By Diane Wild
The post-Super Bowl episode of Flashpoint , the season finale “Fault Lines,” is structured as a physical and psychological test of Team One that threatens to break them apart, with a cliffhanger ending that threatens to stop fansâ€™ hearts.
“Itâ€™s a different episode in a lot of ways,” said Michael Cram, who plays Kevin “Wordy” Wordsworth, of the finale. “This one is focusing on the team and you start to see the cracks forming. Thereâ€™s a little conflict within the members of the team. I have an argument with someone … but Iâ€™m not going to tell you who.”
He points out that the drama and the cliffhanger ending set up the next season well. Though it wasnâ€™t written with the knowledge that it would air in such a plum timeslot, the flashbacks and character studies that come out of each team memberâ€™s session with Victor Garberâ€™s delightfully malevolent psychologist also nicely orient new viewers.
Cramâ€™s character finally shows cracks, too. “Really heâ€™s the only one who hasnâ€™t had it come apart on him so far, so heâ€™s due,” Cram laughed. “Wordy has been kind of a grounded guy and he keeps things compartmentalized very well. He has to juggle something he hadnâ€™t counted on and heâ€™s having problems holding it all together.”
“Heâ€™s very certain, very sure footed and heâ€™s very decisive,” Cram explained. “Things are very black and white to him. Iâ€™ve always had an admiration for people who are like that. My life is one giant grey area — I have a hard time making decisions because I see so many options all the time. Black-and-white people are able to make a decision and live with the consequences. I stub my toe and my week is ruined.”
Stubbed toes would seem to be a workplace hazard for Cram, as he recently confessed on the Marilyn Denis show. “Iâ€™m actually pretty coordinated in the real world,” he claimed in our interview, “but with all that stuff on, and itâ€™s usually when thereâ€™s obstacles in my way, and maybe Iâ€™m not as thoughtful when Iâ€™m running through a forest, but my feet get caught and I tend to go down.”
Does that sound like someone protesting too much? Maybe, but at least Cram is the one confessing his own dark secret. “Itâ€™s a testament to how close we are that everyone is protecting me,” he said. “I started getting worried there was a secret tape going around with me going down.”
We may have to check future DVD bonus features to see if one’s ever uncovered, but there is tape of Cram he hopes will surface in the next couple of years or so: he’s been working on a documentary about his struggles to get back to his first creative outlet after finding success on Flashpoint .
“Itâ€™s turned into a really long term project,” he says of the collaboration with a filmmaking friend, who interviews him about his relationship with music and acting and films him going to open stage gigs in Toronto.
After being in bands on and off since he was a teen, then putting music on the backburner when acting took over his life, he found himself jittery at the thought of returning to the stage. “I guess after such a long break it feels weird to transition back,” he said. “I realized a neat way to do it was to incorporate it into a documentary.”
The choice of acting over music seems less a puzzle than his university decision to major in economics.
“You either go to theatre school or you take a degree in economics â€“ thatâ€™s how you get into this business,” he joked. “No, I come from a family of people who all were creative, but they did it as a hobby. So through no fault of my familyâ€™s I through osmosis thought school was an extremely important part of life, and a profession was an extremely important part of life.”
“Even though I knew that music was something I loved, it just seemed to me that was something that had to be given up to get a real job, as I put it then. I thought I have to get a degree of some sort, and I like numbers. It wasnâ€™t the most logical path to becoming an actor or a musician, but my parents were thrilled when they found out I wanted to do this for a living.”