Q&A: Gregory Smith (Unpublished)

(The following interview with Gregory Smith was never published so I present it here):

Q&A: Gregory Smith On Rookie Blue

When we gather in Gregory Smith’s trailer on the Rookie Blue set he puts aside his laptop. He smiles as he explains he was just tweeting calling it a “social experiment.” Fans have responded through the medium offering encouragement, jokes and even fashion advice. Occasionally they’re thrilled when he takes time to respond. However these days the new television show Rookie Blue, airing tomorrow, is limiting his free time.

Q Describe your character and who you’re playing on the show.

A Sure. My character’s name is Officer Dov Epstein: he’s a rookie in 15 Division.  The show centers around 5 rookies and you begin their first day on the force. Dov is witty, fast and super…super into being a cop. Always wanted to be since he was like in kindergarten almost to a degree where it’s slightly comical but his heart is totally in the right place.

Q What about Dov do you believe the audience will relate to?

A Well you never know what the audience will relate to.  It’s sort of more…you try to find the central truths about the character.  If I had to guess I’d say it’s his heart and his enthusiasm and his willingness to look stupid for the case.

Q Are you having fun being a tv cop…doing all the cool cop stuff?

A It’s like a dream come true. I thought I was gonna have to wait until I was like 30 or 40 to play a cop. We get to chase bad guys, play with guns and handcuffs all day.

Q Did you have to do a lot of research for a role like this?

A Yes.  They sent us to a cop boot camp when we got here. But because I’m playing a rookie and the arc of the rookies is you’re learning and you’re not very good at all the official cop stuff.  What makes this show interesting is it’s not about cuffing the bad guys unless it’s about jamming your finger as you cuff the bad guys, you know? And so I pay attention but at the same time I didn’t worry about mastering all the little technical details. The more you mess them up onscreen the better for the show.

Q So this is more of a comedy?

A Well: the tone of the show is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. When the guns are out it’s serious and uncomfortable. But when the guns are in it’s lots of light and jokes.  So it’s an action dramedy. [laughs].

Q So how did the show come into your life?

A I read the script: really liked it.  There’s 2 male rookies Dov and Chris (played by Travid Milne).  Dov is the funny guy and Chris was also funny but more of a straight man. And I wanted to audition for Dov.  I know this guy I can finish his sentences but the producers were like “no, no…you’re much better for Chris.”  I said to my agent: “No I gotta go for Dov.” So alright if they want me to go read for Chris I’ll go read for Chris.  So what I did before the audition was I crossed off Chris’ name on all the lines and I wrote Dov next to them. So I went and auditioned for Chris as Dov. And I got the part for Dov. [laughs].

Q Looking back at your Everwood period is there anything you’re taking from that experience and incorporating it into here?
A Totally.  Everwood was like university for me: I did it for 4 years from 18 to 22. And I learned on that show how to breakdown a script, breakdown a character, converse with writers and create this guy Ephram.  And what I’m doing differently this time is—with Ephram I was so true to the character and what he was going through that he became melancholy at times and so on this show I’m making sure the character is a lot of fun. And if it’s somebody I’m fortunate enough to be able to play for 4 years he’ll be a character that’ll bring me up when I’m low energy rather than the opposite.

Q Back to Dov what would be the most ideal police shift for him?

A Something’s that action packed.  There’s a scene where somebody’s car gets stolen and he’s obviously bummed for the guy who lost his car but he’s a little more excited by the fact that he might get into a high speed pursuit [laughs].

Also published on Medium.

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