I think the show served such a great purpose in helping me get very specific about what I wanted to do, what I saw as my purpose in this world, and where I wanted to go.   Have you kept in touch with the ladies from the show?  You know I get asked that a lot and the thing about that is, it was a really unique situation.  I never really knew any of them beforehand. One of them was an acquaintance of a third party and that was actually how she came on the show. I was working with production and they had the entire cast but they still needed one more person. So I said, “I know this individual and she has a huge personality so, in that sense, she might be a good candidate for reality television.” And then, sure enough, they ended up casting her on the show. She ended up being my nemesis, but it was great casting,

Virgin River's Jenny Cooper on Juggling Motherhood with Acting by Arianne Granada     You might see her as a familiar face on television. Jenny Cooper has played prominent roles in crowd-favourite shows like Grey's Anatomy, Open Heart, 24, Law and Order True Crime: The Menedez Murders, Scandal, NCIS, and CSI: Miami. Currently, she is starring as Joey Barnes in the Netflix series Virgin River, which is based on the long-running series of novels by New York Times bestseller Robyn Carr. When she's not starring on Virgin River, Jenny Cooper is raising her three kids in Los Angeles with her husband. We had the chance to talk to Jenny about how she balances work and family life, and she gave us some pretty insightful tips for anyone else trying to figure out how to do it all.   Tell us a bit about your character in Virgin River.  Joey is Mel's older, protective sister who, when the series started, seemed like she had it all together and was there mostly to support Mel. But we have seen through subsequent seasons that she was hiding a lot from her sister, including the state of her marriage.    Virgin River has tackled issues like postpartum depression, cancer, sexual assault, pregnancies at an older age, grief, and domestic violence that many women and parents could relate to. Do you think this openness and honesty to real-life situations contributed to the show’s success?     It's so hard to say what contributes to any show's success or failure. In our case, it feels like it was the right show at the right time. There's so much unrest in the world right now, I think our audience wants to believe that a place like Virgin River actually exists, with people who are kind and generous towards one another. And it seems like the larger issues that are tackled in the show work in part because of the beautiful performances of the cast, because of the love people have for these characters, and, as you said, because many of us have experienced these kinds of challenges, so it's always inspiring to see someone work through a dark time and come out on the other side.   Joey is Mel’s sister and go-to person for advice. What can you say about their sisterly love and how do you think they maintain their strong bond despite their distance? I think they have the kind of relationship where they are always at the forefront of each

John Catucci's Big Food Bucket List By Leigh-Ann Brodber     We show affection in different ways. Whether it’s through our actions, spending time with our loved ones, giving gifts, doing things for those we care about or even through our words. For John Catucci, his love language is food. From hosting shows like Food Network’s series You Gotta Eat Here! and the Big Food Bucket List to preparing meals in his own kitchen for his teens, expressing love through food comes naturally to him.    What’s the best part about hosting a TV food series and how does it differ from doing comedy shows? It’s quite different. When you’re on stage, there’s an immediacy that exists between you and the audience compared to when you’re shooting a TV show. There are a lot of different hands that touch the show before it goes to air so something that might’ve worked at the moment doesn’t necessarily work on TV. I mean, sometimes I’ve eaten food on stage but not to this extent!  I think one of the best parts of the show is meeting people. That’s one of the things I love to do. I love figuring out what makes them tick, how they got into this business and why. One of the main similarities between chefs and people that I’ve interviewed over the years is that food is their love language. To share food with people is everything and it was never about making millions of dollars but more about the relationship and forming a connection.      Which episode would you say that you enjoyed the most? It’s hard to choose just one! There have been so many great experiences, but one of my favourites is when I visited a restaurant called La Palma. It’s an Italian restaurant in Toronto and Chef Craig Harding is an amazing chef. He makes dishes that his mom and grandma taught him.  La Palma is known for its 100-layer lasagne and it’s massive. When I took a bite of it, it brought me back to when I was a kid and tasting my dad’s food that he’d make with love. We had to stop shooting because I started crying. It’s been like 14 years since my dad passed away and his love language was always food. He was an Italian immigrant who worked all the time and had three jobs which meant I only saw him on Sundays. But every Sunday, he would make

Paula Jiven Explores Musicality in The Duality in Me By Tanishq Desai     Swedish rising pop sensation, Paula Jiven is kicking the doors down with her radiant creation of original pop music on her debut EP, The Duality In Me, out May 6th. Curating a sonic world that is truly her own, Paula steps out of one phase of life and into another by discovering her sound and sharing the creation process behind songs that she’s been writing since she was 13. Now, the singer/songwriter is ready to reveal her multidimensional musicality to the world with her dreamy pop synth moment.    At the age of 13, you performed at Sweden’s Got Talent and got a Golden Buzzer from the judges. What was the build-up like from the moment a young Paula Jiven picked up a violin on SGT and getting a golden buzzer? “So yes I started playing violin at the age of three, and at that point, it was more so just something for fun. I had so much fun practicing how to play, and ooh I got better, but for many years it was just something that I did like how other kids played football. And I guess at some point it started becoming more of a form of an expression. I started singing as an art form, and by the time I was on Sweden’s Got Talent, I was writing my own songs but I was not ready to release them in any way." "It was so scary, even playing them for my own family. But I did that show because I wanted to get into the music industry and I wanted to be able to build some contacts. Get my name out there and that’s kind of what happened with that golden buzzer. I honestly blacked out when that happened, of course, I was so happy and excited like yeah we finally did that. But usually, on these artistic journeys, it’s not all about the moments, it’s about the build-up to it. When it happened I was just like okay good, that worked out, next step and I think we need to see more of that in the creative industry like I did that. ”   Since then you have been very careful in selecting the writers and producers you work with on your music, is there a specific process that you apply when you pick collaborators for your projects? “Basically, I’ll do sessions. And

Teen Wellness: 10 Tips from Tabay Atkins     16-year-old Tabay Atkins is on a mission to use his voice and platform to make a difference in the lives of others, especially with teen wellness. Currently a face of Nike, Tabay is also one of the most sought-after yoga instructors in the world, having taught the likes of Deepak Chopra and the Kardashians to name just a few.    His journey began as a young boy when he witnessed the debilitating effects of his mother’s struggle with cancer. A devout yogi herself, his mother was committed to keeping a positive mindset and maintaining her practice; and two months later was able to walk again. Tabay knew from then on that he had found his “dharma.” Today, he reigns as the youngest certified yogi in America and has blossomed into an accomplished vegan chef and reiki healer. Given all that he’s done at such a young age, we were curious to know his go-to tips for teen wellness.   Check out what he had to say below:     TIP #1: Set a Schedule   Setting a schedule will not only make it easier to incorporate the next nine tips into your life; it will also help you be more productive, make sure you’re getting enough downtime, and keep your everyday life running in an organized fashion. When setting your schedule, try to keep the rest of these ten tips in mind.    By having an efficient schedule, you will be taking a lot of the stress out by making sure you are doing everything you are supposed to each day—which will in turn be an act of kindness to yourself.     TIP #2: Get Enough (Quality) Sleep   Getting enough sleep is very important to stay well. As a teen, 8-10 hours of undisturbed, restful sleep is ideal. The best thing to do to improve your quality of sleep is to set a sleeping schedule. Know when you want to wake up and plan your sleep time accordingly. Try to have your last meal at least two hours before bed and limit your screen time to one to two hours before bedtime, to give your mind some time to unwind.     TIP #3: Have Controlled Screen Time   Like I just said, it’s important to limit screen time before bed, but having controlled screen time throughout your day is also beneficial. Improve your mental and physical wellness by reducing your daily screen time. Excessive screen time can lead to increased anxiety

Actor Dan Payne's Judgement-Free Philosophy on Parenting and Mental Health By Tanishq Desai From John Tucker Must Die to Watchmen - Dan Payne has over 100 credits in the form of television features or indie films to his name. Apart from being a full-time husband, father and actor who actively advocates for mental health, the Mulligans heartthrob talks about his upcoming feature film, Corrective Measures, alongside Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker. Tell us about your new movie, Corrective Measures. “Well, it’s a big step up for me! I got to work with a couple of guys that I consider to be legends and icons — Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker — so I did a little happy dance the moment I found out that it was happening. And I also get to play a character that I’m not used to. He’s an ex-military vigilante, which is kind of far away from the loving-nature-doting-husband type of roles that I’ve played! This project is on a way bigger scale too. It’s Fox Tubi’s first original content release and I’m honoured that I get to be a part of it.”   You play Walter Arthur Locke (aka Payback). Tell us about your character and what drew you to him? “So Corrective Measures is a graphic novel turned into a movie and Sean Patrick O'Reilly who directed, wrote and executive produced this did a magical job of making it a fun story and a great ride to be on. My character, Payback, is an ex-military guy, and some things happened to him that put him on a pretty strong vigilante path of revenge. But he ends up in one of the state-of-the-art hidden octane penitentiaries where all the main bad guys of the world get stuck. Now we’ll have to watch the movie to know if he ends up there on purpose but he’s got a pretty strong vendetta against criminals. When a radio magnetic pulse goes out over the world, it gives some people superpowers, kills the rest and some get mutated because of it. But this gives us a little good vs. evil because the good people put their powers to good use and the bad tend to go to evil, which eventually leads them all into this prison so you understand how it can get when there’s a bunch of superheroes and badasses put together. It can get messy.”   Coming back to you working with some icons in this

Wall of Bakers: 3 Judges You Knead to Meet   If you loved Wall of Chef, you will most definitely be interested in watching Wall of Bakers on Food Network Canada! This exciting new show proposes a sweet competition as they like to call it, where different Canadian Home bakers will have the opportunity to show off their skills. “The winner takes it all” The best baker wins a $10,000 cash prize. We had the opportunity to interview some of the judges who also shared their love of baking with us. Chef Christine Cushing Why do you love baking? I love baking because it is the perfect blend of science and creativity. It can test your stamina, challenge you, and bring you to your knees completely out of nowhere. Then one day, it can give you the greatest feeling of accomplishment that you actually created something magical with a few simple ingredients. It's emotional and involves all the senses.  When did you start baking? I fell in love with baking when I first got my hands on an Easy-Bake Oven, around the age of 8. That 6-Watt light bulb was pure magic. I would make the little vanilla cakes with the strawberry flecked icing for my 4-year-old brother. I can still remember us sliding them in one side and then being so excited to pull them out once they were just baked at the other end. Then I would proceed with the icing smear.  Later in my teens, I started my baking journey in earnest, making apple pies, chocolate cakes and supplying a local restaurant with black forest cakes, around the age of 16. This unforgettable adventure involved many all-nighters – on school nights – with the kitchen left in a total disaster to my mom who had to deal with the cleaning, while I hurried off to the school the next morning. Why is it important to get kids in the kitchen? Bringing kids into the kitchen early is absolutely imperative. Firstly, it gives them a sense of purpose, belonging and contributing to the family unit. They start learning to work with all their senses and experiment. They will be more likely to try new foods if they have helped to prepare them. It's also a great way to develop your confidence with small victories. I also felt that cooking got me through some difficult times; when my dad had a serious heart attack, cooking was what I would now identify as a