What better way to conclude our review of Little Bear than to talk to Little Bear himself...or herself. Wow! Deja vu! Little Bear's voice was done by Canadian actress Kristin Fairlie. She's started her acting career when she was 8-years-old debuting in the 1995 film The Scarlet Letter as Faith Stonehall. She had won her first Young Artist of Hollywood in the Showtime movie The Sweetest Gift at 14.
But she's mostly known for her voice acting in shows such as Madeline, Babar: The King of Elephants, and the Total Drama series. But she'll always be known as the sweet innocent Little Bear. Nowadays, she's been in a few indie movies such as Moonpoint and Jesus Henry Christ and she's the founder of a website named Hate and Heartbreak. Hope that you enjoy this amazing interview with Kristin Fairlie.
Patricia- What were your favorite shows/TV shows growing up?
Kristin- My favorite shows when I was really little were Road to Avonlea, Fresh
Prince, The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, Jem, Rainbow Brite, My Pet Monster and
Kevin- At what age did you decide that you wanted to pursue your life into
Kristin- I was eight years old when I started in the industry, but I began making
short films with the my siblings and the kids on my street when I was 6 : ) I
always wanted to be an actor.
Patricia- Who are your influences?
Kristin- A lot of people inspire me in my life. I love Kate Moss' style, I love
Julianne Moore, Joan Allen and Fiona Apple. Anne Heche is someone who's
friendship, strength and advice had an incredible impact on me, I admire her lot
as an actress and a person. Sarah Polley is someone I have looked up to since I
was a little girl. And I love Frank Ocean. Just want that to be known lol.
Patricia- What was the audition process like for The Scarlet Letter, The Sweetest Gift,
and The Virgin Suicides?
Kristin- I auditioned for The Scarlet Letter when I was 12, for director Roland Joffe.
He was incredibly kind and so inspiring to work with. I remember being at the
callback with him and him asking me if I'd like to go to BC and Nova Scotia to
shoot the film. My parents were excited that I would be working with Robert
Duvall, Gary Oldman and Demi Moore and I was too young to know who they were! Stuart Margolin, the director of The Sweetest Gift was a guiding light for me on
that film. And meeting Sofia Coppola was inspiring and a little overwhelming! I
am a huge fan of hers.
Kevin- What was it like working alongside actors such as Demi Moore, Robert Duvall,
Gary Oldman, Anne Heche, and Laura Dern?
Kristin- These were some of the greatest experiences of my life. Anne became a dear
friend to me while filming Gracie's Choice and gave me advice I will cherish for
the rest of my life. Demi Moore is one of the strongest and coolest women I have
ever met. Robert Duvall and Gary Oldman were so sweet to me and so talented, and
Laura Dern is incredible, I took a lot away from acting opposite her. She truly
has a gift. And she's in Jurassic Park! Favourite trilogy of all time :)
Patricia- What funny memories can you tell us while working on the set for those
Kristin- On The Virgin Suicides, there was this boy on set that was one of the most
handsome guys I've ever seen. He was really nice, and I wanted to get a picture
of him just because I couldn't believe how cute he was, so I asked him to take a
picture of me and Sofia Coppola, and then I was like we might as well get a
picture too and Sofia took a picture of the two of us. I went to school and
showed my girlfriends the picture like look how hot this guy is! About a month
later The Faculty and Halloween H20 came out and the boy in my photo was
suddenly one of the biggest stars in the world. It was Josh Hartnett.
The Sweetest Gift was jokes and laughter for the entire shoot. Marc Donato
(Degrassi) and Dylan Provencher (Wind at my Back) played my brothers and we
bonded over a summer of playing with the animals on set and learning Southern
accents together. The entire cast and crew were amazing, working with Helen
Shaver, Tisha Cambell and legend Diahann Carroll was a great learning experience
to be working opposite such strong and talented women.
On The Scarlet Letter, there were two oxen meant to pull a cart. They had
different white patches of fur on their faces, and production wanted their faces
to be matching. They (safely) dyed the oxen's faces brown to match and their fur
turned purple so they had to be replaced! I hope those oxen got their chance at
stardom on another movie.
Patricia- What was your reaction when you won the Young Artist of Hollywood Award
Winner for The Sweetest Gift?
Kristin- I was so honoured. Showtime flew me to Los Angeles to attend the ceremony and
when my name was called I almost didn't hear it it was so surreal. I barely
remember accepting the award, I was vibrating with excitement and nerves.
Afterwards I stood onstage with the other winners, and I looked to my left and
right and realized I was standing in between Jena Malone and Dominique Swain and
I felt really proud to be in such fantastic actresses company. Also Leonardo
DiCaprio who I love had previously won a YAA so I felt like that might lead me
to work with him one day lol fingers crossed.
Kevin- What made you decide to go into voice acting?
Kristin- I have always wanted to be a Disney princess, and I didn't know that it was
even possible to be a voice on a cartoon series. Who doesn't love cartoons? It
never occurred to me that I could be a cartoon. When I got my first voice
audition, I walked into the studio and though you're kidding me. I just talk and
you record it and make me a cartoon?? It was mind-blowing. My first cartoon
voice was Nicole on the cartoon Madeline. I got to speak in a French accent and
sing songs with the other girls in the studio. I was very small so I had to
stand on a milk crate to be able to sing at the mic with the other girls. It was
too much fun.
Patricia- What was the audition process like for Little Bear?
Kristin- Originally, I auditioned for the roles of Duck and Hen. I read the same voice
for both of them. Casting told me the show was for preschool kids, so I thought
of the voice I heard in my head when I was learning to read and I guess Little
Bear is what it sounded like lol. The casting director came into the vocal booth
and said the producers would like me to read for Little Bear. And I was like for
sure, which one is Little Bear? And they told me the show was called Little
Bear. I think I used the same voice. Afterwards they gave me 4 Little Bear books
and said they would see me soon. When I began recording the show, Maurice Sendak
came to visit the studio, and he drew a Little Bear picture in each one of my
books which are some of my most treasured possessions.
Patricia- Did you read the books before auditioning for the show?
Kristin- I had never heard of Little Bear when I auditioned for the show. I had no
idea the impact Little Bear would have on people and it's something I am so
proud to have been a part of. I am continuously surprised by the variety of
people I meet at Fan Expo and Comic Con that hug me and tell me that they love
Little Bear. He is loved by all ages :)
Patricia- What characteristics do you share with Little Bear?
Kristin- Little Bear is kind and he has integrity. He always stays true to himself and
he cares about his friends and family very much. He has an amazing imagination
and always tries his best. I like to think those are the characteristics we
Kevin- What was it like working with Maurice Sendak and Else Holmelund Minarik?
Kristin- I unfortunately never had the opportunity to meet Else Holmelund Minarik, but
I did get to spend some time with the wonderful Maurice Sendak when he came to a
recording session. He was so interesting and he was very pleased with the series
and how it turned out. He said my Little Bear voice was just right :)
Kevin- What would a typical day be like for voicing an episode?
Kristin- My mom would pick me up from school at lunch time, and we would head down to
the city to the studio. Little Bear was almost always recorded as an ensemble,
so I would be in the studio all afternoon while different characters joined me
and others left. Usually about 4-6 hours per record. There was a lot of jokes
and laughter. Sometimes I would record pick up lines for episodes already
completed, so I would get to watch a screen and see a snippet of the episode and
record my lines along with Little Bear's mouth movements. That was fun.
Kevin- What was your favorite episode?
Kristin- I wouldn't even know where to begin I have so many favorites. I loved "The
Puddle Jumper" episode. Zen frog was so funny to listen to. I love when Little
Bear goes to the moon. The first three episodes are so dear to me, especially "What Will Little Bear Wear"? as they were my first ever and set the tone for the
five seasons of the series.
Patricia- Do you still keep in contact with the creators or the voice actors from
Kristin- I still work often with Director Merle Anne Ridley, and I'm in touch with
Tracy Ryan (Duck), Amos Crawley (Owl) and Janet Laine Green (Mother Bear)
Patricia- What was it like doing The Little Bear Movie?
Kristin- It was incredible. I recorded the film with my brother Kyle Fairlie, who was
the voice of Cub, the bear cub that Little Bear helps to find his family.
Afterwards I got to record the voice for the plush Little Bear that sold at
Target so that was a pretty amazing experience.
Patricia- How did it feel that you were doing this movie alongside your younger
Kristin- It is one of my proudest moments and something we both cherish.
Kevin- When was the last time you watched an episode of Little Bear?
Kristin- I see it all the time flipping channels.
Patricia- After over 12 years after Little Bear was on air, do you think that the show
has held up well?
Kristin- I think Little Bear is hands down the best cartoon for young children on
television. Little Bear is about friendship, family, nature and using your
imagination. It teaches people to be kind and I think that is an important
lesson at any age.
Kevin- What was the audition process like for the Total Drama series?
Kristin- Just like every voice audition, you go to the studio, read the character
description, look at the sketch of the character, and then interpret their voice
how you feel it should sound.
Patricia- What characteristics do you share with Bridgette?
Kristin- Bridgette is kind, friendly, determined, she loves to sing, she loves animals
and she's clumsy. I constantly bang my elbows off everything.
Kevin- Do you enjoy singing or acting more?
Kristin- I don't think I could live without either. It's a toss up.
Patricia- What was it like doing Moonpoint and Jesus Henry Christ?
Kristin- Moonpoint was hilarious fun. Jesus Henry Christ was one of my proudest
moments in my career so far.
Patricia- What was it like working with Julia Roberts, Toni Collette, and Michael
Kristin- I didn't have scenes with Toni or Michael, but I met Toni who is lovely.
Julia Roberts. What can I say? She is an angel among us. She was so sweet, and
flattering. She told me she had everything to do with me being cast in the film.
I squeezed her arm when I thanked her for having me in the movie and afterwards
I thought, Richard Gere touched those arms! Ha ha.
Patricia- Can you tell us what made you come up with the idea for Hate and
Kristin- I have always wanted my own label and clothing store. When we began building
the website, I wanted the name to be universal and something that everyone could
relate to. I was trying to think of a positive name but I had lost someone in my
life to cancer and I was so consumed with anger and heartbreak. And then I
realized that everyone can relate to that. We all experience those emotions at
some point in our lives and they are inescapable. Even if you ignore them, they
will bubble up in some way at some point in your life, and it is only when you
embrace those emotions that you are able to break free and move forward from
them. And I want to support people through that darkness and be a symbol of
strength in the face of hate and heartbreak. I want to let people know that it's
okay to feel those things and that they are never alone in feeling that way and
it's okay to move forward. You will come through it stronger than you knew was
Kevin- When people approach you, what voice do they demand that you do the most?
Kristin- Little Bear.
Patricia- What are your reactions of people approaching you and saying that they
watched Little Bear growing up and they loved your character portrayal?
Kristin- It makes my heart full. People tell me I was a huge part of their childhood,
or their children's, and I'm so honoured to have touched so many lives.
Patricia- What are your upcoming projects?
I have several projects in the works, but I have just completed a guest star
on the CTV /Fox International Series The Listener. I am very excited for
everyone to see the episode! It is episode 2 of Season 4 :)
Patricia- Alright then. Kristin, thank you so much for the interview.
Kristin- Thank you!
For more information about Kristin, visit her website at hateandheartbreak.com. Follow her on FaceBook and Twitter @kristinfairlie. That's all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.
-Patricia and Kevin
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