Dianne Doan, who is from Abbotsford, British Columbia and currently lives in Vancouver [as well as Los Angeles and Ireland], is starring in a new Disney Channel original movie and has also become a new series regular on the fourth season of History Channel’s Vikings, which will air in early 2016. She also has aspirations to try her hand at behind-the-camera work one day. So what does Doan always have in her pocket when filming Vikings?
CraveOnline: Tell us about your current projects, specifically about working on Vikings.
Dianne Doan: At the end of this month [July 31st] I play the daughter of Mulan, Lonnie, in Kenny Ortega’s next Disney live action TV movie, Descendants.
I’m also currently in Dublin filming season four of the History Channel’s Vikings. I’ve been given the opportunity to work with such a talented cast and crew and more specifically directors that have really pushed me as an actor to create and solidify this character.
There was a sense of pressure since the Vikings have never met someone like Yidu, someone from a different culture and who brings different views into Kattegat. So it was important to me to do as much research about the time and dynasty as possible. But bringing a strong, and jaded realness to her as well.
Filming on location in Dublin has been unreal, the sets are so meticulously crafted, and Ireland itself is it’s own character on the show.
You split your time between Vancouver, LA and Ireland- what do you love about each of these places? Where do you truly consider your “home base” to be?
Vancouver will always be home to me. It’s where I grew up and where all my family is. But LA to me is work. I would hop down there for a few days to weeks, get what I need to get done and then fly back home. LA has also been my escape. When things got too hectic back in Vancouver I’d run away to LA to recharge. But hopefully in the near future I’ll be calling it my second home base, as soon as I’m wrapped in Dublin I’ll be making my way down to LA.
Ireland is beautiful! The scenery really is stunning. I got the chance to drive west and explore a bit but it gets a little lonely being so far away from friends and loved ones. The great thing about being on this show is that the cast gets along so well. There’s a lot of hanging out and exploring the city together to pass time.
Any other future projects?
I have a coming-of-age indie comedy Last Night in Suburbia that’s currently in post production. But after filming in Dublin, I’ll be back in Vancouver and LA and back to auditioning.
Any desire to work behind the camera?
It would be in the distant future. I still have a lot to learn with working in front of the camera. But being able to watch directors and actors collaborating to bring the scene to life is really interesting to me. I’d love a crack at it one day.
Who is someone you look up to in the biz and why?
I have a great appreciation for the make-up, hair and costume departments on every set I’ve been apart of. I know that’s probably not what you meant when you asked me this question, but when the contract is long enough, we always build such a lovely relationship. They are the ones getting us ready everyday and they are there on set hours before the cast show up. They make the show possible.
6. What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m blind as a bat, so I wear contacts lenses everyday. It’s hard sometimes, and especially on Vikings, when there’s scenes with water involved. There’s always saline drops in my pockets or make-up bag.
Photo: Dominic Chan