It was a hot September afternoon in 2019, back when set visits to the media were open and masks weren’t required. As we drove down the driveway to the main clubhouse of the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto, it looked like anything but a set. Because if you’ve ever been to a charity golf tournament, well, that’s what it looked like, from the immaculate greens to the tents holding all kinds of swag. Which I suppose was the point â€” and exactly what is at the centre of this weekâ€™s episode of Private Eyes.
“There’s a mystery that takes Shade and Angie to a celebrity golf tournament,” says series star Jason Priestley. “It’s fun but it also provides us with a lot of logistical challenges.”
He should know; he directed the episode. “Shooting at a golf course and shooting an episode that revolves around a sporting event like this, it’s always a lot. It’s been interesting to deal with but it’s what we do on this show. We’re always looking for fun, sexy interesting worlds here in Toronto and this is the one we decided to delve into this week.”
In “Under Par-essure,” (we see what they did there), Shade (Priestley) and Angie (Cindy Sampson) are on the hunt for the stalker of a female golf pro. On the non-work side, sparks fly between Shade and actress Willow Marshall, while Angie decides it may be time to finally let her hair down and follow in her best friend’s fun footsteps.
“Mia’s always trying to get Angie out of her shell and this time, she’s ready to have some fun,” says Sampson of her workaholic character and her paramedic pal, played by Keshia ChantÃ©. “But she has a case to work on.”
Enter Mia, who, ChantÃ© makes clear, is not there to golf. “Mia wants to see what celebrities are here and get Angie to meet some people.” Ironic for the former ET Canada correspondent, who’s met her share of famous people. “She just wants them to have some fun.”
Speaking of which, who better to take part in a celebrity golf tournament than Mike Weir, who deadpanned, “It IS a golf-themed episode so I kind of fit in.”
The golfer was both nervous and excited when the show reached out to his agents. “Even though I’m out of my comfort zone, being in golf attire, at a course, in golf mode, helped,” says Weir who, up until this, had only ever appeared in golf commercials. Also by his side was his real-life girlfriend, reality star Michelle Money.
“They cast Mike for a small cameo, and then somehow I got written into the script,” says the Bachelor in Paradise winner. “We’re big fans of the show and Jason so we were honoured to have been included in this episode with this group.”
Weir wasn’t the only one there repping Canadian sports. Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse was approached to make an appearance, though he initially wasnâ€™t sure. But once he told his executive assistant, Jenny, she insisted he sign up.
“It beats being in the office,” Nurse says of his surroundings. “It’s nice to get out of the basketball realm, seeing how other big-time things go down. So, yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
And he may have gotten bit by the acting bug. When I asked him if he’d consider making more cameos, he replied, “Uh, yeah, maybe.” OK, maybe more like a nibble but, still. Don’t count out future guest appearances by Nurse.
Scott McGillivray, on the other hand, hasn’t met a camera that can resist him. He doesn’t golf but that wasn’t going to stop him from beating his rival. Thatâ€™s right, thereâ€™s a little competition between the HGTV star and Shade.
“Taking down Matt Shade in this tournament, that’s the plan,” says McGillivray of his on-screen persona, adding, “It’s fun to mix it up, get a little bit of exposure to something different.” Very different.
“Doing home reno shows isn’t hard but it’s also not easy â€” but it’s not as hard as this,” admits McGillivray. “For me, I’m like an animal in my natural habitat when I’m on my set. They kind of let me loose, and they film me in the wild and I just do stuff and whatever I say, I say.”
On the set of a crime show, not so much. “Here, I feel a bit like a caged animal that’s been trained to juggle and dance. Being a caged animal is nice, they feed you, you don’t have to hunt or fend for yourself. But at the same time, it’s a lot of juggling. This takes discipline.”
McGillivray does have something up his sleeve: return the favour and get Priestley on one of his shows. “He can come on set and help me renovate a house. And we’ll see how he does with a hammer in his hand instead of a golf club.”
Priestley’s game. “Some of my earliest jobs, before I was lucky enough to make it in the entertainment business, were in construction,” says the former 90210 star. “I was a house painter, I put up drywall, I did boat refinishing. I don’t think I’ll show him up but I can hold my own.
“I have no problem doing bad jobs on a construction site. And I’m sure that’s what he’s going to give me.”
Private Eyes airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.