You’ve heard her name but thanks to some serious talent, and playing characters who don’t resemble the glam lady IRL, you might not know just how many roles the Torontonian has been juggling. Name your top five favourite made-in-Canada shows and there’s a good chance Brugel has been on at least one of them. Don’t believe us? Keep reading.
With more than 10 Emmy wins and two Golden Globes for the Bravo series The Handmaid’s Tale (streaming only on Crave Canada so you catch up right now!) at this point fans might recognize Brugel from the red carpet alone (where her on-point fashion sense stands in stark contrast to her her drab Martha costume in the show. Brugel plays Rita, the Waterford’s housekeeper and an ally of the underground organization that helps smuggle Handmaids out of Gilead to safety in (where else?) Canada.
A little ritual I do each before I step into Gilead. Rita has a different walk than me, so I put rocks in my left shoe to help define my Martha-swagger. So, before I slip on my rock shoe, I do a little twirl to say goodbye to Amanda for a few hours. Thanks for hangin’ with me this week. More importantly, thanks for being the most dedicated, SMART as heck fans on earth. Until next time, friends! 😘🙏🏽😜 – @amandabrugel #marthalife
Maybe you’ve legit seen her around. The massively popular show is shot in Toronto, Hamilton and Cambridge, meaning that if you live in one of those cities, there’s a chance you’ve caught a glimpse of Handmaid red or Martha grey on local streets. Toronto’s City Hall and Wychwood Barns have been prime star-sighting spots.
More recently, the busy career woman and mom of two was in five episodes of the hit set-in-Toronto series Workin’ Moms, playing Ian’s love interest, cafe owner Sonia, and showcasing her range as an actress in the so-honest-it-hurts comedy.
And now for something completely different: Kim’s Convenience fans will recognize Brugel as recurring character Pastor Nina Gomez, whom she said she enjoys playing because she’s so “wide-eyed and so innocent and so enthusiastic. You don’t really find a lot of people like that.”
Are you even allowed to call yourself an actor in Canada if you haven’t had a guest spot on Orphan Black? (No.) Brugel played Alison’s arch rival, Marci Coates, a woman Clone Clubbers loved to hate, back in 2015 and may have also seen her on TV shows like Eyewitness, Seed and Covert Affairs.
What’s next for the in-demand actress? Brugel will be appearing opposite Jennifer Connelly (someone she told etalk she counts as an acting idol) in the new Snowpiercer series adapted from the 1982 graphic novel about climate change (you might recall the 2013 film adaptation that starred Tilda Swinton). And we thought The Handmaid’s Tale was topical.
In the meantime, Brugel is happy to be finding steady, challenging and diverse work in her home and native land and seeing other bold-name creatives help bring more attention to deserving Canadian talent.