Tag Archives: Paul Gross

Frontier’s Greg Bryk on Cobb Pond’s Season 2 journey and how Paul Gross saved his life

Fifteen years ago, Paul Gross saved Greg Bryk’s life. I was on the phone with Bryk to talk about Season 2 of Frontier—Discovery’s historical drama about the history of the Canadian fur trade returning Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT—when I mentioned Men with Brooms came out 15 years ago.

“He saved my life,” Bryk says of Gross, who wrote, starred and directed the feature film. “I was going to go to law school. I had babies and I couldn’t pay any bills and I was walking away from it all. And then he cast me in Men with Brooms and threw me a lifeline. He was incredibly generous with his time and was kind of the rogueish older brother that I never had.”

The role of Alexander “The Juggernaut” Yount was the first of many, many memorable characters Bryk has played over the year. Whether it’s alpha werewolf Jeremy Danvers on Bitten, the Jack of Knives on Wynonna Earp or Grady on Mary Kills People, Bryk has amassed an IMDB page packed with memorable characters. We spoke to Bryk about his acting choices and what’s to come for Cobbs Pond, business associate/lover to Montreal businessman Samuel Grant (Shawn Doyle), in Season 2 of Frontier.

They say that the clothes make the man. Is that true for Cobbs Pond?
Greg Bryk: He has the best wardrobe. The best. When [series creators] Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie approached me, they had another character they were interested in me for. I was under option for Bitten at the time and that part was recast. A few weeks later, Bitten was cancelled and I was no longer under option. Rob called me, and I remember being in a parking lot in the Distillery District [of Toronto]. ‘Greg, hear me out on this. We have a character. So far we haven’t written a line for him yet. We have no idea what he could become or will become. He’s a cross between this real-life assassin-gunfighter that exists—historically from Boston—and Oscar Wilde.’ I’m like, ‘Done. Let’s have an adventure.’

We literally created this character from scratch and when I first walked in and I saw the fox hat. When [costume designer] Michael [Ground] handed me the hat I had everything I needed to know about this character. There is such a playful malevolence about him and the idea of sexuality and femininity and being placed in that historical context but to be this completely complicated and contemporary man, in a lot of ways, was a fascinating adventure. We found moments throughout Season 1—some dark, horrific moments and moments of real longing and being lost—and that arc/descent accelerates during Season 2. Cobbs goes to some places that I was so thrilled to get to be able to take him and really explore what love means to this character, what loyalty means, what ambition means, what greed means, what savage revenge means … all the while spinning in the most beautiful clothes one could ever hope to dress themselves in.


“When the lights go up and the camera goes on, it’s like a cage opens and the lion hunts the zoo.”


It sounds like you personally had a hand in creating Cobbs.
They fleshed the character out in very broad strokes and allowed me to bring so much of myself to the character. I’m really lucky in that a lot of directors and showrunners that I have worked with trust me to personalize the work and bring elements of myself to the character. There are things this year that happen with Cobbs and parts of monologues that are straight camera roll and they just let me go into myself. There are a couple of scenes which are shocking and brutal and violent but also incredibly vulnerable. It’s me transferring an experience I had being in love with this girl when I was in Grade 5—that first love—and they let me drag Cobbs into my longings and my wants and my vulnerabilities. But, also, this strength emerges in Cobbs this year where he is a force to be reckoned with.

There are some moments that are absolutely crazy. There are places Cobbs goes that I think the audience—who enjoyed him in the first season as this glitter who was thrown into a very dark world—will be slack-jawed at some of the things that will happen. He’s quite, delightfully, mad.

You’ve created memorable characters throughout your acting career. Where does that come from?
I’m a very cautious, almost timid, person in real life. I like routine. I stay in my house with my kids and my wife and my dogs. I literally walk the same path every day and I like that. In the real world, I like to control as much as I can. But in my work, it’s the chaos, man. I’m fearless. There is nothing I won’t reveal about myself or someone else and I don’t ever apologize for anything that I do. I am utterly without censure when the cameras roll and I think it saves my life. I became a father in theatre school and I had to learn to compartmentalize. Discovering myself as an artist was walking in step with being a husband and a father. There have always been these parallel tracks. I can happily live away from that live wire in the middle, but goddamn it I love to dance on it. When the lights go up and the camera goes on, it’s like a cage opens and the lion hunts the zoo.

Frontier airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

 

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Production begins on new CBC original drama series Caught starring Allan Hawco and Paul Gross

From a media release:

Take The Shot Productions announced the start of production of the new CBC original drama series CAUGHT, which will premiere in winter 2018 on CBC, as announced at the public broadcaster’s 2017-18 season preview launch last week. Starring Allan Hawco (who will play David Slaney) and Paul Gross (playing Patterson) and produced by Take The Shot Productions, filming kicked off this week in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Executive producers include Allan Hawco, Perry Chafe, John Vatcher, Alex Patrick, Peter Blackie, Rob Blackie and Michael Levine. The series is written by Allan Hawco along with John Krizanc, Adriana Maggs, and Julia Cohen. It will be directed by TJ Scott and John Vatcher. CAUGHT is adapted from Canadian author Lisa Moore’s acclaimed novel of the same name (published by House of Anansi Press), which was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and selected as an Amazon.ca Best Book and for The Globe 100 Books in 2013.

CAUGHT is a new series set in 1978. Locked up after a drug deal goes wrong, David Slaney (Hawco) makes a daring break from a New Brunswick prison to attempt one more deal with his former partner (Eric Johnson) – all this with a dogmatic police officer, Patterson (Paul Gross), at his heels. It’s Slaney’s last chance at freedom – but in this tale of bravado and betrayal, nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.

CAUGHT stars Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Frontier, The Book of Negroes), Paul Gross (Alias Grace, Hyena Road, Passchendaele), Tori Anderson (Open Heart, No Tomorrow), Eric Johnson (Fifty Shades Darker, The Knick), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Disappearance), Greg Bryk (Bitten, Frontier) and Enuka Okuma (Rookie Blue, Battle of Sexes).

ABOUT TAKE THE SHOT PRODUCTIONS
Take The Shot Productions Inc. has developed and produced award winning content which has garnered critical and commercial success, both domestically and globally. Based in St John’s Newfoundland, TTS produces a variety of both scripted and unscripted projects for television. Past productions include award nominated series Republic of Doyle on CBC and Discovery Canada/Netflix Worldwide Original Series Frontier, starring Game of Thrones and Aquaman’s Jason Momoa. Frontier will be returning for Season 2 in 2017. Other projects have included the hot factual series Majumder Manor, Boy on Bridge featuring Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, HBO Canada’s Shaun Majumder, and Every Word is Absolutely True.

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Photo gallery: CBC’s Alias Grace

A full summer of programming is still ahead of us—hello Killjoys, Wynonna Earp, Dark Matter and Orphan Black—but CBC has got us excited for the fall.

The network announced earlier today that Alias Grace debuts Monday, Sept. 25, at 9 p.m. on CBC. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel and inspired by true events, the six episodes are written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron. The miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), an Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who—along with James McDermott (Kerr Logan), a stable hand—is accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Here’s a sneak peek gallery of some of the key cast. Are you as excited about Alias Grace as we are? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Alias Grace debuts Monday, Sept. 25, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Cameras roll on CBC/Netflix miniseries Alias Grace

From a media release:

Halfire Entertainment, CBC, and Netflix announced that cameras are rolling on the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace. Alias Grace stars award-winning actress Sarah Gadon (Indignation, 11.22.63, Enemy); Academy Award-winning® Canadian-born actress Anna Paquin (True Blood, Roots, Bellevue); Zachary Levi (Chuck, Tangled); Paul Gross (Hyena Road, Due South); Edward Holcroft (Kingsman: The Secret Service, London Spy, Wolf Hall); Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones, London Irish); Rebecca Liddiard (Houdini & Doyle); and acclaimed Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg.

The six-hour miniseries is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks who was convicted of murdering Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear. Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol).

The miniseries continues production in Toronto and across Ontario until mid-November. Alias Grace will be broadcast in Canada on CBC and globally – everywhere outside of Canada – on Netflix.

Alias Grace follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott, was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross) and Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin) in 1843. Nancy is Kinnear’s housekeeper and lover, and while she initially befriends Grace, she begins to resent Grace and becomes increasingly jealous of Kinnear’s affection for her. Nancy eventually fires Grace in a fit of rage and is later found brutally murdered.

Alias Grace is co-commissioned by CBC and Netflix, produced by Halfire Entertainment and created by Sarah Polley. The executive producers are Sarah Polley, Mary Harron, and Noreen Halpern. Producing alongside Polley is D.J. Carson.

 

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