5×5 With The Hook: Michelle Nolden.

In my house, Michelle Nolden is many things to many people.

(Okay, to be clear, she’s many things to three humans and a dog.)

To my daughter, she’s Dr. Dawn Bell, a cardiologist and Chief of Surgery on Saving Hope.

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To my wife, she was Detective William Murdoch’s sister (who, ironically, is an actual Sister), Rev. Mother Susannah Murdoch, in the exceptional  Murdoch Mysteries episode, “Voices”.

To the dog, she’s that lady who inspires barking every time she’s onscreen. Don’t ask me if this means Chelsea loves or hates her. Either way, she gets a reaction… and that ain’t bad.

To me, she’s a homegrown actress who is as gifted as the day is long, as beautiful as Trump is nutty, and as gracious as I am sarcastic. (Although I’m being genuine now.)

Oh, and lest I forget, to the boys at the Bell Desk, Michelle Nolden is “that hot chick The Hook’s researching for his blog.”

A true “actor’s actor”, Michelle’s acting history is peppered with popcorn films/blockbusters and independent features.You’ve been mesmerized by her performances in The Time Travellers Wife, Red, Lucid and Show Me. Unless you’re emotionally dead, that is.

A natural air of authority surrounds her and so it makes sense that she beat Hillary to the punch by appearing  as the U.S. President in the hit series Nikita. She was the Crown Attorney in the CBC hit series, The Republic of Doyle, and she was a regular on NUM3ERS as U.S. attorney Robin Brooks. All that’s left for Michelle is to push Morgan Freeman aside and play God in the next “Almighty” flick. 

As with most actors who truly love what they do, Michelle has done the  guest star thing, appearing in Lost Girl, (I love this show – and not just for the unbelievably-awesome lesbian stuff) Covert Affairs, Cracked, The Listener, C.S.I. Miami, Everwood, and Crossing Jordan.

And the coolest thing about Michelle Nolden that’s fit for publication?

Her aforementioned role as Detective William Murdoch’s sister was stupendous. I recently begged the MM gang to bring her back (Michelle told me she’s all for it), despite her character’s presumed death. Ghostly guest star, anyone?

latestNot content to just be a tough-as-nails pretty face on the small screen, Nolden wrote and directed the short film Loonie, which was selected to screen at the Palm Springs, Los Angeles, and Atlantic Film Festivals, among others.  She also wrote and directed A Man’s World and the documentary I Need A Hero, both currently in the Festival circuit.

So yes, the gal’s got skillz, as the kids say, apparently.

But let’s talk Saving Hope before we get to the heart of today’s matter, shall we? For the uninitiated, Hope is the smartest medical drama on television, perfectly blending supernatural elements, medical mysteries and above all, human drama to create a show that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s also the most underrated show on TV, in my opinion.

Michelle’s Dr. Dawn Bell could easily have been written as a one-note, icy-cold, heartless, cardiologist (irony rules) and monkey wrench to the main characters’ already-shaky romance, but instead she’s become as real a human being as you’ve ever met. Dawn has become my daughter’s favorite Hope character (shh…) and she even provided the most stunning moment of television I’ve watched with my child ever.

My daughter’s life has been overwhelmed with the demands of work and education and so I doubt we’ll be watching Saving Hope together much in the future, but when Dawn was suddenly raped last season, we were gobsmacked. We both sat speechless for five full minutes, that’s how powerful Michelle’s performance was. To their credit, the Hope writers didn’t take a linear path with Dawn’s story from that moment on. She’s become powerful yet vulnerable, independent but in touch with her maternal instincts, and most importantly, she never became a victim… she became an even more determined fighter.

And that concludes the Michelle Nolden lovefest portion of today’s program. On with the 5×5 Qs!

Without further adieu, here are Michelle’s five fun queries that will make you think (a little) and smile (a lot, hopefully).

ONE)  As an exceptionally-gifted actress and a woman, have you ever used your gift for personal gain? (For example, to get out of a speeding ticket or a horrible blind date back in the day?)

Only if someone actually writes me the words to say; I’m a terrible liar. I always think of what I SHOULD’VE said after the incident. 🙂

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TWO)  If you could be any condiment, what would you be?

Mustard – sweet enough but with a bit of spice.

(I knew it! Why can’t my skills translate to things like the races or when my wife is about to ask me about something that happened years ago?)

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THREE)  When the day inevitably comes, would you like to be a ghost for awhile – and terrorize your enemies – or would you prefer to move on immediately?

I suppose it depends on when the day comes and how at peace I am with what I left behind.

(That’s a good, honest answer. I’ll take it.)

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FOUR)  As a bellman I’m fascinated by all things travel; do you have any travel rituals you’d like to share? (Always booking a corner room or one with a view, booking under an alias, hiding pets in beer coolers, etc.)

I fall asleep immediately in a plane, train or automobile – hmmm…

(I suppose that’s fine as long as you’re not the one operating the vehicle…)

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FIVE)  My daughter would literally disown me if I didn’t ask for at least one behind-the-scenes Saving Hope tale. Lady’s choice, of course.

When I get the giggles onset, I can’t stop.  Once I start I find it VERY hard to keep a straight face. 

(I’d pay good money to see that. It’d make a nice contrast to Michelle’s regular onscreen routine.)

CU6w_CxWcAAsX5OHmm… I can do a piece for The Hook’s blog or I can let my fingertips be fed to the wolverines. Decisions, decisions…

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All right, our time together has come to a close once more. I hope you’ve enjoyed Michelle’s 5×5 spotlight as much as I did. Thank you for being here and Michelle, wherever you are, stay cool.

See you in the lobby, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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7 Responses to 5×5 With The Hook: Michelle Nolden.

  1. Paul says:

    Great interview Hook. I enjoy Michelle’s acting and was surprised she was the Time Traveler’s Wife – love that movie. I like her acting in Saving Hope but I have given up on this series.

    When it first came out I watched every episode. The problem that developed was that every week, one of the main characters would get hurt or have a serious problem. I’m a team work kinda guy and I most enjoy shows where the team faces outwards and solves problems and mysteries that come at them. When I managed, it was the same way – together we can beat any problem, as soon as we are missing a team member all bets are off. And in reality- even with a big team of 80 direct reports, it was rare that we weren’t fully staffed and operating at peak efficiency.

    Now when I watch Saving Hope, I cringe just waiting for a team member to get stabbed in the throat or raped or mutilated in some way. Star Trek is my all time favorite series and I dislike the episodes where one of the crew is incapacitated or attacked in some way.

    Thanks so much for the great post Hook.

  2. susielindau says:

    Thanks for the introduction! I’m so glad to meet Michelle and can relate to her condiment choice.

  3. Hallie says:

    Coming into Saving Hope I didn’t know who any of the actors were. Through four seasons I’ve enjoyed watching Nolden/Dawn so much, and I’m glad the writers have given her character more dimensions. She can’t be my #1, that goes to the ghost-whispering Harris/Shanks, but she’s easily my second favorite character on a show filled with very talented actors and interesting characters.

    I believe it’s a rule that **** happens to you when you play a doctor on a TV medical drama. Last season was Dawn’s turn and Nolden did a wonderful job dealing with her trauma and its aftermath. My favorite scene was in Emotional Rescue, being confronted by her attacker and somehow managing to hold back her emotions. Beautifully done. I hope we see lots of Dawn in Season 5.

    Thank you for the interview, nice insight. Would love to see some Saving Hope behind-the-scenes footage.

  4. Always a terrific interview. Michelle has always impressed me with her acting chops. Thanks, Hook

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