Tag Archives: Coroner

Canadian Screen Award nominees: Joseph Kay and Roger Cross

It’s Canadian Screen Awards week and we’re celebrating all week long in a very special way. We’ll feature exclusive interviews with the actors and creative folks who are nominated in the television and web series categories.

Today, it’s Joseph Kay, nominated for Best Writing, Drama Series for Transplant, which is also nominated in the Best Drama Series category; and Roger Cross, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Coroner.

Joseph Kay, nominated for Best Writing, Drama Series for Transplant, which is also nominated in the Best Drama Series category

Congratulations on your Canadian Screen Award nominations!
Thanks so much!

How do you feel the Canadian TV industry is faring during these pandemic times?
We’ve found ways to make production work despite the restrictions. A shout out to the resiliency of our cast and crew on Transplant’s second season for working in such different ways than we were all previously accustomed. Hopefully in the coming months we hear news across our business of more and more new shows being ordered.

How have you fared during these pandemic times?
Thankfully, I’ve been able to take my pandemic angst and channel it into the writing of a medical series. Although we’re not factoring COVID into the second season of Transplant, we’ve explored themes relevant to the experience which has helped all of our creative team contemplate the way we’re feeling about the year we’ve had.

Do you think Canadian TV is stronger than ever when it comes to telling our stories?
Definitely. It’s been exciting to watch our audiences expand. And while there is still plenty more work to be done to foster this, our creative community is widening to include new voices and points of view.

Does an award nomination/win serve as validation for you or is it just a nice nod that you’re on the right track, career or choice-wise?
I’ve always said that the work is its own reward, and I have to stick to that now or I’ll have been lying all these years! But seriously, the most rewarding part for me is that, win or lose, the nominations help our whole team (cast, crew, networks) feel excited and proud of the work we’re doing together.

What will you wear during the Canadian Screen Awards?
Either a tuxedo or my pajamas. Still deciding.

What will you eat/drink/snack on during the Canadian Screen Awards?
Bourbon and chicken wings, no doubt about it.

Is there someone who served as a mentor when you were starting out in this industry that you’d give a special shout-out to in your acceptance speech if given the chance?
My first mentor in this industry was George F. Walker and I’d be thrilled to get the chance to give him a shout out!

Roger Cross, nominated for 2021 Best Lead Actor, Drama Series for Coroner

How do you feel the Canadian TV industry is faring during these pandemic times?
The Canadian TV industry seems to have recovered and is thriving since the pandemic began.
 
How have you fared during these pandemic times?
Like most, the first few months were a bit uncertain, but I was blessed to spend that quality time with my family! And we’ve since filmed Season 3 of Coroner. I’m currently finishing a feature film Heatwave, I’m about to go shoot A Christmas Letter with my friend David Lipper, then film a great indie film Uniting with a wonderful cast. So, I’ve been blessed during this time.
 
Do you think Canadian TV is stronger than ever when it comes to telling our stories?
Most definitely. Schitt’s Creek is definitely leading the way, and shows like ours are also making great headway in the U.S. and around the world.
 
Does an award nomination/win serve as validation for you or is it just a nice nod that you’re on the right track, career or choice-wise?
I think true validation only comes from within. But of course, this nomination is an honour, and it feels great to be recognized by your peers and the Canadian Academy!
 
What will you wear during the Canadian Screen Awards?
Hmmmmm….Tux up top, boxers down below.
 
What will you eat/drink/snack on during the Canadian Screen Awards?
Pizza and beer. Maybe a glass of wine as well.
 
Is there someone who served as a mentor when you were starting out in this industry that you’d give a special shout-out to in your acceptance speech if given the chance?
Though I’ve never met the man, Sidney Poitier is someone I’ve always looked up to and admired. The dignity and joy with which he carried himself and the kind of roles he chose to do during such troubling times, spoke volumes to me.

Stream the Canadian Screen Awards on the Academy websiteTwitter and YouTube.

Check out the list of nominees.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
7 p.m. ET: Canadian Screen Awards – Children’s & Animation, Presented by Shaw Rocket Fund (Narrator: Eric Bauza)

8 p.m. ET: Canadian Screen Awards – Digital & Immersive, Presented with the participation of the Independent Production Fund (Narrator: Donté Colley)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
7 p.m. ET: CTV presents the Canadian Screen Awards – Creative Arts & Performance (Narrator: Tyrone Edwards)

Thursday, May 20, 2021
7 p.m. ET: Canadian Screen Awards – Cinematic Arts, Presented by Telefilm Canada, Supported by Cineplex (Narrator: Nahéma Ricci)

8 p.m. ET: 2021 Canadian Screen Awards (Narrators: Stephan James and Karine Vanasse)

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Links: Coroner Season 3 finale

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Adrienne Mitchell and Morwyn Brebner talk Coroner Season 3 and preview the finale
“She is very powerful, as a person and as an actor and can blow people off the screen. It’s not that she wants to. It’s just that’s what she brings. So they met and just had a chemistry that worked.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Adrienne Mitchell and Morwyn Brebner talk the Coroner Season 3 finale
How’s everyone doing after that finale? We’ll have to wait until Season 4 (fingers crossed) to break down that loaded look from Jenny at the end, but to tide you over, here’s the second part of my chat with co-showrunners Adrienne Mitchell and Morwyn Brebner about the other things we can discuss. Continue reading.

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Winners: The 19Th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto

From a media release:

ACTRA Toronto is proud to announce the winners of the 19th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto. 

Outstanding Performance – Female Voice 
Bahia Watson as Leshawna in Total Dramarama, “Total Eclipse of the Fart” (Fresh TV Inc.)

Outstanding Performance – Male Voice 
Cory Doran as Manson and Johnny in Doomsday Brothers, “The Real Monster is …You!” (Portfolio Entertainment)

Outstanding Performance – Female
Tamara Podemski as Alison Trent in Coroner, “One Drum” (Back Alley Film Productions/Muse Entertainment Enterprises)

Outstanding Performance – Male
Jesse LaVercombe as Dylan in Violation (DM Films)

For the third year in a row, the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award went to Schitt’s Creek.

Tara Sky presented ACTRA Toronto’s 2021 Award of Excellence to her mother, multi-disciplinary artist Jani Lauzon.

The 19th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto were presented online on ACTRA Toronto’s YouTube channel tonight at 8 p.m. EST. 

“I am blown away by the calibre and diversity of the talented performers nominated this year,” said ACTRA Toronto President David Gale, “Building a star system in Canada has been a little bit of a thing of mine for a while. We will build our strength as a union by raising the profile of our award-winning and rising stars. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.” The president also spoke about protecting performers on set during the pandemic, “As members of the Ministry of Labour’s Section 21 Film and Television Health and Safety committee, ACTRA Toronto is taking a leading role in making sure our sets are safe. After all, performers are the only ones taking our masks off at work.”

The 19th Annual ACTRA Awards in Toronto were sponsored by: GOLD: Actra Fraternal Benefit Society; Bell Media; CBC; CMPA; Creative Arts Financial, a division of FirstOntario; United Steelworkers. SILVER: Cavalluzzo. BRONZE: HUB International; NABET 700-M UNIFOR; Take 5 Productions; Whizbang Films. 

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada’s 27,000 professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

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Links: Coroner, Season 3

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: For CBC’s ‘Coroner’ doing an episode about the pandemic had to reflect ‘who has been the hardest hit’ — long-term-care homes
Bobby is a devoted personal-support worker toiling in a nursing home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The home is often short of PPE, so Bobby makes homemade masks for co-workers to bridge the gap. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Adrienne Mitchell and Morwyn Brebner talk Coroner Season 3
“We actually started the first four weeks of development before the lockdown. We were four weeks into the writing room and it was relatively normal and the pandemic was sneaking up in the background.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: How COVID-19 infused Coroner Season 3 with purpose
When the COVID-19 global pandemic hit, film and television productions all over the world were shut down. Thankfully, due to strict safety guidelines and vigilant cast and crews, many productions were able to resume filming in the latter half of 2020. Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Coroner tackles COVID head on in 3rd season opener
Like every actor on every series these days, Serinda Swan, who plays Jenny Cooper on Coroner, wore masks, shields and “bunny suits” in order to safely shoot scenes through this pandemic. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Adrienne Mitchell and Morwyn Brebner talk Coroner’s Season 3 premiere
“Morwyn had this opening that was about the passing of time and the bodies, which really inspired me. As a director, you want to build on what’s there to realize it fully.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Roger Cross on filming Coroner Season 3 and a challenging arc for Mac
“It’s fun for Mac to get that opportunity to express something inside him that he would never normally do because he’s such a controlled guy.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Coroner bosses preview personal journeys for Jenny and Mac
“What was really interesting in working with Serinda this season was seeing how instead of letting that trauma overtake her, she’s trying to live with it and move through the world with it.” Continue reading.

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Coroner: Morwyn Brebner and Adrienne Mitchell on Season 3’s “strange, magical” vibe

From the opening moments of Coroner’s Season 3 premiere, it’s clear that COVID-19 has invaded Dr. Jenny Cooper’s (Serinda Swan) world. There are social distancing measures during her group therapy class, full-body protective suits at her workplace, and in one painfully familiar scene, raw marks on her skin when she removes her mask.

“Yeah, that was a striking image,” creator and showrunner Morwyn Brebner says during a phone interview. “And it really did just evoke all the images that we’ve seen of the health care workers and the hours and hours and hours that they had to work in those masks.”

Executive producer and lead director Adrienne Mitchell concurs, adding that the scene demonstrates “the truth of people trying to make their way through this, from doctors down to personal care workers in homes, and just the physical toll that that took.”

Since Coroner is a medical-crime drama that focuses on death, Mitchell and Brebner felt it was natural to incorporate COVID-19 into the new season, which kicks off Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBC. However, aside from the first episode’s plot involving the death of a long-term care worker who lacked access to PPE, they say the pandemic will influence the ambience of the series more than its storylines.

“The weird thing about the pandemic is that … it proposes the possibility of different ways of living,” explains Brebner. “We can go into different worlds and go through them with a real sense of curiosity and wonder.”

Over the course of this season’s 10 episodes, up from last year’s eight, Jenny and Detective Donovan McAvoy (Roger Cross) will investigate a slew of mysterious deaths in a variety of new environments.

“Because it’s been a COVID-19 year, where time is stopped and everything is surreal and you’re put on pause, you can invite unusual things into your life and hold them in a way that is perhaps more playful,” says Mitchell. “That’s what’s fun about this season: You can go from horror to haunted houses to witches to strange magic.”

This season will also have a different vibe because Jenny faced down several personal demons—including her complex relationship with her dad, Gordon (Nicholas Campbell)—during the show’s dark and psychologically fraught second season, letting her approach Season 3 with a fresh perspective.

“[Jenny]’s decided to be open to life, and that makes her vulnerable, but it also presents an incredible opportunity,” says Brebner. “It’s like allowing things to come at her while she’s embracing her trauma a little and trying to see what it is to her, as opposed to being afraid of it.”

According to Mitchell, series lead Swan—who has always tackled Jenny’s mental health issues with fearlessness and compassion—was completely onboard with her character’s emotional shift.

“Serinda was very much interested in exploring trauma as a tool,” says Mitchell. “So instead of [Jenny] succumbing and being paralyzed by it, now that she has a bit more of an understanding of it, how can she use it and draw from it to move through the world and connect with people who have their own individual traumas? … It’s very interesting. It’s a different journey for her this season.”

Behind the camera, Mitchell used “flares of light and the magic of light” to visually represent Jenny’s newfound appreciation for life, choices that are evident during a trippy, drug-infused sequence in the first episode.

“Only Morwyn can write about a weed journey in the middle of a very hard COVID-19 case, but it works,” laughs Mitchell. “Because [the way we normally live our lives] is sort of on pause because of COVID-19, it allows for unusual, strange, and living-in-the-moment events to take place, and there are some opportunities to have what I would call ‘strange joy.’”

However, not everything will be rosy for Coroner’s characters this season.

According to Brebner, McAvoy will have a health scare that forces him to face his mortality in a new way.

“He deals with death all the time,” she says. “He’s a homicide detective, he’s an incredibly stoic person, and he’s up against something that’s a new kind of adversary for him.”

Meanwhile, Liam (Éric Bruneau)—who left Jenny in last season’s finale—will still be struggling with his war-related PTSD.

“We ended Season 2 with the decision that they needed to be apart to heal, and that being together was going to be an obstacle to their healing,” says Mitchell. “And then the question is, where does that take them? Is that going to bring them back together or not?”

As for Brebner and Mitchell, they’re both trying to recover after Season 3’s exhausting, COVID-delayed five-month shoot, which ended on Jan. 22.

“We brought in a COVID-19 health management team, so we had about three or four rotating nurses and daily screens, in terms of temperature and questionnaires. We also had weekly COVID tests and a strict regimen of mask-wearing at all times,” Mitchell says.

The cast and crew were also required to stay six feet apart as much as possible, which was hard, Brebner notes, because TV production “is really a business where we stand close together and hand each other things.”

Still, they both say it was a “privilege” to work during the pandemic and are proud of the result.

“We go to deep, emotional places, but we also go to a lot of fun places,” Brebner says. “This season has a really strange and magical integrity to it.”

Mitchell concludes, “It’s just weird, but it’s a cool weird.”

Coroner airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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