If you’re looking for a heartfelt film about beautiful connections forged through music, The Love Club: Tara has the cure for what ails you. Starring Camille Stopps as aspiring musician Tara, the film follows the free-spirited titular character as she endeavors to focus on her future. When Tara sends a photo of singer-songwriter Noah to her mother and claims he’s her boyfriend, hilarity ensues, resulting in a fake marriage.
Brett Donahue plays Noah, and I had the privilege of chatting with him about his role in The Love Club: Tara, what audiences can expect, his favorite part of the acting process, what’s on the horizon and more.
This interview is condensed for length and clarity.
Melody McCune: We at GGA love a good origin story. How did you get into this industry?
Brett Donahue: Kind of in a roundabout but direct way. I took drama courses in high school, but it was never what I was focused on. I went to a performing arts high school, but more in terms of musical theater. They had some drama courses.
I was big into sports. That was my main focus. Then, I broke my wrist, and it put the kibosh on those plans. So, I thought I’d join the improv team. I enjoyed it, which led me to university. I had no idea what I wanted to do. Luckily, one of the courses I took was theater. I found it was what I was most interested in. That led me to another university. This was all in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where I grew up.
After finishing my BA, I was told by a friend about the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. I applied and got accepted. That was another three-year program. After that, I moved to Toronto and started making a go of it.
MM: Let’s talk about The Love Club: Tara. Can you tell me what it’s about?
BD: The Love Club is a series of four films centered around four friends. Each one of them has their own story. For this one, it’s Tara. You find Tara managing this bar. She’s a singer-songwriter and aspiring musician. Tara’s in a rut and decides her next steps forward will be focused on her. She’s tired of the dating scene, so that becomes her New Year’s resolution.
I play a guy named Noah, who’s a singer-songwriter. I’m traveling around in my VW van trying to book gigs, practice and hopefully get my music noticed so I can take the next steps.
Among all that, I pose for a photo, which Tara sends to her mom. She pretends I’m her boyfriend because her mom tends to worry about her. Long story short, this agreement we have escalates into a phony marriage. I try to help her out as she goes along. Through all the craziness, what grounds us together is the music we’ve been creating. There’s a chance someone influential may come across us.
MM: Do you share any similarities with Noah?
BD: I play the piano, so there’s a music connection. I never necessarily saw myself as a musician, and I don’t sing while doing it, so that was a challenge. What I found the most difficult was playing along while trying to sing and doing each task freely.
What I like about Noah is he’s not a guy that has everything together. He’s not this polished person poised for success in the music industry. He’s a goof and certainly a romantic. Someone trying and finding his way. I can relate to that. I don’t want to say I’m a goof and don’t have things together. But he’s honest about where he is in the world and what he wants.
MM: Describe this film using three words.
BD: Melody. Circumstance. Surprise.
MM: I don’t think I’ve ever heard my name used to describe something before.
BD: I was trying to get it in there somewhere.
MM: What can audiences expect when watching this movie?
BD: They can expect a nice, sweet tale with beautiful music and beautiful connection.
MM: Are you a fan of rom-coms? If so, do you have any favorites?
BD: It’s not something I usually gravitate toward.
MM: You don’t actively search for them.
BD: Yeah, I’m not sitting on my couch going, “You know what? A rom-com would do me good right now.” But there are the classics, like When Harry Met Sally and Love Actually. Everyone has seen them, and everyone enjoys them. My Girl is a younger story, but it’s about love. I think that’s a real classic, too.
MM: What part of the acting process do you love the most?
BD: The people you get to work with, not only on the acting side but on the crew side. There’s a host of personalities and exciting stories. The problem is these jobs are often happening so fast. There’s not a lot of time to get to know anyone. The positive of filming is knowing there are a lot of pauses. There’s always downtime for conversation.
I love meeting people that way. We have a task to do, but it’s almost easier to find a rapport together because we have that task. Everyone is experiencing a similar thing to a certain degree, but everyone has their own interpretation of it. I love hearing about people’s lives, especially what they do outside of acting. I always find it interesting.
MM: What else is on the horizon for you, career-wise?
BD: I was in a series on Prime Video called Three Pines. There’s another rom-com. You asked me about rom-coms, and this will be my year of rom-coms. I’ve got about four coming out. One that just aired, as well, is a film called Luckless in Love, which was on UPtv and is on Prime Video.
In March, I’ll be shooting the third season of a French Canadian series called Portrait-Robot in English. It means something very different in French. I get to act in French and English. I speak French, but it’s always a real task when trying to do something in a second language.
MM: Have you watched anything interesting lately?
BD: I’m late to the game, but I just started Severance.
MM: Name your favorite films.
MM: Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Brett!
BD: Thank you, Melody!
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