Three Pines, a new eight-episode series adapted from the best-selling mystery novels by Canadian author Louise Penny, is set to begin streaming on the Prime Video platform on December 2. The highly anticipated series will feature actress Sarah Booth, originally from Ormstown, who plays the role of central character Agent Yvette Nichol.
Booth, who first started her career on stage as a ballet student, discovered a passion for acting at Chateauguay Valley Regional High School. She was then offered the lead role in a play, during which time she got to know local actress Erika Rosenbaum, whom she says is an inspiration. Coincidentally, two of Rosenbaum’s children are also featured in the Three Pines series.
With a long career to her credit including roles on stage and in television and film, Booth has worked most notably in Montreal, Toronto, and Los Angeles where she recently starred as part of a live stunt show based on the film, Waterworld, at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Booth learned she had been cast in the Three Pines series in June 2021. “I had two auditions with the directors and producers,” says Booth. “I was little nervous during the first one, but much more confident and relaxed at the second. When it was over, I knew I had done a good job and had a very good feeling,” she explains.
Three Pines is directed by Samuel Donovan, who has previously worked on the popular Netflix series The Crown, as well as Tracey Deer and Daniel Grou. The series tells the story of Inspector Armand Gamache (Alfred Molina) and his gripping investigation of a mysterious death in a quiet fictional town in the Eastern Townships. Filmed in Montreal and the surrounding region, the storyline touches on the realities facing Indigenous populations in Canada.
“I came away from this shoot, which included the participation of many Indigenous people, including director Tracey Deer and the actress Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (who plays the role of Sergeant Isabelle Lacoste), with a more global vision of the problems we are confronted with in our co-existence,” Booth says, while noting “the terrible discoveries that have come to light relating to former residential schools had already led me to reflect on this subject.”
She says a lot was discussed between the different nationalities on the team. “It was a real sharing of cultures,” she says, adding that she introduced maple syrup to those who had never tried it, and they immediately wanted more. “Everyone was generous and talented. There were no oversized egos, and the atmosphere was positive, which led to a sense of security that was conducive to good performances.”
Booth does not shy away, however, from admitting that she faced some challenges with her character, Yvette Nichol. “Yvette, who is part of the investigative team, has a very similar personality and I was able to see myself in the way the character was written; but I have often played darker characters than her, so I had to work on that,” she explains.
“I also had to make an effort in terms of my body language,” Booth continues. “I come from ballet, and my natural posture reflects this. I had to learn to adopt a more relaxed posture and gestures. It was also the first time I have worn a Sûreté du Québec uniform,” she laughs, before acknowledging she had some concerns over improvised moments in French. “I am an English speaker, and even though I speak very well in French, I was concerned about sounding natural and authentic,” she admits.
Booth says she was enriched both professionally and personally by the experience. “I will always remember the main street in Saint-Armand covered in ice while shooting a scene during a curling practice, and the amazed look on the faces of some of the team members who were discovering the sport for the first time,” she recounts.
“Exchanging, learning, and sharing ‘notre cher Québec’ was a pleasure on this shoot, which is one of my best so far!”