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Interview: Spun Out’s Paul Campbell on Season 2 and beyond

Paul Campbell hates feeling like the lazy dude among his friends. That’s why the Vancouver native, while chatting about Season 2 of Spun Out last November, had several other projects on the go. (One of those projects, Beyond Repair, came to fruition.) At the time we spoke, Campbell was in the middle of shooting Spun Out and reflected on the changes behind the scenes at CTV’s original comedy, including dropping the live audience.

What was your initial reaction when you found out Season 2 would be shot without a live audience?
Paul Campbell: Initially, I was super bummed. I didn’t really know what it would mean for the show. The Friday night live shows were such a unique experience. The reason I thought we were doing multi-cam was to get to that live show. But a friend of mine [Cobie Smulders] was on How I Met Your Mother for years and that’s how they shot that. I did go and hang out on set and saw how they did it, so in the back of my mind I thought, ‘Well, other shows do this, so there must be a reason.’

To be honest, I prefer shooting without the audience. There is much more freedom in the sense that we have the opportunity to really hone each joke. With the audience, I always felt like we couldn’t explore the laughs because they’d already heard the joke a few times. Now we can do a sixth or seventh pass on them. In that sense, the exploration is a bigger part of it than it was.

Let’s talk about Beckett. There was an on-again, off-again with Stephanie. Does that evolve in Season 2?
Absolutely. The relationship has always been fairly one-sided and there was a conversation early in Season 1 where Beckett copped to having some kind of feeling for her, but she established that she didn’t do work relationships, so that was it. In the final episode of the season he almost acted on his feelings.

For Season 2 that flame hasn’t gone away and over the course of the season they’re both dating different people but Stephanie begins to realize she can’t ignore the feelings she has for him and that comes to a head. What’s so fun is that you have this incredibly loaded relationship that has so much subtext. And that’s fun for the audience.

What was it like working with Russell Peters, when he played Nelson’s brother?
He brought his Russell Peters swagger to the set. He knows his comedy very well and brought something very different to the DLPR world. It’s great to have people come on to the show that know comedy and can bring their own character or enhance the character that was written.

Have you got some projects on the go that you’ll be writing and producing?
I’ve got several projects on the go right now and I’m hoping to be pitching them in the next few weeks. Things that could be on the air in Canada or the U.S. The development process is such a long process that to start now for something four years down the road makes complete sense. I’m so inspired by the creative community in Toronto, and when you see your friends doing their own stuff it’s really inspiring. You feel like the slacker if you’re not doing that.

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