Karin Konoval's Acting Versality: From Maurice The Orangutan To Telepathic Twins
Karin Konoval is a Canadian-American actress best known for her role as Maurice, an orangutan in the Planet of the Ape movie series. An all-rounder artist involved in theatre, dancing, painting, and writing, Konoval has also appeared in numerous TV series, including Supernatural, The Good Doctor, X-Files, and The Exorcist.
She appears most recently as a character named Dr. Pelton in the highly anticipated Netflix series, Snowpiercer. But there is more to the talented artist than what meets the eye. Stick around as we explore some lesser-known facts about the versatile actress.
Karin Konoval Is A Reel-Life Chameleon
From movies to series, Konoval is known for portraying roles across all spectrums. An orangutan, a doctor, a nurse, a wicked witch, or a nun, you name a character, and she has probably already played the part! Not just that, in X-files, she played the role of a pair of telepathic twins, one of whom is a man.
So, just to be clear because it seems some people still don't know: Yes, I play nice and nasty #Chucky in #XFPlusOne. And yes, I play nice and nasty #Judy in #XFPlusOne. @thexfiles And I had a wonderful time with all four of them! pic.twitter.com/ZdEOmfNRdv — Karin Konoval (@KarinKonoval) January 20, 2018
Not just that, the actress has also received numerous awards for her work in theatre, performing lead roles in contemporary classics like August and Osage County to a wide range of musicals such as Sweeney Todd, The Threepenny Opera, and Guys and Dolls.
Konoval was already a veteran stage performer before appearing in screen roles, and as soon as she switched to the big screen, she attracted much attention. Especially for her array of versatile and incredibly complex roles.
She played nurse Deena Petringa on ABC's medical procedural series, The Good Doctor, which has a global audience of 50 million viewers. The role helped her gain recognition among a wider range of audiences. The drama is based on the 2013 award-winning South Korean series of the same name.
For her versatility and ability to delve into any character that she portrays, the reel-life chameleon was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2019.
As a multi-talented individual, she was originally trained to be a dancer and dreamed of being a prima ballerina. However, after graduating from the University of Alberta with a B.A. in theatre history, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, to pursue a career as an actor.
Konoval Interacted with Orangutans To Better Portray Maurice
Konoval's dedication towards her work will never go unnoticed. She goes the extra mile to do justice for her characters. For her role in Planet of the Ape as Maurice, Konoval befriended an orangutan named Towan to study its behavior and better portray the character's soul. While becoming acquainted with Towan for her acting role, she grew intrigued by orangutans and has continued to learn more about great apes and the challenges facing their conservation since then.
Konoval fosters nine orangutans through various organizations. She also attends conservation conferences around the world. Every couple of months, she heads south for a couple of days to collaborate on paintings with a 47-year-old female orangutan named Melati.
Just got a delightful surprise in mail, this “save the orangutan” mask made by dear friend Angie Selzer @OrangutanSSP! Here’s me beside photo of my forever orangutan teacher and always Inner Maurice, Towan. So from me, my Inner Maurice, and Towan, with love: WEAR A MASK! pic.twitter.com/h64ES53ofI — Karin Konoval (@KarinKonoval) July 2, 2020
In an interview, Konoval said that coming in contact with orangutans changed her life in ways she had never expected.
“Getting to know an orangutan for me personally has been one of the most life-changing experiences that I never saw coming.”
The Actress Is An Exhibited Painter and An Author of A Children's Book
Besides acting across different platforms, Konoval enjoys painting too. As an artist, Konoval’s artworks have appeared in many solo and group exhibits. The actress started Sky Dances, a painting series, as an exercise in finger-painting. According to her site, these works are different from her other art pieces as they were painted without a firm vision in her mind. She enjoyed the sensation of not knowing what will happen with each painting.
Some of her other painting and story series are My House Is, Tiny Clown Long Wait, My Friend Sally has 56 Swim Suits, and Family Reunion.
Along with being a painter, the actress is also an author. Her first illustrated children’s book, “Jeffrey Takes a Walk in December” was published in 2015.
Konoval’s writings have also been published in the anthologies Exact Fare Only II and Live To Imagine and in literary magazines, and have been broadcast on CBC Radio.