From Humble Beginnings to International Fame– Actress and Model Ashiko Westguard

Ashiko Westguard
Canadian model & actress Ashiko Westguard shot by Erwin Loewen

 

Ashiko Westguard has a lot to be proud of; her hard work as a model has led to international success and recognition, she has made a successful transition into the film industry and she has an inspiring family who encourage and support her.

Westguard’s family remain at the pinnacle of her life and even of her achievements, with the highly sought after model and actress crediting them for her passion, confidence and imaginativeness, arguably the defining traits, aside from her enticingly exotic and raw beauty, of her success in two of today’s most competitive industries. Westguard however, only speaks of the ease with which she wins over the many world-renowned photographers and clientele she has a repertoire with. She has a unique way of cultivating emotional connection and positivity through images, no doubt her enchanting character is a lasting effect of her lakeside upbringing back home in Innisfil, a quaint town in Ontario, Canada.

But don’t let her rural upbringing in mislead you, with a maternal role model like hers, it’s not surprising that Westguard has an awe-inspiring career which has continued to take her across continents modeling in Japan, Hong Kong, Spain, France, South Korea, Denmark and Slovenia. She attributes her strength, determination and courage, which have all helped her earn coveted jobs, like her most recent ad campaign for Dita von Teese Lingerie shot by Albert Sanchez, to her mother, a political refugee who arrived in Canada alone as a teenager from Czechoslovakia.

It takes a certain wild energy and emotional embodiment to command the world’s attention on the cover of a magazine. Westguard is no stranger to these high-paced shoots as she has graced numerous covers including Women Magazine, Femina Magazine, Women’s Fitness, Essentials Magazine, Sweat Equity and Verve Magazine.

Growing up with a father who is a champion hydroplane racer, this wild energy is in no short supply. Westguard called upon her wild women qualities for her recent shoot in Slovenia, where she took on the role of the ultimate wild woman, a Bond Girl, alongside Robbie Williams as James Bond, for the internationally recognizable brand, Café Royal.

While she may share some of the credit for her break into the modeling industry at age 18, with her younger sister who also signed with acclaimed agency Next Models, only her own hard work can account for Westguard’s introduction to the acting scene. Westguard’s modeling career has put her unique capacity for emotional intelligence and confidence on display in a long list of international ad campaigns, and it’s those same traits that have helped Westguard make a name for herself as an actress.

Acting became one of Westguard’s earliest childhood dreams since she first took the stage in the Stephen Lee Cock Theatre’s production of “On The Tip of My Tongue” back home in Canada; and her perseverance and dedication to turning it into a reality has definitely paid off. Training with professionals like David Rotenberg helped Westguard make the challenging transition from modeling into acting, and over the last few years she has successfully evolved from the portrayal of emotions externally to the embodiment of a character’s essence on screen.

Some of the roles she has become best known for over the years are from her portrayal of the riveting and exceedingly complex Eve in the sci-fi feature “A Dark Matter” and Beverly in the Leo Award winning series “Painkiller Jane” where she acted alongside multi-award winning actress Kristanna Loken from the films “Beyond the Game” and “Fighting for Freedom.” She has also guest starred on the series “Kaya,” as well as “The Red Booth.”

 

Ashiko Westguard
Ashiko at home in Innisfil with her dogs Zandaya (left) and Miley (right)

 

In the midst of a bustling schedule and international success,Westguard still finds time to return home to Innisfil, where she enjoys a simpler life, breathing in nature and being with family. With a family full of inspiring role models and a community that knows her more as their neighbour than the glamorous girl from the covers of magazine, it is no wonder that her childhood home is where she choose to return to for grounding and inspiration. Having this base has allowed Westguard to transcend the typical barriers of the fashion and film industry with grace, landing her on the side of blissful success, facilitated by the confidence, passion and self-worth instilled in her by her supportive family.

 

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