ABOVE: Watch David Alpay appear on Global Toronto’s News at Noon.
TORONTO — David Alpay was just a regular 20-year-old human biology major at the University of Toronto when he was picked by director Atom Egoyan to star opposite Christopher Plummer and Charles Aznavour in 2002’s Ararat.
The acting bug bit and Alpay decided to balance academic studies with acting jobs for awhile — although he took a short break from the latter to focus on the former.
“Because the intention wasn’t always to be an actor, that hasn’t been my number one guiding principle,” Alpay explained.
“I love acting. It’s a lot of fun work, interesting work, and you get to work with some very interesting people. But I seemed to be OK walking away from it for a little while and then coming back to it.”
Alpay took roles on shows like The Tudors, The Borgias and The Vampire Diaries and is now one of the stars of The Lottery, a drama set six years after women stopped being able to bear children.
The 10-episode series debuts Sunday night on Lifetime.
Alpay plays one of the scientists who discovers a way to fertilize 100 embryos (leading to the titular process of choosing who will carry them).
He admitted his science background came in handy. “It gives you a little confidence on set when you talk about something.”
In an interview on Friday, Alpay told Global News he still has a passion for science.
“To relax, I do yoga and meditate and do little math problems,” he said, “and it’s fun to check that part of your brain off and turn on a different part.”
Alpay said although there is science in The Lottery, there isn’t necessarily a lot of science fiction.
“It’s not that weird,” he said of the premise. “It’s not the kind of post-apocalyptic future we see in Mad Max or something. It’s much more in the near future.
“We see protests, we see people getting into fights, we see the fires burning. But we see it in the context of a world that’s kind of familiar to us. It’s the very near future. It’s not like there are flying cars.”
Alpay said he is interested by some of the questions the series poses.
“What if none of us could have families or children? What would we do to survive? What would we be willing to do? How far are we willing to go? Are we the kind of people we would have wanted to save in the first place?”
The Lottery also allows the Toronto native to work in Canada. The pilot was shot in Vancouver and the series is currently in production in Montreal.
Alpay said it is fun to be recognized by people when he’s back home. “Especially around U of T,” he said. “I guess people are watching TV on their iPads instead of studying.”
But, he added, fame is not what motivates him.
“I’ve always been passionate about acting. I haven’t been passionate about being famous,” said Alpay. “They are very different things. Maybe now, I guess, those two things are conflated.”
He hopes The Lottery is a win.
“People are going to get a punch of a story,” said Alpay, “and hopefully they will get hooked into it and fall in love with it and they’ll demand a second season.”
Lifetime is part of Shaw Media, parent company of Global News.
© Shaw Media, 2014