Rob Ford is a man who wears many hats, but can he act?
CBC introduced its fall 2013 programming last week and, despite all that Harper drama, it’s going to be good. Good enough to maybe – just maybe – distract the world from Toronto’s latest city council scandal in recent memory and direct attention back to the incomporable Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Let’s face it: the allegations against our boy Rob make for comedic gold, and now that our mayor is basically a micro-celeb, let’s give him a show!
We sat down with some of next fall’s biggest CBC stars for a look at upcoming seasons and where and how they might cast Rob Ford in the role of a lifetime.
Yannick Bisson and Helene Joy, Murdoch Mysteries, “set in Toronto in the early 1900s, a dashing detective uses inventive forensic techniques to solve some of the city’s most gruesome crimes.”
Tell us about a big moment in the upcoming season.
Helene: We have a really exciting first episode. It’s a Titanic-like voyage, and some tragedy there.
Where do you manage to shoot something Titanic-like?
Yannick: The tank is in the GTA. It’s been converted and is new for that purpose, on Kipling. I believe that’s the spot.
Helene: It’s going to be so exciting. A ship sinking, and then us under the water, all in costume.
That’s great that you’re able to do that so close to the downtown core. It’s really cool when us viewers can recognize spots we’ve been to in Toronto.
Yannick: Yeah! We used to hide all of that. We used to be apologetic for that. But now we’re like, the coolest city in the fucking world. We’re not ashamed to show it.
Yannick: I think it’s great. We produce the shows here, and unapologetically make it here. We’ve got Kimmel and all of those guys making fun of our mayor. We have made it to the big time.
If you could get him on Murdoch, where would you cast Rob Ford?
Yannick: (Laughs) I think he should play Helene’s father.
Helene: Oh, yeah! He’d be great! We’ve never, ever gotten to meet Ogden’s father. But she doesn’t like him very much.
Yannick: He’s wealthy, a hillbilly – all mixed into one. And he has daughters!
Helene: Yeah, and he’s not happy with my trajectory as a woman. He’d probably have a bit of a problem with me dating below in my class.
Gerry Dee, Mr. D, “struggles to stay one step ahead of his students, continually kicks Jimmy out of class and tries not to put his foot in his mouth.”
What should we expect from Gerry this season?
Gerry wants to get Phys Ed. That’s his background. Unlike what he teaches now, he does know his Phys Ed. We’ll get a glimpse of that in season 3. Then he’ll end up back where he is, but the goal is to get Phys Ed. Love life — I don’t think that’s going to play much of a role.
He’s focusing on his career.
Is there room for Rob?
Ha! I don’t know anything about Rob Ford. People make fun of his weight, and in comedy we call that a very ‘hacky’ thing to do. It’s like, so what, you know? So he’s overweight?
It’s a cheap laugh! The incident recently with the crack. I don’t know if it’s true. If it is, we should get rid of him. If I were to cast him, I’d probably cast him something completely opposite of what you’d think. As opposed to something you would expect. Something really straight. He’s been known to drink, and maybe do crack, I don’t know.
So something serious?
It’d be a comedy, but something different.
Brooke Nevin, Cracked, “a unique team of police investigators and mental health professionals, the Psych Crimes Unit, tasked with solving the wide variety of crimes that cross the boundary between law enforcement and psychological disturbance.”
Your character is new. Tell us a little bit about her.
I’m joining the show’s second season as Dr. Clara Malone. She’s a forensic psychiatrist who started in the medical field and was looking to become an MD — her focus changed to psychiatry while she was in med school. She has an endless fascination with people — what makes them tick, how their minds work.
I, myself and as an actor, am always interested in the human condition. I love psychology and always have been interested in that. The opportunity to do research that will help supplement my character’s mindset — that’s going to be really fun for me.
On Rob Ford:
Off the top of my head? I’d have him as the brother that comes in… of someone like House. He comes to stay with the main character. It’d create a whole world of chaos.
Sounds like our mayor.
It’s funny. I’ve lived in LA for a while, and I think in Canada we’re not quite used to a tabloid culture in the same way, where we have political figures [in the limelight]. In America, it’s kind of par for the course – we have congressmen tweeting pictures of their netherbits. I think part of the sensationalization of Rob Ford’s story is that we have a political figure who is supposed to be a good role model, and instead we find he’s embroiled in all these news stories. I think we’re just not used to it, as Canadians.
Makes you think about how media, politics, and entertainment are intertwined.
They really are. Media, politics, and entertainment – they’re all in the same boat.
Farrah Khaled is an intern at the Toronto Standard. Follow her on twitter at @farkhaly.