Tag Archives: Cardinal

Link: Sarah Dodd finds her niche on CTV crime drama

From Jeremy Shepherd of North Shore News:

Link: Sarah Dodd finds her niche on CTV crime drama
“All around us were index cards with plots twist and character moments and visual moments and all six episodes eventually up on those walls. The other offices were inhabited by mainly psychiatrists so we can only imagine what they were thinking. . . . We looked like A Beautiful Mind in there.” Continue reading.


Cardinal, Letterkenny and Kim’s Convenience top 2018 Canadian Screen Award nominees

Cardinal, Alias Grace, Murdoch Mysteries, Mary Kills People, Letterkenny, Workin’s Moms, Kim’s Convenience and The Disappearance—and many of those in the projects’ casts—are among the nominees for 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.

The announcement was made Tuesday morning at The Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto with Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Cardinal‘s Karine Vanasse and Rise host Sarain Fox serving as hosts.

Here are the nominations in the key television categories. Here is a link to the full list of nominations.

Best Drama Series

  • 19-2
  • Anne
  • Mary Kills People
  • Pure
  • Vikings

Best Comedy Series

  • Letterkenny
  • Workin’ Moms
  • Nirvanna the Band the Show
  • Michael: Every Day
  • Kim’s Convenience

Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Series

  • The Beaverton
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Reality Competition Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • The Bachelorette Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • MasterChef Canada
  • Top Chef Canada

Best Limited Series or Program

  • Cardinal
  • Alias Grace
  • The Disappearance
  • The Kennedys: After Camelot
  • Bruno & Boots: This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall

Best Children’s or Youth Program or Series

  • The Next Step
  • Odd Squad
  • Degrassi: Next Class
  • L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew

Best Lifestyle Program or Series

  • Dead Set on Life
  • Property Brothers
  • The Goods
  • Backyard Builds
  • Great Canadian Homes


Best Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine Reitman, Workin’ Moms
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Andrea Bang, Kim’s Convenience
  • Jean Yoon, Kim’s Convenience

Best Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Jared Keeso, Letterkenny
  • Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series

  • Amybeth McNulty, Anne
  • Caroline Dhavernas, Mary Kills People
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Meaghan Rath, Rogue

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series

  • Brian Markinson, The Romeo Section
  • Richard Short, Mary Kills People
  • Christopher Heyerdahl, Van Helsing
  • Alexander Ludwig, Vikings
  • Shawn Doyle, Bellevue

Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace
  • Maxim Roy, Bad Blood
  • Karine Vanasse, Cardinal
  • Camille Sullivan, The Disappearance
  • Helene Joy, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series

  • Kim Coates, Bad Blood
  • Edward Holcroft, Alias Grace
  • Billy Campbell, Cardinal
  • Alan Thicke, It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway
  • Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays

Best Performance, Sketch Comedy (Individual or Ensemble)

  • Baroness Von Sketch Show
  • Rick Mercer Report
  • The Beaverton
  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance, Children’s or Youth

  • Ella Ballentine, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Fire & Dew
  • Amanda, Arcuri, Degrassi: Next Class
  • Michela Luci, Dino Dan
  • Akiel Julien, The Next Step
  • Anna Cathcart, Odd Squad


The Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast gala airs live Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Which shows and actors/actresses are you hoping will win big at the Canadian Screen Awards? Let me know in the comments below!




Cardinal: Alex Paxton-Beesley on Red’s mysterious journey

I’m a big fan of Alex Paxton-Beesley. Not only did she portray kick-butt Mennonite housewife Anna Funk in CBC’s awesome Pure but she’s the spunky Freddie Pink on Murdoch Mysteries.

Now Paxton-Beesley is featured in Cardinal: Blackfly Season in another memorable role as Red. At least, that’s what she’s called on account of her red hair. In truth, we don’t know her real name yet because Red was discovered in an Algonquin Bay bar suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. Det. John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) and Det. Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) spent last week’s first episode of Blackfly Season investigating who Red is, who shot her and what ties she has to a headless body found hanging in a cave.

We spoke to Paxton-Beesley about the role and Red’s journey as we head into Thursday’s new episode.

It’s been fascinating to see how Giles Blunt’s books have been translated to the screen.
Alex Paxton-Beelsey: Yes. I’ve read the first three books and the adaptations have been so interesting. They’ve done such a good job of visualizing what those stories are.

How did you get the role of Red? Did you audition in the traditional way or did the producers have you in mind?
It was mostly traditional in that I only auditioned for it once because I think their original interpretation for the character was different. I had worked with [director] Jeff [Renfroe] and almost worked with the producers before on another project that didn’t end up going forward. We all knew each other in the way that everyone does in the Canadian television industry. I went in and auditioned and it was really fun. I didn’t get a full script and the audition came so quickly that I didn’t get to read the whole book so I had to fill in a lot of those gaps myself. Sometimes that’s frustrating but because this was so well-written it was fun to put my imagination in there.

It was pretty fascinating, and creepy, to see your portrayal of Red when she’s discovered. She’s been lobotomized by the bullet and has this childlike innocence about her. Then, during the surgery to remove the bullet, she starts to sing. That was a little disturbing.
The Internet can be a terrible place, but also a font of information. There are some pretty incredible videos on YouTube of awake brain surgery that are just stunning. The is one in particular of this opera singer—you stay awake during some of these surgeries because they need to know if they are affecting something—and he starts singing … and then forgets all of the words. [We think we found the video she’s talking about.] It’s devastating and fascinating. Those scenes, in particular, were really interesting because those were my benchmarks. I got to assign meaning to all of these things that were randomly coming out of her brain. I talked to [showrunner] Sarah [Dodd] and Jeff about it and had conversations about what that could be.

It reminded me of that Heritage Minute…
Yes! ‘Dr. Penfield, I smell burnt toast!’

Yes! I wondered if perhaps you ad-libbed that line during a take or two.
That was definitely a reference. I’m pretty sure I said that between takes but that nobody got it. It’s like, ‘Come on guys, it’s Canadian history!’

There is a reference in this week’s episode that I want to ask about. A nurse walks into Red’s room and Red is looking out the window, recalling something. Can you comment on that scene?
I think that’s something that I would rather leave ambiguous. It’s something left open to interpretation and will be a part of how you read Red as a character.

What was it like working with Billy Campbell?
I love him so much. He and Karine are the most delightful people to work with. Billy is just fantastic. This was a real dream. The first season of Cardinal is one of my favourite TV shows of all time and one of the best things Canada has ever made and I never dreamed I’d get to be a part of it. So, to not only be a part of Season 2 but to show up and have Billy be the most ridiculous, hilarious person and Karine also be the most ridiculous person … they are both so funny and so strange.

This world of Algonquin Bay is a twisted one. We have biker gangs and strange voodoo and an interesting fellow named Ray Northwind, played by Bruce Ramsay.
Bruce plays him so gentle it makes him even more horrifying. The lightest touch of power has the deepest weight.

What can fans expect from this season of Cardinal?
I think Red kind of mirrors the fan experience this season. What she knows and doesn’t know and that feeling of being lost and really trying to be found. I hope people like it. I’m really proud of what we made. It’s beautiful and I’m so glad it’s a Canadian show.

Cardinal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.




Links: Cardinal: Blackfly Season

From Bill Brioux of The Canadian Press:

Link: Billy Campbell on season 2 of CTV’s ‘Cardinal,’ feeling ‘spiritually Canadian’
The life of an actor isn’t always glamorous. Take Billy Campbell, for example. The lanky Virginian sits in a rundown mess hall on a remote and abandoned helicopter airfield. It’s late spring, cold, and raining hard. To kill time between shooting scenes on the CTV series “Cardinal,” he kills mosquitoes. Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Season 2 of Cardinal is solid, but lacks searing sensibility
This season of Cardinal is still a solid crime drama and wonderful to watch at the start, but some mercurial ingredient used in the first season is missing. It’s a pity and the series is recommended this time with caution. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Cardinal’s Billy Campbell says there will be personal ramifications in Season 2
“What they do have in common is that they are both very thorough, and even a little obsessive I think. They also both feel a lot, though they aren’t really very easily able to express their feelings.” Continue reading. 

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: Canadian TV crime drama Cardinal returns to its elements
“There’s a lot going on under the surface and that’s really kind of what I like about him. . . . Last season, the ice was kind of a nice metaphor for Cardinal the person, that there was this layer of ice on top of what would be a lot going on underneath. And I just thought, ‘Here’s something that I haven’t had a chance to do and I think I can do it.’ ” Continue reading.

From Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette:

Link: Karine Vanasse relishes her return to CTV’s ‘real and raw’ Cardinal
“I feel like in Season 1 we got to know who Cardinal was and we got to know who Delorme really was on a more human level towards the end of the season. I think we start Season 2 knowing more about who she really is. I think that in Season 1 people might at first have been wondering if she was just a driven police officer wanting to get higher in the ranks.” Continue reading. 

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Karine Vanasse talks Cardinal Season 2
“I like the fact that we have six episodes [so] that you can go in-depth with the characters. You don’t have that much dialogue. It makes a difference that the camera takes the time to get reactions from the characters, so even if words aren’t being said, you get to go in-depth [as a viewer], and as an actor you get to explore those characters.” Continue reading. 

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Cardinal’s Karine Vanasse on why Delorme is still questioning Cardinal in Season 2
“As we saw in Season 1, she loves her job and she loves to focus on her work. In regards to her journey in Season 2 and as far as Cardinal goes, there’s a level of trust that exists now. At the same time, he keeps a certain distance with her. For her, finding her place next to him is a little hard at first, and it is a little confusing for her to understand.” Continue reading. 


Cardinal: Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse preview CTV’s Blackfly Season

Forget about catching a murderer. The real killers during the filming of Season 2 of Cardinal were the insects. As the title suggests, Cardinal: Blackfly Season—returning  Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV—was filmed during the spring in North Bay, Ont., and boasted a horrific number of flying things that chomped on stars Billy Campbell, Karine Vanasse, and the rest of the cast and crew.

“Mosquitoes were first,” Campbell said during a break in filming last summer. “Then we had the blackflies, then the shadflies, horse flies, deer flies … a hands-worth of horrifying things. The thing about blackflies is that they have an anaesthetic they put into you first, so you don’t feel them biting and you only find out later when you get home and take off your shirt and it starts itching. And it itches for days.”

With Sarah Dodd (Motive) showrunning Blackfly Season, the Cardinal franchise once again embraces Giles Blunt’s book series to tell its twisted tale. Where Season 1 set the table for viewers by introducing Det. John Cardinal (Campbell) and Det. Lise Delorme (Vanasse) and the world they inhabit, Season 2 offers plenty for viewers to feast on. The Nordic noir theme returns with the star addition to the cast once again Northern Ontario, ruggedly beautiful and buggy as all hell. It’s against that backdrop we’re introduced to Red (Alex Paxton-Beesley) a young woman who stumbles out of the forest bug-bitten and suffering from amnesia on Thursday. Who she is and what crime she witnessed is the focus of Season 2’s six episodes.

Karine Vanasse as Lise Delorme

Along for the drama are returning characters in Det. Jerry Commanda (Glen Gould), Catherine Cardinal (Deborah Hay), Staff Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson), Cpl. Malcolm Musgrave (David Richmond Peck) and Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale). New faces in the fictional Algonquin Bay include Ray Northwind (Bruce Ramsay), Kevin Tait (Jonathan Keltz), Det. Alan Clegg (Kevin Hanchard), Scott Lasalle (Kris Holden-Ried) and Leon Rutkowsky (Dan Petronijevic).

We spoke to Campbell and Vanasse, who gave us some Season 2 scoop.

Aubrey Nealon was the showrunner in Season 1 of Cardinal. This season it’s Sarah Dodd. What’s it been like working with her?
Billy Campbell: I’d never had the pleasure of working with Sarah before and I have now. It was as smooth a transition as you can imagine. It was different people involved but the same quality of everything. Aubrey, as you know, did the whole first season himself and it nearly broke him. [Laughs.] Sarah had a few people with her and I think it was a much easier thing all the way around for that reason.

The book this season is based on is called Blackfly season and you filmed during blackfly season. What were the bugs like?
BC: Horrifying. Horrifying. Mosquitoes were first, then we had the blackflies, then the shadflies, horse flies, deer flies … a hands-worth of horrifying things. The thing about blackflies is that they have an anaesthetic they put into you first, so you don’t feel them biting and you only find out later when you get home and take off your shirt and it starts itching. And it itches for days. I slathered myself with mosquito repellant, the DEET-free stuff, and it worked like a charm until I got home and realized they’d gotten under my shirt and had burrowed into my hair and eaten into my scalp. I saw a horse fly down by the river during one day of shooting out of the corner of my eye and I thought it was a hummingbird. I looked and it was a fricking horse fly.

Karine Vanasse: The bugs are really present. I was just really glad I wasn’t bitten around my eyes. There was one scene where they had to film me from one side of my face because the other side was all swollen. The seasons are so well-explored in the books—the beauty of the area and the atmosphere is very heavy—it’s perfect for the heaviness of the story; the weight that Cardinal is carrying compared and contrasting with how lush the landscape is.

Alex Paxton-Beesley as “Red”

Where are we at when we catch up with John Cardinal?
BC: To me, the spine of the show is what’s happening with Cardinal and Delorme. And then, of course, there are the things to support that. The crime itself is almost incidental. It’s almost symbolic of the tortured inner life in a way. Where Cardinal is when we start the second season is, what I’ve figured out, is he really wants to quit. The first time we see him this season he’s lounging in the back of a motorboat on a lake with Catherine and he takes her to see a little cabin on the lake and says, ‘I can fix it up and I can quit.’ She says, ‘Pfft, you’re never going to quit.’ He really wants to be done and, at the same time, he’s afraid of being done because he has a wife who is sick and isn’t sure what he would do if he wasn’t doing this. As far as he and Delorme are concerned, they already feel a certain way about each other.

As far as he and Delorme are concerned, they already feel a certain way about each other. For me, it’s there, it’s just that he can’t even admit it to himself. There is an intimacy between them and I’m convinced a respect for each other as detectives. There is that running under the surface and the things that happen in the second season … Sarah and the gang did a wonderful job of interweaving what will happen in the third season into Season 2.

In Season 1, Lise had a boyfriend in Josh, who was not a character in the books. What about in Season 2? No Josh, right?
KV: Oh no. We see that she’s not really sad about that. What we get from the books is that Lisa really doesn’t have much of a social life. And, by having a boyfriend and then having him leave is just a confirmation that she doesn’t have much of a social life.

What’s her journey in Season 2?
KV: She shared a secret with Cardinal in Season 1 and he didn’t want to talk about it. So, where do you go from there? She still has that feeling he’s keeping something from her and she’s confused about how she’s feeling at her job and working with him. This season we see what it means for Lise to be affected by a case when it hits home. Not because you’re closely related to that person but because you care. That’s new to her.

Cardinal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.