Posted: February 17, 2017
On Monday, February 20, 2017 the much anticipated, edgy and eerie BELLEVUE will make its network premiere. CBC's new mystery thriller, created by Newfoundland native Jane Maggs along with Adrienne Mitchell, tells the tale of "a brazen cop - always at odds with her hometown - who unravels the disappearance of a transgender teen with the help of a dangerous mystery man."
And to deliver the dark and sinister storyline - a truly stacked cast that includes Oscar™ winner Anna Paquin as Detective Annie Ryder, DOWNTON ABBEY's Allen Leech as Annie's ex Eddie Rowe, and two award winning Atlantic Canadian talents - NL's Shawn Doyle as Police Chief Peter Welland and Cape Breton's own Billy MacLellan as Detective Brady Holt.
Now as major fans of Mr.MacLellan we thought we should take a chance and check in with the man before the world gets a chance to check out his new series. As luck would have it,we tracked down the East Coast fella way out on the west coast - just hours before his departure for another desert adventure. Timing is everything! With that, what follows is our Q&A (as they say) with Billy MacLellan.
SABS: We've had the great fortune of covering your many roles over the years - tell us how you came to play Brady Holt?
Billy MacLellan: I was in my truck driving to Los Angeles when I got sent the audition for BELLEVUE. Somewhere west of Winslow, Arizona. I pulled over to a restaurant, read all of my lines into my phone and I had them memorized by the time I hit California.
The next day I set up my camera and FaceTimed my girlfriend and she read the other people's lines. I remember there was one scene where I was sitting on the tailgate of my truck talking to Annie. I was staying at a place in Hollywood. Had to park my truck so close to the front door that I could open my apartment door and kick the tailgate of my truck. So I just turned the camera around, sat on the tailgate of my truck and did the scene sitting on my tailgate.
About six weeks later, I got word that I got the part, contract was signed and I jumped in my truck the next morning and headed back to Canada.
SABS: After having watched the first two episodes we can vouch for the dark and twisty side of BELLEVUE, and can honestly report the welcome comedic pops your character Brady brings to the show.
Billy MacLellan: Yeah Bellevue is a dark place. And I can only imagine how dark policing can be. From some of the cops that I talked to, it's important to have a sense of humour around the job. I can't imagine some of the things those guys see, things they have to take home with them. Looking at the lighter side sometimes can give you a little bit of an exhale, a little bit of release from the pressure cooker. I was talking to a retired cop the night that we screened the first episode of BELLEVUE in Ottawa. He said I nailed the energy of being a cop. It felt good coming from him.
SABS: And as edgy and dramatic as the storyline on screen may have been - the shots you shared from behind the scenes revealed a pretty cool vibe off screen. Fair to say you made some new friends?
Billy MacLellan: Yeah, making people laugh is probably one of my favourite things. Anytime that I could get Shawn Doyle to laugh between takes felt like a Cadillac day to be an actor. Superb craftsman, big heart and a great laugh. We had one day where we were trying to sneak around and take the most unflattering pictures of each other that we could. He's a kindred spirit. But hell, he's from Newfoundland. I've always said Cape Bretoners are more like Newfoundlanders than mainland Nova Scotians.
SABS: We follow you on Twitter & Instagram so we're in tune with your adventurous spirit - between your variety of acting gigs, your propensity for frequent flights and road-trippin' ways we know you've seen a lot of this planet we call earth - could you ever imagine settling down in a small town like BELLEVUE?
Billy MacLellan: I've been really lucky in the last few years. work has brought me to Chile, South Africa, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Newfoundland, Vancouver and Los Angeles. But the moment the movie industry picks up in Cape Breton I'm moving back. I'd move back in a heartbeat, I miss it every day.
LA is nice. It's sunny. But LA can make you feel like Matt Damon in THE MARTIAN, 20% adventure and 80% knowing that you're going to have to learn how to grow potatoes in your own shit.
SABS: Before we let you go - tell us what viewers can expect when they tune into BELLEVUE.
Billy MacLellan: Well I was always a huge fan of DURHAM COUNTY and the folks responsible for that are on this show, and I remember thinking if the scripts deliver we can have something really special. And they delivered. Jane (Maggs) has such a wonderful sense of observing emotion, processing it and then working it into story. It is dark and there are a lot of twists. Well crafted. Really talented production team and I was surrounded by some real craftsman when it comes to acting. It felt like a gift. I'm grateful to be a part of it.
Be sure to tune in to CBC on Monday, February 20, 2017 for the edge of your seat premiere of BELLEVUE.
For more info on the series visit cbc.ca/bellevue
While you're here check out our previous posts & video features on Billy MacLellan BILLY MacLELLAN The Expanse, Maudie & More, SABStv ONES TO WATCH 2015, Viola's Christmas Ginger Molasses Cookies and Billy's Cool People Profile by clicking here
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