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Shattered tries to pick up the pieces - new Canadian series stars Callum Keith Rennie as a cop with multiple personalities.

By Glen Schaefer, Postmedia News August 24, 2010

VANCOUVER - Actors Callum Keith Rennie and Brian Markinson are sitting opposite each other, doing the doctor-patient one-two with a camera trained on each of their faces.

Rennie is the troubled cop and Markinson is the psychologist who spends much of the new TV series, Shattered, trying to put the cop's pieces together.

The two actors are relaxed but focused as they repeatedly run through a dialogue-heavy scene, meant to be a debriefing after a hostage-taking gone violent. They josh easily between takes, during camera changes and powdery touch-ups.

The show is set to premiere Sept. 1 on Global TV. Screen veteran Rennie, fresh off stints as a high-living record producer on U.S. cable's Californication opposite David Duchovny, and another arc rattling the ticking clock on the final season of 24, steps into a series' lead role for the first time, bringing his game home after years based out of Los Angeles.

And as Shattered heads to the air, fingers are crossed that the show could become a homegrown creative hub for actors and writers in the style of the late, lamented cops-and-smugglers drama Intelligence, off the air just over two years ago. For a Canadian-produced, hour-long drama, it's been slow ever since.

"This one is nice, it does feel homegrown, you don't have the kind of pressure you would have in Los Angeles from the network," Markinson says. "We tend to have a sense of carte blanche, creatively; there's a very collaborative aspect to the whole thing. I like the feeling of having a home (where) you can check in, (see) the same people."

Vancouver writer Rick Drew's original idea for the show has been transformed through that collaboration, from the notion of a troubled ex-cop helping his former colleagues, to the current story of Rennie's Det. Ben Sullivan as a working cop suffering from dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities), owing to a past trauma.

Any of three personalities surface during moments of crisis, and the cop and the psychologist are left to figure out what happened afterwards.

"The luxury of shooting series television is you can slowly unpack that baggage," says Markinson.

The cop's colleagues see him as eccentric but effective.

"It's a story about a guy with a problem he's trying to manage," says executive producer Jeff King. "From time to time, he encounters a situation that causes him, from his perspective, to black out."

King was looking for a way for audiences to identify with a guy like that. "He's in a unique situation in some ways, but not in others. People go out, they get drunk, do bad things; how do you come back and apologize? He's a high- functioning guy, uses humour to deflect the questions about that missing time that he can't quite answer."

"I think people are weird, generally," says actor Camille Sullivan, who plays Ben's partner, by way of explaining the premise's appeal. "As a rule, if you actually saw what people do privately - and cops are people - sometimes even the smartest cop is going to do something dumb, because everybody does."

Her character comes with the baggage of a stalker ex-boyfriend (Sullivan's actor pal Michael Eklund), and she says she likes that the show's first few episodes don't spell out every bit of intrigue.

"I'm not of the school that people need to totally understand everything as it's happening. If you're confused a little bit in the moment, I think that's fine. But then, I'm a David Lynch fan."

Key to the show's mix of darkness and humour is Rennie, who launched his career here two decades ago with a string of indie films that included the rock 'n' roll road movie Hard Core Logo, the cross-cultural romance Double Happiness with future star Sandra Oh, and the bleak drama Suspicious River with Molly Parker.

Vancouver's Parker, who has since notched a high-profile career in U.S. movies and TV, notably the dark western Deadwood, joined Rennie in Vancouver again to play the cop's ex-wife in Shattered.

Rennie, also a producer on the show, called Parker himself to talk about the show.
"I gave her a ring and asked if she was busy or interested," he says, on a cigarette break in his trailer next to the Vancouver sound stage. "What's nice is, there's a wide array of people that I've worked with before, some are my friends. I can suggest a name, but it's more that I have relationships with people that I've known for 20 years."

Sullivan, his co-star on the Victoria-shot indie drama Normal, was another name Rennie sought out. The show marks his longest stretch working in Vancouver in years, and he says being a series lead isn't something he saw coming.

At Global's fall launch, Rennie said a lot of preparation went into the role.

''I picked up a lot of books on the subject, talked to some health-care professionals. Some of the work was trying to find out the reality of it, how it functions, how it appears to others. We were trying to find a way to present it in a way that wasn't over the top or trivial. I had a coach and we worked through different characterizations. I have a hard enough time playing one character. We would create different identifies and histories for those individual identities. Each one has a different type of voice, a different type of movement, different lives completely.''

Vancouver Province, with files from National Post

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

from here


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 25th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the article. I was wondering when Shattered would air.
Aug. 25th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Shattered will air on Wednesdays until Lie To Me premieres in November (will then air on Fridays).

And the official site is here :)
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
Aug. 25th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm so looking forward to this!!!! Thanks.
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
A weekly dose of Callum, in a hopefully good show!
Aug. 25th, 2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
I can't wait for this. I just hope the writing lives up to Callum because this role is made for him.
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)
What you say, exactly, on both counts!
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)

Please pardon my intrusion but I love your icon. Guh!
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)

Man, do I wish I had this Global network for next Wednesday!
Aug. 25th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Well, we should find alternative ways, yes?
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:40 am (UTC)

Oh, yeah.

*sends telepathic message to Callum*
Aug. 25th, 2010 07:57 pm (UTC)
Aug. 25th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
Soon, very soon now, but it's getting harder by the hour!
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
\o/ I'm ridiculously excited. For the show, for Callum, FOR US THAT ARE WAITING TO WATCH OMG. :D Thanks for posting the article! :)
Aug. 28th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Don't find it ridiculous at all :)
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Will Yanks like me be able to watch it online? I can't seem to get the trailer to work. *bites nails*
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
Here's a trailer! Don't know if it's the same one.

Aug. 26th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for this! I had heard about it but didn't know it was starting so soon. Very excited.
Aug. 28th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
Yay, it's coming!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 28th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Exciting times ahead! <3
Aug. 26th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)

Thank you for posting this! I have been biting my nails in anticipation of this since hearing about it - such high hopes that the script lives up to the potential. September's very soon for the canadians on this group, is one good thing. (I'm in UK, awaiting dvd)
Aug. 28th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
The first reviews are positive, so yes, let's cross our fingers!
Sep. 16th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Looks like the UK will get it in Oct when the Hallmark channel changes to Universal
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )



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