Grammie Gallant has become an online sensation, and now she's coming to the big screen.
That's the name of a character on the popular, P.E.I.-based web series called Just Passing Through.
She's portrayed by Islander Madrien Ferris, the matriarch of quite a talented family, both in theatre and music.
Ferris got the role through those family connections.
"There was a Grammie Gallant and they just showed the back of her head the first year they produced this," Ferris told Mainstreet's Angela Walker. "They were wondering where they could find a Grammie Gallant to play this part, and my granddaughter, Bryde MacLean, and my daughter Sharlene MacLean, were in this show, and Bryde said, 'I think my grandmother would be able to play that part without any problem.' So they came and more or less auditioned me and said, wow, okay, you have the foul mouth, we can do it."
That foul mouth is key to the part, as Grammie Gallant is a tough, beer-swilling character with a vocabulary that could shock sailors.
That didn't bother Ferris, who ad-libs much of the dialogue.
"I didn't actually see the script because I'm visually impaired, but they told me about it," she said. "It sounded like lots of fun and it sounded like people I have known and grown up with. So I said, as long as I don't have any lines, but they let me sort of free-wheel. But they told me where I had to be or maybe one line that I had to inject somewhere."
Swearing comes naturally
Most of her friends have seen it, she said, and probably aren't as shocked by the character as others.
"If they really knew me well, they weren't surprised," Ferris laughed. "If they were only marginal friends, they were like, 'Oh my gosh, she doesn't look like she would be able to swear like that.' But my true friends knew the difference."
The series has spawned a feature film, called Pogey Beach, which is coming out this spring, and Ferris has scenes in it as well.
It's certainly something she never imagined.
"I was an actress on stage when I was very young, around 16 or 17, I did just community theatre, but I never thought I'd make it on the big screen," she said. "I'm just starting a second career, or maybe a third one."
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