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Posts Tagged ‘Brandon Firla’

Season 5 of Little Mosque on the Prairie Now Available on DVD

Saturday, July 14, 2012 @ 12:07 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Little Mosque on the Prairie: Complete Fifth Season

Viewers of Little Mosque on the Prairie should be excited to discover that the fifth season of the sitcom is now available for purchase through CBC’S Online Shop  for a current sale price of $25:99[CA]

 The fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie, which initially aired from January 2011- March 2011  featured  Amaar [Zaib Shaikh]and Rayyan’s [Sitara Hewitt]relationship  as an engaged couple and the challenges  involved  in the two’s relationship  which was observed in accordance to the Islamic faith,leading up to the  much anticipated wedding. Meanwhile Reverend William Thorne[ Brandon Firla] attempts to reform and build positive  relationships in the community  in various ways, including one of a romantic nature with  the town’s librarian, Rose. The season also brought forth special guest appearances by  cast members from  earlier seasons including Derek McGrath[ Reverend Duncan Magee] , Carlo Rota[ Yasir Hammoudi] and Aliza Vellani[ Layla Siddiqui].

 The  2 disc DVD  set features all 14 episodes as well as a bonus blooper. Additional features have been listed below, as seen on CBC’S  Online Shop.Shipping is typically expected within 3-4 days, however may vary somewhat depending on factors such as location .

-322 Minutes

- Closed Captioned

- 16:9 Widescreen

- 5.1 Dolby Digital

- Region 0

Will you be purchasing the fifth season of the show? Should you be watching for the first time, which particular story element are you the most excited to see unfold?  Share your response in the comments section, below.

Happy Birthday to Us!

Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 01:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]


Happy  Birthday to US!  Happy Birthday to US! Today, the blog celebrates  4 years of operation!

It’s hard to believe that it has already been four years since I first  opened this blog.When I first  started this site four years ago I was unsure of what it would become and   would not have believed  that I would be running it four years later. This site means so much to me and I have genuinely enjoyed running it and keeping readers informed about relevant subject matter. It has been a truly rewarding  experience and  provided enriching opportunities, which I never would have thought I would have. I am proud that this blog has been providing prominent coverage for thousands of readers each month on various television series which are of interest. Special thanks are extended to YOU the reader for supporting the blog through your continuous visits, comments and ongoing involvement in other interactive opportunities on the site. Without readers a site has no purpose or future. Your visits truly mean everything!

The last year has been the biggest and most successful year for this site. We welcomed nearly 44 000 visitors which is approximately  4 times the number of visits the site had in its initial year.  We continue to interact with readers through active monitoring of the blog`s Facebook and Twitter page . We pursued   affiliation with both CBC and Westwind pictures that supported the blog by endorsing its coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie. The blog also further  expanded its diverse network this past year by having partnered with various cross cultural  blogs which have expressed interest in Little Mosque on the Prairie such as Marilyn Gardner`s Communicating  Across Boundaries and Knightley Emma. We were also recognized by the Canada Media  Fund  for  the site`s ongoing coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie.  The blog connected with Gateworld .net , which is known as the leading online website for Stargate  where many of our interviews with cast members from the franchise were linked from. Thank you to  all of our affiliates for your support of the blog. I have  greatly enjoyed working with each of  your respective  organizations and/ or sites and hope that we  will continue to support one another in this coming year.

We continued our retrospective coverage of  the Stargate franchise after  it drew to an end after 17 years with SGU  through news reporting and interviews with SGU’S Jennifer Spence, Peter Kelamis and   brilliant main cast member , Brian J Smith. We also had the delight of interviewing  Stargate Atlantis, Rachel Luttrel! Thank you to each of  you for  kindly participating in the interviews. I tremendously enjoyed the rewarding experience and I trust each of you benefitted from it as well.

The past year has been a significant year for the blog’s coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie as the show progressed in its sixth and final year.   In addition on going news coverage and weekly episode features, I   once again interviewed Little Mosque’s  Manoj Sood,   Debra McGrath,   Brandon  Firla  , Arlene Duncan and Aliza Vellani to  extensively discuss  roles within the show’s sixth and final  season. We also interviewed, for the first time, Little Mosque’s Derek McGrath to discuss  the impact  which the departure of his character had on the show as well as the fan favourite , Zaib Shaikh who provided an insightful overview of the show’s sixth and final season as well as  how the program represents  Canada.  Thank to you all of the cast members for your exceptional portrayals and for participating in the interviews. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did and extend best wishes in the future of your acting careers. It has truly been truly an honour and my pleasure to work with each of you .

Indeed, this is the only online media outlet which has interviewed the entire cast of this ground-breaking series.The blog was  recognized  by other institutions of the media for its extensive coverage of Little Mosque on the various occasions for its extensive coverage of this ground-breaking series including   Aquila Asia, a cosmopolitan magazine which did a  complete overview on the series to introduce it to its south Asian  readership. The blog was also mentioned on a live streaming with the cast of Little Mosque on CBC Live where the entire cast of the show thanked  us for its extensive support as well as responding to additional questions which we had about the show’s end.  I also had a chance to appear on CBC`S The National in order to discuss the show’s impact

From February to April the blog hosted a few live chats with various cast members of Little Mosque on the Prairie  including Aliza Vellani, Manoj Sood and Debra McGrath as a way of providing  viewers with the chance to directly  interact with  the stars themselves. Thank you to these prominent Canadian talent and all of the readers who joined in the discussion!

We also covered various other series on the blog. Back in September we launched coverage of FOX`S  new science fiction series,Terra Nova through weekly episode previews as well as through our  interactive features. Although  this show was not renewed for a second season, I greatly enjoyed discovering the series.

The blog launched its coverage of The Office and Web Therapy back in September and January respectively .As a result we have begun to welcome a new audience to the readership  through ongoing news coverage .Interviews  with various cast members of both series may be scheduled within the upcoming period.

I would also like to take  a moment to extend thanks to Youtube group, supportfire115@http://www.youtube.com/user/supportfire115 for kindly providing the decorations used for this celebratory post. Thank you for helping make this special  day even more memorable through your assistance in this regard.Thanks also goes to the blog’s occassional communications auditor , Nisreen O’Neill.

What plans do we  have for year number 5? With Little Mosque and Stargate having ended, we look forward to occasional  ongoing respective coverage of these significant and  defining series for this blog.  The blog will continue to cover  The Office  as we approve its impending ninth season and provide extensive , ongoing coverage of Showtime’s Web therapy through ongoing news, weekly episode guides as well as  interviews with various cast members of this unique  comedy. The blog will also be launching coverage of  CBC`S, Mr. D as the show approaches its second season.  Expect other science fiction series to be covered as well. The blog may launch a music aspect  by  covering  works of  prominent North American  musicians. Further details will follow  next month once precise  plans have been finalized.

Although our previously announced plans to launch a held hosted site have been terminated at this time, we are  in the process of  assessing  various other templates  within WordPress.com. Readers can therefore look forward to a new  design .

What  would you like to see on the site for our  upcoming year. Share your thoughts in the comments section or by e-mail. Thank  you for being apart of the community and I  look forward to another exciting year with the readership where we continue to work together to make the site the best it can be.

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Brandon Firla on Season 6

Sunday, March 11, 2012 @ 11:03 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 

Its  been nearly a year since  we last connected with Little Mosque`s Brandon Firla who plays the intolerant and self-serving yet surprisingly promising character of Reverend William Thorne.

With Little Mosque `s sixth and final season drawing to a close in the next  month , we discuss his reaction to  the show`s cancellation,Reverend Thorne`s developing friendship with Baber Siddiqui[ Manoj]this season  as well as he actor`s experiences as a cast member on the show and the program’s impact on building bridges between the Islamic community and  the Western society.

Take a read through our humorous yet insightful interview with the Brandon Firla, below.

Abbas Karimjee: Since we last connected, it was announced that Little Mosque will conclude its run on television upon the end of its current season. What is your response to the show ending and why do you think it has been decided for this show to end at this point, despite its huge success, both in Canada and worldwide?

Brandon Firla:This is the first I’m hearing of this. Wow. Are you sure? I’ll have to look over my contract again and call my agent. And my Real Estate agent. That lakeshore condo isn’t gonna pay for itself.

That said, I think it’s always best to go out on top and when you’re in peak form and still relevant. Just like Michael Jordan did. Twice. But then he came back a second time, was too old and out of shape so he retired again and tarnished his legacy. The point is, you gotta know when to pull the plug and walk away. But like Michael Jordan, I’m now gonna go play professional baseball for a season or two, then come back to the biz.

AK: What was the mood like on set during the final weeks of the show?

The cast of Little Mosque share a toast as production draws to a close[ June 2011

BF:It was truly bittersweet. It’s rare that you know your series is coming to an end before you shoot a single scene, so we were all able to say a proper farewell to our castmates and characters. That usually doesn’t happen.AK: You have played Thorne for three seasons. How have you related with the character?

BF:I relate to his height, his questionable hairstyle, and his limited wardrobe selection. Other than that, we couldn’t be more different.

AK: Last season we saw Thorne develop a relationship with Rose. Will we have the chance to see more of this as the season progresses? How do you think this relationship has contributed to the character’s development?

BF:We will not see anymore of Rose. In a deleted scene from last season’s finale, she was abducted by aliens from the planet Zarbax 5 in the omega quadrant. The aliens also erased any memories Thorne or the people of Mercy may have had of her. It was a powerful scene. I’m not sure why it was cut.

AK: Gradually, Thorne has transformed himself into a character that has become more likeable, from how he has connected with Amaar and various other residents of Mercy, allowing him to show that he is genuinely making a commitment to improve despite his many flaws. How did portraying this aspect of Thorne prove to be challenging? Based on the response you have heard from  viewers over the past season, how has fan response towards the character changed?

BF:It was great fun to have Thorne climb out of the enormous hole he had dug for himself by the end of season It’s always better for the character, for the actor, and for the audience when your characters have to deal with new situations and challenges and relationships in every episode than it is to see them face the same problem again and again.  Season 4 pretty much exhausted every angle of the Thorne vs Amaar conflict, so it was very freeing for the writers and for myself to not be bound to that as a central conflict. As for fan response, I have no idea if or how it’s changed. You can’t control what people are going to think about you or your character, so I don’t put much thought into that.  Though I do cry myself to sleep some nights after reading some of the comments on IMDb. It was actually more challenging to play Thorne in the first season.

AK: This season Baber and Thorne we have connected as best friends.  What was your reaction when you learnt of this storyline and could you please give is an idea of some of the excitement which is to come as we further delve into their relationship?

BF:I thought it was a great “odd couple” pairing, but more importantly a great way to exploit and explore the spiritual themes of the series. Some of the excitement to look forward to is when Babar gets abducted by aliens from the planet Zarbax 5 in the omega quadrant.  Thorne builds a rocketship in his sacristy and blasts off to liberate his friend, reunite with Rose, and unleash holy hell on the evil Zarbaxians.

AK: What do you think draws the two to become great friends, in a way much different from how Thorne became friends with Amaar?

BF:Backgammon. And faith. But mainly the backgammon.

AK: With Baber and Thorne now developing a strong friendship, could you please share some insights on how Reverend Thorne’s established friendship with Ammar will be impacted?

BF:I think he’s used to being abandoned by friends by now.  Think about it: Magee left. Yasir left. Even Joe left. Maybe he should try a new aftershave.

AK: Reverend Thorne replaced Reverend Magee upon the commencement of the show’s fourth season to add some challenges to the Muslim community’s relationship with their fellow Anglicans. Do you feel the character’s  presence has acted  as a sort of  model to the show’s audience  in demonstrating how  even  those  from different  backgrounds and faiths  may have a chance to  positively build on their relationship  , despite negative  preconceived  notions that they have about one another?

BF:Yes. Well put.  I don’t even have to answer that one.

 AK: How does it feel to have been apart of a show which is the first of its kind in terms of building  bridges between the Islamic community and the Western society?

BF:I think its commendable whenever television programs give funding to a long-term construction project. I look forward to driving across that bridge someday.

 AK. You have had a lot of experiences from working the show over it last three seasons. What are some of your favorite moments, either on screen or off screen in production?

BF:My daughter was born 3 weeks before season 2 started shooting, so that was pretty special. The show sort of became a baby factory with a lot of crew, cast, writers, and production staff having offspring over the course of its run. I recommended to anyone with fertility issues to get a job on the Little Mosque set

AK: Is there a message of thanks which you would like to offer to fans of the show, as it draws to a close?

BF:Thank you for suffering through any scene that I was in. It shows true inner strength and a clear understanding of passing through purgatory before reaching paradise.

 

 

 

 

Manoj Sood Discusses Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Sixth Season and More

Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ 03:11 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Its been almost a year since we last connected with Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Manoj Sood[ Baber Siddiqui]. With the show approaching the commencement of its sixth and final season this January and Manoj being kind enough to participate in an interview with us,we discuss Baber’s upcoming  friendship with Reverend William Thorne[ Brandon Firla], the character’s relationship with his daughter Layla[Aliza Vellani] as she furthers her independence at University as well as some details on Little Mosque’s highly anticipated series finale.

Manoj also reflects on his time on the show,by sharing  his insights on how successful it has been in building bridges between the Islamic community and western society, how the show has impacted his professional life, his favorite moments from working on the show  and his final message to viewers of the program.

Read through our complete interview with the actor, below!

Abbas Karimjee:Since we last connected,it was announced that Little Mosque on the Prairie would end after its upcoming sixth and final season.What was your reaction about the show coming to an end and what do you think were the factors which led to the decision to cancel the show? Could you please describe the atmosphere which was present on the set of Little Mosque during the final weeks of production?

Manoj Sood: Every show has a specific life span and Little Mosque is no different.Rarely do TV shows last more than 5 or 6 seasons in Canada so to last 6 seasons is a real achievement. The atmosphere on set was like any other season.Filming a TV show is a very busy process and when we are on set we focus on doing the job we are there to do which is to act. We knew well before the season started that it would be the last season so there were no surprises or heavy sentiment. The end was expected.

 AK: This season Baber has a new storyline, in terms of becoming best friends with Reverend William Thorne [Brandon Firla] On the outset, the two seem like an odd pair given how Baber is an extremely conservative Muslim while Reverend Thorne is an Anglican leader who is also quite judgmental. Reverend Thorne also previously manipulated Baber, to help ensure that Mercy Mosque was evicted from the Church back in the show’s fourth season.

What was your initial reaction when you learnt of this storyline and could you please give us an idea as to the circumstances which help lead the two to becoming best of friends?

MS:I thought that a lot of humour would come from this unlikely friendship.That is the magic of TV: where very unrealistic situations become real and the result is laughter. The friendship began when Baber was running the Mosque while Amaar was away on his honeymoon.The details will become apparent in the first episode ;-)

AK: What are some of the challenges which the two will face with each other during the course of the season?

MS: They will face the challenge of maintaining a friendship in light of the fact they have very different views in terms of their religion and attitudes towards life.Of course these challenges force each of the 2 characters to face their own intolerances and make compromises to accept the differences in each other.

AK: Are there any other plot points regarding the friendship,which you are able to reveal?

MS: One aspect of a friendship is friendly competition.You will see the 2 competing in some very funny ways.

AK: Did portraying Baber’s relationship with Reverend Thorne present some acting challenges, given how the relationship has evolved to a genuinely friendly one as opposed to previous seasons?

MS: Fortunately we have very good writers on Little Mosque.When the writing is good much of the actor’s job is done and the rest is much easier. The challenge of portraying Baber as a friend of Thorne is no different to portraying Baber in any situation: the key is to be truthful to the character and everything will fall into place.

AK: How do you think becoming best of friends with Reverend Thorne, speaks to how Baber has developed over the years? Having played the character since Little Mosque’s inauguration in 2006, how else do you think the character has evolved over the course of the show?

MS: I guess I could dare say that Baber is a bit more tolerant but not too muchÉ.Otherwise he would become boring.Over the years Baber has become gentler yet he is still as ignorant and big-headed than ever.

AK: Last season Baber dealt with some of the challenges of being separated from his daughter, Layla [Aliza Vellani] who attended University elsewhere. Will viewers have the chance to see this relationship further explored in the final season? If so, could you please give us an idea of what is store for Baber’s relationship with Layla, particularly given how it was hinted in last season’s finale that Layla has become romantically involved at university?

Layla will be making some serious decisions about her future this season. How will Baber respond ?

MS: Layla is at university and she makes some serious decisions about her future…that’s all I can say about this though.

AK:Could you please give us an idea of what else is in store for Baber this season, as a treasurer/ member of Mercy Mosque?Also, what else is in store for Little Mosque’s final season, in general?
Baber continues to be a key figure and leader in the Mosque and his stubbornness and intolerance continues to raise issues in a very funny way. As for the show in general you will see new relationships develop between the different townspeople, some relationships will change and a few new-comers will show up. I also feel that you will see a more emotional side of Baber this season.

AK: The sixth and final season is all leading up to the series finale. What can viewers expect of the finale, episode itself?How suitable of an ending do you think the finale will be, in terms of how it wraps up the story lines of the characters of Mercy?

MS: The season ends with a bit of pageantry, a surprise for Baber a compromise for Amaar and a few goals being achieved. Sorry I can’t say more ;-)

AK: 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 in building bridges between the Islamic community and western society? Also, how successful do you think the show has been in building bridges?

MS: The show has put a friendly face on a religion and group of people who have been tainted by unfortunate international events. I believe the show has done much to breakdown stereotypes. To a degree I believe that thanks to Little Mosque,Muslims are not automatically seen in a negative light as much as they once were.

AK: Has working on Little Mosque impacted both your career and your personal life? How?

MS: I like to think that working consistently on a show for so many seasons has developed and honed my acting skills. It has opened doors to other projects which came to me only because the producer or director knew my work on Little Mosque. I’ve been surprised when my agent tells me that she received an inquiry from a casting director in another country who liked my work on Little Mosque and wants to know if I am available for a new project.

AK: Reflecting on your experiences on the show, what are some of your favourite memories of working on Little Mosque, either on-screen or off-screen in production?

MS: I really enjoyed the Halloween episode in Season 1 and at a comedy award show I, as Baber, sang a lovely spoof of the Johnny Cash song, “Walk the Line”. I had never sung in front of an audience before so it was something I will never forget.

AK :In retrospect, how do you believe Little Mosque and Baber, in particular will be remembered as?

MS: Little Mosque was the first cultural sitcom in Canada that appealed to a broad audience.It will be remembered not only as a Canadian but an international success.It will be remembered as a show that built bridges between different peoples while at the same time making people laugh.I believe that Baber will be remembered as the first fundamental Muslim that people actually liked. He won’t be remembered for his dashing looks or sexy body….unfortunately ;-) .

AK: Do you have a final message which you would like to convey to viewers of Little Mosque, with the show having drawn to a close?
MS: I really do appreciate all of you who stayed with the show thorough all of its changes over its six seasons.Thanks so much for watching!!!!

AK: With Little Mosque having drawn to an end, are there any other projects which you have been involved in? Also, what aspirations do you have for the future of your acting career?

MS: Right now I am focusing trying to write and produce my own television show. That is my long-term goal.

AK: What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

MS: I am a very passionate amateur astronomer and fly fisherman. I spent much of July and August fishing all offer BC with my son. Most of my spare time when I am not at work is spent with my son and our goofy dog named Mowgli.

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Derek McGrath

Friday, June 10, 2011 @ 06:06 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actor Derek McGrath has been leading a notable career within the Canadian entertainment industry,both as an actor as well as a singer.Some of  the actor’s roles on Canadian TV series include a wide range of animated series  such in roles for TV series such as Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Super Why! Wayside and Ruby Gloom.More recently, McGrath  has stated in CBC’S hit sitcom,Little Mosque on the Prairie as the cheerful and open-minded character  Reverend Duncan McGee,throughout the show’s initial three seasons.

With McGrath’s time on Little Mosque having drawn to a close last season and the actor being kind  enough to  partake in an interview with us, we took  the  opportunity to discuss playing the character of McGee,McGrath’s view  on the decision of the producers to  replace his character with Brandon  Firla’s, Reverend William Thorne  as well as the actor’s  return to Little  Mosque in the show’s  previous  fifth season. We also discuss McGrath’s  perspective on Little Mosque’s influence on Canadian culture and as well as how working on the show enhanced  both his acting career and  personal  perspective on the Muslim community.

The actor also  takes the time to share  some of the recent projects he has been working on,including a role on Vision TV’S , She’s The Mayor as well as details on his  latest CD.

Abbas Karimjee: Could you please walk us through this initial process and any challenges which were involved?

Derek McGrath: I was originally contacted by my  agent as per usual with an audition; I received an email with time and place for the audition, a brief description of the character and the material I would be reading. If I remember correctly, I auditioned twice. I was at a nursery, buying trees when I got the call from my agent telling me that I had been offered the role of Magee. I was really excited because I believed the show would have an important impact in terms of reducing misunderstandings about Islam. I also loved the character of Magee.

AK: What was the most challenging part playing Reverend Magee and what techniques did you use to overcome this?

DM:  The challenging part of playing Magee was in keeping him intelligent and witty as opposed to silly and one-dimensional. There are a lot of “over the top”characters on Mosque and I thought it was important to maintain a level of believability with Magee. I kept telling the writers “wise and witty, wise and witty…not silly”.

AK: How do  you relate to the character of Reverend Magee?

DM: I’m a great believer in tolerance. I think it very important to try to see the other guys point of view. I think it’s more powerful to stand up for my own views than it is to attack someone else’s view. That’s a subtle but significant difference. That’s how I think Magee approaches conflict.

AK:How do you  think Magee has developed over the course of the show and what aspirations do  you have  for him as the show draws to a close?

DM: I’m not sure you’re aware of it, but Magee is no longer in the show so I’m afraid I have no aspirations for him whatsoever.

AK:What was your reaction with the casting changes made upon the show’s fourth season which involved the character of Magee being replaced by Brandon Firla’s character, Reverend William Thorne? How do you think  Magee’s absence from the series has  impacted the overall storytelling on the show?

DM: I was very disappointed when I was told that Magee would no longer be part of the Mosque family but I was not bitter. I did not take it personally; I saw it as an artistic decision which obviously made sense to someone. In all honesty, I also believed it was a mistake. The audience reaction was very severe and I believe the decision alienated a large portion of the fan base as evidenced by the enormous number of negative emails sent to the Mosque website. As for Brandon Firla, I think he’s a wonderful actor and perfectly cast to play Thorne.  Again, in all honesty, I think the character as written is too harsh for the show, very funny but not right in the context of Mosque. None of the other characters is mean-spirited. Again, this has nothing to do with Brandon; he’s doing exactly what he was hired to do. Not sure why they didn’t correct this mistake and have us both on the show; but that’s not for me to decide.

AK: What resources did you use to help you effectively portray the character, given the religious background  of the character of  Reverend Magee?

DM: One of the things I did to prepare myself for the show was to read the bible in it’s entirety. And then to read the Koran as well as the Tao Te Ching. I wanted an understanding of where Magee was coming form and also where Amar was coming from. The Tao Te Ching to get another slant.

AK:As an experienced Canadian actor, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including,  Super Why, Wayside and the 13  Ghosts of Scooby Doo  as well as  staged productions such as Little Mosque on the Prairie. Which type of acting do you  prefer to work in and what  particular  benefits  are  associated with your selection?

DM: Personally, I love being in front of a movie camera although there’s a lot to be said for the kind of regular work that a TV series provides. You get your own trailer and all the food you can eat…fabulous!!!

AK: Last season, you returned to the role of Magee after an absence of nearly two years. How did it feel  to return to the Little Mosque production  and what challenges were involved in readjusting to the role?

DM: Mostly, I just had to remember how I had played the role originally and try to be true to what I had already created.

 AK: Reflecting on your recent appearances towards the end of the fifth season, what were some of your favourite moments for the character of Magee, in terms of  his interactions with the  various members of Mercy?

DM: My favourite moments on Mosque were the times I got to work with Neil Crone and Deb McGrath and Sheila McCarthy because they were always so professional and so prepared. No B.S. with them.They show up on time ready to give their absolute best. And their best IS the best.

AK:How many episodes will you appear in for season 6?
DM:None

AK: What is your reaction to  Little Mosque ending this  season and  how do you hope   that  both the show and Magee,  in particular is remembered?

DM: I’m sorry to see the show ending because I think Canada, in fact the world needs shows like Little  Mosque which features people of decidedly different cultures learning to live peacefully alongside each other. As major centers become more and more multi-cultural, tolerance and acceptance will be absolutely necessary if we’re going to have any harmony in our day-to-day lives. I hope the show will be remembered as a genuinely funny and gentle reminder that people are people are people and I hope Magee will be remembered as the warm-hearted embodiment of that principal.

AK: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 the show has resonated with viewers so well?  How do you think it represents Canada, given that  the show is the   first of its kind?

DM: I think the show resonates with Canadians firstly because it’s genuinely funny and secondly because it enlightens us about an unfamiliar culture without ever getting preachy. I think they embraced the characters because they are  endearingly human with faults and qualities that we can all recognize in ourselves and in our friends and neighbours. As for the Anglo Saxons in the audience, I think the show was a comfort because it revealed Muslims as less frightening than they may have believed them to be and I think our Muslim audience was delighted to see their sisters and brothers portrayed as regular “joes” with the same hopes and fears as their Anglo Saxon neighbours.I think a lot of Canadians were surprised to see that Muslims have a sense of humour. The rest of course is just the mystery of show business.

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

DM: Since the time that I was a very young boy, I have always insisted on being inclusive so that has not changed much. But, I think I’m much more educated on the subject of Islam. As I mentioned earlier, I read the Koran as a result of being cast in Mosque and of course I worked closely with genuine Muslims for the first time in my life and I could always for instance go to Zaib or Zarqua if I had any questions. Before this show, I was never certain whether or not a Muslim audience might embrace my sense of humour. In fact they did most warm-heartedly. People are people are people and humor is humor is humor.

AK:What other acting projects have your recently been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?

DM: Last summer I shot a series called SHE’S THE MAYOR for VISION TV. I play a corrupt politician named FRANK CRUMB. I think the show is very funny and it seems to be a hit on VISION. I believe the season is complete for this year but I’m certain there will be re-runs on VISION so do please watch for it. A lot of people don’t realize that I’m also a musician; I’m a singer/songwriter and I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest musicians in the world when I recorded my C.D. STRANGER. I warmly invite everyone to give it a listen at derekmcgrathmusic.com.

AK: What message do you have for fans  of the show, as Little Mosque draws to a close?

DM: I would never presume to preach but I will freely offer my opinion.There are only two basic emotions in the world, LOVE and FEAR. Fear makes you small and miserable; love makes you open and joyful. Fear kills; love creates. Choose love!

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.

Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Manoj Sood and Brandon Firla To Appear Live In Burnbay

Friday, January 28, 2011 @ 09:01 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Indeed ,Little Mosque on the Prairie viewers in British Columbia , have a rewarding opportunity this weekend. Two of the series’  main cast members, actors, Manoj Sood[ Baber Siddiqui] and Brandon Firla [ Reverend William Thorne]are scheduled to make appearances on Saturday, January 29 2011,  as apart  of  CBC’s Meet the Stars at Live. The actors will appear  live at  Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby.

Though CBC  will be hosting an all day event which shall commence  at 11:00am,  featuring cast members and  hosts from  the network’s various others programs, the starsof Little Mosque on the Prairie will appear  as of 3:00pm. The  event will provide  attendees with the opportunity to receive autographs ,giveaways , prizes and  enjoy other entertainment.  The first one hundred  entrants to arrive at 3:00pm, will  receive wristbands for  this portion of the   event.CBC live.jpg

In addition to  the stars of Little Mosque on the Prairie,   select  cast members from various other  CBC series, including 18  To Life’s Stacey Farber and Michael Seate  as well as Insecurity’s Natalie Lisinska and Richard Yearwood .. For a  complete  view of the schedule for the day’s event, please visit  CBC’s Community Blog.

Will you be attending the event? Drop us a line in the  comments section to let us know!

Little Mosque on the Prairie Renewed For Season 5

Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 04:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

After several weeks of waiting, an official indication    regarding Little Mosque on the Prairie’s future has been released.  Indeed the series has been renewed for a fifth season, reports  TV. Guide.ca.

Although CBC  will not provide an official statement regarding the program’s renewal until the end of the month,  the production   for  the upcoming season commenced  last week.The news  will indeed be a relief for many members of the fandom  who were concerned about the program’s continuity after it was  revealed that the series’ viewership had drastically decreased to less than  400,000 viewers.

The fifth season will consist of 13 episodes, the first of which  will  debut in January 2011. Readers should note that the  exciting fifth season will feature all of the cast members who were present in  the series’ inaugural season , including   Carlo Rota[ Yassir Hamoudi], who was absent in the final half of the previous fourth season due to alternate professional commitments as well as   Derek McGrath[ Reverend McGee] who was not apart of the cast during the fourth season.Rota will appear in only a handful of episodes throughout the season as he continues to have alternate commitments while McGrath will return  for various episodes  in the second half of the impending season.

All of the members of the original cast of Little Mosque on the Prairie will return in the fifth season.

As far as storylines are concerned, the following season will have  a central focus on Ammar [ Zaib Shaikh] and Rayaan”s [ Sitara Hewitt]  developing relationship since  the two confessed their love for each  other in the season 4 finale.  Executive producer ,  Marry Darling commented on the challenges brought forth in  presenting this storyline indicating that “Once love is professed, the whole chaperoning is taken to a new level. It’s been a real kick for our writers to not only figure out how to keep characters apart but to keep them from touching each other.”

Brandon Firla’[Reverend William Thorne] will also continue to be apart of the main  cast during  the upcoming season. According to Darling, his character will face challenges  as he must  now try to   build a more respectable image and form positive relationships within the community.”He got his comeuppance at the end of last season and this year he’s dealing with that, trying to rebuild and find his real legs in Mercy. He’s trying to change but has some ingrained habits that make that hard”, says Darling.

Indeed we look forward to viewing the fifth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie .  Are you excited about the new season?  How do you feel about the direction the series is taking? What specific storylines would you like to see develop? Let us know in the comments section below!

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