Rising Canadian star: Q & A with Jordan Hayes


Jordan Hayes as Doctor Sarah Jordan | Sheknows.ca

It’s perfectly fitting that my sit-down with Jordan Hayes is featured in this month’s Alpha Woman issue, because the born and raised Montrealer is bold and definitely getting noticed in 2014.

The Canadian beauty has guest starred on hits like Being EricaNikitaFlashpoint and many more. And now her breakout role as Dr. Sarah Jordan has her shining opposite Billy Campbell in Helix. The sci-fi series is about scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who travel to the Arctic to investigate the possibility of an epidemic.

Helix is helmed by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and Steven Maeda (LostCSI: MiamiThe X-Files), among others. The first 15 minutes of the pilot were released earlier this week in the lead-up to its two-episode premiere on Friday, Jan. 10 at 10 p.m. EST on Showcase. And the ever-humble Ms. Hayes let SheKnows pick her brain about it all.

SheKnows: How did you feel when you got the call confirming you got the part?

Jordan Hayes: I was at a yoga retreat in Lake Tahoe when I found out… I had been in a very zen state of mind from all the yoga. But when I found out I got the part, I almost peed my pants. I called my mom right away, and she started crying. Then I started crying. Then we both laughed and screamed.

SK: Did you think you had gotten the role when you first auditioned?

JH: I had just moved from Montreal to LA about two months before I auditioned for Helix. When I got the breakdown, I had a conversation with my friend. I told him, “I’m not sure I should even audition. It means moving back to Montreal for five months, and I just moved here!” To which he quickly replied, “Slow down. You don’t have the part. You haven’t even auditioned.” (laughs) I just had a feeling that I was going to get this one. It’s a rare feeling. And moving back to Montreal turned out to be one of the best things in my life. I love this city.

SK: What a coincidence that your character’s last name is the same as your first name! If you could change your name to anything, what would it be?

JH: It’s funny. People would get confused on-set and never know what to call me. I think some of the crew may think my real name is Sarah. Growing up, I was self-conscious about my name, because people would always think I was a guy. But I’ve grown to love my name. I would never change it.

SK: There are some complicated-sounding diseases out there. Was it tough learning the “doc talk” lingo?

JH: Personally, I loved the challenge of the dialogue in this series. Memorizing the lines wasn’t that difficult for me. The difficult part was understanding exactly what I was saying. It was important for me to have a very clear understanding of the science I was referring to. Luckily I have a brother who majored in anatomy and cell biology. There were several nights where I would be up late with him, going through his old text books. Thankfully he was very patient with me!

SK: Would Jordan Hayes make a good doctor?

JH: My first year in college, I was in a pre-med type program. In a way I was on a path to doing something in the scientific world. However, after my first year, I transferred to the theatre program. I’m not sure if I would have made a good doctor, but I always had an appreciation for science and math in school.

SK: In an interview, you described Sarah as an overachiever. Is the same true for you?

JH: I think we’re very similar in that regard. I’ve always been ambitious. To give you an example, I grew up playing soccer. It was my life. When I was 10 years old, I was asked to play on a boy’s team. The league said girls could not play on boys’ teams. My mom took them to court, won, and I was the only girl playing in a AAA boys league from the ages of 13 to 16. Sarah wants to prove her worth — that’s definitely something I can relate to.

SK: What was the best part of working on this series for you?

JH: The best part of working on this series was getting to come back to Montreal. It really is the greatest city in the world. The other best part of working on this series was the crew. Montreal has the best film crews I’ve ever seen.

SK: What are you working on now?

JH: I just directed my second short film, Ten Speed. At the moment I’m knee deep in the editing process. It’s a short film that I wrote myself, and I’m very proud of it. I’m lucky enough to have the most amazing friends ever, who help me whenever I say, “Hey, guys! Let’s make a short film!”

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Photo courtesy of IMDB

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At first, Nutella was out of the question. Dewey Truong was dead set on solely using Valrhona chocolate. Crepes are almost instantly associated with the hazelnut spread, and alas Truong agreed to allow it in his shop. While it’s visible on the shelf, it remains yet to be seen on the menu.

My dear friend and I had each settled on a savoury crepe, and a sweet one after asking our waitress, also named Kim for her opinion when out walked the affable Dewey. He insisted we up the ante. And, so we ordered 5 of the 12 savoury selections to share.

A former Montrealer, Dewey birthed the cafe on Queen Street West last December. Its inception began eight years ago, but two years ago is when they decided to “just do it” to borrow Nike’s signature catch phrase. ”They” refer to Dewey and his pal, Chococrepe’s manager, Andres Valdivieso. The two teamed up to make the creperie a reality after growing up on crepes in Montreal. The question was raised as to whether to open up in Montreal, or Toronto, and lucky for you they chose YTZ. Now, that we have that covered, who is the head chef? That position is actually occupied by both Dewey and Andres.

Before we get to our crepe consumption, we began with a hot chocolate. And, not just any ol’ cup of hot chocolate: we sipped on a seductive pumpkin hot chocolate (Dewey’s fave). You have the choice to go light and have them use milk, or go rich with cream. You may also choose between milk chocolate, or dark chocolate. I went with the milk and milk chocolate, and preferred it to my friend’s dark chocolate. (Although, he enjoyed it very much). I thought mine would be insanely sweet, but I was rather surprised. The lack of sickly sweet drinks can be attributed to the fact that Chococrepe does not include syrup, or powder mixtures, only real Valrhona cocoa in their recipes. The Lychee White Chocolate is an intriguing choice, and one that has customers coming back.

Unfortunately, for you the crepes all look the same on the outside, and we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts. The photographic attempt to capture what is contained between this heavenly envelope failed. You’ll just have to go, and try them yourself.

We began with the no.1 bestseller: Chipotle Chicken. This popular thin pancake came packed with chicken, arugula, mozzarella and chipotle mayo. My buddy and I quickly understood why this order tends to fly off the shelf. The poultry, and its accoutrements have definitive kick. My threshold for spice continues to climb, and I’d classify this dish a step above novice. Spice beginners need not worry however, just sip on some hot chocolate. Or, order your hot chocolate cold. Dewey has cracked the code to keeping the consistency of hot chocolate while serving it chilled.

Dewey wanted us to try the Mango Chicken. He certainly did not have to twist our arm. The chicken, mango mayo, cheese and lemon leaves were quite appealing. While the lemon leaves provided a nice zest, the mango mayo was a little too sweet in my guest’s opinion. Both chicken crepes came with a mixed green salad and French dressing that is made with apple cider in house.

Goat Pear was served next. This crepe was filled with goat cheese, pears and came with honey on the side. This is not something I would normally have ordered, but my friend seemed keen. I am wary of mixing fruit into my meals, but I’m glad we tried it. It was a nice blend of savoury and sweet all rolled into one.

The Pulled Pork accompanied with a carrot slaw was a recommendation of Dewey’s. While my ami does not partake in pork consumption, I knew I’d regret not trying it. While I applaud the genius behind the idea of making a pulled pork crepe, my one complaint would be less sauce, and more pork. Delicious none the less, the sauce was a little too on the saccharine side. It needed a bit of bang to counteract the sugar. The slaw was a winning combination.

The extent of my knowledge of buckwheat was the character from The Little Rascals. If you were as blissfully unaware as myself, you’d learn buckwheat is actually a seed, and regardless of its name is not of the wheat family; making it a healthy alternative for Celiac sufferers. Dewey suggested we should try one of our crepes a la buckwheat. Last but not least, came the [buckwheat] Mushroom Delight– a Kim suggestion. I have only recently come around to eating fungi, and this crepe has made me wonder what I’ve been missing all those years spent mushroom-less. The white truffle oil, wild mushroom and swiss cheese concoction was one of my faves. The sharpness of the swiss was exquisite, and struck a nice balance between the different textures. The vinaigrette atop the greens is a complimentary blend of pear, mustard and balsamic vinegar.

To our credit, we managed to save room for dessert. And, thank goodness we did, because the Salted Caramel was immaculate. I can confidently say it was the best crepe I’ve ever had. I think my tongue died and went to heaven after tearing into the delicately folded crepe filled with dulche de leche, and fleur de sel.

Berry Banana was recommended by both Kim and Dewey. Actually, they said anything with chocolate would be a wise choice. Topped with bananas, strawberries and drizzled with not just dark chocolate, but white as well. Wisdom never tasted so good!

Traces of its French inspiration are evident in the decor, and ornamentation @Chococrepe. The blue and brown furniture, along with the french country style are warm and inviting. The pops of colour in the art work which adorn the walls compliment the bold flavours that grace Chococrepe’s plates. Chococrepe’s musical stylings are also rooted in Dewey’s hometown, with several tracks of Montreal’s Coeur de Pirate playing in the background.

One final note, if you’d like to prolong your Chococrepe experience, purchase their baked goods from behind the counter, and be on your merry way.

P.S.: Chocolate fondue is also featured on the menu. Here’s to delightful dipping– bon appetit!

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Towne380 Pulls a 360‏

It’s been nearly a decade since it all began. I was 14 when I started working [at Moe’s Bar and Grill]. I was their coat check girl.

Illegal and underage

I’d get home at 2 or 3 in the morning after Tuesday’s Ladies Night, where I had an entire staff of siblings. The busboys, waiters and bartenders took to treating me like their little sister. Periodically, they came to keep me company or bring me hot chocolate.

The only reason my parents allowed me to work such an unconventional shift each week was because my brother was among the busboys. Those long nights cemented our relationship. He confided in me, and our brother-sisterly bond grew. But, this story isn’t about me; it’s about Shawn.

When we were younger, Shawn epitomized cool in the eyes of my other brother, cousins and myself. We look[ed] up to him, and not just because he was taller than us, and still is.

Out with the old

Last night, Towne380 was born. It stands where Moe’s stood for many years; where Shawn began and is now the manager and partner in the modern dining venture.

Towne380 is what Laval has been waiting for. From the team that brought you 40 Westt, Towne Hall & 40 Northh: Towne380 is the very latest from the creative force behind Montreal’s best.

Expectations, etc.

It’s sophisticated, and elegant, all the while, providing a welcoming environment. The expansive bar is host to great martinis and cocktails. The open concept kitchen allows you to feast your eyes on the daily arrival of fresh seafood, ensuring quality and superior flavor unmatched elsewhere.

The succulent array of meat is aged and prepared to perfection at their flagship location: 40 Westt. A variety of options are available at this lavish Laval eatery.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘It’s her brother’s restaurant, of course she’ll spout a positive point of view!’ So, go ahead, judge for yourself.

Towne380 opens to the public on November 30th, 2011.

Sleepless in Southern Ontario

As I walked into Keele subway station to begin my day, I crossed paths with others who were putting an end to theirs.

Tuesday afternoons in Concordia’s CJ building flash across my mind. Guest lecturers regaled about what we were in for. Long nights, early starts, weekends, the works! Was I ready? I would soon find out.

I arrived at Islington station.. 25 minutes early. There were other people waiting for the bus, as well. What were they waiting to get to? As the rain pitter-pattered in the distance, I wondered where my fellow passengers were headed. It’s something I often think about; where people are going. If I had a day off from school and Carrefour Laval would be swamped, I thought “Don’t they work?” Or, I’d have a late start in my post-secondary studies, and as I walked to the bus stop, I questioned whether all these people could be home for lunch? What occupied their days? What did they do?

Or, has a less than pleasant encounter with someone of the rudest kind set you off? It’s a quick write off– “What a bitch!” But, I tend to ponder what happened in their day or their life to make them have such a reaction. I digress, ah, the mind wanders so early in the day [at the time of this drafting].

Back to the bus stop: The man in the jacket with the “security” badge puts me at ease. The guy in the red pants, though as admirable as his style sense may be, sets off the unease the security guard put to rest.

Why was I the only female travelling at this un-Godly hour? 5 men at first. Then 10. A girl appears. 14 of us in total. Final count: 15, excluding myself. Misery definitely enjoys company– I took comfort in knowing I was not alone in sleep deprivation.

At 1:42 AM, I open my eyes to find solely myself and an old Asian man on the bus. 1:43, he’s gone and now it’s just me.

I failed to nod off on the Mi-Way 1: the Mississauga shuttle bus that brings me from Toronto to Oakville. I am no stranger to long commutes. The journey from Laval to Montreal for college and then again in University prepared me well.

-I’d get a fair bit of reading done if I wasn’t so sleepy.
-No traffic– a rarity for the GTA (at any hour).

-Very little sleep.

The incessant sound of the abnormally loud windshield wipers was irritating. The lights could stand to be dimmed much more at that hour, (and, they got even brighter once the doors swung open). As handy as I think the automated voice that announces the impending stops is, she should be silenced this early in the AM.

Don McLean’s “American Pie” (a family favorite) played through the speakers as I walked into Tim Horton’s . A smile made its way across my face. It’s only 2:04. I’m eternally early. With a french vanilla by my side, I rest my head on my arms, and wait.

Fast forward 9 hours– I made it through my 1st day as a New Writer for The Weather Network. I wrote copy for a 10-year vet. I was nervous to hand it over, but she had only positive things to say. The crew is very nice.

There were moments I thought if I just closed my eyes I’d be done for. That’s when you know it’s time get up, make tea or go pee. Snacks are the be all and end all of staying awake . Gotta keep that blood sugar up! As tired as I may be, it’s nice knowing people are counting down the time until lunch and I’m on my way home for the day.

What happened with Much Music? Nothing. I’ll be MIA during my 2 week training period, but I shall fulfill my blogging duties from home, as a good Kimtern would.

Rain or shine, see ya next time!

To T.O. I Go

Today makes for a week since my arrival in T-Dot. And, like John Graves Simcoe before me, I have begun to discover Toronto.

A friend asked me whether I was going to blog about my move, and while I thought it was a good idea, I just didn’t know what else I would say besides the fact that I up’d and left my hometown. Then, it hit me– as a Hab transplant in Leafs-town, I have loads to say!

For starters, I compare everything in Toronto to Montreal (with Montreal coming out on top again and again). Those who know me, might say “You’re from Laval!” None the less, I was born in a Montreal hospital, therefore binding me to the city for eternity. In any case, I spent most of my formative years in and around Montreal whilst attending college and university in the city.

Quebec is not dubbed “La Belle Province” for nothing. It’s a beautiful place to grow up and will forever be my home. Travelling abroad and citing I’m from Montreal sends all who I encounter into a gushing frenzy with nothing but nice things to say. Case in point. Montreal has charm. Toronto is growing on me, but the city is so expansive; all intimacy is lost.

Getting to know a new city, one relies heavily on public transport. As I am used to Montreal’s award winning subway system [Best Transportation Company in North America in 2010] I have certain qualms regarding T.O.’s underground situation. For starters, they should adopt a plan similar to the Société de Transport de Montréal’s (STM) Opus card—a rechargeable card one uploads with money for individual tickets or weekly or monthly passes to ride the metro. The continuous usage of non-recyclable plastic by Torontonians for transport is inefficient and impractical.

F.Y.I.: The STM is now facing a short list of finalists in the race for Best Metro in the Americas.

Moving on, Montreal is renown for its palatable pleasures (clearly, a hands down win against Toronto). I checked out Caplansky’s, which doesn’t come close to Schwartz’s, but their smoked meat isn’t half bad.

The Royal Ontario Museum [ROM] leads to hours of enjoyment. Especially, the Water Exhibit which explores earth’s not-so plentiful resource brought to T.O. in part by the American Museum of Natural History and runs until Labour Day.

Conveniently, my relocation came at the same time as the Hot Docs film festival. Montreal is a city of festivals, but Hot Docs is the only festival like it in North America. The quick flash of my Concordia student I.D. (which thankfully does not expire for a few more years even though I’ve recently graduated) allows for free admittance to any screening before 6 p.m. If your school days are far behind you, fourteen dollars is a more than reasonable price to pay for top-notch quality documentaries.

Also, there are various districts like Distillery, or the Annex, etc. that are reminiscent of that Montreal je ne sais quoi.

I would like to leave you with a few pointers for parting from the parents.

The Kim’s Corner Survival Guide

-Find a partner who can cook.

That’s it. Just kidding! S/he must also have a job. I’m only joking, you need not lean on anyone when moving out on your own– it totally defies the independence you are most certainly seeking after flying the coop.

Lucky for me, my boyfriend (or opposite-sex common-law partner as my recently submitted Census form states) enjoys cooking, which works out great, because I enjoy eating. I am more than capable of preparing a delectable dinner, but if he receives such joy from cooking, who am I to deny him of that?

So far, my favourite thing about Toronto is living in sin with my fellow Montrealer [boyfriend].