Acting has always been a family affair. It’s no surprise Megan Follows followed in her parents’ footsteps, theatre actor/director Ted Follows and actress Dawn Greenhalgh. Even her three siblings are involved in the industry. Though when Follows was in Grade 5 there was a fleeting interest in archaeology.
Megan Follows launched her acting career at nine and never looked back. Follows gained international fame in 1985 playing the role of imaginative Anne Shirley in the acclaimed hit TV series, Anne of Green Gables, for which she earned a Gemini Award for best actress. She also appeared in the two sequels in 1986 and 2000. Follows doesn’t hesitate when asked what she enjoyed most about the series. “Colleen Dewhurst (who played her adoptive parent Marilla Cuthbert) was a great ‘broad’ of the theatre,” recalls Follows. “She just had such a wonderful joy and playfulness about her.”
Never one to rest on her laurels, Follows has appeared in numerous American and Canadian TV series including Law and Order, CSI Miami, ER, The X-Files, Longmire, Cold Case and others. Over the years, her diverse roles have ranged from a teenage hooker to her most recent role as the tempestuous and crafty Queen Catherine in the CW network’s period drama series, Reign.
Motherhood is another role she relishes. Follows and her two kids, Lyla, 25, and Russell, 22, live in Los Angeles. She divides her time between L.A. and Canada depending on work locations.
Keeping all options open for career and personal goals, the multitalented Follows also pursues her interests in directing and photography. Anne Shirley has definitely grown up and flourished. Lucy Maud Montgomery would be proud.
Do you find comedy or drama more challenging as an actor?
It depends on the actual role but comedy is always very challenging. It’s more technical and difficult to do.
What do you enjoy about being on stage?
I love the experience as it’s a shared one. It’s ephemeral; it’s only in that moment and then it’s gone. Good acting should always just be in the moment.
Is there someone with whom you would like to work?
I would love to work with Louis C.K. I’m a big fan.
What do you love about Canada?
Our diversity as a nation. Our striving for inclusiveness. I think it’s critical. I love our people and our maple syrup!
What is your favourite place to visit in Canada?
The Maritimes are special to me for sure. I have a home in a small town in Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy. When you’re on a body of water that boasts the highest tides in the world, that’s pretty spectacular.
Your must-take travel items?
Earplugs and a good eye mask! I always take my camera.
Where have you always dreamed of visiting?
I want to see Machu Picchu.
Favourite international destinations?
I love Paris. What a beautiful city. I love strolling around Paris, stopping at a café to enjoy a beautiful little meal. I love touring the museums and galleries. I really love Africa. I was in Ngorongoro in the craters in Tanzania. It was really beautiful to see the wildlife there. I was also at an animal sanctuary in Tanzania where I woke up to the elephants—that view, such beauty, such majesty.
What are you most passionate about?
Performance. It takes up a great deal of my life so I must be very passionate about it. My family, my children. And eating. I’m not going to lie, I love food!