Issue 93

Cover Story, Keeping Up With Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, page 8. By Jenn McMullan Photo by Trevor Booth.

Keeping Up With Jacqueline MacInnes Wood

“I’m a true believer in trying everything, go for gold,” said Wood, 27. “Now I can look back and say that I did it, and one thing that I’ve learned to do is always be in the moment and not wish my life away.”

As soon as the pistol went off Jacqueline MacInnes Wood took off faster than the smoke could clear away. It was the 2000 Greater Essex County District School Board track meet, and in grade eight Wood was already leading the pack at full speed. As the smoke dissipated a spectator could be heard to mumble, “Ya like she’s going to keep that up.” Wood’s former elementary school track coach said he thought one thing, “Want to bet.” Wood set a record that day that lasted for eight years and she’s been keeping up the same pace ever since.

“I’m a true believer in trying everything, go for gold,” said Wood, 27. “Now I can look back and say that I did it, and one thing that I’ve learned to do is always be in the moment and not wish my life away.”

Living in the moment has allowed Wood to add T.V. actress, singer, movie star and T.V. host to her resume all before the age of thirty. Her career began when she was a student at Ryerson University in Toronto, and decided to take acting classes to hone her skills. It wasn’t the path she always envisioned for herself, but it was a road that would eventually lead all the way to Hollywood.

“When I was younger living in Windsor I loved the whole acting, drama and arts, but I didn’t really see it as a career. I ended up going to Toronto and it was more for business and just trying to plan a life out. I decided to hop into an acting class and take some theatre as well at Ryerson. Long story short, I ended up deciding it was something that I really loved.”

After about a year and half of living in Toronto, Wood got herself an agent. It was the first step to a whirlwind journey that would take her to mingle amongst the footprints of those at the TCL Chinese Theater.

“I kind of just hit the pavement running and one thing led to the next, and here I am. It’s been an incredible journey and a tough road but a fun challenge. I’m always up for a challenge and I get to live this life where I get to play different characters…I find it very therapeutic. I never know what script I’m going to get next or what I’m going to audition for. Who knew I was going to be the eyeball girl in Final Destination and be thrown out of a window,” she said with a laugh.

One of Wood’s most notable characters is her five-year run as Steffy Forrester, on the popular daytime soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful. The soap opera first aired in 1987, the year Wood was born, and would later gain her renowned recognition for her portrayal as the feisty outspoken Steffy. Although polar opposites in many ways, the writers incorporated Woods love of motorcycle riding and DJing into the character. She was nominated for two consecutive years, in 2012 and 2013, for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Young Actress in a Drama Series.

Wood booked her first audition for the role of Steffy within the first week of moving out to Los Angeles.

“It was my first audition in Los Angeles, we fought to get me in that room,” she said.

“My agent just said get her in the room and she’ll book it, and low and behold I did. I’m a true believer in fighting for something that you’re passionate about.”

According to Wood, it was a role that would require her to summon every passion a human being can experience. Not to mention, the physical demands of filming four episodes a day and 16 episodes in four days for the five-day a week show.

“You’re really on your toes, it’s extremely challenging, the preparation, the memorization, it all has to be on point,” said Wood. “With soaps they can turn, you don’t know who you’re going to be with, who you’re going to slap, who you’re going to kill. It’s nonstop crying, tears, [basically] every kind of emotion you put into those scenes.”

The show allowed Wood the opportunity to travel the world, filming in South Africa, Monte Carlo and Italy. Being able to make a dent in her travel bucket list was something she got to continue to fulfill after she left the show in 2013.

“I’m a true believer in putting good things out into the universe. [When] I left the show I said that I want to work on other projects, but I really want to travel the world. About two weeks later I got a job offer to travel and host. When I left The Bold and The Beautiful, I had no idea that Party On and me hosting was going to be the next thing around the corner.”

Party On, which aired on the E Travel Network in December 2013, was an eight-episode series hosted by Wood. The series took Wood to eight of the hottest party destinations in the world for 48 hours. Wood flew to Mykonos, Hvar, St. Tropez, Marrakech, Sardinia, Marbella, Istanbul and Ibiza.

Wood said travelling the world has really opened her eyes and allowed her to appreciate her home and where she comes from.

“My day in Windsor is hanging out with my friends and family,” she said. “I’m still best friends with my friends from kindergarten, they keep me humble.”

Wood has recently been stopping into Windsor to help promote the 4th Annual Bob Probert Memorial Ride for her late brother-in-law. Wood will be the honorary Captain for the fundraiser on June 22, which helps support cardiac care in the Windsor-Essex area.

“Whether it’s a friend, a family member, you know someone in cardiac care. I think the main message is really just coming together as a community and raising awareness of a worthy cause. I’m really proud of my sister [Dani], through tragedy something positive came out of this because we’re all coming together. To see how well [the kids] are just grabbing onto this and saying ‘hey we’re going to do this, we lost our father but we’re going to make something good come from this’ and it really has. To know that we raised nearly three hundred thousand dollars in funds for cardiac care is outstanding. It’s something that I really can’t say it enough, how proud I am of my sister and the kids.”

Upon first glance of talking to Wood, it’s easy to see how she got her foot in Hollywood’s door. Her credentials list off like a seventh grade boy’s checklist for his fantasy girl, effortless beauty, motorcycle rider, world traveller and an adventurous spirit. Sitting next to her hearing her talk about her friends, family and where she came from, it becomes apparent you’re not talking to a Hollywood starlet but a born and bred Windsorite.

“Even though I live in Los Angeles, Windsor is my home,” said Wood. “I’m from Windsor, I was raised in Windsor and it’s a place I’m never going to forget.”

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