I spend a ridiculous amount of time in my car,” declares actress, singer and dancer Brittany Gray. “I live in my car. It’s like my home away from home.”
The multi-talented 23-year-old, who’s been performing in theatre, television and film productions since she was a child, not only relies on her nine-year-old car to get her everywhere, but it’s in the driver’s seat that she preps on her way to rehearsals for shows like We Will Rock You and The Producers. “I have a vocal warm-up CD that I usually put on. (My car is) like my haven where I prep for shows and wind down afterwards,” she explains.
Gray’s big break came at 15, when she was cast in the Oscar-winning movie Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom the Pickering native truly admires. “I’d like to follow a career like Catherine,” she says. “She’s someone who’s combined singing and dancing with acting, in both theatre and film.”
The year after starring in Chicago, Gray turned 16, and bought her red 2000 Ford Focus SE Sport. “It was a choice between a red one and a green one,” says Gray. She went with red, her favourite colour, and named the car Roxie, in homage to Roxie Hart, the lead character in Chicago.
Although Gray admits to racking up one-too-many speeding tickets after first getting behind the wheel as a teen, she has since slowed down on the road. “I learned quickly that it’s not the coolest thing to drive that much over the speed limit,” she says.
Aside from starring in the musical The Toxic Avengers, which opens in Toronto on Halloween, Gray also has a cameo as a dancer in the soon-to-be-released film Amelia, starring Hilary Swank, filmed in Toronto last year. “Roxie’s gotten me to a lot of rehearsals, a lot of shows and I couldn’t have lived without her,” she says of her car.
But looking to the future, she admits she would like to make a more luxurious auto upgrade. “I would love to have a white convertible Mercedes one day,” she says, adding. “And I would love to work with Charleze Theron.” Both possibilities seem within reach for this ambitious up-and-comer.