Words by Jessica Rovniak.
Embodying the phrase “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life,” actress Amy Forsyth has passion and vigor to spare. The 20-year-old Canadian actress started performing as soon as she could step outside her door; starting with ballet at four. She kept performing through a specialized art program at her high school, when a promising acting career swooped her up before she could make it to college.
Forsyth currently plays Ashley Fields in The Path, starring Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad). The Hulu Original TV series explores love in its multiplicity, from religion, unrequited lust, to young love. Created by Jessica Goldberg (Parenthood), the series follows Eddie Lane (played by Aaron Paul) as he begins to doubt the fictional, cult-like religious movement, Meyerism. While Lane explores his doubts, his son Hawk begins to pull away when a love interest emerges in the form of Ashley Fields.
Forsyth can deeply relate to the trust her character shares with Hawk, and finds interest in how love is expressed among unions throughout the show. She grew up around family that not only supported her love for acting but encouraged her to cultivate her talent. I talked with Forsyth about family and the ripple effect that comes from loving what you do.
JESSICA ROVNIAK: What kind of love did you look up to growing up?
AMY FORSYTH: My maternal grandparents, for sure. They are, to this day, the most loving couple I’ve ever been around. There’s nothing like the look on my grandma’s face when she’s sitting across from my grandpa and he makes a joke and she points and smiles. I can see it right now. They have so much love for each other and their community. They volunteer at church. The love between them and the love that they taught their family and my mother [was then passed on] to me.
You’ve always been surrounded by people who love what they do.
Absolutely. My brother is just finishing up school in industrial design. He is super talented. He’s a brilliant artist and a brilliant athlete, and he’s found a way to do both. He’s into Tough Mudder, which is an incredible obstacle course race. He’s convinced me to do it once or twice. I’m thankful for it. He goes to their big event, World’s Toughest Mudder in Vegas, and it’s this five-mile course with 20 obstacles; It’s where you run for 24 hours. He’s good at it. He came in sixth place this year.
I can barely run up the stairs to the subway.
Oh, I can’t either. I was in LA the day before he convinced me to do it. It took me so long, I had to walk most of it. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. You should do it.
I’ll look into it. [Laughs] Something people don’t talk about enough is loving one’s work or one’s career…
The most important things in life are to love your work and love yourself. If you love what you’re doing, it’s going to make you happier. If you’re happier, it’s easier to love yourself and the people around you. Life is so short, why would you ever want to be in a job you don’t love? Why won’t you ever want to spend five days a week doing something that makes you miserable?
I have an incredible mother that put me in every extracurricular [activity] we possibly could try. She helped my brother and I figure out what we love early on, or at least try. She just wanted to expose us to as many things as possible. That’s how I found what I love. They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life, and I can attest to that. [Laughs]
And now you’re on The Path. It’s a complicated show! It’s hard to condense it into one perfect sentence.
It is really hard. I would say it’s a drama about a religious movement, the inner workings of it, and what happens when you start to question your faith.
Your character is an outsider to this religious movement. I’m interested in the love that happens within the movement, and how confusing it can be as an outsider.
Our writers did such an incredible job of creating a fully fleshed out religion. You want to buy into what they’re selling because it’s the way they’ve created this beautiful beast. It does seem like such a wonderful group to be a part of and a loving group to be a part of. Not only do they teach you about loving to each other, that’s a huge thing for them, but to love yourself. I think for Ashley that’s something she has to work on a little bit.
Don’t we all.
[Laughs] Don’t we all. There are a million other things that come with that. Ashley is the longest I’ve been able to work on a character, and characters grow as people do too–Things change and develop. I have this strong attachment to Ashley, because of her story. I hold her so close to me that [at first] I was nervous for people to see Ashley and for people to see Ashley and Hawk together, because it felt like the world was reading my diary.