Ginger Nuts of Horror
Actress Alison Wandzura will be lighting up the screen in the highly anticipated TV series Van Helsing. From the Producers of Emmy winning Fargo and Hell on Wheels, Van Helsing features Alison Wandzura as a key character in an apocalyptic vampire world. The new series premieres on September 23, 2016 at 10/9c on the SyFy network.
Van Helsing is described as “a twist on the classic vampire adventure tale”. In Van Helsing, Alison’s character was originally written only into the pilot episode but was expanded over the first season. Alison plays the recurring character Nicole alongside Kelly Overton (True Blood), Jonathan Scarfe (Hell on Wheels), Christopher Heyerdahl (True Blood), David Cubitt (Medium, Ray Donovan), and Aleks Paunovic (Continuum). Vanessa Helsing, distant relative of famous vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, is resurrected only to find that vampires have taken over the world. She is humanity’s last hope to lead an offensive to take back what has been lost.
“I fell in love with the Van Helsing characters and their journeys”, says Alison. “The show is gritty and unpredictable, and the stakes (pardon the pun) are always high. As an actor, you’re entering a world where your life is constantly in danger, with vampires gnashing at the gates, and you have to make that authentic to you, so it’s authentic to the audience.”
“It’s a gift to be part of the Van Helsing family, as it is the best crew and cast I’ve worked with,” reflects Alison. “Kelly Overton, our leading lady, is incredibly down-to-earth and gracious,” Alison continues. “The vibe on any set trickles down from the top, so when the star of the show is as warm a person as Kelly, that spirit is contagious.”
Alison is currently working on the movie Story of a Girl, which is Kyra Sedgwick’s directorial debut, and part of Lifetime network’s “Broad Focus” initiative to promote female directors, writers, and producers. Alison plays a well-to-do former colleague of the character played by Jon Tenny(Scandal, The Closer). Alison will also be appearing on The Magicians (SyFy) and Rogue (DirecTV), both airing in 2017. Other credits include The X Files, iZombie, Mistresses, Age of Adaline and Once Upon A Time.
This year Alison co-produced and co-starred in Singer Sisters, a comedic short film that won a $10,000 grant from Telus Storyhive. In the film she plays Sarah, an actress who’s being pressured to go under the knife in order to land a role on a TV show. This film specifically created opportunities for women, as the producers, writer, director and many of the crew were female.
Alison grew up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Early signs of a future in acting began around the age of six when Alison started improvising shampoo commercials in her bathtub. As a kid she loved putting on puppet shows for whoever would watch. The turning point came in University while she was majoring in Business and minoring in Drama. She began performing in stage plays, which she considers to be the best training ground for an actor. “In a two-hour stage performance, you have to give a lot of yourself, and the stamina required for a three-week run with nightly performances is huge,” says Alison.
In her personal life, Alison has a 2-year-old Chihuahua named Cheetah, which she adopted through a group called “Big and Small Rescue”. She encourages people to save an animal’s life by adopting. Alison sticks to a regular workout regimen to stay in shape, often doing push-ups with her 10-pound Chihuahua on her back for a fun and further challenge.
Alison continues to pursue her acting career with the goal of telling thought-provoking stories, particular those with strong, empowering portrayals of women.