By Diane Wild
Flashpoint’s Sergio Di Zio on Spike and Salinger
“I was about to say ‘itâ€™s the one with the hostage,'” Sergio Di Zio laughed when recalling which Flashpoint episode airs when the show returns in its new Tuesday timeslot.
It is, in fact, the one with the bereaved father accused of murdering his baby … who takes hostages. It’s also a Spike-light episode, but Di Zio promises there’s more of his character in the next five episodes.
“Youâ€™ll know a lot more about his personal life when heâ€™s not in the truck and diffusing bombs, what helped make him the policeman he turned out to be,â€ he said, adding that Spike’s mentor makes an appearance.
“Spike is probably the best character to play. You can grow with him â€“ he started off as one of the rookies on the show. He gets to be the comedic relief. He gets to go by his own drum, which on a team show doesnâ€™t always happen.â€
Dead babies and hostages aren’t exactly feel-good topics, but Di Zio says Flashpoint is â€œmore affirming than depressing. You see the humanity behind the police stuff. Itâ€™s a compassionate team. And there’s no real bad guys. People under certain situations are able to do bad things and youâ€™re able to realize why that happens: this is a good person doing a bad thing.â€
He’s been busy during his Flashpoint hiatus filming a feature called Cold Blooded, which he calls â€œthe opposite of Flashpoint. I’m a geek without combat skills.â€
He also spent the holidays in New York, and when the conversation turned to his favourite authors, the avid reader called J.D. Salinger “the voice in my head when I’m there.”
“On set you have a lot of downtime,” he explained. “Having a book around is like having a companion.” Other favourites include John Updike, Robertson Davies, and Mordecai Richler.
In a trick he stole from an older actor he worked with once (and which I will now steal from him), Di Zio has turned his library into a snapshot of his life, writing in the last page of his books the date he read it and what was going on in his life at the time.
His life now includes starting production on season four of Flashpoint, and he’s enthusiastic about the season three episodes still to air starting tonight. “The last six episodes are even stronger than the first bunch. The writers got more exciting twists and turns in the episodes.”