Posts Tagged ‘Debra McGrath’
In the lead up to the series finale, Amaar reveals to Baber that he plans to be the Imam of the new Mosque. In turn, Baber revolts and forms a splinter Mosque. Meanwhile, Ann is distraught over Charles’ upcoming nuptials to a younger woman and comes up with a bizarre strategy to fight for her man. And Sarah attempts to rejoin the church choir, with fiery results.[CBC]
What prompted Amaar to change his mind about being the Imam for the community? How will Baber`s revolt affect the unity of Mercy`s Muslim community?What is Ann`s bizarre strategy and will she be successful in uniting with Charles?How will Sarah disrupt the choir with her fiery results and how will this affect her ability to effectively reintegrate into the Anglican community. Share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section of the episode.
Notes and Spoilers
- This is the first part of the series finale . The final half hour will air on Monday, April 2 2012 @ 8:30pm eastern standard time.
- Debra McGrath mentioned in a recent live question and answer session on the blog that the Mayor would be seeing a plastic surgeon for this episode. The surgeon has been portrayed by actor Colin Mochrie, who is McGrath`s husband.http://abbaskarimjeeweblog.com/2012/02/06/live-chat-with-little-mosque-on-the-prairies-debra-mcgrath-tonight-at-900pm-eastern-time/
- Arlene Duncan revealed in a recent live stream with CBC that Sarah [ Sheila McCarthy]would remain a Muslim, once she has worked through her crisis of faith.
- Sitara Hewitt[ Rayyan] commented on how the fire was set on a fake model of the mosque built in Etobicoke and the surrounding areas of the set. Sheila McCarthy added that it was upsetting to see but further details were not divulged.To view a photo of the fire on Mercy Mosque @ www.cbc.ca/littlemosque.
- The live stream can be viewed @http://www.cbc.ca/live/we-want-your-questions-for-the-stars-of-little-mosque.html
Only 5 episodes left!Tune in for a new episode of Little Mosque tonight @ 8:30pm eastern time on CBC!
Amaar tries to get the town to support his new Mosque, but finds only disinterest and some outright derision when he reveals that his divine inspiration came from a chicken. Meanwhile, Baber is determined to prove the town isn’t ready for a new mosque by trying to get himself arrested. Sarah has a crisis of faith and considers eating bacon, while Ann suffers a crisis of love while sexting the now absent Charles Thorne.[CBC]
Will Amaar manage to convince others of the supposed validity of his plan? Does Baber’s behaviour seem uncharacteristic, given that he was initially opposed to having the mosque in a church? Has his friendship with Thorne impacted his position on the mosque being in a church? How will Baber’s arrest impact the relations between Mercy’s Muslim community and the general population?
How will Sarah respond to her current crisis and to what extent has her divorce impacted this change in behavior? What will become of Ann’s relationship with Charles Thorne, given that he is to be engaged?When do you think the fate of this affair yet surprising discovery of true love will be established?
Share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section below!
Peter Keleghan will reappear as his character in one more episode
http://abbaskarimjeeweblog.com/2012/02/06/little-mosque-on-the-prairies-debra-mcgrath-discusses-the-shows-final-season/[ Interview with Debra McGrath]
McGrath discusses her response to the show’s cancellation as well as the mood which was present amongst the show’s cast throughout the final weeks .We also extensively discuss some of the challenges involved with Mayor Popowicx‘s serious romantic relationship this season as well as how the pursuit such a serious relationship speaks to how the Mayor has developed over the course of the show. With Sarah Hammoudi’s divorce, also being a key element in the final season, we learn how the two’s friendship is impacted as Ann tries to support her best friend.
The actress also further reflects on her final experiences with the show, explaining why she thinks viewers will find the series finale satisfying as well as how she thinks both Little Mosque and the character of Mayor Popowicx will be remembered. McGrath also gives us an update on a spinoff series which she has been working on with Little Mosque’s Sheila McCarthy as well as some of her other recent acting projects.
Take a read through our complete interview, below!
Abbas Karimjee:Since we last connected, it was announced that Little Mosque on the Prairie will end upon the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season. What was your initial reaction when you learned of this and what are your thoughts on the factors which led to the show’s cancellation?
Debra McGrath:I was never sad to hear it.We all believed that season five was going to be the end which made season six such a bonus, which it certainly turned out to be.
AK: Could you please describe the atmosphere and mood which was present on set, amongst the show’s cast and crew throughout the final weeks of production?
DM:The last weeks of this show were the finest I have known on a set. Everyone was emotional, more emotional than we expected I think. This cast and crew has been through lots together, births and deaths alike. We bonded over this time and we knew that the end would take us in different directions and that we would miss seeing one another at “Mosque camp”. We had our own wonderful farewell celebrations, large and small, on and off the set. The mood was high and sweet. I will never forget it.
AK: In the upcoming sixth season, Mayor Popowicz will find love with Charles Thorne [Peter Keleghan], who is Reverend William Thorne’s younger brother. Could you please give us an idea of the circumstances and factors which draw Mayor Popowicz and Charles together?
DM:Like all good love stories, they start out despising each other and then find themselves dealing with a very strong sexual attraction. I don’t want to give too much away because the way in which they come together is fraught with twists and turns.
AK: Could you please give us an idea of some of the challenges which the two will face over the course of their relationship?
DM:I will say one thing without giving too much away. The biggest challenge they face is the fact that Charles is engaged to be married to someone else. Always a bit of a stumbling block for a new relationship wouldn’t you say?
AK: When we last connected, you mentioned that one of your potential aspirations for the character of Mayor Popowicz would be that she leaves her position as mayor of Mercy for love. Does the Mayor’s discovery of true love influence her performance on the job or make her reconsider her desire to run as mayor of Mercy?
DM:Nope. In fact much to Charles chagrin, she remains very much a career gal.I could not have been happier that they gave her a true love. Better than leaving office methinks.
AK: Mayor Popowicz is a character who has been known for engaging in casual relationships. How do you think being involved in a real, serious relationship speaks to the character’s development over the course of the show? In what other ways do you think the character has also developed?
DM:Oh yeah the Mayor has done her share of dabbling!!! And the beauty of her relationship with Charles is that it has the best of both worlds, it was an affair and true love both! I think we have seen the softer side of Ann these last two seasons and what I have loved is that we have been able to see her true love for Sarah. The relationship between Ann and Sarah has been such a happy thing for both Sheila and myself. These characters had such a funny odd relationship and it became more and more layered as the years went on. When Yasir left, we were able to tap into that more. But don’t get me wrong, we really missed Carlo.
AK: Peter Keleghan recently mentioned that you two have been real life friends for over 25 years. How do you think you think a preexisting friendship enhanced the portrayal of Mayor Popowicz’ relationship with Charles?
DM:I think Peter and I had a built in rapport so that was great. But I did blog about the fact that it is hard when old friends have to make out on camera. I called it “Comedians. Don’t. Kiss.”
AK: According to a press release issued by CBC, Sarah and Yasser finalize their divorce in the sixth season. How does Sarah’s divorce impact the two’s friendship, in terms of the level of support Ann provides her with?
AK:Could you please give us an idea of what else is in store for Ann Popowicz in the show’s final season, both in terms of her role as mayor of Mercy and as a member of the community?
DM:Without giving too much away, she saves the day in a big way towards Mercy having it’s own mosque and I think that becomes her greatest and ONLY unselfish act as Mayor. Mind you, I am sure she has wrestled with the idea of them naming it Mayor Ann Mosque!
AK: In general, what else is in store for Little Mosque’s sixth and final season? How do you think this season will serve as a satisfactory ending to the six seasons of the show?
DM:I am speaking the truth when I tell you that the show is tied up in such a beautiful way. The end is true to the intention and a wonderful gift to the fans and more importantly to the tone and message of the show. I could not be prouder of the way it wraps up.
AK: How do you think both Little Mosque and the character of Mayor Popowicx, in particular will be remembered as?
DM:Little Mosque will be remembered I hope, as a groundbreaking CANADIAN show that dared to be humane, that tried to be inclusive and dispelled stereotypes. I think the mayor will remembered as that sassy little sarcastic gal who was often drunk, frankly.
AK. Sheila McCarthy has been working with you on writing a spinoff. Are there any details regarding the concept of this spinoff, which you are able to reveal? What progress has been made to date on its development?
DM:Sheila and I are working hard to get another series going for she and I to partner in. It has strayed from the spinoff formula. Right now we have many ideas we are working on. We are throwing all our balls up in the air and seeing what lands.
AK: With Little Mosque coming to an end, is there a final message which you have for fans of the series?
DM:I would first say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the fans, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years. And then I would say that they are lucky to see the show they loved have a proper and beautiful ending. Many times you find out your show has been cancelled between seasons and you never have that joy of finishing, really finishing. I have many TV shows in my life that have meant so much to me. And to those who have loved Mosque, I say you will love this final season.
AK: With both Little Mosque and your recent series on Showcase,Single White Spenny having concluded, are there any other projects which you have been involved in?
DM:Yes, my writing partner, my husband and myself are developing something and working hard at that. Right now my husband and I are together shooting Stephen Leacock’s “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” and it is just a charming project filled with the Who’s Who of Canadian Comedy world.
Thanks so much for allowing me to say a farewell in this article. I will miss my Mosque. Already do.
Actor,Peter Keleghan has been leading a successful career within the Canadian and American television industry.Born in Montreal,Peter has been described by the Toronto Star in 2003 as “the funniest man in Canada” and has also been bestowed with four Gemini awards over the course of his career.Peter’s lengthy experience as an actor can specifically be seen from various television credits including Newsroom,The Red Green Show and Seinfield.
Peter’s more recent role is on CBC’S 18 To Life as the intimidating yet conservative judge and father ,Ben Bellow.The show which recently aired its final season,involves two middle class neighbors with opposing viewpoints who are forced to unite as family when their 18 year olds, Tom Bellow[Michael Seater] and Jessie Hill [Stacey Farber] run off and get married.
Additionally,Peter will be appearing in Little Mosque the Prairie’s impending sixth and final season as the true love of Mayor Popowicx[ Debra McGrath].With Peter being kind enough to participate in an interview with me and Little Mosque approaching its sixth season, we discuss the background of Peter’s character on the show, the circumstances which draw the Mayor and his character together, the number of episodes in which he will appear in for the season, the challenges which the couple will face and more!
With 18 to Life having recently concluded in its recent second and final season, we discuss Peter’s reaction on the show’s cancellation and the factors which he think led to its end. Peter also reflects on Ben’s growth over the course of the show, reflects on the suitability of the way in which the show ended as well as offering his final message to fans of the show.
Peter also takes the opportunity to share details on some of his other current projects,his career aspirations and plans as well as the actor’s perspective on the value of Canadian television towards the North American entertainment industry.Read our exclusive interview with the actor,below.
Abbas Karimjee:You play Mayor Ann Popowicx’s [Debra McGrath] true love in the impending sixth and final season of Little Mosque on the Prairie.Could you please reveal your character’s name and provide some details on his background?
Peter Keleghan:My character is Charles Thorne and is literally a thorn in the side of his younger brother Rev. William Thorne. I take great pleasure in calling him Billy! He first appears as a Canada Revenue auditor to audit the town of Mercy.He says he is there because of his little brother but soon Ann Popowicz usurps all of his attention.This despite he is already engaged!
AK: Could you please give us a brief idea of what draws both Mayor Popwicz and your character together?
PK:Well, honestly? Sex initially. After a while they are inseparable. Soul mates. Charles breaks off his engagement and proposes to Ann.
AK:How many episodes will you be appearing in for the sixth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie?
AK: What are some of the challenges which the two will face over the course of the sixth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie?
PK:The major dilemma is Charles’ engagement. Billy, I mean William, tries to undermine his love for Anne calling him a cad. They are like feuding young brothers —quite funny actually.
AK:Are there any other plot points regarding the relationship, which you are able to reveal?
PK: Do they get married? Stay tuned!
AK: Are there any other main characters on Little Mosque, with whom your character will have notable interactions with?
PK:I really just deal with William and Anne ,however Zaib’s Imam character helps us figure things out between our fragmented relationship.
AK:Little Mosque is currently in its sixth and final season. Could you please briefly describe the experience of joining the team in the final season and any challenges which were involved?
PK:I felt like a party-crasher to be honest. I was embraced whole-heartedly which is a testament to the wonderfully giving nature of the production and especially the producers and cast. I came in at their 11th hour and still had sorrow when it was over. Not like they must have of course, but it was a lovely set to work on.
AK:As an experienced Canadian artist, what are your thoughts on how Little Mosque has represented Canadian culture, given that it is the first of its kind, in terms of building bridges between the Muslim community and western society?
PK:The more ways we can find ways to bring us together in this world the better. This show was certainly a fun and funny way to bridge the gap between unfamiliar religions
AK: You have previous experience of portraying relationships, particularly in CBC’S 18 To Life, as Ben Bellow, a right-wing conservative judge who was married to a Jewish character, Judith [Ellen David].
How has such previous experience allowed you to enhance your performance in this role on Little Mosque and how is the relationship of Ben and Judith different from your character on Little Mosque’s relationship with Mayor Popowicz?
PK:The mayor and Charles have a tumultuous relationship. Charles is certainly no conservative! The trick with playing all relationships is to have honest good feelings for each other. To help with this, in 18-Life, I actually dated Ellen David in university, (I grew up in Montreal) and in Little Mosque, Deb and I have been good friends for about 25 years.
AK: Let’s discuss the recent second and final season of 18 To Life. What was your initial reaction when you discovered the show has been cancelled and what factors do you think resulted in the series cancellation?
PK:It was a big disappointment when it was cancelled. Other shows that were not as well rated or reviewed were picked up and we weren’t, so it was very frustrating. I thought Montreal looked fabulous in the show and it is hard to imagine why it was not renewed for at least one more season –if only to prove it had legs. People seemed genuinely shocked to hear it was not renewed. It certainly has gotten more Gemini and Comedy Award nominations than most other Canadian series. The only explanation is that it was a financial decision.
AK: When 18 To Life first began, the character of Ben was quite upset with his son Tom’s, marriage with the girl next door, Jess , given that he had great hopes for his son’s future .Ben displayed his disapproval of the marriage in various ways, particularly when he drafted an annulment, in his failed attempt to end the marriage .How do you think Ben has developed over the course of the show and had 18 To Life continued, how else would you have liked for the character to develop?
PK:Ben certainly mellowed through the 2 years. However, the show needed the dramatic counterpoint to continue to be interesting. So he didn’t change THAT much!
AK:What are your thoughts on the suitability of the episode, House of Cards as an ending to the show?
PK:We were not prepared to realize that the show would not be picked up. It came as a shock to us so we did not have a series ending.
AK: On 18 To Life you had a main cast role for the show’s two seasons. How has working on the show impacted both your career as well as your personal life, in terms of the show’s central themes about family and love as well as the friendships which you formed?
PK:Honestly it has not. Ben could not be more opposite to me as a person. Politically and every other way. Charles on Mosque is also very different. It’s fun to play and expand. I’ve been told people enjoyed my performances, and that’s enough for me. It would be nice to see more Canadians watching Canadian shows however. We are being fed a constant diet of low brow food which I call ‘fast food culture’. Cheap, fast, glitzy and addictive—it is not about us – it’s American, and so it’s completely un-nutritious.
AK: In retrospect, how do you think the character of Ben and 18 To Life, in general will be remembered as?
PK: As a blow-hard, soft hearted, insecure, conservative father!
AK:With 18 To Life having drawn to end, what message would you like to convey to fans of the show?
PK:Sorry we didn’t do more of them. It would have been nice to have a proper ending to wrap things up. The show deserved at least that as did the fabulous Montreal crews and cast.
AK:As an experienced Canadian actor, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including, Ned’s Newt and Ruby Gloom as well as productions such as Seinfeld, 18 To Life and Little Mosque on the Prairie. Which type of acting do you prefer to work in and what particular benefits are associated with your selection?
PK:I think most people see Canadian actors as being much more well-rounded performers because we have to be. There is work, but it pays much less. Something tells me that if I did 5 popular American series and had 4 Emmy awards, I could easily retire a rich man. Not so in Canada. It would be nice if Canada recognized it artists as much as it’s athletes. It’s the best country in the world in all other ways and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
AK:What current projects are you involved in or future aspirations do you have for your acting career?
PK:I helped start a credit union in Canada for artists called The Creative Arts Savings and Credit union. I’m on the board of directors and that takes a good chunk of time. Also I am currently shooting episodes of Republic Of Doyle, and my continuing character Terrence Myers on Murdoch Mysteries. In the fall I start shooting Sunshine Sketches – a story about Stephen Leacock in Canada in the 1920s which stars my father in law Gordon Pinsent as Leacock. I also hope to have my own series within a couple of years called The Factotum.
AK: What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?
PK:I love traveling with my wife Leah and we share our home life with a neurotic cocker spaniel named Higgins. I also collect antique wrist watches and fly small planes.
Indeed, Little Mosque on the Prairie will conclude its run on CBC, with its upcoming sixth and final season. According to a press release issued by the CBC, the sixth season will mark the show’s final year and will consist of 11 episodes,which are set to begin airing in winter 2012.
When Little Mosque made its debut in January 2007,the series earned a record-breaking rating for CBC, with over 2 million viewers.The program’s ratings decreased greatly over the seasons and the show was unable to garner the same audience, despite having made notable cast changes, such as replacing the character of Reverend Magee[Derek McGrath] for Reverend William Thorne[Brandon Firla].By the end of the previous, fifth season, the show dropped to less than a quarter of its original audience.
The show’s previous season saw Mercy Mosque’s Imam, Ammar Rashid [Zaib Shaikh] marrying Rayyan Hamoudi and the couple embarking on their honeymoon, as they consider the possibility of relocating from Mercy to Montreal.
When Little Mosque returns for its final season, viewers will note that Ammar and Rayyan have returned from their honeymoon early, only to find Sarah [ Sheila McCarthy] finalizing her divorce with her husband , Yasser[ Carlo Rota].Viewers will also discover that Baber[Manoj Sood] and Thorne[Brandon Firla] have been becoming best of friends and that Mayor Poopwicx is in a relationship with a man who may actually be the “one”.
Ammar and Rayyan will also learn to live as a married couple on their own, without the support of chaperones. Viewers will have the chance to explore a wide range of scenarios in the town of Mercy,such as fasting, town audits, sacred chickens, a haunted mosque and more , leading into the epic series finale .
According to the press release, guest stars in the sixth and final season include Peter Keleghan (18 to Life), Mary Walsh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and Jennifer Robertson (Winging‘It)
To view the original press release issued by CBC, click here.
Stay tuned for further information on Little Mosque on the Prairie’s sixth and final season as well as the circumstances regarding the show’s end in our exclusive interview with CBC’s Head of Media Relations, Jeff Kaey.
What is your reaction to on Little Mosque drawing to a close after six seasons? What are your thoughts on the upcoming storylines and which one are you the most excited for? How do you hope the show will conclude?Participate in our poll below and elaborate in the comments section!
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.
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: 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!
With Little Mosque on the Prairie currently filming in its sixth and final season, the cast of the show are actively involved in the production. Viewers of the show now have the chance to take a glimpse into a day on the sets of Little Mosque on the Prairie with the show’s Debra McGrath [ Mayor Ann Popwicx]
Visit McGrath’s blog to see the clip which covers segments of the actress’ experience on a typical day on set. The 7 minute clip also features the show’s Sitara Hewitt[ Rayyan Hamoudi], Sheila McCarth[ Sarah Hamoudi] and Neil Crone[ Fred Tupper] as well as other various cast and crew members.
On the blog, McGrath also announced that Little Mosque would return to CBC this fall. We will have further details on Little Mosque’s sixth season within the coming weeks.
What are your thoughts on the video and what is your reaction to Little Mosque ending upon the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season? Drop us a line in the comments section, below.