Close-Up: An Interview With Shelved Star Taylor Love

Actress Taylor Love joins us on Close-Up Culture to talk about her role in the new show, Shelved. The series follows the employees and patrons of Jameson Public Library as they go about their lives in this unassuming and extraordinary place

You are set to star in the highly anticipated CTV Original comedy, Shelved. What excited you about this project? 

I remember being a kid at the Scholastic book fair and loving the warm and fuzzy feeling I got from all the passionate librarians. I’m by no means a bookworm (trying to improve on that now), but what ‘Shelved’ showcases is the power of community, especially within publicly funded spaces like a library. So many things occur in that little world and the writing captures it beautifully. 

Most importantly, I love that it’s authentically set in Toronto! I’m that person who’s watching an American movie or tv show and shouts “HEY THAT’S TORONTO!”. We double as Chicago, New York, sometimes even Philadelphia, but so few projects embrace our beautiful city and all the pockets of culture within it. Having the show set in Parkdale is important and deserved representation. ‘Shelved’ comes from the brilliant mind of our creator Anthony Q. Farrell and our beloved writers team. I knew of Anthony from ’The Office’ (2005), which is constantly on repeat in the background while I stay busy around the house. It’s absolutely my kind of comedy and I always daydreamed about existing in a similar world. Now, to be able to star in a show that embodies the similar comedy, characters and environment that I know and love is a dream come true. ’Shelved’ is its own hilarious, unique story and I can’t wait for everyone to experience it. 

You play Sheila Boyd in the show. What can you tell us about Sheila and your experience in this role? 

Miss Sheila Boyd. She’s tenacious, hard-working, mature, and incredibly caring. If you’re from Toronto then you know a Sheila – the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, working hard to secure her own independent future. But not too busy to give back to those who are new to the country and trying to figure out where to start to build a better life. Outside of the part-time work she does at the Settlement Desk she’s also pursuing law school and helping out her parents at the coffee shop they own. My experience with her was really interesting because I could see so many parts of myself in her, yet we’re so completely different. And it goes to show that the key pillars of who she is can resonate with anyone. She can handle her own and then some and I admire that so much. I also definitely drew some fashion inspo from her – I love her flair for clothing and style, which you’ll see worked into the show! 

Can you give a taste of the show and what audiences can expect? 

Audiences may never have spent extended periods of time in an underfunded public library, but they can expect to really feel a part of our environment in the show. There are so many hilarious pieces of dialogue that come from even more hilarious characters – the type of characters you know and recognize in real life. I was in the show and still I laugh thinking back to some of the scenes. Our beautiful city will be on display and topical subjects and issues will also be acknowledged. ‘Shelved’ truly is a real show based on real people and real communities. The universal themes of friendship, community and optimism are prevalent throughout the show. Audiences will fall in love with the Jameson Branch. 

How much fun did you have working on this comedy? 

Too much fun. Everyone involved in this show made my experience better and some of the funniest moments happened off-camera. We all became a family so fast and it made my experience all the better. Acting alongside true comedy kings and queens only made me a better performer and enhanced my character. The season one blooper reel will forever live on as one of the funniest things I’ve seen! 

Any fun memories to share? 

This was one of the funnest summers I’ve ever had with plenty of fun memories. But one thing that sticks out is how much Italian I inadvertently learned. Both myself and Chris Sandiford (Howard Tutt) were living on Duolingo, so in between takes we would be sitting in our chairs and an overlap of loud Italian and French dialogue would be blaring from our phones. Chris would sometimes also recite his lines at me between takes in full blown Italian! So if anyone needs an Italian dubbing for season 1, reach out to Chris Sandiford’s agent. 

What is your background and what led you into acting?

I’d say my background in acting is just having a severe case of the acting bug from around 3 years old. My grandmother sought out an agent for me and from there I technically started my career at 4 years old when I booked my first commercial. Around a year or so later, thanks to the wonderful and talented Felicia D. Henderson, I was cast to play Kelly Chadway in the groundbreaking Showtime drama ’Soul Food’ (2001). I continued acting in commercials and TV until I started at my performing arts high school where I majored in Drama and studied theatre alongside my curriculum. I signed with my current agent in 2015 and here I still am! 

What are your dreams and ambitions for the future?

Overall, it’s to keep making strides within my industry and gain a seat at the table alongside actors I admire at a new level. I want the opportunity to play diverse roles spread alongside various genres in movie, tv, theatre – you name it. A lot of our industry is set up based on precedence, so I’m keen to make a mark in roles and genres you wouldn’t typically see occupied by black actors. And of course, to have fun and love every second of the journey.

Follow Taylor on Instagram – Taylor Love (@tlovvvve) • Instagram photos and videos

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