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Natalie Lisinska

Profession: Actress

Age: 28 (turns 29 on Jan. 11)

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Hometown: Born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, in England; raised in Ladysmith, B.C.

Notable achievements: Film credits - Eliza in Chloe, starring Liam Neeson and Juliana Moore directed by Atom Egoyan; Inez in Young People Fucking; TV credits - lead in Gemini-nominated CBC series At the Hotel; CBC mini-series Above and Beyond; Lifetime TV movie The House Next Door

Upcoming: InSecurity premieres Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 on CBC

In the CBC's new action comedy InSecurity, actress Natalie Lisinska plays Alex Cranston, who is in charge of a team of misfit secret agents. On set, some of the action-packed driving scenes were performed by a stunt double because Lisinska didn't have her licence.

But that's not the case any more. She's a new driver and the proud owner of her first car: a 2006 Mazda3 Sport.

Why did you buy a Mazda3?

It just felt really good behind the wheel. They're really zippy. If you need to overtake a bus it's not a problem.

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I just wanted something I could zip around the city in, but if I wanted to take it on a road trip I could fit some serious gear into it. I looked at the Toyota Yaris, the Mini and finally I settled on a Mazda3 because frankly, I just kept finding myself checking it out. When I was walking down the street I'd be, like, "What's that car? Oh it's a Mazda3 again."

What does a Mazda3 say about you?

That I'm urban. I live right downtown in Toronto and I don't need something hulking and huge.

I need something that I can squeeze into tiny little parking spaces. Really, parking is the key to driving.

What's the best feature?

The heated seats. I wouldn't even consider looking at a car if it didn't have the heated seat option. I live in Toronto. I am not getting a car that doesn't have a bum warmer!

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What's the worst feature?

It doesn't have a jack to plug my iPod in. It has forced me to go back and rediscover all of my old CDs. So the music I'm listening to in my car is circa 1996.

Mechanically, do you know what's under the hood?

Not really. I have to admit I'm a bit of a girl when it comes to that stuff.

I'm planning on taking a junior mechanics course. If something goes wrong, I can take it into a shop and know what they're talking about.

Do you drive an automatic or manual transmission?

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My brother-in-law who helped me pick up the car is a bit of a gear head. He kept trying to push me to get a manual. But you know, let's just do this one step at a time. Let me pass the G test in an automatic and then we'll talk about a manual transmission - maybe for my second car.

When did you get your license?

I just passed my G test! I'm very proud of that.

I went to boarding school when I was a kid. Driving for me wasn't something that was a top priority because we weren't allowed to have cars because we'd escape school.

I got my G2 last minute when I was leaving Vancouver Island to come out to Toronto. And then, living downtown, I never felt the need for a car as a university student. I just never got around to doing it.

Just recently it was, like, "Oh my God, my licence is going to expire I need to do this right now!" So I booked a few lessons at Young Drivers. Thank God I passed.

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So you didn't drive on set of InSecurity?

There's a stunt where my character accidentally hits Grace Lynn Kung's character Jo Jo with her car. And I reversed. I just knew I wasn't comfortable getting behind the wheel of a huge SUV and peeling out, which is what they wanted - very aggressive driving.

Here's an idea: How about I save the company thousands of dollars of insurance money and we'll get somebody in a blond wig to drive? Let's do that.

I told my producers I got my licence and they were, like, "You can drive next season! Yeah!"

What's your best driving memory?

When I pulled out of the dealership and drove home. That drive home was just awesome.

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The whole act of buying a car is oddly easy. I just gave him my credit card and signed this piece of paper and then we're done. It wasn't until I got into the car and pulled away and was driving down the road that I was, like, "Oh I just bought a car!" It was lovely.

I listened to the Almost Famous sound track and just drove along. I came up with a name for my car - I named him Captain Pewter Schmidt, because he's pewter grey. I need my car to be military men - I need to feel like they're going into battle with me.

What's your worst driving memory?

My worst memory with my car would be this morning. I came out and it was just iced over. Getting the car door open was hard - I had to yank on it and scrape all the ice off it.

Oh, this is what it means to have a car in the winter in Toronto. Great. Awesome.

What's your dream car?

I don't know the model. But there's a SUV that Infiniti has - it looks like a crouching jungle cat - it's a really mean-looking car and I just dig it. It almost looks like it has haunches - it makes me want to spank it when I walk by!

Any embarrassing moments?

Yes, the first day we got snow.

I was wearing these big Sorel snow boots which I don't like driving in. So I had these little Mary Jane flats that I was putting on to drive. I had these big fluffy socks pulled up over my jeans and I was just switching the shoes when I was getting in and out of the car. I was in a hurry and I forgot to change into the boots.

I got out of my car, locked it and got half way down the street and realized that I was wearing these bright socks pulled up to my knees, over my jeans, with these weird, little shoes! This is my winter fashion!

The interview has been edited and condensed.

She could have saved some money by refusing this unnecessary service on her car

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