The age at which a parent finally recognizes her daughter as an adult varies — for some it’s when the child moves out, for others it’s an age milestone, while some parents find it exceedingly difficult to acknowledge their kids’ transition into adulthood.
Canadian actress Megan Follows, who earned international recognition as a teenager with her portrayal of the Lucy Maud Montgomery character Anne Of Green Gables, and her mother Dawn Greenhalgh say they’ve long since cleared that hurdle and admit they’ve shared a different sort of relationship, both personally and professionally.
“I think it’s interesting that our (relationship) is a little less traditional given what we do,” Follows, 40, explains during a recent interview.
“I always saw my parents in two roles. They were my parents, but they were also people who were artists, who had a passion, something that was really, really important to them. They were very much defined by their work and their world in the theatre.”
Follows and Greenhalgh are currently co-starring in the Soulpepper Theatre Company’s production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ’Night, Mother. Follows plays Jessie in the production, the daughter of Greenhalgh’s Thelma, who opens the show with a declaration to her mother that she’s about to kill herself — it’s the beginning of a theatrical journey focusing on the realities of love, death and the often complicated relationships between mothers and daughters.
Greenhalgh feels there’s an advantage to acting with her daughter, but points out that at times it can be difficult to stay in character while on stage. “Because she’s my own daughter, there isn’t quite that separation that would happen if it were another actress,” she reflects.
Follows says the lifetime she’s known her mother makes the sharing of ideas almost instinctive. “It’s a kind of a short-hand because you come at it with a lifetime of knowing somebody.”