Celebrity parent Dani Kind co-stars in CBC/Netflix’s hit series Workin’ Moms. She had recently received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series, and the show has been nominated for multiple International Emmy awards. Kind recently starred in the film The Two Deaths of Henry Baker, recurs often on SyFy’s Wynonna Earp and was supporting opposite Peter Sarsgaard in The Lie for Blumhouse. She can also be seen as the lead of the thriller Banana Splits. She’s also mom to two boys.
We caught up with the actor to chat about all things career, parenting and more.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
A morning cuddle with my kids, an easy school drop-off, good coffee and a walk with my dog and a friend, a great workout, taking in some art (a museum, theatre or live music) and a great dinner with oysters!
Why did you choose your career?
I feel like it chose me. I saw a young woman perform a monologue in high school and it just clicked. It was like a magnetic pull to do it and there was really no other option.
What do you love most about what you do in your job?
I love the moment when they call “action” and (if I’m brave enough) I jump off the ledge and don’t know what is going to happen. It’s a magical feeling. I love the collaboration between departments and seeing a story come together. I love being on set.
What has been the hardest part of building your career?
I am an impatient person. But I’ve always had some kind of blind belief in myself—even before I worked on developing my talent. What was hard was finding people to get behind me. Finding a good team of agents and a manager that believed in me and wanted to shape a long career with me. I have that now but it has taken almost 20 years.
Who was/is your mentor?
I am lucky enough to have two coaches that I work with and have worked with for the last 15 years. I call them my “Phil Jacksons.” Their real names are Michele Lonsdale-Smith and John Riven. I have seen art in their acting rooms that I have rarely seen in TV and film. Under their coaching I have taken risks with my work that have stretched me as an artist. Their dedication to their work is unwavering. I am now looking at director mentors as I am deeply interested in directing!
Who is your favourite Canadian?
Hands-down, it is Jann Arden. I have followed her career for years and now am lucky enough to call her a friend. She is an incredible artist who has stretched herself in multiple disciplines, while holding this deep integrity for who she is as a human. I love her dearly.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I swear a lot. Which I won’t do here….
Which words or phrases do you dislike when other people overuse?
I am really turned off by sarcasm. It generally feels mean and judge-y. Other than that, I’m pretty open to most words.
Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My kids. This may be controversial but…I think most parents love their kids but not everyone “likes” them. I have discovered how much I truly like them as people. Each year they have a birthday, I feel so lucky to have gotten another year with them. I am so curious about who they are as humans and it is a really crazy thing watching them grow in the world after I made them in my body!
When and where were you happiest?
I am happiest when I’m acting. I am in love with my craft and the never-ending discovery of it. I am also happiest in the forest with a campfire.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to sing and to tap dance. Old school Hollywood-type tap dance.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My sister is a real hero of mine. Growing up beside her and watching everything she’s overcome has been a real honour. I think she’s an incredible woman.
What is your motto?
You do you. I think everyone comes with their own history and are at all different stages in life. There needs to be some grace given to people.
What do you always have in your fridge?
Apples. My kids are obsessed with them. And oat milk for my coffee.
How would you describe yourself as a parent?
I am really big on manners. They are important to me. Otherwise, I’m pretty loose as a parent. I probably hug and kiss them more than they would like. I don’t know all of their friends’ names and I’m not the greatest at cooking. I like to sing loudly in the car with them and scream in the forest. I am soft and hard. I fail daily and am learning daily.
What is your parenting superpower?
I am a sucker for when they laugh at my jokes. They even hint at a giggle and the flood gates open to Joke City. They are really coming into their own sense of comedy this past year and it’s incredible to witness.
What do you wish you made more time in your life for?
Art. There is never enough time for all the art I want to make, absorb and experience.
What is a tradition from your childhood that you’ve carried on with your own kids?
Getting up as early as possible Christmas morning. It’s such a rush and it’s so exciting.
What do you love most about being a parent, and what do you dislike most?
I like the surprises of how the simplest things can make me feel. Watching my boys walk together down the street and one grabs the other’s hand. Hearing them squeal over a tv show they love. Simple joy. I dislike disciplining them, it’s hard and makes me feel horrible and gross. There is no guidebook for it and each kid is wildly different, so what works with one kid does not work with the other.
What has surprised you most about being a parent that you weren’t expecting?
That I like it. For the majority of my life I decided strongly that I wasn’t going to have kids. It wasn’t something I ever thought I’d like or be good at. I like it so, so much and can’t imagine not being a mom.
Favourite family vacation and why?
I took my kids camping last summer for the first time and watching them gain confidence over the weekend was so beautiful. I loved every moment of that weekend.
What one trait or value are you most trying to instil in your children?
Not giving up on themselves. Their dad and I have taken them to skate parks since they were babies to watch skateboarders. It is a beautiful sport and totally self-motivated. When they are struggling with schoolwork or friendships or anything, I ask them, “What do skateboarders do?” and they say (while rolling their eyes), “They get back up and try again.”
What one trait are you hoping to avoid?
Entitlement. My dream is for them to see the humanity in everything and everyone in this world and with great empathy.
Favourite family summer activity?
Packing a lunch and heading to one of Toronto’s amazing outdoor public pools.
Favourite family winter activity?
Sledding and hot chocolate!
Watch celebrity parent Dani Kind as Anne Carlson in Season 6 of Workin’ Moms on CBC TV or stream anytime on CBC Gem, CBC’s streaming service.