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Interview: Spun Out’s Dave Foley angles for Orphan Black role

Orphan Black is a critical darling with die-hard fans who love every twist, turn and clone the writers throw onto the small screen. Why am I mentioning this in a story about Dave Foley and Season 2 of Spun Out? Because Foley is a major fan of OB … so much so he busted onto the set to meet its leading lady.

“I love Orphan Black. I think it’s fantastic,” Foley told TV, eh? during a set visit last year. “I’d love to be a guest star. I went over there and barged into their set to say hi to Tatiana Maslany. I hoped that if I stood around long enough that somebody would say, ‘Hey, you’d be pretty good. We already killed Frewer, we’ve got room for another old comedian.'”

The veteran member of The Kids in the Hall—who continue their reunion tour later this year—had plenty to say about the difficulties of making comedy for the small screen, upcoming guest star Jennifer Tilly (who’s been a friend of Foley’s since The Wrong Guy) and his love of Doctor Who.

How involved have you been in the writing on Spun Out in Season 2?
Dave Foley: I have been involved off and on as I’ve been needed as an extra hand. It’s part of what I’ve been doing for 30 years, so it’s a skill that I can bring to the show and help out whenever I can.

Jennifer Tilly is guest-starring in an episode as your ex-wife. What can you tell me about her character?
Jennifer plays an ex-wife that I’m still very fond of and she’s decided to start a rival PR company and I give her advice on how to do that. And she immediately turns around and poaches a huge client from DLPR. Dave has to go out and assert his dominance as a professional.

You’ve known Jennifer for a long time. You co-starred in The Wrong Guy in 1997.
It feels like only yesterday. I really like that movie and I was really proud of it. It was a lot of fun working with Jen on it and we’ve been friends ever since. People still come up to me and quote me lines from it. I know it was a bit of a cult movie with comedy writers in L.A. even before we made it because the script was travelling around town.

That was the first movie I ever saw Colm Feore in.
Really? His best work, really. He hadn’t done anything before and has gone back to doing nothing since then. [Laughs.]

Did you come to the table with any creative ideas for Season 2 of Spun Out?
No, God no. I let them do that. I don’t like to think too far ahead on character or anything like that. Give me some situations and some things to play with. Everyone on this show is so good, I don’t need to tell them anything. I’d rather sit back and listen.

Many people have said that making comedy is difficult. Where do you stand on that?
I don’t know if it’s more difficult. I think it’s just easier to see it when it’s bad. You really know when you’re watching bad comedy because you’re not laughing. When you’re watching bad drama, you can think ‘Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I’m not getting it.’ You have to reflect on whether it was bad or not. In comedy, you know it in your gut as soon as you hear it.

Do you watch a lot of TV?
I watch a lot of hockey and a lot of science programming and science fiction.

What science fiction do you watch?
I love Orphan Black. I think it’s fantastic. I’d love to be a guest star. I went over there and barged into their set to say hi to Tatiana Maslany. I hoped that if I stood around long enough that somebody would say, ‘Hey, you’d be pretty good. We already killed Frewer, we’ve got room for another old comedian.’

I love Doctor Who, The Strain.

What do you think of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor?
I love him. For me, he’s a bit of a return to the older show … Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee … where it wasn’t being sexy and quirky. I love the sexy and quirky Doctors and thought they brought a youthful energy, but the Doctor is supposed to be anything, so it’s good to have a Doctor that’s a little bit older. Maybe the next Doctor will be one of colour or a woman. That’s the magic of the character.

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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