Shauna Bonaduce steals the show as Princesse Lisette in “Comment devenir une legende”
For every seasoned actor, there is always a role that stands out in your career. It propels you into stardom, and no matter how prestigious your other projects become, you still remember it as a highlight of your career. Shauna Bonaduce knows this well. Her breakout role as Princesse Lisette in the hit show Comment devenir une legende won Quebecois audiences over right away, and immediately made her a sought-after actress in her industry. Now, she is one of the regular in-house announcers for the Canadian channel CBC, has starred in films such as C’est plus facile de liker que dire je t’aime, Embrasse-moi comme tu m’aimes, La passion d’Augustine, and the popular series 30 Vies. She also does a lot of dubbing, voice commercials, and her highly-anticipated next feature will be released this coming September. There is no limit for what this versatile actress can achieve.
Comment devenir une legende tells the story of Mat, the son and grandson of legendary heroes, and he is dead set on making history as well. His dream is to lead the King’s armies, so to start his rise to power he puts his name in to be head of the class. Mat is counting on a little help from his comrades: a singing and dancing barbarian, an elf with magic powers, an overly precious princess, and an aristocrat who’s just as snobby as he is boastful. He is sure to shake things up for this joyful, motley crew, whose favorite pastime is strolling through the town square.
“Shauna played her leading role of Princesse Lisette masterfully, and I made sure early on that she be featured on as many episodes as possible. Many might think that because the series is geared towards teenagers, it might be a walk in the park, mimicking the fun and games that make up the program’s content, but nothing could be further from the truth. The process could often be long and grueling, with make takes necessary to satisfy the vision of the creative team behind the series. However, Shauna was such a precious addition to the cast, always performing accurately and efficiently, she was greatly appreciated and respected by the entire cast and crew of the production. While Shauna has often taken the lead in more somber, serious productions, she was effortlessly able to embody the lightheartedness of Comment devenir une legende. Her timing and delivery were that of a seasoned comedian, showcasing her natural aptitude for all elements of theatre. It is just this aptitude that has made her not only one of the fan-favorites of the series, but contributed to propel the series at large towards such high ratings and popularity,” said the Producer of the series, Jacques Payette.
With her delicate dresses and her hair perfectly combed, Princesse Lisette Deux seems to live in another world. While young people of her age study, train, work and do sports, she gets dressed, manicured, combed, massaged, and pampered. The boys find her drop dead gorgeous and the girls are jealous of her. Princesse Lisette Deux is the only child of Roi René, king of St-Thuribes. Her mother died at a young age and she therefore became quite spoiled by her father. She always gets what she wants. She has a good heart but hates to show it. Throughout the seasons, she slowly creates friendships with the “non-royals”, as she calls them. Her father realizes how spoiled and antisocial she is at the end of the second episode and therefore decides to push her to socialize more with the other kids of the village. He sends her back to normal school so she can become one of them and perhaps make friends. It takes time but she ends up making her place in their heart throughout the episodes until she is completely a part of the gang. Bonaduce played the role perfectly, getting quickly into the mindset of the character.
“I knew this would be a beautiful and unique series. As soon as I read the first lines of the script I thought it was so well-written and so funny. The character was colorful and full of contrasts, and I felt like I knew her, in a strange way. I knew how she laughed, talked, walked, held things, got mad. On the breakdown, she was described as this delicate and spoiled diva type girl that cared only about her nails, but I thought she needed some edge and depth. The real Disney princess type on the outside, but classless as soon as she opens her mouth to speak, and very loud,” said Bonaduce.
Initially, the channel and the production team were set on having a blonde-haired Princesse Lisette. Bonaduce, having dark brown locks, almost didn’t get to audition for the part. Due to her reputation as a great actor, the director agreed to see her, but the production was still holding onto their vision of that blonde main princess. But as soon as she got in the audition room, she immediately won everyone over with her portrayal of the princess, and as the first audition of the day, they knew they did not need to look any further. Bonaduce as the brunette princess soon became an icon for the show.
“Even though I already was considered a well-qualified actress, working on the show made me realize I was capable of more than I ever thought I was. After that project, I was never scared of a camera again. I now feel at home on any set and comfortable with any kind of teams,” she said.
The role also allowed Bonaduce to work with other top actors in her field. Her father in the show, the King, was played by Pierre-François Legendre, and two of the school teachers in the show were the well-known comedians Vincent Léonard and Sébastien Dubé, known under the name Les Denis Drolet. They ended up becoming friends. Bonaduce says the best part of the experience was the people she got to work with.
“The crew was precious. I loved them all, from the camera guys to the makeup artists, from the producer to the cook or the driver! And the talent around me was undeniable. The set looked real and gorgeous, the costumes were amazing, and it was such an incredible chance to be a part of something so big, edgy, funny, and professional,” she concluded.