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Inuvialuk actress returns to her roots in Tuktoyaktuk

Olivia Kate Iatridis gives workshop on acting in Tuktoyaktuk
Inuvialuk actress Olivia Kate Iatridis just finished touring her motherland in the Beaufort Delta, giving a workshop on her craft in Tuktoyaktuk Aug. 4. Her first leading film, Abducted, is expected to be released in Canada later this year. Eric Bowling/NNSL photo

Homecoming is always a fun time for Olivia Kate Iatridis, but for the emerging Inuvialuk actress, this time around it was even sweeter.

“I used to come up here a bunch of times when I was a kid with my mom,” said Iatridis. “But I haven’t been her in a couple of years, so it was nice to see family.”

Born in Yellowknife and operating out of Edmonton, she was visiting her extended family in the Beaufort Delta, which included a trip out to the Arctic coast. Her mother, Gloria, grew up in Tuktoyaktuk.

While in Tuktoyaktuk, she put on a workshop on acting Aug. 4 at the Jason Jacobson Youth Centre, talking to eager fans about life in the industry and how to get involved.

“It was more of a show-and-tell kind of thing in case anybody was interested in the acting world,” she said. “We talked about the process I go through and my journey into acting, coming from Yellowknife and letting the kids know how they can get involved in the industry.”

What began in a radio contest when she was 13 has blossomed into a promising career for the ambitious actress and model, who now has three feature films to her credit.

Her debut was a minor role as a waitress in the 2016 film Breaking Spirits, but she has since worked her way up to leading roles.

“My mom got a job in Edmonton, so we ended up moving there,” she said. “They had a talent event they were advertising over the radio. So we ended up going and I got accepted, and we went to Florida for this big event.

“When we got back, I said I wanted to be an actor and that was pretty much it.”

Iatridis’ most recent accomplishment is playing the lead role in Abducted — a film focusing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

She plays Lakota Simpson, who is kidnapped by two men and fights them every step of the way while her brother tracks her down.

“She’s the sister of the other main character,” said Iatridis. “The biggest thing for me is she’s a really strong, independent woman. Pretty much the whole time she’s fighting back, really strong and supports her family. That’s what gravitated me towards the project.

“We filmed it last year in Edmonton,” she said. “It’s my first lead in a feature film, so it was pretty exciting.”

Already released in the United States, Abducted is expected to be available in Canada later in the year.

With the film industry in Alberta and British Columbia slowly opening up, Iatridis said she’s looking for more roles to audition for, though she hasn’t had anything lined up yet.

Her long-term goal is to get a role on a television drama.

“A lot of shows are starting to cast for their new seasons,” she said. “Netflix, Crave, Paramount, all of those streaming services. Recently I’ve just been auditioning for them, so I’m crossing my fingers.

“I would love to do a show on Netflix. Riverdale has been on for a long time, but those kind of drama-type shows are my main focus right now.”

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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