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CBC’s The Best Laid Plans is an “antidote” to Rob Ford, says star Jonas Chernick

- December 20th, 2013

Jonas Chernick in The Best Laid Plans

The upcoming mini-series The Best Laid Plans is a political satire. Hmmm, not much material for that these days, huh?

“What’s to satirize, really?” Jonas Chernick asks rhetorically. “But I think you’ll feel better watching our show than watching the news.”

Based on a novel by Terry Fallis, The Best Laid Plans debuts Jan. 5 on CBC. Chernick (pictured above) stars as Daniel Addison, the head speech writer for the federal Leader of the Opposition.

“My character has had enough of the game of politics, the spin, so I’m out,” Chernick explains. “I go to tell the party that I’m out and they coerce me into doing one last task before they let me out of politics forever. They want me to find a candidate and manage his campaign in a can’t-win riding.

“It’s a riding outside of Ottawa and the party that’s in power, their finance minister, who is like a superhero, that’s his riding. But someone has to run for our party. We’re not going to win, I don’t want to win, because I’m getting out.

“So I find a wacky, eccentric, Scottish nut-case (Angus McLintock, played by Kenneth Welsh) who has no interest in politics and we strike up a deal. So the show is about this fake campaign that we mount, and of course, through the absurdity of politics, things start to change and having him win becomes less unlikely. And then this web of lies we’ve created for ourselves starts to bite us in the ass.”

Rounding out the cast of The Best Laid Plans are Jodi Balfour, Sarah Allen, Mark McKinney, Peter Keleghan, Eric Peterson, Leah Pinsent, Sonja Smits and Barbara Gordon.

“The show does have a pure heart, it’s comedic but it’s not a cynical show,” Chernick assures. “I can’t watch any more Rob Ford coverage. So the antidote, really, is The Best Laid Plans.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

History haunts Charlotte Hegele of Bomb Girls; but seriously, it’s a good thing

- December 28th, 2012

Ali Liebert, Jodi Balfour, Meg Tilly, Charlotte Hegele - Dec 30 inside

The past keeps calling to Charlotte Hegele.

Not in a ghostly kind of way.

But the Canadian actress keeps getting cast in period pieces. She’s one of the series leads in Bomb Girls, which returns for its second season, Wednesday, Jan. 2 on Global.

Bomb Girls, of course, focuses on a group of Canadian women working at a munitions factory during World War II.

“The thing with women in period pieces is that they tend to be a bit demure and a bit reserved, which is something that I guess I am,” said Hegele, who is pictured at far right in the above photo, and also below.

“So I guess it comes naturally to me, as opposed to someone who is a bit more assertive and aggressive. Although I still can do that, and I’m eager to play parts like that, I just haven’t had an opportunity to do it yet.

“But yes, I love period pieces and I keep getting cast in them. I think it must be the demeanor that I sometimes give off.”

Starring alongside Ali Liebert, Jodi Balfour and Meg Tilly (pictured above left to right) in Bomb Girls, Hegele plays Kate Andrews, a young woman who comes from a maniacally religious and abusive upbringing.

In season one, Kate winds up working at the munitions factory after escaping from her controlling father, only to have him track her down at season’s end.

Without revealing anything specific, there is a substantial development to Kate’s story line in the debut episode of season two.

“I got (the scripts for episodes) one and two at the same time, before we started shooting, and it was shocking,” Hegele said.

“Well, maybe I wasn’t totally shocked, because you knew something had to happen with Kate. But it was interesting that it happened in the first episode, that it happened so quickly.”

Kate’s link with her best friend Betty McRae (Liebert) also gets more intense due to the new circumstances. And that already was a complex relationship, with Betty having romantic feelings for Kate at a time when such things were not even remotely socially acceptable.

“Within each subsequent episode, my character goes through different phases of dealing with what happens,” Hegele said. “So in that sense, it wasn’t so much my choices in how to play it, the actions were written already for me.

“But the thing with Kate is that she’s very good at compartmentalizing parts of her life. She’s wired in a way that I’m not, and most people aren’t.”

Then again, as Hegele pointed out, the era in which Bomb Girls is set plays a part in that, too.

“Horrible things sometimes happen to everyone, and yet somehow most people still function,” Hegele said.

“Having this story take place during World War II, the characters kind of understand that your purpose is not just to find your own identity. It’s to be part of the larger picture, to be part of the war effort.”

Charlotte Hegele certainly has great perspective on her role in Bomb Girls. But as accomplished as she is with period pieces, shouldn’t her next role be in a project that’s set, like, 60 years in the future, to balance things out?

“Yes, definitely,” Hegele said with a laugh. “I need a character that’s fighting aliens or something.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Charlotte Hegele of Bomb Girls - Dec 30 cover 1