Actress Meghan Ory Says She Tackles Projects She Believes In

  • Treat Williams (left) plays the rather distant father of career woman Meghan Ory in the Hallmark Channel's series, "Chesapeake Shores." (Marcel Williams/Hallmark)

  • Canadian actress Meghan Ory plays Abby O'Brien, a high-powered career woman, divorcee, and mother to twin daughters, takes a trip from New York City to her hometown of Chesapeake Shores. Her visit home brings Abby face to face with her past on the Hallmark Channel's "Chesapeake Shores." (Brendan Meadows/Hallmark)

  • Meghan Ory plays Abby O'Brien, a high-powered career woman, divorcee, and mother to twin daughters, takes a trip from New York City to her hometown of Chesapeake Shores in the new Hallmark Channel series, "Chesapeake Shores." (Marcel Williams/Hallmark)

  • Meghan Ory (left) and Jesse Metcalfe play former high school sweethearts who reconnect when Ory's character returns home in the Hallmark Channel's "Chesapeake Shores." (Marcel Williams/Hallmark)

Tribune News Service
Published: 8/15/2016 10:01:01 PM
Modified: 8/15/2016 10:01:05 PM

Beverly Hills, Calif. — For a person who pretends to be someone else for a living, actress Meghan Ory should be in deep trouble. She cannot tell a lie.

“I’m the world’s worst liar,” she says. “It’s really weird, and it’s funny because I have to be careful when I take a job because if I don’t believe in the project, I can’t do it. I have to find a way to believe what I’m talking about and know that there’s something truthful in it,” she says seated at a glass-topped table in a coffee bar here.

“I’ve been pulled over by cops and I can’t talk my way out of anything. I go bright red if I’m lying and kind of sweaty.”

She’s neither in her latest role in the Hallmark Channel’s new series, Chesapeake Shores. Ory plays a career-focused single mother of twins whose return home illuminates the sacrifices she’s made for her job and the hefty costs to her children.

The Canada-born Ory had no trouble finding something to believe in the series. She herself has been obsessed with acting since she was 8.

“It was The Road to Avonlea. There was an open casting call to that everywhere. My aunt told me about it, and I really, really wanted to audition. My mom said if I really wanted to do that, I had to save up my money for my head shots. So I started babysitting and got my own head shots and mailed them to Vancouver,” she recalls.

She grew up on Vancouver Island, a five-hour ferry ride from Vancouver. One agent responded to her photos. And her mother, an elementary school drama teacher, accompanied young Meghan on auditions on the mainland. “I paid for my head shots and started auditioning, and it’s pretty crazy when I think about it now. I put so much effort into it.”

She’s still putting effort into it. She made her very first movie when she was 16 for Fox Family Channel called The Darkling.

“It was kind of a kids’ version of Rear Window,” she remembers. “I had no idea what I was doing. None. I felt so bad. The director was Jeffrey Reiner, Rob’s brother. And someday I’ll see him again and I need to apologize. I had no idea. I’d never been on a set before, and I was the lead of this movie, and I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t know what a mark was. They would put the tape down and I don’t think I stood on it once. I was pretty clueless. They were so sweet.”

Three years later she launched her maiden voyage to L.A. She says while her mother and dad were worried; she wasn’t.

“It was a show called Maybe It’s Me for the WB and we did the pilot in Vancouver and did the show down here. And I was the MEAN girl. So I came down for that and sort of stayed,” she says.

“I don’t think I was scared. I probably should have been, but I think my mom was scared ... I was pretty young. But I had a couple of friends on the show, and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I think I was too excited to be scared.”

She spent about a year in college studying philosophy and traveled between Canada and the U.S. working on various projects.

But it was her role in “Merlin’s Apprentice” that really changed things for Ory, 33. And it had nothing to do with her career.

She met her husband of seven years, actor John Reardon, on that miniseries. “I was doing my wardrobe fitting and he walked in the door with a friend of mine, and they were chatting. And I saw him and thought, ‘He’s sooooo dreamy.’ We were really good friends first. We’d actually met a couple of years earlier and we just became really good friends and just joked around a lot,” she grins.

“When we finished working on Merlin — I never think it’s a good idea to date somebody you’re working with — so we started dating after that.”

They courted for four years before they married. Their only problem, she says, is that their work often pulls them apart. “So we have the rule that we try not to go more than two weeks without seeing each other. That’s the big thing,” she pats her palm on the table.

But in the early part of their marriage they suffered a serious setback. Neither could find work during the prolonged writers’ strike. “We lived in a 400-square-foot apartment in Hermosa Beach but ... we were right off of the strand, so we were right off the beach,” she says.

“My best friend lived up the street so we would see them all the time. So even though I think I didn’t have more than $400 in my bank account for a really long time, and I was working so hard to pay rent and everything, at the same time it was beautiful ...”




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