Tag Archives: Kristin Lehman

Motive’s showrunner sounds off on the series’ final cases

“If you think it’s cool, let’s discuss it. And if I think it’s cool, let’s fucking do it.” That was the attitude Dennis Heaton had going into the fourth—and final—season of Motive.

We spoke to the series’ showrunner to get his take on upcoming storylines, key recurring characters and Bega vs. Flega, the differences between the American and Canadian TV industries and what’s going to happen in Motive‘s series finale.

Congratulations on four seasons of Motive. That’s a success story no matter what country you’re in.
Dennis Heaton: I agree!

Before we get into this season specifically, I wanted to point out that we have a unique challenge in this country with regard to funding and the hurdles that need to be jumped to make television here.
It’s true. The Canadian market is completely different from the U.S. They’re apples and oranges. We’re dealing with CRTC guidelines and Canadian Media Fund guidelines. We’re dealing with Heritage Canada intentions. Every show around the world has its own set of hurdles, it’s just that ours are unique to this country as the ones in the U.S. are unique to their very much for-profit system. There you get more people getting the opportunity to make a pilot because they go with the, “You gotta spend money to make money” format. Their one Game of Thrones is going to pay for their 10 failed pilots. HBO isn’t the best example, but you get what I’m saying. It’s an amazing amount of content that they produce to get that one hit compared to the Canadian model.

OK, let’s talk about Motive. Once you knew this was the final season, were there season markers or storylines you wanted to hit?
Particularly in Angie and Vega’s relationship, the show has always been about them as much as the cases, this very unique office spouse relationship. I love that the fans have the Bega vs. Flega sort of thing, but for me nobody has to decide. It doesn’t have to be either of them, the way the relationships are Vega gets to enjoy both. As we moved into Season 4 and we knew this was going to be the last season, I really wanted to make sure that we did service to that friendship. That became a key element of the season, along with the natural message of all things must change. Life inevitably draws you in different directions and to that end I pitched a series finale to work towards that gives me that satisfaction of knowing what is to become of our team.

(l-r) Louis Ferreira, Kristin Lehman, Lauren Holly, Brendan Penny

At what point did the series finale idea come about?
The idea for what I wanted to do came two to three weeks into the room. It came up while we were sitting and talking about how series end and what’s been a satisfying conclusion of a series and which conclusions leave you unfulfilled as a viewer. We talked the gamut. We talked about cop shows that we’ve loved, we talked about the infamous St. Elsewhere ending, the famous Newhart ending. All of those elements were thrown onto the table and discussed. There were also ideas that I’d had over the years that we’d never gotten to do and those were thrown into the mix as well. The marching orders that I gave everyone, not just in the writers’ room, was to err on the side of cool. If you think it’s cool, let’s discuss it. And if I think it’s cool, let’s fucking do it.

That said, could the finale mean this world was all inside a snow globe?
[Laughs.] I’m not going to give away the ending, but I will say it’s very true to the emotion of the series. And I will also say that it’s the craziest fucking murder weapon we’ve ever used. [Laughs.]

How difficult is it to write an episode of Motive? Does it take a different way of thinking to write a “whydunit”?
We start every season like the first day of camp. One of my first episode pitches in any season will result in myself or one of my writers saying, “Yeah, that’s a great idea … if it was a whodunit.” And then we say, “Right, it’s a whydunit,” and then we go. It’s one of the great challenges about the show: how do we create two disparate characters and smash their worlds together? And, how do we do it so that we don’t create a language for the show and allow the viewers to get ahead of it?

Vega is a Staff Sergeant now; how did you alter the storylines so he and Angie could keep in contact?
It made writing for them fresh again, for me. They weren’t at the crime scene together all of the time so when Angie is talking to him they’re riffing and it has a fresher spin to it, a fresher feel. We see them apart a bit more, but when we see them together in his office or in the bullpen or out in the field, there is more grist for the mill.

Let’s talk a bit about the new characters. Victor Zinck, Jr. has certainly made an impact as Det. Mitch Kennecki.
I love Kennecki as a new character because he’s a fucking idiot and that’s exactly what that character was meant to be, in the wrong place at the wrong time. How he wreaks a certain amount of havoc in the bullpen was a lot of fun. We’ve never had that dynamic before; he’s the puzzle piece from the wrong box.

What can you tell me about Karen LeBlanc’s character?
Karen is great. Her character, Det. Paula Mazur, is a detective on par with Angie in terms of skill level and intensity. It was really exciting to, 1) bring in another female detective to the series, and 2) bring in a  female detective who had nothing to prove to anybody.

Motive airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.


Link: Kristin Lehman Talks Motive’s Final Season

From Heather M. of TheTelevixen.com:

Kristin Lehman Talks Motive’s Final Season
“Part of the beauty [here] was that I had an intimacy with the material. I think that my way forward will be that. I do think directing will be something I always want to have in my arsenal. But usually for shows I have had the pleasure to help create or come onto as a producer or actress.” Continue reading. 


Five reasons we love, and will miss, Motive

All good things must come to an end, and Motive has been very, very good. Ever since the CTV cop drama burst onto the scene in February 2013, we’ve loved the writing, the characters and the stories. Now, sadly, it’s coming to an end, but rather than bemoan what could have been, let’s celebrate what Motive is: a great Canadian series that was given the chance to say goodbye rather than be cancelled without fanfare. Here are five things we’ll love—and miss—about Motive.

The storytelling
Begun by original executive producer Daniel Cerone and carried on by Dennis Heaton, what’s always set Motive apart from the rest of the drama pack has been unveiling the killer and victim within the first few minutes. The rest of each episode was spent showing their relationship as Det. Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman), her partner Det. Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira), Det. Brian Lucas (Brendan Penny) and Dr. Betty Rogers (Lauren Holly) pieced together why that person was guilty of the crime.


Kristin Lehman rocking her real hair … and the director’s chair
After three seasons wearing a wig, we’re loving it that Kristin Lehman has shed the fake stuff in favour of her real ‘do. We’re even more excited about her directing an instalment.

The guest stars
International talent in Jennifer Beals, Corbin Bernsen, Martin Donovan, Dylan Walsh, Alexis Bledel, Chris Klein, C. Thomas Howell, Ally Sheedy and Jason Dohring have dropped by, as have homegrown talent in Jessica Lowndes, Callum Keith Rennie, Luisa D’Olivera, Victor Garber and Niall Matter. We love seeing these folks interact with the regular characters, something that continues in Season 4 with Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) in Tuesday’s return “The Vanishing Policeman” and the hunt for a cop killer; Will Sasso and Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) appear in later storylines.

Vega and Angie’s relationship
It would have been easy for Heaton and his writing crew to make Angie and Vega an item. We’re very glad they didn’t, because it would have ruined the chemistry and connection these two have. Keeping them apart has meant plenty of quips and sarcasm, but also a deep respect that makes them stronger detectives. (And it left the door open for Vega and Betty to hook up.)

Motive airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.


Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Kristin Lehman

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Women Behind Canadian TV: Kristin Lehman
“I haven’t looked at the DGC (Director’s Guild of Canada) to see how many women attempt to register. I haven’t actually sat in that many women director’s environments to talk about the challenges that are faced. I certainly think that that arena that we’re talking about isn’t any different than arenas that most women face in the workplace. It’s always a bit of an uphill battle because systemically women are marginalized and can be not afforded the same opportunities as most men. I hope that changes and I’d like that to change.” Continue reading.


Secrets keep Motive rolling into Season 3

Motive is all about the mystery. Who is the victim and why did they become a chalk outline? Who committed the crime? It’s a show that delves into hidden stories and—most of all—secrets.

Turns out Motive‘s lead, Kristin Lehman, has been keeping a little secret of her own.

“I cut my hair and I wear a wig on the show,” Lehman divulges during an in-person interview, sporting a closely-shorn ‘do. The Vancouver-based actress is doing press for Motive, returning Sunday, March 8, on CTV.  The drama series that introduces the victim and the killer within each episode’s opening minutes and then spends the ensuing instalment linking the two, bows with the same core characters, though two find themselves in different places.

Sunday’s return, “Six Months Later,” finds Det. Angie Flynn (Lehman) out of the homicide department and interviewing cop wannabes. She’s stuck in a small office with high windows far away from Det. Vega (Louis Ferreira), Sgt. Mark Cross (Warren Christie), coroner Dr. Betty Rogers (Lauren Holly) and Det. Brian Lucas (Brendan Penny), who is the lead in Sunday’s case.

Motive‘s unique storytelling technique, coined “whydunit,” enables the Vancouver-shot project to feature notable actors and actresses as witnesses, victims and murderers, and Season 3 is no different. “Six Months Later” boasts Victor Garber, Jessica Lowndes, Tony Plana and Luisa D’Oliveira with Alexis Bledel, C. Thomas Howell, Ally Sheedy, Chris Klein and Dylan Walsh all participating in future storylines. Lehman loves the opportunity to have guest cast to interact with because it ups the game of the regulars on the call sheet.

Though the victims and criminals rotate every week, some things never change. Vega and Angie, for instance, will never become romantically linked like so many characters do on long-running series. Lehman says it’s something she and Ferreira have talked about at length.

“These two people are so aware of their limitations in their personal lives that they’re conscious the degree of intimacy they have with each other is the most valuable relationship they have,” she explains. “We’re both playing characters that are in their 40s and there is a strong codependence between them. We’re taking out the sexuality, but we’re enhancing the intimacy.”

That intimacy and familiarity between Vega and Angie will likely be tested this season. Lehman teases Sunday’s storyline becomes a story arch that echoes through the 13 episodes and keeps veteran thespian Garber around.

“In the course of doing so, it provides for a little bit of space for Angie and Vega to continue exploring how they are with each other personally,” she says.

Motive returns Sunday, March 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.