While having charted a successful career path through the rough and tumble terrain that is Hollywood, Emmanuelle Vaugier has eminently displayed both depth of character and range in a myriad of roles in television and the movies. She recently starred in an ongoing story line on Lost Girl and fans of CSI: New York will remember her portrayal of Detective Jessica Angell.
When this multi-faceted performer, model, and philanthropist does find occasional down time, she enjoys a glass of wine in her former hometown of Vancouver, B.C. We met her for lunch at restauranteur Franco Felice’s signature Italian eatery, Café Il Nido.
Where was your fondness for wine cultivated?
Growing up in a French family, it was just part of our lives since I was very little — not that I was drinking when I was six — but it was on the table at dinner. As I got older, I learned more and developed a real taste and appreciation for wine.
On the Hollywood cocktail circuit, is wine more prevalent than, say, a martini?
Often functions I attend are sponsored by a liquor company, but these companies often own a wine label so you’ll find good wine choices as well. Personally, I gravitate to the wine.
We admire your versatility as an actress and the range of characters you portrayed from playing Charlie Sheen’s fiancé in Two and a Half Men to playing a detective in CSI: New York. From a situation comedy one minute to a serious drama the next. Did you and your agents consciously map out this plan?
No, it just all kind of happened that way. Before Two and a Half Men, I hadn’t done comedy but went in for a number of pre-reads. Then later, I received the news I had the role of Charlie Sheen’s love interest, Mia. I was nervous as I hadn’t done a live audience show before but what was supposed to be a two or three episode appearance turned into many more. It was a great experience as I do enjoy making people laugh. (We can attest to that, she was hilarious over lunch)
There are many things, a friend recently re-introduced me to horseback riding — something I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I miss that very much. I ride with this trainer who has opened up a whole new world to me. The calibre of horses she has and how much I’ve learned has been incredible. Now when I go back to L.A., I want to return to Vancouver as quickly as I can because I have not yet found the same level, the same value.
Is there a particular wine you look for in the United States?
I look for a nice, full-bodied wine for dinner; something earthy and old world. I’m not a fan of sweet and fruity. If it’s white, then I go for a light, crisp wine. I also enjoy a rosé wine on occasion and rosé champagne. It’s always on my list of favourites on a nice, summer day.
Are you able to find British Columbia wines in California?
B.C. wines are harder to come by in the United States. I love discovering great wines that haven’t yet caught on.
Have you been to the Okanagan wine region?
Not since I was a child. Everyone keeps telling me I have to check it out. And I plan to — every Okanagan wine I’ve sampled has been excellent.
In addition to her myriad screen appearances and numerous acknowledgements including being one of the sexiest women on screen, the Vancouver-born actress also devotes herself tirelessly to Best Friends Animal Society. How are things with Best Friends Animal Society and your annual Fluffball charity event?
The same wonderful couple (Creative Artists Agency’s managing partner David O’Connor) have offered us the use of their beautiful home for the event; it really helps keep costs down. We also have fabulous sponsors like Grey Goose who continue to show their support. The reaction and support gets stronger every year.