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Archive for March, 2011

Interview With Stargate Universe’s Julia Benson

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 @ 05:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actress Julia Benson has been leading a distinguished career,having recently been involved in Syfy’s feature film,Earth’s Final Hours and having played the role of the vibrant,independent and emerging character of Lt.Vanessa James on Syfy’s,Stargate Universe.

With Stargate Universe currently airing in its final episodes and Julia  being kind enough to participate in an interview with us,  we took the opportunity to chat with Julia about  her experience with the fandom,  her perspective on the new direction which SGU  brought the Stargate franchise into , how Julia related to the character of James the actress’  perspective and on how the character of James has developed over the course of the show, Julia’s thoughts on the cancellation of SGU and much more!

1.Were you a fan of SGU prior to being appointed your role on the show and how familiar were you with the Stargate franchise, in particular?

Being a Vancouver based actor,I was fairly familiar with the Stargate Franchise.

I hadn’t really watched much Sci-fi before getting cast on SGU.Although,I did get into Firefly,which I can’t believe got cancelled,I loved it!

I had previously done an episode of Stargate Atlantis, and had a great time! Stargate has been a huge part of our industry for so many years so it’s weird to not have a Stargate show currently shooting

2. Science Fiction fans have been known for their great passion and loyalty towards genre entertainment. What have been the various ways in which you have connected with fans and could you please, briefly describe your experience in interacting with the fandom?

I think Sci-fi shows are lucky to have the kind of fans they do.  All of the fans that I have had the chance to meet in person have been fantastic.  I try to interact with people on my facebook  fan page and twitter.I will be going to my first convention in June- so I am excited to meet some more of our fans then!

http://www.wizardworld.com/juliabenson.html

3.  Stargate Universe brought the Stargate franchise into a new direction, with a greater focus on character driven relationships and an initial emphasis on the crew’s challenge of surviving in space. What was your opinion on the franchise’s new direction and what are your thoughts on the writer’s  initial emphasis on establishing the backgrounds of the series’ characters. How do you think this initial focus has impacted the storytelling of SGU 2.5?

I think that all great shows focus on character- that is the heart of storytelling.  The circumstances that characters are put in just teach you more about characters, so I love the direction that the writers took SGU.  It’s great to explore where the characters came from as it helps the audience understand why the characters react the way they do in different situations.

4. How have you related to the character of Vanessa James?

I think that Vanessa has both strength and vulnerability.  She can be one of the guys but also has a softer side; those are qualities that I definitely relate to.I also think that in difficult situations she wants to do what is right and even though it doesn’t always work out how she planned, she always gives it her all.

5. What has been the most challenging aspect of playing the character and  how have you coped with this challenge?

I have really enjoyed all the aspects of playing Vanessa James; I particularly loved working with Bam Bam (James Bamford) on stunts. You have to be so focused and precise while at the same time stay in the moment as an actor.  I have crazy respect for stunt actors, the things they do on set are mind blowing and…they make us look good!  I would love to play another role that has some fighting and stunt work as it is a ton of fun.

6.In the season one episode, Pain, viewers had the opportunity to learn that James still had strong romantic feelings for Lt Matthew Scott and had to cope with a great sense of abandonment, given that he moved into a relationship with Chloe. Why do you think James has had such difficulty in overcoming the loss of Scott and do you think her attitude regarding Chloe and Matthew Scott’s relationship has evolved?

James had real feelings for Scott, plain and simple.  He was messing around with her for one reason and she was there for another.  I think that being stuck on a ship with someone you care about and having to watch them fall in love with someone else is awful.  It makes it so much harder to get over when there is no distance.These things take time, and James takes it!

7. How do you think the character of James has developed since the series inauguration what aspirations did you have for the character

James went through a lot in the first season.  There is a Kino scene that was only released on the DVD and it is a nice description of her journey throughout the first season.  Since the beginning she has really been dealing with 3 things; trying to get home, her feelings for Scott, and her constant desire to find her place in Young’s eyes.I think that in season 2 she settles into her role on the ship.  She is a bit harder and she may have finally let go of Scott…you’ll have to wait and see.

8.Back in December, Syfy announced the cancellation of Stargate Universe, once the show concludes in its current second season. What was your reaction when you discovered that the series had been cancelled and why do you think SGU was unable to attract the audience needed for the series to continue? How do you feel about the series ending this season?

I am definitely sad that SGU got cancelled. We had a really great thing going and I am grateful for the experience.  But nothing in our business is permanent so you just have to appreciate what it was and move forward.

Our fans have been incredible since the show got cancelled and we all really appreciate the support, hopefully we get to make a movie to finish up our story!   It would be so great to work with the cast and crew again.

9.  Could you please give us an idea as to the challenges and adventures for the crew of Destiny in the second half of the season?

Some crazy stuff happens….spoiler, spoiler, spoiler. That is all I can say- WATCH IT!!

10. Which episode in the second half of the season is your favourite? Why?

Epilogue is a very cool episode and it was so much fun to shoot. There are a lot of  “changes” that we all go through as characters…should be lots of fun for the audience.

11.Although Stargate Universe has been cancelled as a TV series, producer Brad Wright has been negotiating with MGM to continue Destiny’s journey, in the form of movies or another medium. What are your thoughts on this and would you be willing to reprise as James? What type of role would you like the character to play in achieving the end of Destiny’s mission?

Shooting a movie with everyone would be a dream.  It would be great for the fans to have an ending and it would be really nice for the characters to get closure.  I want to see James kick some serious alien butt!

12. What message do you have for fans of the series, as SGU draws to a close?

Thank you for all of your support over the past two years; it has been an awesome experience.  I look forward to meeting some of you at conventions!

13. Are there any other acting projects which you have been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?

I have a couple of things coming up, but my most exciting venture is a project that my husband, Peter and I have with Ryan Copple (Riese).  Details are in the final stages but I will be updating everyone on my Facebook page when things are locked down.  This is a big year for us shooting our own work!  Also, I starred in a movie with fellow SGU cast mate Robert Knepper called Earth’s Final Hours that will air on Syfy later this year!

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Neil Crone

Monday, March 28, 2011 @ 08:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Neil Crone has been leading a  distinguished   career as a talented actor  within the Canadian entertainment industry, who has been involved in  the productions of a variety of different  television series, feature films as well as commercials. Neil has  had particular experience in animated productions such as Erky–Perky, Pearlie and The Adventures of Bob and Doug Mackenzie. Neil has now been staring on CBC’s hit sitcom,  Little Mosque on the Prairie as the  intolerant yet comical radio host, Fred Tupper.

With Little Mosque on the Prairie concluding its  fifth season and Neil being kind enough to  participate in a interview with us, we decided to take the chance to discuss the  challenges of playing Fred,  Neil’s favourite moments from the current, fifth season,  the actor’s perspective on how the series has influenced Canadian culture ,  Neil’s hopes for his post Little Mosque  career and  much more!

1.Lets discuss your initial appointment to the role of Fred Tupper.  Were you contacted or did you first audition for the role? Could you please walk us through the initial process?

The role of Fred came to me actually through one of those weird, karmic, out of the box, methods.  I write a weekly humor column for a number of newspapers.  I also have an electronic mailing list for people who want to read the column but don’t or can’t get the papers it’s in.  My brother, who is on the electronic list, had been forwarding a lot of my columns to friends, one of whom was married to Susan Alexander, one of the original producers of this new pilot called ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’.  She loved the tone of my writing and got in touch with me to ask if I would like to audition for the role of Fred.  It happened totally outside of the normal channels of casting.  I’m not sure if my agent had even become aware of the show before I mentioned this audition to him.

The other weird thing is that after my first audition, which I thought went very well, for some odd reason the tape was inadvertently erased.  I had to come back for a second audition.  That made me a little nervous, as I really felt I’d hit it out of the park on my first go round. Actors tend to be a superstitious bunch and I didn’t want to go back in there and mess it up this time around.  But, I guess things worked out.  I got the role.

2.What has been the most challenging aspect of playing Fred and how have you coped with this challenge?

Fred is actually very easy to play.  I kind of like him.  Yes, he’s a loud-mouthed boob, but he’s kind of a sweet boob underneath all of that.  The only real risk with someone like Fred is crossing the line into ‘mean’ territory.  But between great writers and my own spidey-senses, we never really have to worry about that.  The only other challenge, and I hesitate to even call it a challenge, is finding Fred’s sweetness and playing that.  I was blown away, and actually felt kind of honored when the writers gave me a remarkably touching speech to deliver in a scene immediately following Rayann’s failed wedding.  I loved that they let the normally boorish Fred, have that moment.  That they entrusted that to me.

3. How do you relate to the character of Fred Tupper?

There’s a little of Fred in all of us I think.  People who are afraid of change or anything different fro what they’re accustomed to.  So I understand that part of him.  But deep down, he’s just like anyone else too, in that he really wants to be loved and accepted.

 

4. You have done both voice work  on  series/ film productions such  as  Care Bears and Rolie Polie Olie as well as stage work on  productions such as Little Mosque. Which type of acting do you prefer and what benefits are associated with your selection?

Voice work is wonderful because in many cases the actor really is it.  There’s no lighting, no camerawork, no editor to speak of so it’s all about the ‘voice’.  And the actors are generally afforded a real respect, that is not always present in other media…unless you’re a huge A-list star.  Having said that, one of the reasons I so much enjoy my work on Little Mosque, is that we (the actors) are extremely well-respected and our input very much welcome.  The other nice thing about voice work is that there’s no worries about wardrobe or make-up.  No hot lights to work beneath, just a nice air conditioned studio.  I grew up addicted to cartoons, so whenever I get the chance to voice one, I’m over the moon.

5. How do you think the character  of Fred has developed over the course of the series and what aspirations do you have for him  as the series approaches its sixth and final season?

One of the storylines that was started and kind of got lost was a simmering love attraction between Fred and Fatima.  I loved that…and I think Arlene (Duncan) did as well.  I would love to rekindle that and see where it goes.  After all, what is more interesting than a man who is supposedly a bigot, falling for a woman of color?  And a Muslim to boot?

6.Could you please share some of our favorite moments for the character of Fred from Little Mosque’s current fifth season?

This is weird, because it was a little thing, but in Episode 503 titled ‘Kept Imam’, there was a scene where Fred, the Mayor, Manoj and Rev. Thorne were playing  bridge at the Manse.  It’s a very funny scene and we had an absolute hoot shooting it.  Debra McGrath is one of the funniest people I know, and when she and I get together on set, we can’t stop laughing.  Also, that scene had one of the funniest lines I think the writers ever came up with.  Sarah comes running into the Manse and sees all of us playing in a card game she has been cut out of .  She accuses the Rev of betraying her and Thorne comes back with the line:  “I’m sorry Sarah, but in my defence, I didn’t think you’d find out.”  Loved that, and Brandon delivered it perfectly.

7. The character of Fred is one who has previously exhibited signs of affection towards Fatema. What are your thoughts on Fred’s attraction towards Fatema? Could you please share your thoughts on yon the possibility of Fred pursuing  a romantic relationship  with her and what  challenges do you think Fred would have to encounter should he ever decide to  pursue this relationship?

Funny, that this question is here, after me bringing it up earlier.  Like I said, I love the whole idea.  In fact, I would love to push for an on-screen kiss between the two…I know this is supposed to be the 21st century…but that would definitely ruffle a few feathers.  But it would be so much fun to see Fred bending and reshaping himself all in the name of love.

8. Little Mosque on the Prairie has achieved international success , airing in over 68 countries as well  as in Canada, with the series premiere, earning a CBC .record breaking viewership of 2. 1 million. What impact do you think Little Mosque on the Prairie has had on Canadian culture and why do you think viewers have resonated with the series so well?

I think initially viewers were just plain curious.  Muslims?  A comedy about Muslims?  Muslims being funny???  After all, the only Muslims most people on  TV had been watching up to that point were firing AK-47’s into the air.  So I think there was a definite curiosity factor at first.  But people grew to love the show and the characters.  One of the things that the show has been accused of from time to time, is that it is too sweet.  Personally it’s the sweetness that I love most…and I think that resonates most with viewers.  People get enough edgy and realistic elsewhere on the dial. I think most people love to see humans working it all out.  I’m not at all ashamed of happy endings.

9.How has being a cast member on this series impacted your career and  how has it influenced your personal perspective on the Muslim community?

No question the show has raised my profile, certainly here in Canada.  It never hurts to be part of a hit.  And even though I’ve done a ton of television and film, I’ve never been a part of a show that received the kind of buzz Little Mosque did.  On a personal note, I love to tell this story:

One night my wife and I and some friends were eating in an Indian Restaurant in downtown Toronto.  We were having a wonderful time, gabbing away, enjoying the food, when I noticed someone standing beside our table.  I looked, and there was a little girl, about 7 or 8 maybe. She was standing with her Dad behind her, holding her shoulders for support and she was shyly trying to bury herself in his pant legs.  He gently turned her towards me and said ‘Go ahead sweetheart, tell him what you wanted to say’.  The little girl turned and said, very quietly ‘I really like you and your show’.

I was dumbfounded and delighted.  The family were obviously Muslim, as I noticed the Mom, not far away, wearing the Hijab.  So, she had watched our show…seen the kind of goof I play, and still wanted to tell me she loved me and the show.  That’s when I knew we were doing something right.

10. With Little Mosque on the Prairie approaching its  final season,  what plans or aspirations do you  have for the future of your career?

My son once came home from school when he was little and asked me if we were rich.  I said, why do you ask that?  He said that the kids at school said that because I was a television actor we must be rich.  I told my son, that Daddy is a Canadian television actor.  Canadian television actors aren’t rich!

I will continue to do as I’ve always done, keep auditioning, with many irons in many fires.  I do a lot of public, motivational speaking and I also write, I have a syndicated newspaper column that keeps me busy as well, and there are always new projects.  I love the diversity of being an artist.  There’s always something new and interesting coming down the pike.

11.Are there any other acting projects, which you have recently been working on which you would like to share with viewers?

Yes, definitely.  I just finished the first season of a very funny program for the Family Channel called Really Me.  It’s a great little show that will be premiering on April 23rd.  Tune in.

12. What message  would you like to convey to  fans of the series?

Just, essentially what I think the main thrust of the show is…underneath it all, we are all the same.  So live your life and treat others as you would wish to be treated…with love and respect.

13.What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?

I love to read and to write.  I have two dogs that I adore and who make me laugh constantly.  I love to canoe, fish, play golf and ride my bike.  I love going to the theatre and watching movies.  I love being a father to my two wonderful boys.

 

Stargate Universe Season 2 Episode 14- Hope

Sunday, March 27, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through below for an  official excerpt and promotional features for the impending  episode of Stargate Universe, Hope.Be sure to tune in  for the episode on Monday, March 29 @ 10:00pm on Syfy.Ginn resurfaces in Chloe via the communication stones, creating a dilemma for Eli and Rush to solve; Greer becomes a kidney donor after Tamara diagnoses Volker with end-stage renal disease[ TV Guide].

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIK_hAIKRbA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGlVXRtEcGU]

Why has Ginn resurfaced  so long after her  body initially died?  How will Rush and Eli address this issue and what will become of Ginn?Will Volker’s procedure succeed and will both, him and Greer survive the occurrence?How will cope with the deands presented  by the  surgery, given her limited medical training? Be sure to share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section, below.

Little Mosque on the Prairie Season 5 Episode 13- Amaar’s Well that Ends Well

Sunday, March 27, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through CBC’s official episode description for the season finale of  Little Mosque on the Prairie , below. Be sure to tune in for the finale on Monday, March 29 2011 @ 8:00pm eastern standard time on CBC.

Not wanting to cast a pall over their special day, Amaar and Rayyan decide to wait until after the wedding to let their family and friends know they’re moving to Montreal. But Baber overhears their juicy news and lets it slip at the worst possible moment. Everyone’s shocked reaction threatens to derail the special occasion. Meanwhile, Yasir feels left out and struggles to find his role in the family and in town.[CBC]

Will Baber’s revelation to others about  Amaar and Rayyan’s plan to move spoil the wedding?  How  will Sarah and Yasser  respond to the abrupt news of  Rayyan and Ammar’s intentions to relocate to Montreal?What will become of Mercy Mosque with Amaar’s departure? Will Yasser  successfully be able to reintegrate  himself in Mercy after a prolonged  stay in Lebanon?  What are your  thoughts and speculations on  how the exciting  finale will unfold  and what predictions do you have on  the events to follow in the sixth and final season of Little Mosque on the Prairie?Sound off in the comments section, below!

Stargate Universe’s Alliances Drops Ratings To A Series Low

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed, Stargate Universe’s ratings drop to a new low with the recent episode, Alliances, which aired on Monday, March 21  at 10:00pm on Syfy,  having earned a rating of 814, 000 viewers.

The series, which is currently   airing its final episodes, given that  it was cancelled  by Syfy in December,  had a 0.4 million viewership in the 18 -49 demographic. This is a 12 percent decrease from  the rating’s of the previous week’s episode, Twin Destinies.

SGU’S predecessor series, Being Human, which airs at 9:00pm on Mondays, attracted 1.195 million viewers, which suffered a greater loss than Stargate in contrast to its previous week’s viewership,  earning a 13 % decrease in ratings.

Ratings for other networks,  in the 10:00pm time slot for Monday, March 21 2011, have been noted in the chart below.

Program Network Rating
Castle ABC 12.3 million
Hawaii 50 CBS 10 million
Harry’s Law NBC 8.43 million

What are your thoughts on SGU’s decreased ratings? Do you think Being Human’s lower ratings have impacted SGU? What were your thoughts in  Alliances  and  how does this viewpoint connect to the lower rating, if at all? Could SGU’S  fate as a series, which is to end on a cliffhanger ,be impacting its  viewership in  the final episodes? Sound off in the comments section, below.

New Episodes of Stargate Universe Available on Hulu

Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 08:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Though Hulu initially indicated that new episodes of Stargate Universe would not be available  until 30 days after an episodes’ initial broadcast on Syfy, it seems that is no longer the case as the recent episodes, Deliverance and  Twin Destinies are available for  free viewing.

sgu-cast-autographed2.jpg

Though there is still question as to whether this is merely an oversight or if rights have actually been attained,  whether Hulu posts the coming episode, Alliances, will give viewers a greater degree of certainty.

Readers who  are greatly behind on  the show or merely wish to re-watch old episodes, should note that the site  provides streaming of the final three episodes in the first half of the current season.

Readers, who do not want to deal with the advertisements associated with the free  viewing  of Hulu or are outside of the US,   episodes  for 2.99 in high-definition or 1.99 in low definition  from iTunes @http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewTVSeason?id=392363582&s=143441&uo=4&partnerId=30&partnerId=30&siteID=2cvd55rHd.s-JsSK3hXm.KdCcN_8tdKqmw

Do you watch SGU Online ?Should this be the case, which site do you watch the show from and why?

LittleMosque on the Prairie Season 5 Episode 12- If You Leave Me Now

Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 05:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a  read through CBC’s official excerpt for the upcoming episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie

Having mastered his work at the mosque, Amaar has devoted himself to good works volunteering for Islamic Assistance International and is thrilled when they offer him a full-time job. But that joy is tempered with sadness when he realizes the job would take him to Montreal and that Rayyan isn’t sure she wants to move. Meanwhile, Sarah and the Mayor become convinced a new doctor in town is trying to steal Rayyan’s practice.[CBC]

What aspect of the episode are you the most excited for?Do you think Ammar will accept the job?How will  Ammar’s decision impact  his relationship with Rayyan and will she sacrifice her established lifestyle in Mercy for a new home in Montreal?How will the potential threat to her business influence her decision and  what is Sarah and the Mayor  willing to do to protect Rayyan’s tect practice?  What will happen to the leadership   of Mercy Mosque, should Ammar leave?Will Yassir finally make his long awaited return this week?Be sure to tune in @ 8:00pm on Monday, March 21 2011  to find out!

 

Sneak Peak at SGU’S Alliances

Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 05:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Take a read through, below for  a brief except and promotional features  for the upcoming episode of Stargate Universe, Alliances. Be sure to tune in for the episode on Monday, March 21 2011 at 10:00pm eastern standard time on Syfy

:Senator Michaels and Dr. Andrew Covel visit Destiny to analyze Rush’s data; an alien ship crashes into Homeworld Command, endangering Greer and Wray.Kathleen Quinlan as Sen. MichaeFrench Stewart as Dr. Andrew Coven[TV Guide]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QdQwHX4mfU]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-B5mbvpCzI]

Which aspect  of the episode are you the most excited for?What, in the promotional features intrigued you the most? Do you have any speculations  or thoughts on how the episode will/ should develop and how these may possibly affect the direction of the final episodes?Sound off in the comments section , below!

 

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Brandon Firla

Friday, March 18, 2011 @ 09:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actor,Brandon Firla has been leading an exemplary  career as a comedian and an actor  within the Canadian entertainment industry.With the actor’s previous comedic experience  in the hit sitcom, Billable Hours,Brandon has been able to utilize his extensive experience for the past two seasons in CBC’s hit sitcom ,Little Mosque on the Prairie, as the conniving,manipulative and judgemental  character of Reverend William Thorne.

With Brandon being kind enough to participate in a interview with us and the development of Thorne having been a central aspect of the current fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, we took the opportunity to discuss the actor’s response to the negative fan  reaction towards his character, how he prepared for the unique role of Thorne, the actor’s favourite moments for the character of Thorne in the current, fifth season and more.

1. When the character of Thorne was initially introduced in the fourth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, there was a great deal of negative fan reception towards the character.What was your response to the fan criticism and how do you think the response has changed, given Thorne’s recent developments over the course of the current fifth season?

When I accepted the role, I knew I was going to make fans of the show unhappy. Not only was I replacing one of the most beloved characters, but I was also serving up a fairly negative representation of Christianity.

I was happy that people were passionate enough about the show to get angry over changes that were made. I think it’s rare for a Canadian audience to get riled up at a TV show unless it’s Hockey Night in Canada. I took none of the criticism personally, or at least that’s my therapist told me to do.

I’m not sure how the response has changed. I think Canadians might be warming up to him a bit now, but I don’t want them to fully trust him. They should think that something sinister still lurks behind that warm smile. Much like Stephen Harper.

2. Given your secular upbringing, what resources did you use to help prepare yourself for the role of Thorne?

When preparing to play a priest, there’s really only one book you need. No, it’s not the Bible. It’s “Christianity for Dummiez”. The Bible is a bit too dense for my limited comprehension. I also started attending Anglican services around Toronto and tried to blend in as best I could. For inspiration, I also like to think of who my character reminds me of in the real world, and somewhat model the character around that person. For Thorne I thought of the most bigoted, unapologetic asshole I could think of: Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly.

Also, with Thorne being rather un-Christian for most of last season, I would ask myself: “What Would Jesus Do?”, and then do the opposite.

3. This season Thorne has come to the realization that Mercy is his long-term home and has begun to develop various relationships in the community, including a friendship with Ammar and a romantic relationship with Rose. What has been the most challenging aspect of portraying the character of Thorne this season and how have you coped with this challenge?

Playing Thorne this season was a bit of a balancing act.  We were trying to open him up as a more 3 dimensional character this season, showing him falling in love, making friends, redeeming himself, etc, but I wanted to retain some of the bitterness that is truly at the core of his being. I see him as a tragic character really, because in the end, he’s the one who has to go through life as Thorne. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

4. Could you please share some of your favourite moments from the current season, in terms of Thorne‘s development  in  his relationship with  Ammar,Rose and others in the community.

This season was great because we got to see so many different colors of Thorniness. My only regret about last season’s Thorne was that his actions became predictable after the first few episodes. We knew that he was going to do and say the worst things possible, so we were always a couple steps ahead of him as an audience. But this season actually let Throne be unpredictable. I think one of my favorite moments was when he learns how much fun being honest can be, but goes too far in honestly telling Sarah how awful a Bridge player she is. It showed his utter lack of self-awareness. I also enjoyed the competition with Magee leading up to the wedding.

5.Could you please give us a brief idea as to  some of the challenges and  surprises which are store for Thorne towards  the end of the  current fifth season, particularly given Ammar and Rayyan’s wedding as well as the  awaited  return of Reverend McGee?

I won’t reveal much, but I will tell you that Thorne converts to Islam, takes over the Mosque for Amaar and retitles the show “Big Thorne on the Prairie.” And it’s revealed that McGee is actually an Extraterrestrial lifeform and is sent back to his home planet Zarbax 5 in the Omega Quadrant. The final laser battle kicks ass.

6.What message, would you like to convey to viewers of the series?

Well, as an actor, I try to refrain from conveying any messages to viewers. That’s not really the job of the actor. I think that’s more in the arena of the writers and producers if anyone. For me, it’s really important to remain objective and not judge the character I’m playing or anything he says or does, and just commit fully to his objective in any given scene. The last thing going through my head is what the audience might be thinking or what I might want them to think or what message I’m trying to send them. It’s really up to the audience to interpret whatever message they want out of any program they’re watching. That said, since Mosque is a comedy series, the one thing I’d like to convey is laughter.

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Debra McGrath

Thursday, March 17, 2011 @ 07:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]
Actress, Debra McGrath  has been sharing her talent   in the Canadian entertainment industry for years, having  appeared in various television series such as This Is Wonderland, Burnt Toast, Paradise Falls as well as animated series such as George Shrinks, Babar, and Little Bear.Additionally,Debra has  appeared in various film productions The Real Blonde, Termini Station, One Magic Christmas and Expecting.In addition to her official credits, Debra’s sketch group, Women Fully Clothed  undertook a national tour and even appeared  at the Edinburgh festival.

Debra has now  been  starring in CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie  as the quirky, sarcastic  character of  Mayor Ann Popopwicx. With Little Mosque on the Prairie only a season away from  its series finale and Debra being kind enough to participate in a interview with us, we took the opportunity to reflect on how the actress’ came to be apart of the show’s ensemble cast, the aspirations she has for the character of Mayor  Popowicx before the series draws to a close,  how she thinks Little Mosque on the  Prairie represents Canadian culture ,other acting projects which the actress has  recently been involved in as well as much more.

1.Lets discuss your initial appointment to the role of Mayor  Ann.Were you contacted for the role or did you first audition for it? Could you please walk us through this initial process?

I was contacted and offered the role. I hesitated because it was being shot (at that time) in Regina and I was worried about it becoming a series. My son was in high school and I didn’t want to work out of town. But my agent said “go for the pilot at least”.
2.What has been the most challenging aspect of playing Mayor Ann and how have you coped with this challenge
I guess the most challenging thing for me is learning the lines. The mayor is often drunk! :-)

3.How do you relate to the character of Mayor Popowitcz?

I relate to the fun she is always having. If it isn’t fun for the mayor, she is not interested.

4.The role of Mayor Popowitcz was your first role as a political leader.What  preparation did you undertake in order to  play the role?

I didn’t really because I knew it would not involve political knowledge. Does the mayor even have political savvy? I did go to the Mayor’s office in Regina and meet he and his staff. The Mayor loves the chain of office and wants earrings to match.

5.As an experienced Canadian actress, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including, Little Bear, Franklin, Babar and George Shrinks. Which type of acting do you  prefer to work in and what  particular  benefits  are  associated with your selection?

I like well run shows like Mosque because they are so well scheduled that you rarely wait around. It is the waiting to act that makes me crazy. I hate it. I want to get there, work, have some laughs, eat some craft table food and go home. But yes I do love animation and voice work period. You don’t have to worry if you look good, you just lend your voice. Stage work is wonderful too but I have voice issues so it is stressful for me. But when I have a good voice night, so rewarding.

6.With Little Mosque on the Prairie approaching its sixth and final season,what aspirations do you have for the character of Mayor both in terms of the character’s relationships within the community of Mercy and as a political leader?

I would love to see the mayor have an upset. Fall in love and abdicate (I guess you can only do that if you are Queen) I would love to see her resign for love or be involved in a huge scandal and have to resign or take off with Sarah on a Thelma and Louise adventure.

7.Little Mosque has been  such a  successful series both internationally  as well as in Canada, with the series   premiere having earned    2.1 million viewers. What impact do you think the series has had on Canadian culture and  how do you think the series represents Canada, given how it is the first of its kind?

I will always be proud of the fact that Canada was first in doing a show like this, dealing with this subject matter. It put an every day human face on a wonderful and sometimes misunderstood community. I have learned so much from my involvement with this show on the beauty of this culture and the fact that our differences are not really that different. We are all just people, trying to raise our families and get through the day with love and hope.

8.What  has been your  overall experience as a  role model and what are the various ways in which you have interacted with fans? Why do you think the character  of Mayor Popowitcz is so influential?

Thanks for saying I am a role model but other than my son and maybe our dogs, I don’t think that’s the case. At least I would hope not. The Mayor should not be a role model unless some young person wants to go into politics, do nothing, spend money that isn’t theirs, drink too much and break the rules…Okay I guess I am a role model because I have just described most politicians.I think people like the Mayor because she is funny and I am not tooting my own horn here. She is funny because she is written that way. The writers get all the credit. I just deliver the fun.

9.Have you recently been involved in any other acting projects, which you would like to share with viewers?

I would. Thanks for asking. I am in a new show coming out on Showcase called “Single White Spenny” I co-star with Spencer Rice of “Kenny vs Spenny” fame. It is a half hour comedy loosly based on Spenny’s life.

10. With Little Mosque on the Prairie concluding its run in its impending sixth season, what message would you like to convey to viewers of the series?

Our viewers are so loyal and I have met many of them over the years which has always been one of my favourite things about being on the show. So thanks everyone for standing behind this brave little Canadian show!

11. What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?

I love to ice skate, work out, read, play with my dogs, travel, spend time with my husband and son, go to theatre, movies, tv. I love to watch the birds, stare at the moon, laugh and eat. I love life really. Every single silly second of it.