The star of the Canadian supernatural series Lost Girl, Anna Silk, said that converting to Judaism brought her closer to her husband, actor Seth Cooperman.
When she started dating Cooperman, who’s originally from New York, Silk would frequently ask him questions about his religion. They celebrated Jewish holidays together, and when she made the decision to convert, they decided to take the classes together.
“It was a really nice experience growing and learning together,” Silk said. “It was a very fun and emotional process for us.”
She added that the conversion was easy for her because she wasn’t raised with any organized religion. Instead of converting from another religion, she said it was more like simply becoming Jewish.
“It all felt very natural to me, and it’s an important part of his life.”
Silk said that she enjoyed the classes she had to take before converting because they were not only about learning facts. Questioning what she learned was encouraged, and that was something she didn’t expect.
“I really liked how things could be questioned, and I was surprised to be able to do that,” Silk said.
Silk converted to Judaism in February of this year, and she said her husband was very happy about it and her family was very supportive. Since then, she has celebrated Passover with friends in Toronto, and she has several favourite Jewish holidays, which she likes for different reasons.
She said that she likes Chanukah because it has a very celebratory mood. She likes Passover because even though it’s always the same story, she feels like she learns something new every year. She said that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur may be more intense than the other holidays, but they’re the most important.
“I feel like they act as a very good reminder to reflect,” Silk said.
In addition to bringing her closer to her husband, the conversion class allowed her to meet other couples with one non-Jewish partner, who made up most of the class. Her husband would help her with the homework she’d get, and she said that he often joked that he didn’t want her to know more than him. She added that it was very important that they experienced the conversion together as much as possible.
“I had already made the decision to convert before, but these classes were to make myself more informed,” she said.
Silk now wears a gold necklace with a Star of David on it, and she said that where she got it is significant for her. It had belonged to her grandmother, who wasn’t Jewish but had gotten it from a friend. Her grandmother died more than 10 years ago, but Silk feels as if she ended up with the necklace because somehow her grandmother knew what was going to happen.
“I like that it came from part of my family,” Silk said. “Even though they’re not Jewish, it’s like they were a part of it.”
She added that she’s very happy to have converted to Judaism, and it was an easier decision and process than she had expected.
“It was just amazing,” she said. “It was just the most obvious and natural thing in the world for me.”
Silk is from Fredericton, N.B., and moved to Toronto in 1999 to pursue acting after graduating from St. Thomas University with a degree in psychology. Her mother is a theatre actor in Fredericton, so she has been involved in acting for her whole life.
Silk was nominated for a Gemini award for her appearances on the show Being Erica. She returned to Toronto for filming Lost Girl. In Lost Girl, she plays Bo, a type of “fae,” or supernatural creature, called a succubus, who feeds on sexual energy. Although she plays a supernatural character, Silk said she related to Bo in many ways.
“I relate to her in that she grew up not realizing she was part of this world, and now she understands where she belongs,” Silk said.
She enjoys playing Bo for many reasons, including the fact that she’s a supernatural creature and she slowly discovers her part in a hidden supernatural world.
“I love it. It’s such a fun world to play in,” she said.
Silk added that she feels that she’s learned and grown at the same pace as Bo. She said that in the second season, which she’s currently filming, Bo has grown significantly.
“At first she was very scared and vulnerable,” she said. “She’s always been a very tough character, but she’s not tough just for the sake of being tough.”
Silk has also appeared in the shows Ghost Whisperer and Billable Hours. She gained some recognition playing a stressed-out flight attendant trying to quit smoking in a NicoDerm commercial.
Lost Girl returns to the Showcase network for a second season with 22 episodes on Sept. 4.