Toronto-native Malin Akerman has really come into her own in Hollywood in recent years.
The young actress starred alongside Ben Stiller in The Heartbreak Kid, played a flawed superhero in Watchmen, and most recently shared the screen with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau in Couples Retreat (arriving on DVD Friday). For Akerman, the experience has been well beyond anything she ever expected.
“It’s been a pretty strange experience,” Akerman told Metro. “I’ve worked with phenomenal comedians who I’ve idolized for my entire life. To all of a sudden see my face on the same poster as Vince Vaughn was pretty surreal.”
Couples Retreat offered Akerman a rare opportunity to be involved with a movie throughout the creative process. With Vaughn and Favreau also working as screenwriters, the entire cast was encouraged to expand their roles.
“It was nice because they were in the middle of cleaning up the script and rewriting certain things when I came on board,” revealed Akerman. “So before we even started shooting, Vince and I had a good five hours when we went through all the scenes and improvised. Sometimes when you’re working with people who have written the material they can be really keen on their words, but this was a huge collaborative effort.”
Though known primarily as a comic actress, Akerman now wants to expand her career with dramatic roles.
“Often when you’re cast in a certain genre people only see you in that light, which in my case is comedy,” said Akerman.
“So, I’ve tried to veer away from that recently. This year I worked on three different independent films that are not comedies, just to show what I can do in the hopes of opening up other doors.”
In the coming months, audiences will be treated to a more serious side of the actress in the ensemble dramas HappyThankYouMorePlease and The Romantics (both of which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival) as well as the Canadian-funded apartheid feature The Bang Bang Club.
Through these projects, Akerman found that she thrived in the fast paced world of independent filmmaking.
“I loved it. The turn around is faster and you become very close to everyone you work with.
“There’s a nice feeling on the set that you’re all in it for the right reasons and really want to be there,” says the actress.
However, Akerman admits that she has no desire to ditch Hollywood entirely any time soon.
At the moment, she’s happy to try it all.