Audiences who flock to see The Revenant when it opens this week will be introduced to a new face; alongside lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio is rising star Grace Dove, who plays his wife. It is one of Dove’s first big screen roles, but as Global News revealed, she has a long history in front of the camera—especially in her hometown of Prince George, British Columbia.
Not so long ago, Dove appeared on kids’ show Splatterday, which aired on CKPG. Prince George Citizen noted that Dove, already ambitious, sent in her application to the show at about the age of 10. Later, as a teenager, she became a community correspondent for the same television station. She was already on the company’s roster, but had to wait until she was old enough to get her drivers’ license to start the job.
Dove always wanted to act, but followed the instructions of her father—who worked in film—to finish school before going off to Hollywood. She obliged, eventually attending Vancouver Film School. Her IMDB profile reveals Dove appeared in independent film The Cut and short These Walls before acting alongside DiCaprio in one of the year’s most anticipated films.
— Grace Dove (@_gracedove) December 29, 2015
Grace Dove now lives in Vancouver, and was quite familiar with the remote locations in Alberta and British Columbia used to film The Revenant. When cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki on the Alejandro Gonzlez Iñárritu-directed film asked after her well-being given the cold weather, Dove said, “I’m good. I’m Canadian.”
By now the difficulties of The Revenant shoot are well-known. E! reported last June that Iñárritu insisted on using only natural light over a nine-month long shoot in the wilderness. Because darkness would arrive early, shooting time was limited. The production experienced numerous delays, so many that Tom Hardy, who plays DiCaprio’s foe in the film, had to withdraw from a role in The Suicide Squad.
— #TheRevenant (@RevenantMovie) December 12, 2015
The Hollywood Reporter published a lengthy description of the film’s production challenges, in which Iñárritu defended his process by saying the film is true to his bold vision.
“When you see the film, you will see the scale of it. And you will say, ‘Wow.'”
DiCaprio portrays Hugh Glass, an explorer who battled the elements and eventually settled with the Pawnee First Nation in the early 1800s. It was here that he met his wife, played by Dove. Screen Rant notes that the characters have a child in the film; an element of fiction.
Dove told The Citizen that despite the brutal shoot, she felt free to pursue her art—and the remote setting allowed the actors to delve more completely into their roles.
“I felt so much support. All my bases were covered so I could just do my work. It was a high-level production. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. There is a mad level of respect between the crew and the actors. If I don’t feel safe, my best work isn’t going to come out, and they knew that.”
She also revealed that she’d originally auditioned for a smaller role, but was offered the plum spot as DiCaprio’s romantic interest. Dove was in the midst of doing work for the APTN show UnderExposed when she got the call.
As an aboriginal woman, Dove gave kudos to the Revenant director for his cinematic choices.
“Alejandro has so much respect for our culture and I really appreciate that.”
“The movie industry has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. I’m so excited to be part of it. I’m so proud of my heritage, but I’m not going to let that put me in a box either.”
The Revenant opens on January 8.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment]