Family dynasty? New REM voice is daughter of Metro announcer

Montreal’s public transit systems are keeping things in the family.

Actress Caroline Dhavernas was announced to be the voice of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light-rail system on Thursday.

But she also happens to be the daughter of Michèle Deslauriers — the woman behind Montreal’s Metro announcements.

Dhavernas told Radio-Canada that she was excited to hear that she got the role, in part because of that family history.

“When I got the call for the audition, I thought, that would be so funny,” Dhavernas said.

“If I’m the voice of the REM, we could make our little public transit dynasty. It would be awesome,” she said. “And then the stars aligned.”

Dhavernas was chosen anonymously by popular vote. Over 35,000 people voted for their favourite announcer, with Dhavernas, known as “Voice B,” coming out on top.

“Without knowing it, the public voted for a voice that echoed that of the Montreal subway,” wrote CDPQ Infra, the arm of the Caisse de dépôt that oversees the REM, in a statement.

“It’s an incredible coincidence,” Dhavernas said.

Dhavernas, who is known for roles including Mary Harris in Canadian drama Mary Kills People and Alana Bloom in NBC’s Hannibal, also has a vast experience in voice work and dubbing.

While they haven’t recorded the official lines that will play in the REM yet, Dhavernas didn’t rule out asking mom for some advice when the time comes.

In a video released by CDPQ Infra, Dhavernas said she often rides the Metro with her daughter, and points out her mother’s voice.

“I tell her: ‘that’s your grandmother you’re hearing.’ Now when we take the REM, it’ll be my voice,” she said.

The first passengers will hear Dhavernas when the South Shore branch of the REM enters operation in 2022.

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