Beauty, smarts and a dulop of sass are a few of the descriptors that immediately come to mind when discussing CBC’s Cracked newest cast addition, Dr. Clara Malone. “Clara’s curious, and assertive and doesn’t shy away from a challenge, like facing a masked gunman or standing up to her police counterpart Detective Aidan Black,” says actress Brooke Nevin of her character.

A familiar face to television audiences, Nevin has a proven knack for drama as seen in her performances on Chicago Fire and Breakout Kings. In her latest role as Dr. Malone, Nevin plays opposite David Sutcliffe, replacing Dr. Daniella Ridley (Stefanie von Pfetten) as lead psychiatrist in the Psych Crimes Investigative Unit.

Drawing inspiration from the integral exchange between front line police officers and mental health professionals, Cracked carves out its plot from the hazy dark matter beneath criminality when mental health is a variable poking out of the case file.

Effortlessly falling in with the cast for the filming of season two — “the producers and the entire cast were very welcoming” — Nevin and Sutcliffe’s onscreen relationship has already ignited giddy audience buzz since the series premiere this week. “I had to do an on-camera chemistry test with Sutcliffe in order to get the role… so I guess I passed,” says Nevin. “We deal with some dark matter on the show, but there’s a lot of laughter and lightness between takes. It helps that some of the cast are prone to spontaneous song and dance. ”

Currently splitting her time between her hometown of Toronto (where Cracked is filmed) and Los Angeles, Nevin’s fashion sense leans more towards the latter, giving off a boho California girl vibe. Primed for her first season on Cracked, we talk to the actress about her new role and how her personal style differs from Dr. Malone’s preferred pencil skirts and blouses.


What’s your character’s story in a nutshell and what part will she be playing in the season’s action?

Dr. Malone’s got mettle, which is good since dealing with psychopaths and schizophrenics is sort of her daily grind. Some might say she has a bravery problem, and Clara has no trouble getting into it this season. She’s also intrigued by the blurred line between good and evil, and we’ll come to find out why.

Sounds intriguing. I hear that Cracked  is going to be a little different this season than it was in its first season last year. What changes can the viewers expect? More suspense and drama, perhaps?

There is definitely an element of urgency that’s been amped up for season two. Each case holds the threat of more violence or heartbreak with every passing minute that it goes unsolved. I think fans of the first season will be even more on the edge of their seats.

You wardrobe for the show is fairly straight laced from what we’ve seen. Is your own personal style similar, or a little more bold or laid-back?

I’d say my personal style is both more laid-back and bold. It depends, of course, on what I’m doing on any given day, but you’d see me in yoga pants or leopard print and you’d see Dr. Clara Malone in neither. At least, not in Psych Crimes. Also, never yoga pants and leopard print at the same time.

Do you recall a moment when you really felt that you had solidified your personal style?

Oh, I knew from the moment I was matching my socks to my hair scrunchies to the shoelaces on my Keds in 5th grade that I was making a statement with personal style. I’m happy to say that my fashion sense has since evolved — for the better, and [is] way less consumed with colour coordination.

There’s lots of promotion going on for the new fall season of CBC and the new season of Cracked. Do you like getting dolled up for red carpet events?

It’s not the reason I got into entertainment, but it’s a fun job requirement.


Do you work with a stylist when preparing for the red carpet, or do you prefer to take care of your own wardrobe?

I’ve done both. Sometimes events pop up and I’ll pick out something from my closet. Working with a stylist is great because I find they’ll bring a creative or trendier touch to outfit planning that I might otherwise shy away from. I tend to choose more classic styles for myself.

What about hair and makeup? Do you usually handle that yourself or do you look to the pros for their expertise?

Sometimes I handle my own makeup and have a pro to step in for hair or vice versa. At times, I do it all or a tag team will take the reins. I have to say, there is a certain luxury to sitting back and letting the experts handle beautification. Putting on those lashes can be a you-know-what…

Definitely a frustrating beauty step! What’s your take on creating a balanced look that isn’t too mute or too loud?

Most of fashion is about attitude. I’m a fan of letting your mood guide what kind of look you want to pull off. If you feel loud and flirty, then go all out. If you’re feeling demure and sophisticated, then finish the look with a subtle polish instead of flair. I’d rather be true to myself, than a trend.

Wise stance. Who are some of your favourite designers and what do you like about their designs?

I like the timelessness and simplicity of much of Theory’s designs. The pieces lend themselves to creating a great template to build a wardrobe on.

Any plans on attending Toronto Fashion Week this month? Have you been in the past?

I’ve never been, but I’d love to go.

I understand you live in L.A. when not working in Toronto. How would you say the sense of style there differs from that of Toronto?

Especially downtown, I find that Torontonians tend to dress up more. Except when it comes to the red carpet, there is a definite commitment to casual in Los Angeles. There’s also a lot of one season style trends, simply because it’s tricky to pull off a cute tweed overcoat with knee high boots when the sun is shining and it’s 25ºC in September.

I’d miss the seasons!

I love the many looks that come with the temperature changes in Toronto.

What item in your closet would you never want to part with?

A good fitting pair of boot cut dark wash denim jeans.

What item in your closet might have already overstayed its welcome?

This one particular pair of boot cut dark wash denim jeans.

Ha, you have yourself a dilemma it seems. What look are you going for this fall season? Any trends you’re excited about?

Leather is having a moment this fall. It means I can still slip on the vintage leather skirt I pulled from my mom’s closet years ago.

Who is your style icon and what do you love about their signature fashion look?

Audrey Hepburn and Princess Grace are fashion icons of the past that few have surpassed in terms of elegance and class. There is a nothing wrong with looking every bit the lady. I [also] think Zoe Saldana has pretty impeccable taste and the poise to go with it.

Published  October 4, 2013