Tag Archives: Kristian Bruun

Carter: How Kristian Bruun’s unemployment beard landed him the role of Dave

We’re loving Carter.

The light tone, humour and chemistry between the three main characters—actor Harley Carter (Jerry O’Connell), cop Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun)—is a big part of that. The trio is the heart and soul of the mystery series, airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo, and we couldn’t imagine anyone else in those roles.

Ironically, if it hadn’t been for his Murdoch Mysteries character, Constable “Slugger” Jackson being killed off, Bruun likely never would have scored Dave. We spoke to Bruun, who will also be seen in the excellent space web series Deep Six in the coming months, about landing the role.

What was it like working on Carter?
Kristian Bruun: It’s funny how this world works because I wouldn’t have gotten that job if I was back on Murdoch Mysteries, I think. And, like Peter Mitchell said back then about not being worried about me, he was kind of right. When I didn’t get to come back to Murdoch for Season 11, I was like, ‘Well, I guess I don’t have to be clean-shaven anymore.’ So I grew this hipster beard to fit in in my neighbourhood in L.A. I called it my unemployment beard. [Laughs.] I was looking a little more rugged and then an audition came along for this role, playing a dude from up north. I thought the beard could work and I booked the role.

Tell me about Dave.
He’s a very different character that I’m very lucky to play. We had a blast shooting it. Jerry O’Connell, Sydney Poitier and I are up north solving crimes. I kind of describe it as Magnum, P.I. meets Murder, She Wrote. It’s a small town, there are too many murders and we’re running around solving capers and getting into too much trouble. It’s a really fun role. We had a blast shooting it. It was like summer vacation. We were there from July to October in North Bay, Ont., a beautiful place to be shooting and every week friends of mine were coming up to film guest-starring roles on this. It was like, ‘Hey, come up and hang out with us for a week on this crazy TV show.’ It has a lot of humour, a lot of heart.

Carter airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Image courtesy of Bell Media. 

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Jerry O’Connell solves crimes in Bravo’s lighthearted Carter

If North Bay, Ont.’s tourism board is looking for a spokesperson, they should sign up Jerry O’Connell. The veteran actor of such series as The Defenders and Sliders speaks glowingly—and extensively—while discussing his next project, the Canadian original crime series Carter, debuting Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

“It’s a truly Canadian show,” O’Connell says on the line from London, England, where he’s shopping Carter worldwide for Sony Pictures Television. “I’ve worked on a lot of shows in Canada that have pretended to be San Francisco, painted out the Canadian flag and handled American money, but here they actually frame the Canadian flag and we actually use loonies and twonies. I feel like I’m a real ambassador for North Bay at this point.”

The project, created by Garry Campbell (The Kids in the Hall, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil) was filmed in the northern Ontario city—as was fellow Bell Media series Cardinal—and focuses on Harley Carter (O’Connell), an affable Canadian lad who made it big as a detective on the hottest cop show on American television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley has returned to his hometown of Bishop, Ont., where he reconnects with childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Sam, a veteran cop, quickly finds Harley inserting himself into her investigations while coffee truck owner Dave serves as Harley’s unofficial driver and wingman in some outrageous schemes. Unlike the dark, brooding of Cardinal, Carter is much more lighthearted, especially when Harley and Dave are bumbling their way through a plan to get information on a suspect. And, thanks for Harley’s years of playing a cop on television, he actually helps with investigations, much to Sam’s chagrin.

“I lived in L.A. for about 10 years and had a lot of Canadian friends there and I watched what it did to people,” Campbell says of the genesis of Carter. “You have enough people telling you, ‘You’re a star and everything should revolve around you,’ and you start to believe it. It changes people. I was fascinated with the idea of this Canadian boy who always had this idealized version of what Hollywood was in his head. The procedural element of the show is just gravy. I wanted to deal with a guy who gets away from his roots.”

Harley is far from his roots when viewers tune in to the debut instalment. Harley is basking in being recognized on the beach in Bishop when Sam appears and an awkward reunion follows. But when Harley’s housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years is accused of murder (check out a photo gallery of Carter‘s cast, including Wynonna Earp‘s Varun Saranga) Harley demands he be included in the investigation. Yes, Harley is somewhat cocky, but what Campbell and his writing team of Larry Bambrick, Jenn Engels and Wil Zmak have created is someone immensely likeable. O’Connell, so long a co-star on series where he’s not the main man, steps into that role and owns it. The chemistry between he, Poiter-Heartsong and Bruun is palpable, especially in one key scene where the characters are relaxing in Muskoka chairs, sipping beer and recalling the old days.

“That was the moment, of all the moments when we kind of said, ‘Oh, we’re doing it. This thing is going to work,'” Campbell recalls. “We cast well. Those guys are amazing. And they’re just decent human beings and it shines through.”

Carter airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Photo gallery: Carter, Season 1

Where has the time gone? It seems just like yesterday when Bell Media announced Carter was in production up in North Bay, Ont. Now we’re just days away from the debut—Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo—and we’re sharing some gorgeous gallery images of the cast below.

Carter stars Jerry O’Connell as Harley Carter, the star of the hottest detective show in primetime television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley returns to the small town of Bishop to reconnect with his roots. Harley quickly reunites with his childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun) to solve crimes. Along for the 10-episode adventure are Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Brenda Kamino as Dot Yashuda, John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing, Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, Matt Barum as Wes Holm and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.

Carter was created and written by Garry Campbell, developed with writer John Tinker and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Television’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther, and producer is Victoria Hirst.

Carter debuts Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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Bravo original series Carter starring Jerry O’Connell premieres May 15

From a media release:

As announced yesterday at BANFF Connect TO, Bravo’s cheeky mystery-crime drama CARTER, starring Jerry O’Connell, premieres Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET. CARTER joins Bravo’s exciting roster of diverse, exclusive dramas which includes LIFE SENTENCE, COLONY, SHOOTER and THE HANDMAID’S TALE. The entire season streams on CraveTV, after its exclusive run on Bravo.

Harley Carter (O’Connell) was living the dream. After moving to Hollywood from small-town Canada, he became a huge star as a detective on America’s #1 TV show. But years in the limelight and an endless blur of parties, premieres, and 16-hour workdays were starting to take a toll. It all bubbles over with a public showdown on a red carpet, prompting Harley to return to his hometown to reconnect with his roots. But as he tries to settle back into his old life, he finds himself in an odd new reality of playing a real-life detective with his childhood friends, no-nonsense police veteran Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier Heartsong) and street-wise, coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Together, they’re solving crimes, with mixed results.

When Harley returns to his hometown, it’s difficult for people to see past his TV character and take him seriously, including his two best friends Sam and Dave, who think he might be having a midlife crisis. The mayor sees him as a potential tourist attraction for the town, while the police chief wants him nowhere near a crime scene. But Harley has turned a corner in his life and wants to prove that he’s more than a pretty face. It’s time for him to show the world that he doesn’t just play a detective on TV, but can solve real crimes, including the mystery of his mother’s disappearance 25 years ago.

In the premiere episode, “Koji the Killer” (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Carter returns to his hometown of Bishop, Ontario after a public scandal in Los Angeles. His housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years has been accused of murder, and Harley demands to be included in the investigation. Along the way, he discovers that he has a knack for real detective work and may not return to L.A. so quickly after all.

CARTER also features Brenda Kamino and Koji Yasuda as Harley’s housekeepers/loving guardians; Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Harley’s enthusiastic but indecisive junior agent; John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing; Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, the town’s brilliant yet shifty pathologist; Matt Baram as Wes Holm, a highly competent and uptight forensic technician; and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.

CARTER is written by Garry Campbell (MADTV), developed with writer John Tinker (CHICAGO HOPE), and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith (THE MAGICIANS, CALL ME FITZ) directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Television’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC and CALL ME FITZ), and producer is Victoria Hirst (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC).

CARTER is an original series for Bravo and the latest partnership between Bell Media and Amaze Film + Television, who produced the series for Sony Pictures Television Networks’ international channels, including AXN.

 

 

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Kristian Bruun says goodbye to Murdoch Mysteries in The Book of Jackson

Spoiler alert! Do not continue reading unless you have watched the Season 10 finale of Murdoch Mysteries.

As much as I love Murdoch Mysteries, I didn’t like the way the show said goodbye to Constable “Slugger” Jackson. There was a lot going on in the Season 10 finale and Season 11 premiere, so his loss felt a little shoved to the side for fans. But now I feel like we—and the most lovable lug in Station House No. 4—have gotten a proper sendoff thanks to this season’s Murdoch Mysteries web series The Book of Jackson.

Written by Noelle Girard, the six-episode series—available now at CBC.ca—kicks off with the members of Station House No. 4 continuing to grieve the loss of Constable Jackson as they pack up his belongings. But the arrival of a distraught woman looking for the deceased Jackson and the discovery of a hidden notebook filled with a secret code lead Murdoch, Crabtree, Higgins and Watts working to unravel the case Jackson was working on in secret before he died.

I spoke to Kristian Bruun about playing Jackson for so many years and what it was like to return to the Murdoch Mysteries set to film The Book of Jackson.

I’ve watched The Book of Jackson and it was nice to take the time to really have a heartfelt goodbye for Slugger Jackson. He was taken so suddenly at the end of Season 10, it was hard to really grasp his exit.
Kristian Bruun: Yeah, it was nice. At the beginning of Season 11, we’re worried about Murdoch being framed for murder and that Crabtree is OK. They did have a nice little salute to him at the end of the episode that misted me up when I watched it. But it was so nice for me to have the opportunity to put the uniform back on and say goodbye my own way. I was pleasantly surprised and honoured to come back and put the uniform on.

What was the production schedule like? When did you film The Book of Jackson? It sounds like it was after Season 10 wrapped.
It was sort of similar to how we did the previous year’s web series, Beyond Time, which I was a part of as well. It’s best to film it when the season is up and running when everybody is around, the sets are in order and nothing has been shut down for the winter. Basically, they use the weekends to film the web series, so it’s extremely daunting for the cast and crew that are there all the time because they’ll shoot the regular work week and then will come in on Saturday and Sunday to shoot the web series, followed by another work week. It creates two straight weeks of super-long days. I think we shot this in November, so it was already near the end of the [filming] season and everyone was exhausted. And they fit so much into those two days. I mean, I remember working on the last one and trying to cram so much time travel jargon into my brain. It was such a blast but it’s a whirlwind.

So, I came in in November—I’ve been living in Los Angeles for a year now—and at the end of Season 10, we had a feeling one of us was going to die. We filmed the season finale and didn’t know who it was going to be at the time. I wish I’d known it was going to be me at the time because I would have taken the opportunity to say goodbye to the cast and the crew. But, they wanted to figure out what would be best for the fans and the mystery. I wanted to come back because I love the show, but I also understood that logistically I was the one actor who had moved away and that was just a timing thing because of my career and looking for the next thing after Orphan Black. I knew I was on the chopping block but I was hoping it wouldn’t be me. [Laughs.] But that’s the way it goes.

I was very sad to get that email from Peter Mitchell. He’s such a funny guy. He was like, ‘You’ll land on your feet, don’t worry.’ He wasn’t worried at all; meanwhile, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, what do I do? I had two shows but they just ended at the same time!’ It was stressful, but having the chance to say goodbye this way and see the crew one last time … who knows, maybe this isn’t the last time. Who knows? But it was certainly nice to come back and do some flashbacks with everybody.

It must have been emotional to return for those two days after time away and reunite with the cast and crew working that weekend.
There were a lot of strong hugs. [Laughs.]

It’s interesting to hear the circumstances surrounding your departure from Murdoch. I did think perhaps you asked to leave because you were heading to L.A. on the heels of Orphan Black ending.
I was a little bit concerned people would think that; that I had left the show for so-called greener pastures. That’s absolutely not the case and I want the fans to know that. It was a story decision and if I were to do that, I would have released a statement. It was not my decision but it’s one that I fully understand. [Laughs.] It was almost like, ‘Sorry we killed you off, here’s a web series!’

I was sorry that the relationship between Jackson and Watts wasn’t explored more fully before Jackson’s demise.
Daniel Maslany and I are good friends now because we’ve gotten to work together and because I’m really, really good friends with his sister, Tatiana, of course. I loved working with Daniel because we just had so much fun together with the dynamic between Jackson and Watts. They are two very different characters, which always makes for good TV. We were just starting to find our stride as those characters and having fun working together.

Jackson is a wonderful character. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is fiercely loyal to his friends.
They really gave me the opportunity to make him more human. Getting a chance to grow a character is an honour and you don’t always get that chance. Jackson started off as this rival constable from another station way back in Season 5 and grew into another member of the gang. In the memorial to Jackson and the picture up on the wall, they don’t forget him.

Watch all six episodes of The Book of Jackson via CBC.ca.

Were you happy to see Jackson back in the world of Murdoch Mysteries? Do you have a message for Kristian Bruun? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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