Elizabeth Bowen is like what I imagined my ideal best friend would be when I was a kid. A halo of blonde ringlets, bright blue eyes, and skin of the porcelain variety.
But she’s more than that–smart and funny, this up-and-coming local actor, while she might look all cherubic, also has an edge.
We meet on a sun-drenched Sunday in the Olympic Village at the new Bao Down Gastropub (review here) along with my 12-year-old, and Michelle, one of the other regular Brunchcouver writers. Liz immediately apologizes to my son and promises to try not to swear in front of him.
She’s wearing a cute necklace, and when we ask her about it, she laughs. It’s a zepplin-shaped bomb, but it also has a raised, braille “F” on it. F-bomb jokes ensue. What you see is not always what you get.
We get to ordering and catching up. I’d previously met Liz at a party a few weeks before, and had since acquainted myself with the actress’ work on indie cult classics like Return to the Cabin by the Lake, and some of my fave Vancouver-shot shows like Motive and iZombie. She’s just finished shooting a stint on Wayward Pines, and last May she shot for 3 weeks in Calgary on Season 2 of Fargo. That role forced her to learn a South Dakota accent.
We brunched on breakfast baos, tater tots, chicken and waffles, and talked about food and Ted Danson.
Brunchcouver: What’s your average breakfast? Something you’d eat at home.
Liz: Whole grain toast with natural peanut butter, coffee, and an apple. Like a kid’s lunch in the ’70’s.
Brunchcouver: When you’re at home or on a day off, what’s your favourite thing to cook?
Liz: broccoli or cauliflower (based on an Ina Garten recipe) roasted with garlic and chili pepper flakes and olive oil. I like to add some thyme. In the last 5 minutes, add some pine nuts, squeeze some lemon juice and grate over some Parmesano Reggiano.
Brunchcouver: When you go out in the city, what’s your favourite brunch spot and your favourite brunch dish?
Liz: That’s a tough one. Lately we’ve (the other half of the “we” is her long-time boyfriend, Tim) mixing it up a lot. For a while it was Fable. Lately, it’s been Campagnolo Upstairs. The Dirty Burger is… *unintelligible happy noises* and the service is really great. We really also really like Yolks.
Brunchcouver: If you could have brunch in an exotic location, what would that be?
Liz: I’ve travelled a lot in Europe: France and Germany, England, but not recently, more LA and Toronto. I know this isn’t exotic, but I liked Jam in Victoria. So excited one is opening here!
Brunchcouver: If you could go anywhere for a meal, where would it be?
Liz: It would be ElBulli in Spain, but it’s closed now.
Brunchcouver: Did you ever get fangirly over working with a specific actor or director, and if so, who was it?
Liz: Jesse Plemons and Ted Danson, working on Fargo. Especially Ted Danson. My first day on set, I show up, I get on set, we’re running lines in a circle, and it’s me, Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson, and then Wayne Duvall and Terry Kinney. Adam Arkin is directing, and I’m thinking “someone is going to say ‘just kidding’ and send me home.” I love Ted Danson. I’ve seen every episode of Cheers.
Brunchcouver: Who would you love to work with?
Liz: Ben Mendelsohn (Blood Line, Animal Kingdom). He is such a good actor, he will knock your socks off.
Brunchouver: What is breakfast like at craft services when you’re on set?
Liz: I really liked the crafty breakfast on Fargo. I would have tater tots, bacon, eggs and fruit every day. It was just so good! I felt like, because I had fruit and not toast, I was being healthy. When you do a big breakfast, it really does get you through a long day on set. One night we had a night shoot and I had to lie on the ground in jeans and at t-shirt. It was pretty cold.
Our brunch date ends in a round of hugs and promises to brunch again soon. And while she might be many things: the embodiment of my perfect childhood BFF, an actor, a wise-ass, one thing is apparent: Elizabeth Bowen makes a great brunch date. And that makes here A-ok in our books.