Agam Darshi is an Indo-Canadian actress who lives and works between Vancouver (Canada) and Los Angeles. Since being bitten by the acting bug when she was 14 years old, Agam has built up an impressive resumé with award-winning roles in over twenty-five television series such as The L-Word, Sanctuary, Arrow and Played, to name just a few, as well as Hollywood films like Good Luck Chuck, Final Destination 3, Snakes on a Plane and Watchmen. She brings charm and a complex sensibility to the characters she plays onscreen, realizing her diverse looks allow her to be considered for roles that are both ethnic and mainstream. “I get a strong sense of accomplishment when I get cast in a role that is not based on any specific ethnicity,” she says, “because then, my competition is a bigger pool of actors – the best of the best. And I know the casting choice is based primarily on my talent.” Off screen, the multi-faceted actress has written and produced several short films and co-founded the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival. In her free time, she is an avid traveller capturing unique experiences to far flung places on her drool-worthy Instagram account.
Describe Vancouver to someone who has never been. Vancouver is a small town disguised as a big city. It’s a place where the mountains and the ocean kiss.
What do you love about living in Vancouver? I love how I am always in awe of how beautiful it is. I’ll be driving over a bridge that I’ve driven over a million times and feel like I’m in a postcard.
What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why? I have a few. I really love Commercial Drive, because it’s unpretentious, fun and full of hippie hearts. There are a lot of cafés and little shops. They close the street off to cars every so often, so it becomes a pedestrian-only area. But I also love the different beaches in Vancouver. Each of them have their own distinct personality.
Where do you go in Vancouver to feel inspired? Stanley park, or anywhere near water. I used to live next to Kits Beach and would jog along it in the morning to this giant old log. It’s the most beautiful place in the world. There is something so therapeutic about being amongst trees or near the ocean. And if you can be surrounded by both – even better!
How do you get around? I drive if I’m going long distances or if it’s raining. But in the summer, I love to ride my bike or ride my scooter – a little Honda Ruckus. Most of Vancouver, especially downtown, is very bike-friendly.
Favorite coffee shop? Continental Café on Commercial Ave.
Where should we go on a date night? If it’s a beautiful day, you want to spend it outside. A perfect date would be dinner (sushi) and then Bard on the Beach (a Shakespeare festival, on the beach). If it’s raining, I love going to Fifth Ave Cinemas. It’s a small cinema house that screens independent movies.
Best seafood/sushi restaurant? There are so many in Vancouver, and you’re spoiled for choice. My favorite is the Eatery.
Best Indian restaurant? Vij’s of course.
Fun place for drinks and live music? The Commodore Ballroom.
Where should we stay for a boutique hotel experience? Barclay House is a lovely B & B in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
A tourist attraction we shouldn’t miss? Going for a bike ride in Stanley Park.
Top three things we should we see or do while in the city? (1) Granville Island. It’s artsy and quaint, and from there you can take a ferry downtown. (2) Gastown for some good food, and a more urban experience. (3) If you’re in Vancouver during July, take a boat out into the bay and watch the fireworks, during the Festival of Lights.
What’s a good day trip from Vancouver? There are so many! You can go to Victoria for the day. In fact you can take a little sea plane over to the island and back. It’s fast and has amazing views. Or you can go to Whistler for some sking or hikes.
Describe a perfect day or weekend for you in the city. A bike ride to the beach. Then dinner with friends at Nuba in Gastown. End the night with a great play or concert.
(Photo of Agam by Franco Valerio)