Now that her child-rearing days are over, June Lundie figured it was time to focus on her own personal passions.
Last year, the Lacombe-area mom traded working on her family grain farm for acting on movie and TV sets in Calgary.
“It’s pretty exciting and very educational,” said Lundie, who’s appeared in non-speaking roles with Kate Beckinsale in the episodic comedy-drama Guilty Party and other projects.
Besides playing a jail guard in Guilty Party (for Paramount Plus), Lundie has also performed as a Mormon mother in Under the Banner of Heaven (co-produced by Ron Howard for Disney Channel), and an 1880s town woman “with my hair in a bun and dirt all over my face in Billy the Kid (for the streaming service Epix).
“I think I am more suited to the 1980s than 1880s,” she concluded, with a laugh.
As well, Lundie has worked on a Hallmark Movie tentatively called Dream Wedding, and the murder mystery Joe Pickett for Spectrum TV.
She said she loves slipping under the skin of new characters and bringing them to life. Lundie also enjoys the filmmaking process — watching dozens of people fulfill specialized roles to enable a cinematic story to be told.
The 59-year-old woman wants to encourage others to follow their passions, saying ”it’s never too late.”
Lundie always dreamed of moving to Hollywood as a kid growing up in Moncton N.B. In reality, she only made it as far as Edmonton before setting down roots.
She worked as a make-up and special effects artist in the 1980s, and also took some actor training. Lundie performed briefly in theatre and had a walk-on role in the 1986 movie Rad with Lori Loughlin.
But then she married a Lacombe-area farmer and moved into the role of mother and co-farmer. Lundie put her early dreams behind her.
Now that her son is a commercial pilot, and helping Lundie’s husband innovate and diversify the family’s gluten-free grain farm, she began pondering “what do I want to do that’s for me?”
With the support of her husband and son, Lundie started scouted for a talent agent. She got signed last year by Calgary’s Platinum Talent Management, which makes Lundie aware of various opportunities for background acting in TV and films.
“This is baby steps,” Lundie explained, ” but I figured, if I can get my feet wet…”
Non-union actors, who can be called at 9:30 p.m. to show up for a 6 a.m. call the next day, typically earn minimum wage for their efforts, said Lundie, who feels this job wouldn’t make sense for anyone needing a regular paycheque.
Although actors are well fed by on-set caterers, they have to do a lot of standing around, she said. ‘This is not for hyper-active people who have to be doing something all the time… most scenes take six or seven takes…”
But she considers it fascinating to work with so many interesting people. While bit players are not allowed to approach the stars of a production, who are often in character and concentrating on their next scene, often big-timers, such as Beckinsale, will approach them to say “hi,” and joke around, said Lundie.
She’s had many enjoyable conversations with other background actors, who are often retired teachers or engineers, fulfilling a personal yearning to create characters for TV or film.
By appearing 15 times in one year on a film set, Lundie recently qualified for an ACTRA union card, which means she’s now eligible for higher wages and has the possibility of speaking parts in future.
In fact, Lundie has already set a new personal challenge for the coming year: “My goal is to get a speaking role, and I’m going to do it.”