Posts Tagged ‘Smallville’

V’s David Richmond-Peck Nominated For Leo Awards

June 1, 2010

Versatile and talented Canadian-born actor David Richmond-Peck. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

CONSUMMATE performer and internationally recognized actor David Richmond-Peck is nominated for two 2010 Leo Awards for his standout performances. The actor is nominated in the Best Guest Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series category for his role as Georgie Sutton in the hit ABC series V as well as the Best Performance by a Male in a Short Drama category for his role in the short film Instant. In 2006, David was honored with a Leo for Best Supporting Performance in a Feature Length Drama for Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork and Mindy. He was subsequently nominated in 2009 for Best Supporting Actor in a Series for his role as Geoff McAlister in the Canadian-made TV comedy Robson Arms. This year’s Leo Awards ceremony takes place at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver on Saturday, June 5th, 2010. For more information please check out www.leoawards.com 

Known as one of Canada’s most versatile and chameleon-like actors, David Richmond-Peck is flawlessly adept at tackling a variety of big and small screen roles that span all genres. He has used his talents to bridge both feature film and television across North America. As noted above, the actor most recently played resistence leader Georgie Sutton on V, which also stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) and Morena Baccarin (Firefly). The series follows an extraterrestrial race that arrives on Earth with seemingly good intentions and gifts of scientific and medical marvels, only to slowly reveal their true intentions as they work tirelessly as well as in a duplicitous manner to ingratiate themselves to humanity. 

Among David’s impressive and distinctive film roles are Agent Dom Dumare in Joe Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball, which was directed by P.J. Pesce, and the polygraph operator in The Day The Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves. His memorable scene with Keanu, known as “The Interrogation,” became a YouTube sensation before the movie’s release. The actor also played Academy Award winner Chris Cooper’s son-in-law in Married Life, directed by Ira Sachs. His many other film credits include 2012, Fantastic Four, Beyond Sherwood Forest, 24/7, She’s The Man and The Zero Sum. David’s much talked about performance in Instant has earned him a second Leo nomination this year. The film, almost a one man show, follows a man who, after losing his wife, mends his broken heart by accidentally gluing himself to a kitchen counter while alone in his cabin. 

On TV, the actor is recognized for his role of CSI Detective Kassel on this season of Fringe, starring Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv and John Noble, along with guest-spots on such series as Sanctuary, Smallville, The L Word, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis and Traveler

Born and raised in Oakville, Ontario, David now calls Vancouver home. When he isn’t busy working on a project, the actor enjoys spending his free time being active outdoors, and counts sailing and snowboarding among his favorite activities. He also spends time with his fiancée, writer/director Kelly-Ruth Mercier and their two dogs, Henry and Josephine. 

As noted above, photo courtesy and copyright of The Promotion People, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

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Stargate Universe’s Julia Benson Nominated For A Leo Award

May 26, 2010

The beautiful and talented Julia Benson. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

MULTIFACETED performer Julia Benson is nominated for a 2010 Leo Award in the category of Best Supporting Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series for her recurring role as 2nd Lieutenant Vanessa James on the hit Sci-Fi series Stargate Universe. The Leo Awards honor the best in British Columbia film and television, with this year’s gala award ceremony taking place on Saturday, June 5th, 2010 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. For more information on the Leo Awards please visit www.leoawards.com 

Julia’s popular recurring role on Stargate Universe allows her to play a versatile and engaging character – a woman who embodies a fighter and can hold her own, but also has a softer side and is able to reveal her vulnerability. The series follows a band of soldiers, scientists and civilians who must fend for themselves as they are forced through a Stargate when their hidden base comes under attack. The desperate survivors emerge aboard an alien spaceship, which is locked on an unknown course and unable to return to Earth. The danger, adventure and hope they find onboard the Destiny will reveal the heroes and villains among them. For more information on Stargate Universe visit http://stargate.mgm.com/view/series/3/index.html 

Julia has amassed a list of impressive television and film credits throughout her acting career. Her small screen credits include guest-starring roles on the popular CBS miniseries Harper’s Island, the Fox comedy Reaper, the CW hit shows Supernatural and Smallville as well as Whistler and Masters of Horror

Her recent film credits include the family comedy Mr.Troop Mom starring George Lopez and Jane Lynch. The actress also appeared in the comedy Blonde and Blonder starring Pamela Anderson, the romantic comedy Numb starring Matthew Perry, and the recent made-for-TV movie Lying to be Perfect, directed by Gary Harvey. 

As noted above, photo courtesy and copyright of The Promotion People, so please no unauthorized copying and duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Smallville’s Wesley MacInnes – The Iceman Cometh

April 11, 2010

Actor Wes MacInnes. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

Longtime comic book fans will be more than familiar with the plethora of superheroes that have been created over the years within the pages of DC Comics. Along with these do-gooders have come several equally recognizable villains who have used their natural as well as manmade abilities to try to defeat our heroes. Most have failed, while a few have, unfortunately, triumphed. In the two-hour Smallville made-for-TV movie Absolute Justice, a cold-hearted baddie called Icicle (a.k.a. Cameron Mahkent) takes on Clark Kent and some of his super-powered allies as well as members of The Justice Society of America. Canadian-born actor Wesley MacInnes was cast to fill Icicle’s frosty shoes, although at first he was not quite sure what character he would be playing.

“Last October, my agent called me about an audition for Smallville, but it wasn’t specific, though, for Icicle,” notes the actor. “I think for this [ninth] season, what they [the show’s producers] have been trying to do is bring in a lot of classic DC characters, and they’ve also tried to keep the identity of these new characters under wraps. So when I got the audition sides they were for someone named Troy Crawford, who was in no way related to Icicle.

“I went in and read for that part. I thought it went pretty well, but after two weeks passed and I didn’t hear anything I figured I didn’t get it. Then, however, I received a call from the show’s producers, who wanted to meet with me, so I went down to the Smallville offices in Vancouver and that’s when they told me, ‘OK, we’re giving you the part of Cameron, and he’s an albino villain with ice powers.’ I said, ‘But I didn’t audition for that,’ and they went on to tell me, ‘We changed all the characters for the audition.’ I think it was the same for Stargirl [Britt Irvin]and Hawkman [Michael Shanks].None of us read for the character that we ended up being cast in, and it turned out to be a pleasant surprise when we found out.”

Cameron Mahkent is the offspring of the original Icicle, European physicist Dr. Joar Mahkent, who, after creating a gun that could instantly freeze any moisture in the air, became an archenemy of the Green Lantern in the DC Comic books. The scientist’s constant use of his freeze gun eventually altered his genetic structure, allowing him to biologically pass on his freezing ability to his son. This power also resulted in Cameron’s skin developing its albino appearance. His character’s unusual looks coupled with his special abilities meant that MacInnes had to undergo a make-up process as well as some fight choreography training prior to going in front of the camera.

“I had a ball with the fight prep. That’s my kind of thing,” he enthuses. “They have a very talented group of [stunt] folks on Smallville and they took us through things piece by piece. We started off practicing with wooden poles, and then it got a little bit tougher when they gave us the actual props we would be working with on the day of filming. I was using this four-foot long icicle spear, which was really heavy, and Britt Irvin as well as her stunt double used this long Stargirl staff with a glowing crystal on the end of it. If you happened to hit the crystal during a fight sequence it would fly off the end of the staff and we’d have to stop filming while they stuck it back on,” jokes MacInnes.

MacInnes as the frosty felon Icicle. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

“As for the make-up, that was the most extensive [make-up] process I’d ever been through. My first day there, they told me that they had to bleach my hair, which was fine. Then the episode kept expanding from one, to two, and finally to a TV movie. So I went through 11 rounds of bleaching, and during the last two weeks of shooting some of my hair started falling out. Fortunately, after we wrapped, it all grew back,” says the actor with a chuckle. “When it comes to the actual make-up, they [the make-up department] put a couple of layers of this sort of paste on my face, followed by a few layers of paint which was airbrushed on in order to give my skin a sparkle-like look. I also wore contact lenses to change the color of my eyes.”

Once he booked the Smallville role and before filming began, MacInnes made a point of finding out all he could about his character. “I did some digging around on the Internet and read any comic books I could get my hands on,” he says. “Basically, Cameron’s mother died during childbirth and he inherited his powers from his father. So he grew up without a mom, and The Justice Society of America eventually caught up with his dad, who was a villain, and more or less beat the hell out of him and put him in a coma.

“So my character had a pretty lonely life, and as far as playing him, some of the challenges stemmed from the fact that he was this super villain in a comic book-type show. There is a level of surrealism and a certain cheesiness to some of the lines that I think fit the show perfectly. At the same time, I wanted to make Cameron a guy who viewers could sympathize with. However, I knew that would be difficult because of the way he was written, given the number of characters he was killing off and the things he was saying.

“I really wanted to try, though, because I feel that he has quite a touching story. When you look at Cameron’s life you can understand why he ended up this way. My character hasn’t had a good run of luck and he blames The Justice Society of America. And they are to blame, but the thing is they were in the right. So it was a matter of trying to balance being the villain – and at times an over-the-top villain – and still being able to come back down to Earth with the more sentimental scenes, particularly those with his father, and play them convincingly.”

In Absolute Justice, Cameron Mahkent is on a mission to kill the members of The Justice Society of America, who he blames for his father’s vegetative state. MacInnes’ debut in front of the Smallville cameras is one he will not soon forget.

Icicle deals a deadly blow to Doctor Fate (Brent Stait). Photo copyright of The Promotion People

“The first scene I shot is where Cameron walks into his father’s hospital room, says one line while standing over his dad, who’s lying there in a coma, and sheds a tear,” recalls the actor. “I was so nervous. I had never worked with any of these actors and I was supposed to stand there and cry. And once I got the contact lenses in, I realized that there was a problem because they dried my eyes up so much that there was no way I’d be able to shed a tear.

“I remember walking on-set that day and thinking, ‘My God, I can say the dialogue, I can look rather upset, but I’m not going to be able to cry.’ Then I was told that they were going to add in a CG [computer-generated] tear later on because they wanted an icicle tear to come out of Cameron’s eye. So things turned out great, and I was actually glad we did that scene right off the bat as it helped set the tone for a very positive work experience.”

While Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) are busy investigating the death of Sylvester Pemberton/The Star-Spangled Kid (Jim Shield), Icicle manages to find and murder Wesley Dodd/Sandman (Ken Lawson) as well. Unknown to Clark or Chloe, The Justice Society is trying to lure Icicle out into the open, and Hawkman chastises the Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) for interfering with their efforts. Before Icicle kills him and steals his helmet (along with the powers that go along with it), Doctor Fate (Brent Stait) convinces Clark that they are all on the same side. The superheroes subsequently band together to take down Icicle in a climactic battle in The Watchtower. It is Hawkman who wields the final blow that stops their enemy in his tracks, but it was not an easy feat to accomplish.

“Michael Shanks was dressed in his Hawkman costume, including these massive wings, and on wires for most of the day, ” says MacInnes. “At one point, his character is supposed to fly down, swing his mace behind Icicle’s head and knock him out. They explained to us that, ‘You’ve got to time this just right – Michael you have to swing your mace, and Wes, you’ve got to hit the crash mat so that it looks good on camera.’

“I had my contacts in and was wearing the Doctor Fate helmet which had lights inside it that directly hit my eyes, so I couldn’t see a thing. Meanwhile, Mike was on wires and wearing the big Hawkman mask with eye coverings, and for this scene they used the coverings that he couldn’t easily see through. So Mike is basically blind and flying towards me swinging a mace. They’re telling us, ‘OK, just time it right,’ and Mike and I are killing ourselves laughing because there is no way we can do this. We literally couldn’t see each other. In the end, one of the stunt guys had to call out, ‘One, two and three.’ Mike swung, and I went down.

Icicle thinks he has sealed The Justice Society of America's fate once he gets his hands on Doctor Fate's helmet. Photo by Jack Rowand and copyright of Warner Bros. Television Entertainment

“There was another scene prior to this that was just as tricky to shoot and kind of funny in the moment. It’s where Icicle stabs Doctor Fate in the back. Brent was wearing his Doctor Fate costume, which looked great on-camera, but the poor guy was walking around in this tight leather outfit and a helmet, so he could hardly move and barely see. In the scene, Doctor Fate collapses and Brent had to be helped up in-between takes because his movements were so restricted. Again, what translates to the screen can be challenging to pull off, but in both these cases good for a laugh, too, no doubt about it.”

Absolute Justice was initially slated to be two individual episodes before subsequently becoming a two-hour movie. The first half, originally titled Society, was directed by Smallville director of photography Glen Winter, while part two, which was known as Legends, was directed by the show’s leading man, Tom Welling. “I really enjoyed working with both Glen and Tom, but for completely different reasons,” explains MacInnes. “Glen comes from a cinematography background, so you would do a take and his direction would be, ‘OK, you’ve got to move your head two inches to the left, and you’ve got to swing your arm a little bit wider this way.’ He was looking at the picture and how it was going to come through on the screen, and that really shows in his half of the episode. There are some shots that took a long time to get, but look amazing.

“Because Tom comes from an acting background, he had insights from a performance standpoint. There was a point in the final fight that was giving me a great deal of trouble on the day of filming. It’s where I’m wearing the Doctor Fate helmet and I have to do a spinning jump that knocks our heroes backwards and all over the place. I had to jump into the air, do a bit of a 360, then land and have my feet hit the ground as all the other actors are pulled back on wires. What was making it tough, again, was not being able to see and wearing a restrictive costume.

“It was a real timing issue and we screwed it up a couple of times. But then Tom came over to me and said, ‘It doesn’t really matter when your feet hit the ground. Just make sure that your arms shoot out and you act like you’ve hit the ground at the right time.’ That piece of advice, which he probably picked up from doing the series for nine years, made the difference. We did the next take, got it, and wrapped. So those little tips from Tom were invaluable.

“All the guest-stars on Smallville say this and I’ve got to say it as well – they’re a well-oiled machine on that show. The cast has amazing chemistry off-screen and it’s the same type of chemistry onscreen. They’re a great bunch of folks as well as actors, and working with them was in some ways overwhelming. I first began watching the program when I was in seventh or eight grade, and to all of a sudden be stepping on that set and having to interact with these people, well, it definitely took me a second or two to adjust. It helped, though, having the other guest-stars in the episode. All of us were new to the set and trying to feel out our characters, so it made things a little less daunting.”

MacInnes as "George" in the made-for-TV movie A Dog Named Christmas. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

Although Icicle had his own agenda with regard to The Justice Society of America, he was, in fact, working for a clandestine organization called Checkmate. With the help of John Jones/Martian Manhunter (Phil Morris), Clark and the others are able to defeat Icicle and he ends up a prisoner of Checkmate. His fate is left in the hands of one of its operatives, Amanda Walker (Pam Grier), who reveals to Icicle that he was just being used by her organization. She then kills him.

“Pam Grier is quite an acting legend and I really enjoyed working with her,” says MacInnes. “My character’s death scene was especially fun to shoot. The only thing was that he’s supposed to be in restraining clamps, and when I shook the chair around, they’d break off and would have to be repaired. But no matter how much glue they used, it didn’t have time to set, so the clamps were flying all over the place.

“Tom Welling was directing us and he just let me and Pam run with it and gave us a lot of room to play with things. It’s not a big deal to those watching, but at the very end when Amanda pulls the gun on Icicle, the way it was originally written, my character withdrew and sort of cowered in the chair. Tom said, ‘I don’t think he’d do that. Wes, change it up. Do whatever you want, just add something,’ So we totally flipped things around and I leaned into the gun and said to Pam, ‘Come on, shoot me.’ And that’s what they ended up going with in the final cut, which was neat.”

A native of Calgary, Alberta, MacInnes first broke into the entertainment business playing in a band for nine years with a few of his friends. “We all moved out to Vancouver and went to school at the University of British Columbia,” says the actor. “At the same time, we played music and recorded some albums, That was my goal back then and it still is. That band isn’t together any more, but I’m still recording music and looking at that as a viable option. I got back into acting about halfway through university and started taking theater classes. It was only about a year-and-a-half ago that I began going out for movie and TV auditions. I hadn’t done any acting since high school and realized how much I missed it. And I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Prior to Smallville, the actor appeared in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie A Dog Named Christmas. He also had a small role in the pilot for the CW Network series The Vampire Diaries. “That was pretty cool, and looking back at it now, I can’t help but be a little nostalgic,” he says. “I got to the studio and they put me in a tiny little trailer with just a chair, but it was fantastic because I’d never experience that before. When I got on-set, I literally had to walk out of a washroom, almost collide with the lead actress, say, ‘Whoa, pants down, chick,’ and then walk out of the frame. There’s nothing special about that, but I’ll never forget those words. To this day, whenever I walk out of a washroom, my friends will say, ‘Whoa, pants down, chick,'” laughs the actor.

MacInnes - Actor AND Musician. Photo copyright of The Promotion People

Currently, MacInnes is finishing up recording a solo album, which is set to be released later this year. He is also looking forward to filming a TV pilot. “A film company from Norway is expanding into the States and they’re shooting a pilot in the fall,” says the actor. “They saw my work on Smallville and want me to play the lead.

“The pilot is called The Valentines, at least that’s the title right now, and they’re selling it as a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The O.C. It’s a Sci-Fi show and I’m really excited about it. They sent me the pilot script and it’s a very interesting and mysterious story with a cliffhanger-type ending. I don’t want to throw out any names because I don’t know if they’ve officially signed on yet, but they’ve got a couple of other actors who you will have definitely heard of playing some of the bigger roles in the project.”

Unlike many jobs, acting is full of daily unexpected twists and turns for MacInnes, and he is more than happy with that. “Even if you’re working on something for a couple of months or even a year, it’s not going to be the same thing every day,” he says. “There will always be new challenges to face, and you’re playing a different person with each role. It’s like opening a whole new can of worms and I think that’s what I like most about acting, the fact that it’s never boring.”

Steve Eramo

As noted above, photo by Jack Rowand and copyright of Warner Bros. Television Entertainment or courtesy of/copyright of The Promotion People, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Jonathan Silverman And Michael Rosenbaum Come To Syfy

March 29, 2010

THE Syfy Channel announced it has commissioned a script for a half-hour comedy pilot starring Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s) from Sony and Happy Madison Productions. Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville), who created the show, will co-star.

The single camera program follows the lives of two friends, former actors on a popular science fiction show, who have hit rock bottom and must work together to get their lives back on track. Happy Madison and Doug Robinson will serve as executive producers along with Adam Goldberg, Rose and Bomb Productions, and Untitled Entertainment.

Jonathan Silverman is known for his roles in the TV series Gimme a Break! as well as the feature films Brighton Beach Memoirs, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Caddyshack II, Little Big League, Weekend at Bernie’s and its sequel. Most recently, Michael Rosenbaum portrayed Lex Luthor on Smallville.

Riverworld Comes To Syfy In April

March 17, 2010

THE Syfy Channel sets sail this spring with the 4-hour Sunday night television movie Riverworld, premiering Sunday, April 18th from 7-11:oo p.m. EST. Starring Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica/Dollhouse), Laura Vandervoort (V/Smallville) and Alan Cumming (Tin Man), Riverworld is an epic adventure featuring familiar characters in an unfamiliar world and is based on the popular award-winning series of novels by Philip Jose Farmer. The TV miniseries is produced by Reunion Pictures and will be distributed internationally by RHI Entertainment, who teamed up to also bring TV audiences two other Syfy Channel TV events, Tin Man and Earthsea.

Matt Ellman (Penikett) is an American war zone reporter who has witnessed the worst of humanity first-hand, yet still grasps on to an optimistic spirit. When a suicide bomber kills both Matt and his fiance Jessie (Vandervoort), they awaken separated in a mysterious world where everyone who has ever lived on Earth seems to have been “reborn” along the banks of a seemingly endless river. Determined to locate Jessie, Matt joins forces with a 13th century female samurai warrior named Tomoe (Jeanne Goossen) and American novelist Sam “Mark Twain” Clemens (Mark Deklin). Together they sail upriver in search of its source, and to discover where they are and who put them there. Alan Cumming guest-stars as the mysterious “Caretaker.”

Michael Trucco, Kari Matchett and Eric Johnson In Syfy’s Meteor Storm

January 30, 2010

A passing meteor shower turns into a deadly storm from space that threatens to destroy San Francisco. As the city’s disaster official (Michael Trucco) tries to evacuate the population, a scientist (Kari Matchett) races to unravel the mystery of the repeated strikes. She discovers that remnants of an ancient meteor strike, found under San Francisco, contain a new element that exerts a magnetic pull on the meteorites. While the city is devastated around her, she has a bigger problem to solve – how to stop a huge meteor from being pulled in and creating an extinction event.

Meteor stars Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), Kari Matchett (Invasion, 24) and Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon, Smallville) and airs Saturday, January 30th @ 9:oo p.m. EST on The Syfy Channel.

Sanctuary’s Robin Dunne Goes Beyond Sherwood On Syfy

November 3, 2009
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One of the locals (Bill Dow, Stargate's Dr. Lee) confers with young Robin Hood (Robin Dunne) in Beyond Sherwood Forest. Photo copyright of the Syfy Channel

THE Syfy Channel celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with a four-day, 34-movie marathon showcasing the world premiere of the Syfy original movie Beyond Sherwood Forest (starring Sanctuary‘s Robin Dunne), 16 James Bond flicks and creature features like Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.

In Beyond Sherwood Forest, premiering Saturday, November 28th @ 9 p.m. EST/PST, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Julian Sands, Warlock) uses a young woman (Erica Durance, Smallville) – cursed to live in the form of a dragon – to hunt down and destroy young Robin Hood (Robin Dunne).

The curtain goes up on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26th @ 8 a.m. EST/PST with the first ever 007 movie, Dr. No. Seven more Bond films air that day, including the network premiere of Casino Royale at 9 p.m. EST/PST, which introduced Daniel Craig into the long-running franchise. Syfy’s Bond-fest continues Friday, November 27th with eight more films, beginning at 8 a.m. EST/PST with Thunderball and ending with Never Say Never Again at 2:30 a.m. EST/PST, both starring Sean Connery.

Running Saturday, November 28th and Sunday, November 29th from 9 a.m. EST/PST through 3 a.m. EST/PST both days, the weekend creature feature movie festival is highlighted by genre favorites such as Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, Lake Placid 2, Cyclops and Anaconda 3.

As noted above, photo courtesy of and copyright of The Syfy Channel, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Aaron Ashmore – Going Green

October 10, 2009
Aaron Ashmore as Atom Galen in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Aaron Ashmore as Atom Galen in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

As Jimmy Olsen on the hit CW series Smallville, Aaron Ashmore faced more than one life-and-death situation while helping Clark Kent keep the world safe. The actor gets caught up in more onscreen peril during two of his newest feature film roles, which includes the ecological thriller The Thaw (now available on DVD). His twin brother and fellow actor Shawn had read the script first, but at the time he had just finished a movie with a similar theme, so he decided to pass. Shawn gave his brother the script to read and, although he loved the story and character, Aaron’s work at the time on Smallville did not allow him time to audition. Lucky for him, the part was still available a few months later and he managed to book the job.

“My character of Atom Galen is young, somewhat ambitious and involved in the ‘green movement,'” explains Ashmore. “He’s going to school to become an ecologist/biologist, and he proves himself worthy of accompanying a small group of fellow students on an expedition with a famous biologist, Dr. David Kruipen [Val Kilmer]. An interesting element of my character is that his father is involved in the oil industry and has very little regard for the environment or what his business is doing to it. As he’s grown up, Atom has moved away from what his father stands for and gone totally in the other direction, or the “green way.” So it created a neat dynamic for me to play insofar as what he is willing to do to save the Earth and why he’s doing it.”

In The Thaw, Atom and his fellow students are eager to join Dr. Kruipen on an expedition to an Arctic research station to examine a Woolly Mammoth that has been thawed out as a result of the melting polar ice caps. They have no idea, though, that the animal contains a deadly prehistoric parasite and, after becoming infected, the group must find a way to destroy the pathogen before it can reach the outside world. Having been one of the final actors to be cast in the film, Ashmore arrived on-location in a small town in Northern British Columbia over a weekend and the cameras began rolling the following Tuesday.

Atom (Ashmore) and Evelyn (Martha MacIsaac) try to figure out what's happening to them. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Atom (Ashmore) and Evelyn (Martha MacIsaac) try to figure out what's happening to them. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

“It was kind of a rush process, but everyone was extremely welcoming,” recalls the actor. “The thing that immediately blew me away was this beautiful location that they had found to shoot this movie. It’s supposed to be set in the Arctic, which I’ve never been to, but you have these mental images of it being very sparse, flat and wide-open. I was thinking, ‘How are we going to find that type of look in the middle of British Columbia,’ where there’s mainly forest and mountains. However, they [the producers] discovered an amazing plateau on this Indian reservation which was totally flat, wide-open grasslands, and that’s where they built the shell of an [Arctic] research station.

“A ton of stuff went on during our first couple of days there, including helicopter scenes, explosions and green screen work. It was really exciting and we all jumped right in. That fact that we were able to orchestrate all this stuff in the middle of nowhere was pretty cool. I mean, it was really remote. It was an hour-and-fifteen-minute drive up to this location every day, not to mention the fact that we were six hours north of Vancouver. You have to have a great deal of respect for the abilities of all the people involved who are able to put something like this together and make it work.”

As our heroes struggle to make sense of the dilemma unfolding around them, Atom develops feelings for one of his fellow expedition members. “My character has an instant connection with Dr. Kruipen’s daughter Evelyn, who is played by Martha MacIsaac,” says Ashmore. “Atom and Evelyn are sort of on the same page and come together in an effort to work through the situation they’re in, while some of the other characters go off in different directions. I thoroughly enjoyed that because Martha and I had a number of scenes together and there was definitely a romantic attraction between our two characters. At least that’s how it started out, but then it turns into a real respect as well. Martha is a sweetheart, and I actually met her years ago. I was 19 and she was probably 13 when I did an episode of a TV show that she was in called Emily of the New Moon. So I’ve known Martha for quite a while and it was great to meet up with her again.”

On-location with Thaw director Mark A. Lewis. Photo by Michael Lewis and copyright of Anagram Pictures

On-location with Thaw director Mark A. Lewis. Photo by Michael Lewis and copyright of Anagram Pictures

The Thaw was the actor’s first time being directed by Mark A. Lewis (who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Michael), and it was nothing but a positive experience for him. “Mark is probably one of the nicest directors I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” notes Ashmore. “He gives you opportunity for freedom when it comes to acting. If a scene isn’t working or if Mark is looking for something else, he’ll say to you, ‘What do you think? What do you want to bring to this? What do you feel this [scene] needs?’ That’s not always the case with a director, especially if they’ve written the script, as Mark did. They might not be able to see past something if it isn’t working or needs to be changed. Happily, Mark was very open to change and willing to listen to other peoples’ ideas and suggestions. As a result, you become more involved and more responsible for the decisions that your character is making.”

When it comes to his favorite or most memorable scene in The Thaw, Ashmore is understandably reticent to reveal any specifics. “There is one, but I don’t want to talk about it because it’s a bit of a spoiler,” he says. “Overall, what I like most about the story is that there’s a real intensity to it and these standoffs between our characters because of their predicament. There might be a death – it may be Atom – but, again, I don’t want to spoil things,” teases the actor.

Only days prior to starting work on The Thaw, Ashmore wrapped filming on yet another heart-thumping, fight-for-your-life horror flick, the upcoming Deep Cove (a.k.a. Fear Island). In it he plays Mark, one of five students whose weekend getaway on a secluded island is interrupted by someone with murder on their mind.

“Mark is a nice guy, maybe a little rough around the edges, and basically his story is that he’s been dating this girl named Jenna [Haylie Duff], but they’ve broken up,” says the actor. “She’s going to New York to be a dancer and is kind of leaving Mark behind because he’s not doing much with his life. He’s not a bum or a loser, but he’s not really sure what he wants. At the last minute, Mark decides to show up at a party on this island to try to win her back. However, once he gets there, things start to go wrong and he goes from trying to win Jenna back to trying to protect her. In the process, Mark’s true feelings for her come out. There are times where he could run off and save himself, but he doesn’t. He sticks with Jenna and his main goal is to save the life of this girl who he’s in love with.

Atom (Ashmore) finds himself in a corner in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Atom (Ashmore) finds himself in a corner in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

“This character is very different from Jimmy Olsen in Smallville. Mark is scruffier, has facial hair and wears a leather jacket. He’s not a bad ass, but he’s definitely a hell of a lot cooler than Jimmy, which is fine because I think I fall somewhere in the middle of Jimmy and Mark. So it was just a bit of a stretch the other way, but it was a big adjustment because I only had, I think, five or six days off from having finished shooting Smallville for the season to starting work on Deep Cove. It was just what I needed, though. I loved playing Jimmy, but it’s nice to try something new every now and then.

“And it’s funny, too, because I end up taking on some of the characteristics of whatever character I happen to be playing at the time. I wouldn’t say I’m a method actor by any means, but it’s easier to stay in the mindset of that role, and it sometimes bleeds into real life a little bit. So some of my friends were like, ‘Wow, now that you’re playing this role [of Mark], your energy has changed,’ and I’d tell them, ‘Yeah, it’s just this character.’ So it was fun to step out of Jimmy and do something else, but I’m always happy to return to Smallville.”

While some actors have made entire careers out of playing young people in peril, The Thaw and Deep Cove were Ashmore’s first ventures into horror movie territory. What does he enjoy most about working in the genre? “Again, there’s an intensity to these films, which is challenging because there’s a build-up to the story, and once that happens it’s important to keep that energy level up,” says the actor. “There’s no time for the characters to really think, you know? They’re acting off instinct, and that’s interesting to play because you can over-analyze things. You can’t slow things down in a scene, you have to keep up the pace, and I’d never really had the chance to tell a story where your character is running through a forest for his life. As an actor, it’s scary and fun to put yourself in situations like that.”

For more info on The Thaw, check out the following Facebook link – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Thaw/44321861106

Steve Eramo

As noted above, all photos by Diyah Pera or Michael Lewis and copyright of Anagram Pictures, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

Kyle Schmid – Peak Performance

October 3, 2009
Ready for a fight - Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) in Blood Ties. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

Ready for a fight - Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) in Blood Ties. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

In show business it is not unusual to wish someone good luck before a performance by telling him or her to “break a leg,” metaphorically speaking, of course. Ironically, Kyle Schmid did just that many years ago, and while it meant the end of one potential career, it led to him pursuing a very different line of work.

“I played very high-level soccer in high school and during that time my mom also got me interested in the acting industry,” says Schmid. “However, it was something I did for fun and never really thought it would take off or lead to anything serious. Then when I was 17 years old I broke my leg, which more or less ended my chances of a soccer career, but at the same time they say that everything happens for a reason.

“When I was working on a movie, [producer] Debra Martin Chase, who has since become a dear friend of mine, took me aside one day and said she would like to take me out to lunch. Debra had this look in her eye and told me, ‘This [acting] is probably something you might way to pursue.’ I laughed and said, ‘This is a hobby. It’s a way for me to make a little money to save for university.’ She said, ‘No, you’re good. You’ve got something.’ Debra had me go to Los Angeles where she introduced me to a great acting coach who taught me just how far you can go with exploring your craft. Since then, this [acting] is something I’ve fallen in love with and been very passionate about.”

Henry gets a little long in the tooth. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

Henry gets a little long in the tooth. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

Schmid made his debut in the 1996 feature film Spill (a.k.a. Virus), in which the lives of everyone visiting a U.S. National Park are threatened by an out-of-control truck filled with biological weapons. “My character got to fire a double-barreled shotgun, became infected with a virus, was given a tracheotomy, died and was subsequently carried down a hill by [football player-turned-actor] Brian Bosworth,” recalls the actor. “He actually carried me on one shoulder and a 220-pound guy over the other shoulder while going down a 45-degree slope at a full sprint. As a 13-year-old boy I was thinking, ‘Holy crap, this is pretty neat!'”

Fast Food High, The Pacifier and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants are among the actor’s other movie credits. On the small screen, he has appeared in several made-for-TV movies as well as guest-spots on such TV programs as I Was a Sixth Grade Alien, Odyssey 5, 1-800-Missing and CSI: Miami. In 2007, Schmid was cast in his first series regular role as Henry Fitzroy, a vampire with a conscience in the short-lived Lifetime TV series Blood Ties.

“Creating a character like that was an interesting challenge because you look at all the portrayals of vampires in movies, but don’t want to copy them,” he notes. “You get an idea of what a vampire is, but the last thing you want to do is play, for example, Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire. Quite the opposite; you want to create something new, especially for someone like me who, at 22 years old, was portraying a 450-year-old.

Henry takes on yet another demon of the night in Blood Ties. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

Henry takes on yet another demon of the night in Blood Ties. Photo copyright of Lifetime TV

“Working on Blood Ties and having the audience enjoy what we did was one of my coolest experiences so far as an actor. The fan base is very dear to me and I’m extremely appreciative of all the support they’ve given our cast as well as the writers, directors, etc. Without them there wouldn’t have been a show. It was a ton of hard work on everyone’s part, but it was a situation where we all arrived onset with smiles on our faces. We had a real family and the chemistry among the cast and crew made the series something special.”

This month, the actor can be seen in the Sci-Fi/Horror movie The Thaw (released October 6th, 2009 on DVD) playing Federico Fulce, one of four ecology students who accompany Dr. David Krupien (Val Kilmer) to a remote Arctic research station to examine a thawed out Wooly Mammoth. Unknown to them, the animal is host to a deadly parasite and, after being infected, they must figure out a way to destroy it before it is unleashed on the rest of humanity. The real-world issue of global warming is behind the discovery of the Mammoth in the film and is what initially attracted Schmid to the project.

“I found the whole global warming aspect really interesting because it’s a subject that is becoming increasingly prominent on everybody’s mind nowadays, and the fact that it’s examined within a Sci-Fi type of movie was something that I thought was quite clever,” says the actor.

Federico (Schmid) uses anything at his disposal to stay alive in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Federico (Schmid) uses anything at his disposal to stay alive in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

“As for my character, I’m always attracted to those that start in one place and end up in a completely different one,” continues Schmid. “With Federico, he goes through quite a journey during the film, from a levelheaded top student in his class, to dealing with the loss of a loved one and, ultimately, the Sci-Fi elements of our story. Our characters’ situation becomes one of fight or flight, a kind of natural instinct to survive and realistically what a person would do under such extreme circumstances.

“We shot the first half of the movie in a great location [in British Columbia] called Williams Lake. It’s absolutely amazing country and we actually filmed on a native [Indian] reserve, which allowed us to meet some of the most generous and fascinating people. Their history and culture are beautiful and the stories that they told us on the drives to set were just incredible. At one point, some of us got to go into a ‘sweat,’ which is a big thatched hut that is in total darkness. It has these hot coals in the middle of it that cause you to sweat, while people around you are playing drums and humming. It’s a very interesting out-of-body experience. They treated us so kindly and were wonderful to us. At the end of it all I think everyone had a very spiritual experience in the sense of them taking us in and allowing us to become part of their culture.”

When asked about his Thaw co-stars, Schmid has nothing but good things to share. “Val Kilmer is a fascinating individual and it’s clear to see where his talent lies,” he says. “He plays a major part at the end of the film with my character and it was cool having the chance to work with him. Martha MacIsaac [Evelyn Krupien] is a terrific actress and someone who has been in the industry for a long time but our paths had never crossed before this. Viv Leacock [Bart] always had such an amazing and positive outlook. He’s a family man and he brought his children – a baby boy and three-year-old daughter -to set.

Federico and Ling Chen (Steph Song) in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Federico and Ling Chen (Steph Song) in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

“Coincidentally, prior to this movie, Aaron Ashmore [Atom Galen] and I finished shooting Deep Cove [a.k.a. Fear Island], so between the two projects we got to hang out together for basically two-and-a-half months. We went from that movie, which was a fun but gruelling project to shoot as well, to this one, and to work with someone who you know is going to be right there with you is like going to war with someone who you’ve already been to war with. You want this person by your side, so it was fantastic.”

The actor is equally complimentary of Thaw director Mark A. Lewis, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Michael. “Mark and I got together during the audition process and were able to chat and toss ideas back and forth to each other,” says the actor. “I think we both realized we were on the same page with a number of things, so when it came to working on the film, he was very open to, if necessary, rewriting a scene. And because he wrote the script with his brother, it was like being directed by someone who’d already envisioned the entire process, which he had. So everything flowed. We’d look at each other during a scene and I would know exactly what Mark was thinking, which was great.”

Federico finds himself in a tight spot in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

Federico finds himself in a tight spot in The Thaw. Photo by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures

As the actor mentioned, before starting work on The Thaw, he and Aaron Ashmore (Jimmy Olsen in Smallville) were in front of the cameras filming the upcoming horror thriller Deep Cove. In it, five college students spend spring break marooned on an island where they are stalked by a crazed killer.

“Like Federico in The Thaw, my character of Tyler in Deep Cove is someone who also has a great story arc,” enthuses Schmid. “He’s completely different from Federico in that Tyler is a spoiled little jerk who has had everything handed to him and gets away with everything he does wrong, which is probably every adolescent’s dream. It’s tough to describe his arc without giving away the entire plot of the movie, but basically he goes from realizing that having everything handed to him without being penalized for what he might have done wrong is a very ignorant way to live life. I mean, without any real-life experience of knowing what’s right and wrong, you’re never sure how far the consequences might go.”

No matter what character he is playing, Schmid is all about turning in his best performance and having a good time along the way. “When it comes right down to it, the most rewarding part of acting is walking off a set every day knowing you left your best work on the dance floor, so to speak, and smiling while you’re doing it,” he muses. “For me, it’s about taking it all in as well as appreciating the fact that I get to do a job that any number of people would love to do and that at the same time I’m enjoying myself.”

For more info on The Thaw, check out the following Facebook link – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Thaw/44321861106

Steve Eramo

As noted above, Blood Ties photos copyright of Lifetime TV and The Thaw photos by Diyah Pera and copyright of Anagram Pictures, so please no unauthorized copying or duplicating of any kind. Thanks!

James Marsters Joins Syfy’s Caprica

August 19, 2009

FAN favorite James Marsters has been cast in The Syfy Channel’s upcoming series Caprica as the dangerous terrorist leader Barnabus Greeley. Driven by moralistic and yet carnal desires, this unpredictable villain is constantly torn by his conflicting motivations.

Marsters may best be known around the world for his ever-popular cult character Spike, the punk-goth vampire he played on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel for seven years. After working six years on Buffy, the actor made the move to Angel for the last season that it aired. Marsters has received and been nominated for numerous awards worldwide. The actor recently had recurring roles on three TV series: Without A Trace, Smallville and the UK hit Torchwood. When he joined the cast of Smallville as Brainiac in 2005, his appearance saw the ratings rise by an estimated 50%. Initially hired for just one episode of Torchwood, the creators immediately recognized a good thing and signed him up for two more. On the big screen, Marsters was last seen as the co-lead opposite Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler in the Richard LeGravenese film P.S. I Love You, based on the best-selling novel by Cecilia Ahem, as well as this year’s Dragon Ball Evolution for 20th Century Fox opposite Emily Rossum and Justin Chatwin.