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A Woman You Should Meet: Tamara Duarte

By: Sharp Staff|November 7, 2014

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A piece of me wants to think Hard Rock Medical is an emergency room musical. Am I right?

[Laughs] No! It’s a show about the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. It’s loosely based on true stories that revolve around medical communities in the north. My character is a first year med student. They’re in the middle of nowhere, dealing with areas that don’t have a lot of access to the medical care that we do in a big city and that we forget to appreciate.



Are you a fan of medical shows?



Oh, I’m a huge fan of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s so good! It’s like my drug, I don’t know why! I can’t even pick a favourite character because it’s always changing. I love someone one minute then hate them the next.



Why do you think doctor dramas are so addictive?



I think it’s exactly that, the drama aspect. I even like real-life medical shows. When they’re digging into someone’s guts…for some reason I really like to watch. With medical shows it’s almost like you’re kind of learning things. Even with House, it’s Hollywood- learning but it’s still learning. They’ll do a storyline on some disease and then if they ever report on that disease on the news, you’ll know all about it.

You had the opportunity to work as a producer on a film called Verona. How different was that from your usual day job?

I actually went to school for business, so it was definitely in my wheelhouse. It’s so important these days to be multi-faceted as an actor, writer, producer, creator…whatever. You can’t count on the industry to knock on your door and give you work. Producing was amazing because I felt like I put so much more into my work. I could see everything I accomplished on the screen.



You’ve had the chance to work in a few films, too including The F Word. Which do you prefer, TV or movies?



I like film and I like TV but I like them for completely different reasons. I love TV because it feels like a family after you’ve worked with the same people for a certain amount of time. You grow up with the people you work with year after year. What I like about film is that you’re forced into a whole new world with all new people. You grow so much from it.

Is there the infamous on-call room on Hard Rock as there is on Grey’s?

[Laughs] No it’s different. It’s not as salacious There’s a bit of drama concerning the love lives of the students but not as much. It focuses a lot on Ontario and the Canadian people. The show focuses on the lack of doctors in the North and how patients sometimes have to wait six months to see a doctor.



You mentioned the great Canadian aspect of the show but personally I don’t think it gets much more Canadian than Degrassi. I feel like we’ve watched so many Canadian actors essentially grow up on that show.



Absolutely. Degrassi for me was great in the sense that it acts as a stepping-stone. You’re almost not a true Canadian actor unless you’ve been on an episode of Degrassi [laughs]. It’s such a staple. It was a really great place to dig my feet in and get started in the industry. It brought up so many other opportunities I’ve gotten in my life.

Speaking of The F Word, Canada is the only place that calls it that. Everywhere else, the movie is titled What If . Apparently we’re the only ones tough enough to handle alluding to the ‘f’ word. Now that you live in LA, is there anything else you’ve noticed that Canadians can handle that Americans can’t?

[Laughs] We handle the cold! I was on set yesterday with a group of actors that are mostly from LA and they were all freezing, asking for blankets and heat packs. I was only in a leather jacket and I was cold but I was fine with it. We’re thicker skinned. I actually drove through Colorado not too long ago and everyone told me I’d need chains for my tires because the weather was SO bad. There was only about two inches of snow!



What’s coming up for you?



I’m working on a show called Haven as a recurring character right now and it’s shooting in Halifax, which is beautiful. I just finished working on the film Bottom of the World, and I got to work with Jenna Malone on it which was very cool. And then Dead on Campus is set to come out very soon as well. So I’m definitely keeping busy!

Tamara-157

A piece of me wants to think Hard Rock Medical is an emergency room musical. Am I right?

[Laughs] No! It’s a show about the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. It’s loosely based on true stories that revolve around medical communities in the north. My character is a first year med student. They’re in the middle of nowhere, dealing with areas that don’t have a lot of access to the medical care that we do in a big city and that we forget to appreciate.

Are you a fan of medical shows?

Oh, I’m a huge fan of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s so good! It’s like my drug, I don’t know why! I can’t even pick a favourite character because it’s always changing. I love someone one minute then hate them the next.

Why do you think doctor dramas are so addictive?

I think it’s exactly that, the drama aspect. I even like real-life medical shows. When they’re digging into someone’s guts…for some reason I really like to watch. With medical shows it’s almost like you’re kind of learning things. Even with House, it’s Hollywood- learning but it’s still learning. They’ll do a storyline on some disease and then if they ever report on that disease on the news, you’ll know all about it.

You had the opportunity to work as a producer on a film called Verona. How different was that from your usual day job?

I actually went to school for business, so it was definitely in my wheelhouse. It’s so important these days to be multi-faceted as an actor, writer, producer, creator…whatever. You can’t count on the industry to knock on your door and give you work. Producing was amazing because I felt like I put so much more into my work. I could see everything I accomplished on the screen.

You’ve had the chance to work in a few films, too including The F Word. Which do you prefer, TV or movies?

I like film and I like TV but I like them for completely different reasons. I love TV because it feels like a family after you’ve worked with the same people for a certain amount of time. You grow up with the people you work with year after year. What I like about film is that you’re forced into a whole new world with all new people. You grow so much from it.

Is there the infamous on-call room on Hard Rock as there is on Grey’s?

[Laughs] No it’s different. It’s not as salacious There’s a bit of drama concerning the love lives of the students but not as much. It focuses a lot on Ontario and the Canadian people. The show focuses on the lack of doctors in the North and how patients sometimes have to wait six months to see a doctor.

You mentioned the great Canadian aspect of the show but personally I don’t think it gets much more Canadian than Degrassi. I feel like we’ve watched so many Canadian actors essentially grow up on that show.

Absolutely. Degrassi for me was great in the sense that it acts as a stepping-stone. You’re almost not a true Canadian actor unless you’ve been on an episode of Degrassi [laughs]. It’s such a staple. It was a really great place to dig my feet in and get started in the industry. It brought up so many other opportunities I’ve gotten in my life.

Speaking of The F Word, Canada is the only place that calls it that. Everywhere else, the movie is titled What If . Apparently we’re the only ones tough enough to handle alluding to the ‘f’ word. Now that you live in LA, is there anything else you’ve noticed that Canadians can handle that Americans can’t?

[Laughs] We handle the cold! I was on set yesterday with a group of actors that are mostly from LA and they were all freezing, asking for blankets and heat packs. I was only in a leather jacket and I was cold but I was fine with it. We’re thicker skinned. I actually drove through Colorado not too long ago and everyone told me I’d need chains for my tires because the weather was SO bad. There was only about two inches of snow!

What’s coming up for you?

I’m working on a show called Haven as a recurring character right now and it’s shooting in Halifax, which is beautiful. I just finished working on the filmBottom of the World, and I got to work with Jenna Malone on it which was very cool. And then Dead on Campus is set to come out very soon as well. So I’m definitely keeping busy!

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