I had the chance to chat with Ann Pirvu about her upcoming role in Learning to Love Again. This romantic comedy sounds like the perfect movie for fans of Hallmark and Lifetime movies. Thank you to Ann Pirvu for answering my questions about this and some of her other projects.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
My favorite nerdy girls, thank you for taking the time to chat! I too consider myself quite proudly “nerdy” (laughs). My personal brand of nerdiness is primarily driven by a genuine curiosity for… people. Who they are, how they think, why they do what they do.
I consider myself a perpetual student of life. And a passionate storyteller. I’ve been doing it ever since I can remember. Growing up in Romania, I was constantly surrounded by European arts and culture, and history! My grandfather was in the army and quite the literature buff, so I remember being a sponge for all of his incredible stories and army hymns. We’d periodically break into song and dance walking to the park, or on a hike, or just riding the bus… performing heartfelt lyrical creations for anyone that would listen (laughs). I was such a lucky kid. My family and I moved to Canada when I was 12. That’s when I picked up my first camcorder (picture that!) to document our adventures and discover a brand new tool for storytelling. I ended up learning English from watching cartoons with my brother so, for me, the visual medium made a deep and meaningful impact early on as I became aware of its powerful communicative capacity. That was it! I completely fell in love with the creative arts and started making my own films. I often joke about having two brains and feeling super continental. One’s European, one’s North American… they’ve grown up together so they’re pals now lol kidding! But having the luxury of both perspectives growing up has had a big impact on my overall mindset… and fascination with cultural shifts. Watching my parents create a whole new life for us, in a whole new country, taught me that literally anything is possible. Anytime. And that was what gave me the confidence to pursue my passion for acting as an actual career. I’ve been acting professionally for the past 15 years, and have a broadcast journalism degree from Ryerson University, here in Toronto, where I learned about writing, filming techniques, and what it means to be a well-rounded storyteller. I feel very fortunate to work in an industry so versatile, collaborative, connective… and I honestly don’t imagine myself doing anything else.
How would you describe Learning to Love Again and your role?
This project will always have such a special place in my heart. I’m so excited we finally get to share it with audiences —across Canada. On W Network. On Thanksgiving! In a year that saw so much turmoil for so many, I’m so happy to get to release a project I know will be the perfect feel good addition to Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family. Learning To Love Again is the heartwarming story of a woman who convinces a childhood nemesis (ha) to pretend to be her boyfriend for Thanksgiving weekend… and ends up finding in him much more than she bargained for as he helps her believe in herself, and love, again. After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend and losing her job, the movie follows my character Jane reluctantly heading home to the small town she grew up in to recharge and spend a holiday weekend with her family. On her way there, she stops to help a familiar looking stranger whose car broke down (played by the wonderful Kjartan Hewitt) that we later find out is actually Chris—Jane’s sworn enemy since elementary school! All bets are off as she attempts to deflect from her current situation and ends up fibbing about having a new man in her life: on the spot, she tells everyone she’s reconnected with Chris. The question is will Jane and Chris be able to keep up the charade throughout the holiday weekend? Or will their pretending be so convincing… they may actually fall in love.
Who do you think will enjoy Learning to Love Again?
I’m so excited to get to share this with everyone because it truly is an uplifting movie for the whole family. Heartwarming, entertaining, romantic and true to life — with a lot of heart! You can expect breathtaking fall colors, more Thanksgiving pie than you can probably handle (lol), and beautifully nuanced performances from the fabulous Steffi DiDomenicantonio (Come From Away), Canadian screen legend Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek), Tyrone Savage, Winny Clarke, Barbara Gordon, Richard Clarkin and the lovely Sabryn Rock. I feel truly fortunate to have worked with such a tremendously talented cast. There were barrels of laughs —and our wonderful Director Adam Swica gave us space to play and encouraged a more colourful, authentic family dynamic I’m certain will resonate with audiences.
On a personal note, this project was a bit of a milestone for me. My first leading role in a romantic feature. I’m immensely thankful to the wonderful Vortex Words + Pictures Production team for taking a chance on me and trusting me with Jane. It was an experience that changed my life in so many beautiful ways. I got to bring so much of me to the role, which was a tremendously satisfying creative experience, and I will always be thankful for that.
Are there elements of Jane’s personality you relate to?
Her wild wit and lively, sensitive nature is very similar to mine. Self acknowledged tech nerd Jane is a quick witted old soul, with a passion for antiquated things and a thriving career in tech support. Although she most certainly has me beat on the tech support side (anyone that knows me KNOWS technology and I… don’t get along often,) her witty old soul is very much of my heart. She also prefers the old ways of doing things, a sort of by the book/ logic first/ tried and true, principled approach to decision making that I admire, but that’s also why she finds it hard to let go of the past. I personally love history and tradition. Growing up in Europe, I still carry with me a love of books and physical media. I’ll choose the tangible, even if antiquated and clunky in the face of new technology lol! We both had that in common, at the core. What I quickly picked up on is her resilient nature. And that’s perhaps what spoke to me most. And what every good love story needs! It’s tough to keep an open mind and an open heart after a breakup, or in a phase in life when things aren’t really going your way, but her courage to return to her roots and… creatively attempt to reinvent herself… is such an inspiring example to set for young women watching.
What are some of your favorite rom-coms?
What a great question, that’s hard to narrow down! I don’t know why Wedding Crashers is the first thing that comes to mind but it genuinely is one of my all time favorite movies, comedy/ romance or otherwise. I quote various bits of it any chance I get, my friends and family know that well. Remember, “I told you that in confidence!”
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. That one’s a gem. Sixteen Candles — classic! I absolutely loved Bridget Jones’ Diary. To me, it’s one of those rom-coms that you can see a million times and it’s still as charming and funny, and heartfelt. I guess another unconventional rom-com pick, but I’d have to say Steve Carell’s 40-Year-Old-Virgin is definitely up there for me. I’m such a huge fan of his, and I had a chance to peek into his creative process and learn a bit about how he came up with that character in Judd Apatow’s book “Sick In The Head.” Just awesome — all around!
Could you discuss your project Pep Meg?
PepMag is the result of merging my acting background and journalism skills… into a platform that’s quickly become the emotional intelligence training ground for young leaders and one of my most cherished, rewarding initiatives. When you study people for a living, and appreciate academics as much as I do, you collected interesting life lessons worth sharing… things I wish they taught in school — like how to think, not what to think. Understanding our emotions by accessing and harnessing our inner resources, finding that personal voice – our spark. And the confidence to share it openly with the world for all of our greatest benefit. So I first created PepMagazine in 2017, a digital wellness magazine geared towards inspiring youth to do just that— to put some pep in that daily step and make a mindful, positive lifestyle a priority.
The PepLive Talk Show became the next logical step. I call it the “bouncing up place,” a weekly forum where we engage in live meaningful conversations that educate, empower, elevate and encourage the evolution of positive pathways of thinking about the world. An open, safe space to be who you are. This completely interactive, judgement free zone recorded every Soul Sunday on my Instagram Live and PepMag Twitch Channel with anyone that wishes to participate, share, and learn from one another — with kindness, sensitivity and curiosity. Feel free to join the conversation and find us online @pepmag. There are new topics of conversation introduced each week!
For our Reign fans, what were some of your favorite moments on set?
So many!!! Any opportunity working with Megan Follows, acting or directing, is like a master class in performance. Some of my fondest memories on set involved talking story points and getting to watch her work with Craig Parker. True Catsisse magic, always, but particularly in Season 4! Am I right? My second episode working on the show, the wonderful Spencer Macpherson who plays King Charles and I got to know each other very well lol working on a scene that never saw the light of day on the show. It involved the most stunningly beautiful and elaborate bed frame, and amazing choreography that will only live on in our memories. It was super fun shooting nonetheless! Another very special moment for me was getting to meet our incredible showrunner Lorie McCarthy for the first time. The LA team was on a set visit here in Toronto, and I remember her extending the most lovely welcome for me on the show. And I kept saying, “no no, thank YOU for creating this incredible character and growing with her as an integral part of Season 4!” It was such a gift. Although most of Nicole’s storyline revolves around French Court, I so loved being able to pop by the English and Scottish courts every once in a while. The sets. Were. Incredible! And the cast would periodically hang out between worlds lol it was such a wonderful experience I will always treasure.
Where can our readers keep up with you and your work online?
I’m most active on Instagram @annpirvu but you can find me on all socials with that handle.
Thank you for the amazing chat, I so appreciate this lovely walk down memory lane — and getting to introduce you to “Pinkie” Jane Lane, my character in Learning To Love Again! Excited to share thanksgiving with you all!