Sima Sepehri plays ‘Snakes and Lattes’ in acclaimed comedy series
Despite always having a passion for performing, Sima Sepehri spent her late teens pursuing a more “realistic” career choice. However, the more she immersed herself in the business world, the harder she found it to imagine spending her life behind a desk, until one day it dawned on her that she only had one life to pursue her dreams. It was that fateful day when Sepehri truly began her career as an actress, and she has never looked back.
Initially from Tehran, Iran and now a proud Canadian, Sepehri is a dynamic force in the Canadian entertainment industry, constantly showcasing both her comedic and dramatic talents. Most recently, audiences had the chance to see her in the Lifetime movie Tempted by Danger, which premiered April 18th, 2020 across the United States, but she is also well known for her roles in Condor, American Lawmen, Private Eyes, and many more.
“It’s been a winding road full of surprises to say the least – and totally worth it! I am having so much fun! I want to continue to grow as a performer and hopefully be a part of something one day that another young person connects to deeply enough that it will inspire them to take up space where they may not necessarily see themselves represented,” she says.
Always happy to show off her Toronto roots, one of Sepehri’s favorite projects to date was her work on the comedy series Snakes and Lattes, based off the famous Toronto café of the same name. It tells the story of the gruff yet lovable Max Packett, creator of one of the first-ever board game cafes. Max is happy to run his small business the way he sees fit, even into the ground. That is until James Kasey, an estranged friend, re-appears from his past to seek Max's help on publishing their board game brainchild from ten years prior. James, alongside a myriad of board game enthusiast-misfits, could rocket Max's company to success or straight into the ground.
“I always loved going to Snakes & Lattes to play games with friends. I really liked the idea of having a series about a well-known Toronto cafe. It’s interesting to see real life places on television. The story was loosely based on real people and a lot of the people that actually worked there were a part of the project which was neat,” says Sepehri.
Sepehri was cast to play a leading character in the show, an employee at the café who is very sarcastic and dry. However, there was an emotional layer to her character, who works to help her brother out while she figures out what to do with her life. Sepehri enjoyed that she could show both her comedic and dramatic roots through the role.
“My character played one of the leads and she is the sister of the owner of the cafe. The business is basically tanking in the series, and although her and her brother don’t exactly get along, she definitely wants to help save the business. She also does really love her brother deep down, but it’s one of those relationships where they constantly annoy each other,” Sepehri describes.
Shooting this series also provided a challenge for Sepehri, as most of the shoots were at night. To make the show more authentic, they shot at the actual café on Toronto’s Bloor Street, so shooting during operating hours was not possible. Sepehri’s call times would usually be around 11:00 pm or midnight until the early morning, which took some time to adjust to. The job was made easier, however, by the team she was surrounded by.
“The thing I liked most about working on this project was actually everyone I got to work with. I met some really cool people on set, and it became like a little family by the end of it, which is what you hope for when working on any project. You end up spending hours and hours on a night shoot together and everyone is sort of feeling it a little bit, so it’s really awesome that we all bonded,” she says
The project premiered in Canada on the Bell Fibe network in 2015 and was a hit across the country, which brought even more attention to this already famed café. Sepehri loved being a part of such a fun and original series, happy to let her passion for acting highlight so many people’s passion for games.
“I actually love nerdy things so much. I’m not a video gamer or a huge gamer in general but I love nerding out on many other things like film, tv and comedy. I think showing this world of board games and people who love them is so fun because we’ve never really seen that before. To me, it’s actually very cool to be super interested and knowledgeable about whatever your hobbies and interests are,” she concludes.
Photo by Lizzie O'donnell