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Local actors take starring roles in new TV drama
Wendy Crewson knew she wanted to be a performer long before she found herself immersed in the art and craft of drama as a student at Westwood Collegiate.
With a slew of Hollywood film credits under her belt, the actress and former Winnipegger returns to television in Saving Hope, a new medical drama that premieres Thurs., June 7 on CTV and NBC.
"Honestly, I think I had a little epiphany, maybe my only one ever," Crewson joked over a recent phone interview from Toronto.
In Saving Hope, Crewson plays Dr. Dana Kinney. Her character is called to fill in at Hope-Zion Hospital when a brain hemorrhage leaves its chief of surgery, Dr. Charlie Harris, in a coma.
The show teeters a fine line between the medical and the spiritual, as Dr. Harris explores the hospital halls in spirit form while his colleagues try to save his life.
Crewson was drawn to the role, which was originally written as a male character, after a discussion with producers keyed in on themes of power and how the dynamic of a hospital would change when there’s a woman in charge.
"(Kinney) is a woman who, though she’s absolutely deserving of this position, I’m sure has been looked over several times," Crewson said. "You have to be twice as tough, twice as smart and everything else. It’s still so easy for a general population to be criticizing a female in a position of power."
Crewson, who spent a few years in St. James and her Grade 10 year at Westwood Collegiate before moving to Montreal, is most recognizable for starring in roles opposite of leading men Harrison Ford (Air Force One), Tim Allen (The Santa Clause), and Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Sixth Day).
She’s also won a slew of Gemini awards for her performances in Canadian productions At The End of The Day, The Sue Rodriguez Story, The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, and The Man Who Lost Himself.
Working on both sides of the border has given her the best of both worlds, she said.
"I got to go down to the States and I would play somebody’s wife in something. I’d have a nice role, but usually a secondary role," she said.
"Then I get to come up here and play real leads, wonderful, three-dimensional roles.
"I get to be a real story teller up here," she added.
Crewson isn’t the only former Winnipegger to appear in the show.
Glenlawn Collegiate and University of Winnipeg theatre grad Kristopher Turner plays Dr. Gavin Murphy, the hospital’s psychiatric resident.
"Medical science is so much a science and a lot of the world is black and white, whereas Gavin deals within the more grey areas of human connection and the brain," Turner said.
Turner said landing the role was fortuitous, having previously worked with and impressing award-winning producers David Wellington and Ilana Frank on shows like Clean and Rookie Blue.
"The network initially thought I was too young," the 31-year-old actor said.
"Having worked for them before and them knowing I was somebody they wanted to work with, they fought for me."
Turner, who moved to Toronto eight years ago, said he’s unsure of where his new role will take him.
"That’s really the nerve racking and exciting part of this — you don’t know. I’m thrilled to be working with people of this calibre," he said. "I really think the best this country has to offer is working on this show."
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(1 of 16 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
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