That’s wonderful, thank you.
For people who are not really aware of what Flashpoint is, can you give us a description in your words?
It’s an action police drama with a lot of heart because it revolves around a group of elite police officers and deals with the cost of heroism. It’s really beautifully shot. We use 35MM which I think is becoming a dying breed on television. Toronto is featured in such a sexy way. The story about what happens when one particular officer has to kill somebody. I think it’s riveting; it’s very, very exciting to be a part of. You know, it’s a bunch of SWAT guys who have guns and explosions. Kind of like I’m 6 years old playing cops and robbers.
What drew you to the role?
One, that it takes place in Toronto, it’s my home town. It does satisfy that child hood need to play cops and robbers. I’ve never gotten to do that. And it was a job.
That’s what it all comes down to.
Of course. Like I love it, people are like “well, I decided”. What, you don’t like to work? I like working!
You’ve played a lot of varied roles; is it a lot different than things you’ve done in the past?
Only because I’ve never played the leader guy. The alpha male. And although my characters till has an emotional intelligence about him, he’s not the die hard storm the castle, ask questions later, that’s the other character, played by Hugh Dillon, but he’s still the leader, he’s still in charge. There’s something masculine about him. I think that’s another reason that drew me in. I was tired of playing people with such a heavy feminine side, no offense. Even Keith mars. He was the dad everybody wanted. There wasn’t enough, he could still kick ass, and we never saw enough of that.
I read somewhere that you said there was an instant camaraderie with the EPs of the show and it was good feeling on set.
There’s not a lot of time to be social with anybody right now, especially the EPS because they’re probably busier than anybody, but there’s something warm about them. I think it’s because they’re Canadian, we’re Canadians. There seems to be an emphasis on process and a lot of ways, we’ve already succeeded because they’ve managed to get it on television and the rest of it is gravy. There seems to be more of an appreciation of what the actors think. I’ve never had that so much before where they really do think about how I feel about character, how I feel about the stories. They’re interested in making it better, and they’re interested in collaborating with people that they respect and that’s novel.
Why do you think people should tune in? What would you say to someone to get them to watch?
[laughs] I always feel like I’m going to go into Arnold Schwarzenegger when he’s promoting a movie or how he promoted movies in the past, and you just go up, talk to him, he’d say [adopts Arnold’s accent] “It’s the greatest movie, it’s a great movie [/end Arnold].” There’s something simple about that. [laughs]
I would absolutely watch!
[Arnold] You have to watch, it’s so great. It’s a great movie! [/end Arnold]. I don’t know if I can be that simplistic about it. It’s exciting. It’s dramatic. It’s beautiful to watch. There are a lot of wonderful things about it. [laughs] I’m not really selling it, am I?
Not really, no [laughing]
[Arnold] It’s the greatest show ever [/end Arnold].
See that sells it for me right there. I look forward to that.
I will! Do you prefer doing comedy or drama, or, like you said, is it just work that you’re happy to be doing?
The glass is always half empty in a way, because when I’ve done comedy, I wish I could be doing drama. When I’m doing drama, I long for comedy. When the day is over, I love the comedy. It’s much more liberating there’s much less to think about it. it’s about making it funand funny. That’s the only criteria. To be working in an environment where it’s about laughter, it’s easier to go home from that, than it is from you know…
Is there ever a time where you sit and think “I wish I was [insert some other job here]”
Everyday [laughs] every day of my life.
What initially got you into acting?
It was the one consistent thing when I was a young man that everybody else agreed upon for me. Sort of relied on the guidance of my peers and teachers because growing up in an immigrant household, any artistic notion was poo-pooed right away and deemed ridiculous. It really didn’t seem feasible to me until I went to college and I really started to see a support system around what I did and how I did it, because I just tok an elective in drama and it seemed liberating and it seemed fun. In the early days I used it to exercise demons and it was therapeutic for me. It became fun and I became more technically proficient at it where I could leave it at the end of the day. It’s just something that I enjoy doing for its own reason now. But, do I like the toll it takes? Not necessarily. I’d much rather teach it sometimes.
Is there anyone you’re dying to work with that you haven’t yet?
Well there’s always the obvious answers like Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. Martin Scorcese. No not really, other than the Gods themselves.
What else besides Flashpoint do you have coming up?
I know they’re talking about releasing My Mom’s New Boyfriend with Antonio Banderas and Meg Ryan. I haven’t heard much about that. That should be coming out soon. The other great thing about being back in Canada is that it allows me to do more writing. I’m in preparation to direct my first film up here and that’s another thing that sort like about being in Canada, I think I said that. They don’t just see me as an actor. The possibilities for other things are credited here.
Have you directed in the past, or is this something that just started for you?
I’ve done some short films you know, and I directed plays, but it just seems to be the evolution of the actor. You get to a certain place and suddenly you want more. They want to find more control; they want to find a different outlet to their own creativity instead of being a conduit to other peoples’ creativity. So I started writing and I think I have one or two stories in me that I want to share. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to be a director full time or a writer full time. I just have these things that I want to tell. And exorcise those demons.