INTERVIEW: Helen Johns is Mrs. Barry in the New Season of ANNE WITH AN E
Anne with an E premiered it’s third season on the CBC this September (the whole season will be available on Netflix in January 2020). Actress, Helen Johns, returns to her role as Mrs. Eliza Barry, a loving but nervous parent of her two daughters in the show. Find out more on what you can expect from the show below!
Hi Helen, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from and when did you know you wanted to become an actor? What inspired you to pursue this path?
I’m a British-born actress, now living in California. I’ve always known I wanted to act. Apparently I started telling people when I was three! I loved reading aloud as a child, and putting on shows for my long-suffering family, so it was inevitable really. My aunt was a stage manager in the West End theatre world, so that was my first real taste of the industry. I would sit with her up in her perch backstage and watch the shows again and again.
Anne With An E has garnered a very devoted audience for the past couple of years. How does it feel to be a part of a series that has people so emotionally invested in?
It’s just lovely. The original novels are very beautiful and very well-loved across the world. It’s wonderful that so many people think we are telling the stories right. Our fans are extremely supportive. We get wonderful messages and content like videos and art all the time. I’m very proud to be a part of such a meaningful show.
Your character in the show, Mrs. Eliza Barry, has had ups and downs in the first two seasons of the show. What can you tell us about her current life in season 3?
Well, the ups and downs continue! Life is changing for all the parents on the show, as our youngsters are growing up and trying to find their feet in the world. They are all thinking about their futures and testing boundaries. There’s a lot going on.
Do you relate to Eliza in any way? What is the biggest difference between you and your character?
I recently became a parent myself for the first time, and I can definitely relate to wanting what is best for your children. As well as wanting them to be polite and well-behaved. One big difference between us is circumstantial… Her views about what her daughters can achieve in life are limited due to the social conventions of the time. Another difference is that I think she is much more fearful of new experiences than I am. If Anne showed up at my door I’d be delighted!
What do you love the most about Anne With An E?
Anne herself. That she lives with a spirit of wonder, joy and fairness. That she is prepared to fight for the good of others. And that she’s a survivor.
Do you have any current favorite shows that you are binging?
Call My Agent on Netlix is fantastic and hilarious. It’s a French show about an acting agency, so it’s perfectly up my street. I also just finished the second season of Fleabag. Devastated that there probably won’t be more of it.
For our final question– if you could have one super power, which would it be and why?
Definitely teleportation. I spend so much time on planes, which is boring and bad for the environment. I wish I could click my fingers and get where I need to go.