Julie Mainville: Shifting gears from the operating theatre to the stage
In this day and age, you could consider Julie Mainville a superhero. Although she doesn’t wear a cape or sport a mask, the Rockland resident takes care of the most vulnerable; she’s a registered nurse at the Ottawa General Hospital. Yet the smiling woman also has somewhat of a second identity. When she’s not taking care of patients in the recovery room, she pursues a career in acting which has made her travel throughout the province and has enabled her to visit sides of her she didn’t know existed.
But why would a career nurse suddenly decide to jump wholeheartedly into the world of cinema?
“I remember watching movies as a child and wanting to be in them,” explained Mainville in her Rockland house, during one of her rare days off. “But as I grew up, I took the safe route and pursued my education, getting a nursing degree and becoming a nurse.”
But along the years, Mainville became aware that she longed for something else. She wanted to be known for something other than being a nurse.
Her exciting adventure into acting started only a couple of years ago. “I started by doing some modelling,” she said, smiling. “During shoots, they ask you to show several different emotions. That’s where I met a casting director.”
Her acting career snowballed from there. She quickly took part in some acting workshops, where she said she met amazing teachers. “I learned a lot from them,” she explained. “They showed me to step out off my comfort zone.”
Mainville, who admits to having been plagued by shyness, therefore had to open up and truly become one with the camera and script, something she has accomplished several times.
Channeling her surroundings
The Rockland woman’s dive into the world of acting didn’t initially transform her into a rising star overnight. “In the beginning, you have to take on several volunteering positions,” she admitted. “But to think that directors, who are creating their masterpieces, wanted me to take part in it was simply amazing.”
In addition, Mainville stressed that an acting resume is quite different than a normal one. “They don’t care if you worked at McDonald’s or if you were a nurse,” she indicated. “They want to know in what you were and what kind of acting experience you possess. When I started, I had nothing.”
She therefore had to take on several different roles, the likes of which made her truly appreciate the overall atmosphere of acting. “I did several short films, a web series and even voice acting.”
In order to push herself to her limit, Mainville decided to create a list of goals. “My first one was to be in something relatively big,” she added. “I accomplished that with Past Redemption.”
The web series filmed in Quebec has garnered quite some praise amongst viewers. Past Redemption is a character-driven series about survival in a small impoverished town, where the options are to be law abiding and live in poverty or be involved in petty crime where prospects improve dramatically.
“I really had a fun time doing it,” the nurse confided. “It was my first taste of real acting.”
The premier of the first series was showcased at the Mayfair Theater, to a huge crowd. Episodes are routinely released on the series’ website and the first episode of the second season is already in the works. “It’s going to be very interesting,” explained Mainville. Production scene from Past Redemption