June 24, 2019 Interview – Brendan Fehr
Well-known for his portraying Michael Guerin in the WB hit television series Roswell, and once voted as “Hottest Canadian Male TV Star,” Brendan Fehr has made quite a career for himself. With a résumé that includes CBS’ CSI: Miami to Syfy’s Wynonna Earp to NBC Drama The Night Shift, Fehr has portrayed a list of memorable characters through the years.
Also starring in many features, he more recently took on a role a part of the Action Thriller Daughter of the Wolf. A cast that features Gina Carano and Richard Dreyfuss, Fehr took on the task of a character with a different arch than he is used to, all will relishing in the challenge. Taking time out, Fehr sat down to talk about the roles he has played, working on Daughter of the Wolf, plus more.
Cryptic Rock – First becoming involved in entertainment over two decades ago, you would go on to star in a list of feature films and popular television series. First, briefly tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career as an actor?
Brendan Fehr – I fell into it early on when I was 19 and my first feelings about it was, “Wow, that pays a lot of money!” My curiosity was peeked a little, but I didn’t have a lot of interest in it; it seemed like something I would have never thought of doing or making a living at. I felt even one shot at it would satisfy that curiosity, and it seemed I had some sort of an instinct for it. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. My plan in life was to initially be a math teacher; which is furthest you can get with math being fairly black and white and acting being as subjective as it gets.
I kept finding work or work kept finding me for some reason. Over the course of these last twenty years I’ve learned to love it for the art and craft that it is. I feel like I haven’t really peaked or scratched the surface either of what acting is all about and what I’m capable of. I see moments of it and I am compelled and curious to find how much more there is. Not to mention to be able to tell stories is a gift, especially good ones. To be a storyteller, to relay those to other people, to be able to entertain other people, and meeting people along the way that share that same passion is a blessing. I’ve learned to really appreciate that, and it’s something I’ve been blessed to have fallen into.
Cryptic Rock – It is interesting to hear how you were going to head down a path of academics and turned to arts. You have worked in various genres through the years, ranging from Horror to Sci-Fi to Drama. Your most recent role is as Larsen in the film Daughter of the Wolf. How did this role come about?
Brendan Fehr – I had done two other films with the Producer Kevin DeWalt up in Canada. He gave me a call one day and he said, “I have a film shooting next month in Kelowna, I want to send you the script and see if you would be interested in being a part of it.” He told me Gina Carano and Richard Dreyfuss were attached, that was really intriguing to me. So he sent me the script, I saw the character, and I thought there was potential there for something I hadn’t really done before. Usually the characters I have played tend to have more leadership qualities, even if they’re not necessarily the head honcho or lead, they don’t tend to fall into the follower category. This was a character I thought was very easily influenced and his life could go a completely different direction if he was just given the slight nudge that way. I thought that would be a challenge for me to play.
It was something I hadn’t played before and I would have to put thought and work into it. All roles you do, but it was something I felt I couldn’t phone this one in at all; it really required attention to detail. I understood they were trying to sell it and they were going to film it as an Action film.
For me as an actor, I understand that’s a huge part of it and I love those kind of films, but for me it’s all about the character. I thought if I could get people to empathize with him and see a character within this Action film, then I’ve done my job. I don’t know if I was successful or not, that is for other people to decide. That was one of the big reasons I took the role: it was a character I hadn’t had the opportunity to play. I thought there was a little something there that was really interesting to me. I thought if I could pull off and execute what I had envisioned, it might be interesting for other people to watch him and his arch in this film.
Cryptic Rock – You did a great job with the role as a sort of henchmen type character. That said, you work alongside Gina Carano quite a bit in the film. What was it like working with her?
Brendan Fehr – She was great. Gina and I hit it off immediately upon meeting each other. She had gotten there earlier than I had, but we met each other, talked about the film, and you get a sense of who and what you’re going to be dealing with for the duration of the film. Sometimes after that meeting you go, “Oh, this is going to be interesting and a challenge.” But then sometimes it’s, “This is going to be a lot of fun.” I knew instantaneously this was going to be a lot of fun! We had such a great time together; we really are like a brother/sister dynamic when we get together.
That was really great because for the film itself, even though we were not supposed to get along, we had a trust with each other. We knew we had each other’s back, we could be honest with each other. When you have that trust and honesty between actors, it allows you to do and say stuff within the character that you have the freedom to go certain places. That is something we had, which I think is something that lends itself to the characters of Clair Hamilton and Lars.
Cryptic Rock – It worked very well. Let’s talk about the location of the film: nature takes a big part in the story. Were challenges faced with the elements?
Brendan Fehr – Yeah, the mountain and weather on it is its own character. Not only does Clair, and others to a certain extent, have this battle of finding and fighting father to get her son back. Claire is not only dealing with my character Larsen, but she is dealing with elements – the cold, snow, wet, mountain, the wolves. Not that it’s another antagonist or villain, but it’s certainly another obstacle Claire has to deal with. That’s one that really lends itself to having to overcome the odds and fighting through. It’s great for us as actors because we’re not on a green screen, we really are cold and wet on a mountain, shivering trudging through snow.
The easier you can make it on an actor, the better. If I don’t have to fake being tired when I am supposed to be tired, or when I don’t have to fake being cold, I can focus then on the emotion and objective of what I’m trying to accomplish in the scene. The more things that happen naturally the better. I relish filming in those kind of positions because it just makes my job so much easier.
The beauty of it is grand in nature with the big trees, mountain, and snow adds a value to any film in terms of picture and setting. We were really lucky to have to gotten there when we did, because it was supposed to be on the verge of melting when we got there. I wouldn’t say it was a blizzard, but it was certainly a heavy snowstorm for a couple of the days. It makes it harder for the crew to work and to get to locations, but in terms of the setting in the movie, it was a great gift that we were given.