You might remember Canadian actor David Hewlett from hit sci-fi series Stargate: SG1 (2001-2007) and Stargate: Atlantis (2004-2009), or reaching further back, from Traders (1996-2000).
Since then, Hewlett has been popping up in various projects, and his next cameo, on YTV family show The Stanley Dynamic, has him teaming up with his sister, Kate Hewlett, who you may also recognize from Stargate: Atlantis or Degrassi: TNG and Degrassi: Next Class. This isn’t the first time the brother-sister actors have paired up for a series, but it’s the first time on The Stanley Dynamic, and it’s one episode only.
The episode, titled The Stanley Astronaut, features David as — what else? — astronaut Glenn Parker, who’s in town to judge the local high school’s Aerospace Competition. Kate, who plays mom Lisa Stanley to two boys (one real-life, the other animated), has to deal with Parker’s impact on her kids and the competition. (For Canadian bonus points, David’s outfit and moustache on The Stanley Dynamic is suspiciously similar to a certain astronaut named Chris Hadfield.)
Global News sat down with the Hewletts on the Toronto set of The Stanley Dynamic, and if you didn’t know they were brother and sister from a distance, their easy back-and-forth, constant laughter and teasing make it apparent.
Kate Hewlett: It has.
David Hewlett: This show has been miserable for me. [Laughs] No, I actually shadowed Kate for a bit on set, and they asked me how I’d feel playing an astronaut. I said, “Done.” This is really fun for me, I’ve never done anything like this before.
This is a family show, right? Kind of out of your wheelhouse.
KH: This is very much a kids’ sitcom. You know, a YTV family comedy, very silly, very over-the-top…
DH: But designed for families to watch together.
DH: We don’t even have a scene together! [Laughs]
KH: We don’t speak to each other in the episode! They wrote the part first, and then were like, “Hey, do you want to do this?”
DH: I’m sure they wrote it for me. Poor Kate, she gets confused. [Laughs]
KH: Quentin Tarantino wasn’t available… and Luke Perry, also busy. [Laughs]
KH: He directed a feature called A Dog’s Breakfast…
DH: The idea was to create something that we could afford to make. And Kate’s cheap, so… [Laughs] But I also wanted to show you off as a sister as well.
KH: Thanks. [Laughs] We did that, we did Stargate, we did a webseries called Assassidate, which was stupid but fun. He also directed a movie called Debug.
DH: I tried to talk her out of it, but she keeps showing up on set.
This is old news, then, you two working together.
KH: Well, it’s been a little while. Also, this is my turf. We’ve never had that before.
KH: [Laughs] We’re done here. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. No, it’s been nice, actually.
DH: It’s always weird. [Laughs]
KH: It actually helped… it changed things up having him here. I’ve been working on this show for a long time, and looking out and seeing you shadowing me was nice. Of course, I was on my best behaviour. I didn’t want you thinking I was difficult.
DH: It’s so funny, because she is difficult. [Laughs] But in all seriousness, it was neat to see you acting from behind the scenes. They [the production team] really like your work and think you’re funny. I’m not the only one who thinks you’re funny once in a while.
KH: They like me? They really like me?
DH: No, that was all lies. [Laughs]
KH: We’re standing side-by-side for one scene.
DH: We were saying that if I really played this role properly, there would be flirting going on between the astronaut and the mom. But we’re related, so…
KH: We looked at each other in that scene and I almost give him a hateful face, which makes no sense! Like why would I just hate you automatically? [Laughs]
DH: It’s funny. He’s a cheesy, insane astronaut. I’d say he’s modelled after those old-school 1970s pilots, who are like “I’m still drunk, but I’m going to go up there anyway!” They would get drunk, race cars, crash them, hurt themselves and then do test flights!
KH: This is a kids show. [Laughs]
DH: It was the era of space exploration. That’s what I’m going after. Also my moustache is reminiscent of Chris Hadfield, I know, I know.
I should emphasize the humour we’re experiencing here is nothing like the humour on the show.
KH: The show is appropriate for ages five to 500. It’s like Family Ties with a cartoon son. The scripts for Stanley Dynamic are genuinely funny, and it’s the kind of show kids would watch, but if parents walk by and catch some of it they might sit down and enjoy it as well. There’s that second layer.
DH: As a parent, you’re struggling to find stuff that you think is suitable for the kids, but also stuff that you’d like to watch with them. And I watch this with my son. This is something I can see whole families watching.
‘The Stanley Dynamic’ episode ‘The Stanley Astronaut,’ starring David and Kate Hewlett, airs March 23 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.