ABOVE: Watch Kevin Zegers appear on Global’s The Morning Show.
TORONTO — Canadian actor Kevin Zegers is one of the stars of Gracepoint, a new 10-episode drama debuting this fall on Global.
A remake of the acclaimed British series Broadchurch — which aired last year on Showcase — it follows two detectives (David Tennant and Anna Gunn) as they investigate the mysterious death of a young boy.
Although set in a small American seaside town, Gracepoint was shot earlier this year in Oak Bay, B.C. and around Victoria — meaning Zegers found himself back in his native country.
On Wednesday, the actor spoke to Global News about the series and how his life has changed since he married Jaime Feld last summer.
What would you say to fans of Broadchurch who are thinking Gracepoint is just going to be the same?
Kevin Zegers: They wouldn’t have made the show if it wasn’t different. On top of having completely different actors, which switches the dynamic, we have a couple of extra hours. As the story progresses you’ll see very quickly that the direction of the show changes quite a bit. New suspects. We have a new ending. What you’re dropped into is similar but where you end up is a very different place.
David Tennant is the only cast member from both shows. Did he make any suggestions on how things should be done?
KZ: No, because I think part of what we, and he, wanted was a different show. I didn’t even watch past the first episode of the original show. I didn’t want to start playing something the way my character on the other show played it — not that there’s anything wrong with it. I just think he was following his instincts. I have my own ideas about who this guy is. David’s great because even he played it a little differently.
You play a journalist. Do you feel like you represented our noble profession well?
KZ: He’s not a great journalist at the beginning, I have to say. He’s a little bit lazy and there’s not a lot that goes on in the small town he’s covering, you know.
But did you use anything from years of talking to journalists?
KZ: I did. As the show goes on he has a couple of moments where he gets to flex his muscle and I hope I did you guys proud. I’ve certainly been on the receiving end for a little while.
Has being married affected the roles you take or changed you as an actor?
KZ: Yeah, it definitely changes… you know, acting is a selfish thing. It’s not a sort of inclusive process, so part of balancing being married now is kind of figuring out what works for us. I can’t be away for 11 months out of the year. It doesn’t make any sense, not if I want to stay married. Where we shoot things is important… for how long. I’m sure when I become a father it will add something. It’s the great thing about being an actor — you’re never really done figuring it out. I may at moments feel like I’ve got it somewhat figured out for exactly where I’m at right now but different events happen in my life and you change and hopefully you change as an actor, too. But yeah, I feel like a much different actor now that I’m married. I feel like there’s a responsibility not just to myself but to somebody else. Before there’s that nonchalance of like, ‘Oh well, this is for me, I can kind of figure it out’ where now I think I work a lot harder. I think I care a little bit more than I used to.
You live in the U.S. but seem to come back a lot to Canada to make films and TV shows. How does it feel now when you’re here?
KZ: I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like an outsider here. My whole family still lives here. I still feel very Canadian. I definitely haven’t lived here in a very long time. I’ve lived in L.A. for probably 12 years now. The press and everyone has been really nice to me here and always made me feel very welcome when I come back, which is great, and hugely supportive of stuff that I’ve done, which is nice. It’s certainly not necessary. I think that people appreciate that I’m very proud to be from here. I’m super glad that my family is going to be able to watch this show on Global and have their little popcorn viewing parties in the basement.
Did you teach your co-stars about being Canadian?
KZ: Yeah, I got them onto Tim Horton’s pretty quickly. They were all over it.