Hannah Zirke is one of the fastest shooting young stars to grace the screen. But, if you asked Hannah who she is, she’d simply say that she’s just a regular Vancouver Island 13 year old farm girl….who happens to LOVE acting.
Hannah was just six years old when her family was vacationing in Los Angeles. As fate would have it, she’d take an elevator ride with some casting directors at her hotel, who would encourage her parents to get her into acting. A few months after returning back home, Hannah would land three commercials in her first two auditions.
The young starlet’s first big role would come during the Chemainus Theatre Festival in It’s a Wonderful Life, playing Zuzu, Young Mary, and Bella. Just after her 10th birthday, Hannah would land a role in a Macy’s Christmas Commercial titled, The Wish Writer.
“I cried when they told me I got the part because I had to go to 6 auditions for it and I didn’t know until that last audition that I got the part. It was overwhelming.”
BAHM Magazine asked Hannah some questions her budding acting career.
What’s your favorite thing about acting? What’s your least favorite?
favourite thing is when I get the part. My least favourite thing is traveling
to Vancouver and memorizing the lines.
What’s been your favorite role so far?
Every role is special because it prepares me for more roles and every part is unique. My role in Sacred Lies as Constance was my favourite because she was a complicated and damaged girl with many sides to her personality. She was the most challenging role I’ve done.
What has been your biggest challenge that you’ve had to conquer?
As far as acting is concerned my biggest challenge would be working in the freezing cold and working in the summer heat outdoors. Those roles are much more difficult than they appear on the screen. I’ve had tears freeze on my face and I’ve worn wool and layers in the middle of the hottest days of summer.
You’re out acting when others your age are in school. Are you still in school? If so, how do your classmates treat you? What do you do when school impacts shooting schedules?
I’m still in school but I’m in a flexible program that allows me to work at home or if I want to, at school. My classmates treat me the same as everyone else. When I’m acting I do my schoolwork around those hours. So far, it’s worked well for me.
Has your success impacted your relationships with your friends?
Yes, I’ve had to cancel plans with my friends many times to audition and to work. It can be hard sometimes to leave when I know I’m missing out but I’ve also made some very good friends from acting that understand what it’s like.
I know you get a lot of support from your parents, but name a few individuals that have really contributed and helped to get you to where you are today?
I learned a lot from my acting coach Jacqui Kaese. I started taking classes with her when I turned 7. I did countless self tapes with her and I learned a lot about what to expect in the audition rooms from her.
My agent I have now, Paul Christie, was a huge turning point for me as well. It was after I signed up with him that I started booking film roles.
You’ve already won a few Joey Awards!!!! Please tell us about each one and why it’s special to you.
My first Joey was for my role in the Macy’s short film Christmas commercial, The Wish Writer. It was special because it was my first award. It was beyond exciting playing the lead in something that elaborate. I worked in the heat for 10 days while wearing layers and wool. I wore an ice vest under my wool wardrobe, but it melted a few times. The filming changed locations several times and they brought in up to five dump truck loads of fish ice they would use for snow for a few of the outdoor scenes. I’ll never forget the work I did for that one.
This year I received two Joeys, one shared with my cast mates in When Calls the Heart for best ensemble and another for my role as Constance Bly in Sacred Lies. I was very happy about both wins but the one for Constance in Sacred Lies is very special to me because it was a much more demanding role playing a girl who is nothing like myself, those are the best to play.
What are some of your future goals and desires?
I’d like to play a lead in a feature film one day and I’d like to travel.
You work in an industry full of famous people. Can you name some of your most memorable meetings with celebrities? Why was meeting them so special?
Josh Duhamel directed me on the set of The Buddy Games which was a comedy feature film. He took the time to take pictures with me after wrapping and then later, selfies. He was a genuinely nice guy who laughed a lot during takes which let me know I was doing a good job.
The creator for Sacred Lies, Raelle Tucker and director Scott Winant were very memorable for me because of the amount of time I spent with them and the work I did with them. They both took the time to say nice things and compliment my work all throughout the filming of it. They made my work easier and more fun.
Meeting Drew Goddard who directed me in Bad Times at the El Royale was amazing because of all the great work he’s done. I would love to work with him again.
What advice would you give to another young person who is passionate about drama/acting?
Keep going. Don’t quit.
Hannah Zirke Clothing Credits
Pink boot suede and faux fur – Steve Madden
Pink feather purse with amber chain – Topshop
Mocha bodysuit – Design Lab
Pink lace dress – Buffalo
Blue denim hat – Ralph Lauren
Blue suede shoes – Lord & Taylor
Jumpsuit – Missguided
Pink shawl – Core Life
Pink metallic sneakers – Sketchers
Pink metallic purse – Aldo
Pink and silver dress – BCBG
Silver gloves – Stil Estro