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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) We do like maybe five and a half to six months at a shot when we do a series because it is a short season, thirteen episodes. This year I had a good whack of time off in the beginning to sort of hang out, play video games and just do nothing. I just finished a movie and the working title is Things Are a Changin'.
Q) What is new this season on "Rookie Blue" with your character Oliver?
A) This year, for Oliver at least, he has to learn how to let go of the rookies a little bit. The rookies at Fifteen Division aren't as green as they were last year. It seems that the way that the stories have been playing out this season I have to take a little step back and let my rookies figure things out for himself, work cases, partner up a bit and get out on the road together. I have to let them grow into the cops they are supposed to be. Through doing that, of course, the stories get to focus a little more on the interactions with the rookies together, how their personalities work together (or rub each other the wrong way) and see how they get along out there in the big world all by themselves.
Q) What made you originally want to be a part of the show?
A) "Rookie Blue" is kind of the brain child of the folks I've worked with before. I did a couple series in Canada called "The Eleventh Hour" and "Would Be Kings." Anything that Tassie Cameron does I'm a thumbs up, put me down on your dance card kind of guy. I think she's amazing and the production team there at Thump, which is Ilana Frank. It's more like what drew me to the project. You know, when you hear about those things you don't know what they are or how they are going to play out, but with Tassie Cameron, Ilana Frank and Dave Wellington (another one of the producers who also directs a number of the episodes) anything they do I am one hundred percent behind and want to be on. When I heard it was a cop show and they had me slated in potentially to play the character of Oliver who was a veteran officer I was like, "Oh wow! That sounds kind of interesting." Because sometimes I am the funny guy and sometimes I am the "Aw shucks" guy I'd never actually entertained the idea of being a cop with a bullet proof vest and a gun belt on. I thought, "Wow, that would be very interesting!"
Q) What continues to challenge you about playing Oliver?
A) I think what keeps challenging me about Oliver are the folks in the writers room. It's helmed up by Tassie and there are a whole rack of writers there, some that you see and follow on Twitter. I think the challenge for me is that they keep challenging me. Just like this is pushing me out of my comfort zone doing this interview, I think those guys make it a point to push Oliver into places. When they are thinking of Oliver, they are thinking of me and they just keep pushing me. They're challenging me.
Q) Some fans have been begging Tassie to cast Zoe for S3. Who are your dream actresses you'd like as your TV spouse?
A) On "Cheers," there was a woman that played Norm's wife that they always made reference to, but never showed up. If I had my fantasy though, I would say Paget Brewster. She is so awesome and so heavy duty. In Canada, there are women like Krista Bridges who is an amazing actor in this country. There is also a great actor named Sarah Manninen. There are some great actors out there, some amazing actors. Someone had actually made reference to someone who was on "Corner Gas." Of course, if I had my fantasy-fantasy it'd be Paget Brewster or Cate Blanchett.
Q) Do you throw a little of yourself into the characters you play?
A) Oh, for sure! It's funny because when you start a series characters are as they were in the writers mind. I know that Tassie and some of the writers had their fingers crossed that maybe I would be Oliver Shaw. You can see that as the show progresses (I think that as you go into second and third seasons) the characters they are writing for those actors. Anything that I do, there is always a bit of Matt Gordon in it. Although, the situations are quite extreme because no where in a million years would I be a cop. It's way too tough a job for me and I think that anyone who is a cop it is a job that chooses you. Just as acting maybe chose me. You get all the glory and none of the risk being a cop on TV. I think there is always a bit of Matt Gordon in everything I do.
Q) Melanie King has already teased us on Twitter that there's an episode where Sam & Ollie ride together, anything else you can share on that?
A) There is an episode where Ben Bass and I are thrown back into a cruiser and it's kind of fun. I always love hanging out with Ben and I'll hang out with Ben on anything doing anything. We are a hundred percent in a cruiser together doing very dangerous things.
Q) Are you as mischievous as the rest of the cast make you out to be?
A) That is totally untrue with the exception of one other actor, I am probably the most focused actor on that set! I think that a lot of those folks are projecting their own lack of focus on to me using me as kind of a scapegoat. Actually, we all have fun. Sometimes we'll get into a little bit of trouble for being too unfocused. It's kind of a double edged sword though because my guy is a little unfocused and off the cuff. So, if that's required than that's what I have to deliver! When you get on a set like "Rookie Blue," because everybody is so down-to-Earth and cool everybody enjoys each other, who they are as people and more who they are as actors. Everybody is very appreciative of everybody else. There are a lot of people there. There are a lot of characters. Everybody is so supportive of each other and everybody so loves watching everybody do their stuff. When you go into a second or third season, it's like going back to camp. There is a whole group of people who really love each other and like hanging out with each other.
Q) The writers seem to be developing an interesting dichotomy amongst the cast between those who would make a major career sacrifice for love or friends and those that wouldn't sideline their ambitions. How does Oliver handle being content with his position for family reason, but sometimes pushed to the backseat by peers? Will they explore that more in the future?
A) I don't know what they are going to explore and what they are not because when ever we start a new season the storylines and the fun that all the characters get into is new to us. So, it's just like going back to school and figuring out what classes you have. So, I don't know what is going to happen with Oliver. I don't know if this exists in other cities and other police jurisdictions, but we found out though when we were in Toronto training with real cops that training officers like Melanie [Nicholls-King], Ben and I choose that job. So, they volunteer. I think that with Oliver and with Melanie's character, Noelle, that they do it because they love it. For Oliver, he truly cares about his rookies, he loves being a training officer, making sure that these kids are taken care of, that they get the right training and do it for the right reasons. I think that especially with the Dov character that we had a whole lot more to do just in that sort of idea of training like a supervisor and rookie in the first season, but probably Oliver sees a little bit of himself in Dov (Gregory Smith), Chris (Travis Milne) and all the rookies. I think that Oliver does it because he loves it.
Q) Your interrogation scene with Alan Van Spring was quite wonderful. It brought up thoughts of your work with Ben Bass in "Would Be Kings." Did it give you any flashbacks?
A) Oh yeah! It's interesting because the tables are turned. In "Would Be Kings," I was the guy getting the screws put to me. With this and Alan Van Sprang, I got to be Ben Bass. I got to be the good guy! "Would Be Kings" was great because all of the guys that we were playing (me and Curry Graham) were the good cops doing what they thought were the right things for the right reasons. It was interesting to play that and be on the other side.
Q) Inquiring minds want to know, is tit you that is anti-pickle or is it something Oliver dislikes?
A) I did like the pickle scene a lot in the first season when I got to trash that baby over the fence when Missy [Peregrym] comes up. I am sort of pretending to be angry with her because we haven't been able to have "the talk." If I order a burger, I'll have everything, but I have to have no pickle. I do like pickles, but I just don't like them on anything.
Q) We've heard references before to Sam & Ollie being rookies at the same time, will we be learning more about that? Maybe a flashback episode?
A) I would totally dig a flashback episode! I probably had a lot more hair and maybe a big ass mustache. Ben [Bass] and I work on the premise that we've known each other for a really long time. Very often in the series, even in the first and quite a bit in the second, I refer to him a lot as brother because we've probably known each other for fifteen or twenty years and we did come up together. All the hardships, all the weirdness and all the hard stuff we went through together like veterans on a baseball team. We have that history together and that comfort. It's sort of a mirror in real life because I did "Eleventh Hour" with Ben and "Would Be Kings." I just think he's spectacular. We kind of have that relationship anyway.
Q) You've had some great scenes already this season. Would you like to see Shaw do some ass kicking, maybe lose it with a suspect, see his darker side maybe?
A) That's always funny because it's always fun to watch the happy guys go dark or the happy guys get not happy. In the first season, Greg [Smith] and I bust into somewhere (and this is one of the early episodes when this drug dealer named Snake Face runs out a window) and Greg tries to take care of him. I sort of take down this other guy. It's always fun to play those dark and have stuff sometimes, especially when you're totally safe on the set with stunt men. Yes, of course it's always fun to play dark and to get a little messy.
Q) What has been your most memorable moment from filming season two?
A) I thought it was a particularly amazing and well written scene (and you don't get to see this very often) that they'll take a scene from the first season and link it to even just a five minute scene in a following season. Probably one of my most memorable moments was just a few minutes I spent in a cruiser with Missy Peregrym where we got to continue a chat we started the first episode of the first season. We go to continue it the first episode of the second season when we have "the talk."
Q) Why do you think people continue to tune into to "Rookie Blue?"
A) I think people love "Rookie Blue" because it is a great cop drama, but it's about the cops. I love watching shows where action is happening all the time, but it's nice to see how that action affects people and how those characters bring it home into their real lives - how a twenty-five year old kid gets out of police college after six months, has a gun in their waist, a bullet proof vest and a pair of handcuffs affects their daily lives. I think people tune in because they are great stories with great characters and there are some amazing actors on that show, too.
Q) You're a part of the social networking site Twitter. Why was it so important to you to connect with your fans?
A) I had never been on Twitter and knew nothing about it until our first season began. I was basically carrying around a rotary phone with a really long cord. I was not a Twitter guy or even a texter. Then, I got myself a smart phone and someone said, "You should try Twitter!" I did and it's nice to connect with fans and it's fun. Tweeting during episodes I find really fun and it's a good way to connect with fans and have a dialogue with people. That's the reason they make the show, is so people can watch it. I think it's kind of cool and really fun to chat with people from all over the world. There are people in Brazil, Russia and all over the US who feel a connection to the show. It's neat to actually connect with them in person and thank them and chat for 140 characters to say thanks and enjoy the show together.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) I'd like to say thank you! I am really lucky to get to do something that I really love. Thanks for enjoying it and thanks for being a component. Thanks for putting the effort in to watch and tune in.
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