CTV - Thursdays, beginning Oct. 3
Vincent Walsh and Dwain Murphy Clicked
Right Away As Underover Cops On "Played"
By Eric Kohanik
It's just past noon on a warm late-summer day. Next to an outdoor storage-locker facility near the waterfront in downtown Toronto, actors Vincent Walsh and Dwain Murphy have been going through take after take since the early morning hours of what will be another whirlwind day of location filming.
Walsh and Murphy are part of the ensemble cast of Played, a new Canadian drama series that debuts this month on CTV. The police procedural casts them as detectives who work for the Toronto police department's Covert Investigations Unit, donning a variety of alter-egos in order to carry out undercover “plays” – sting operations that nab criminals.
Much of the filming for Played is done on location around Toronto. That often means 15-hour days that require a lot of intense teamwork.
“You fly by the seat of your pants,” Walsh relates during a short break in filming. “This whole project is one big ensemble piece. It's very much character driven, by outside stories. It's all very much a work in progress.”
Walsh plays John Moreland, a veteran undercover cop who lives in the moment, is somewhat pigheaded and could easily go over the edge at any time. Murphy plays Moreland's partner and wingman, Daniel Price, a smooth-talking, exuberant detective who sometimes has a tough time separating his undercover persona from his real one.
“What drew me in initially was the fact that we get to play multiple characters,” Murphy explains. “What I connected with was the fact that every episode is like a mini-movie and you're literally adapting a new character to that episode along with maintaining this other character throughout a season.
“I get to stretch myself as an actor. In one episode, I'll play a DJ. In another episode, I'll be an undercover bank robber. And in another episode, I get to play a Brazilian drug lord. You don't really know what angle you're going to come from, episode to episode.”
Walsh and Murphy both have solid lists of TV credits under their belts. The Irish-Canadian Walsh has an acting resume that runs the gamut from guest shots on such Canadian series as Murdoch Mysteries and Republic of Doyle to lead roles in such productions as Hemingway vs. Callaghan and Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion.
Meanwhile, Murphy, who was born in Dominica and raised in Toronto, boasts a list of credits that ranges from roles in such Canadian series as Combat Hospital and Degrassi: The Next Generation to guest stints on such U.S. shows as The Mentalist and Ghost Whisperer.
Right now, though, both are busy pouring all their energy into the teamwork that is required of them and their characters as they watch each other's backs on Played. Fortunately for the duo, their chemistry clicked right away.
“This is my first time playing a cop and I absolutely love it!” Murphy declares enthusiastically. “And I get to do it with this guy,” he continues, playfully tapping Walsh's knee. “We make it fun. I think that will resonate, when people see it on the screen, just how much fun we really have working together. From the first time I met Vincent, I could see he's just a fun-loving, happy guy. From Day 1, I instantly clicked with him.”
Walsh is quick to return the compliment. “Right back at you, mate,” Walsh says in an Irish lilt punctuated by a wry smile. “Dwain brought an amazing energy the second he walked on the set.”
As for their chemistry on screen, “we didn't really have any time to think about 'clicking,'” Walsh quips. “The only time we really had was to hit the mark and say the line. That was it.”
Played - CTV - Thursdays, beginning Oct. 3
(First published in Channel Guide Magazine - October 2013.)