Paul Popowich hopes ‘The Bridge’ provides a challenge
Interviewee: Paul Popowich
By: Tyrone Warner
Date: March 18, 2010
Note: This is an interview with PAUL POPOWICH who plays Tommy Dunn on THE BRIDGE.
This seasoned screen actor says his new series provides a fresh new spin on a well-worn genre.
Police procedures have had a long run of popularity on television, including the “CSI” craze and modern reinventions on the theme, from “Flashpoint” to “The Wire.”
During an interview with CTV.ca, Popowich, who plays Tommy Dunn on “The Bridge,” says cop dramas in general have evolved because audiences have become more sophisticated.
“I think that forces people to tell their stories in different ways and take less traditional ways in approaching our show,” says Popowich.
“I think that’s exciting — you don’t know what to expect. It takes you in a different direction, and I hope that’s exciting for viewers.”
“The Bridge” is a new Canadian-made series on CTV. It follows the trials and tribulations of police union boss Frank Leo (Aaron Douglas), loosely based on the one-time controversial Toronto police officer and union head Craig Bromell, who serves as executive producer.
Popowich describes the show as being about “police, politics, power… the uneasy tension we have between law enforcement and society.”
“These are the people we want to protect us, and we give a lot of power to these individuals, and we expect it to be used judiciously responsibly. In our show, we look at that relationship and how it’s influenced by the brass at the top and how it affects our day to day lives as police officers.”
Popowich himself is no stranger to Canadian television, with memorable stints as Mr. Smith on “Twice in a Lifetime” and alongside Neve Campbell on “Catwalk.” The actor has also appeared as a Starfleet cadet on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
Born in Hamilton, Ont., and raised in Stoney Creek, Popowich holds a degree in English, Theatre and Film from McMaster University.
The actor also has a musical side as a piano and guitar player, and at one point was the lead singer for a rock band in Los Angeles. He began his acting career at the age of 15 with a role in “Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveler.”
Now on “The Bridge,” Popowich plays Tommy, the sidekick to Frank Leo, played by “Battlestar Galactica” heavyweight Aaron Douglas.
“Aaron is such a talented actor, and he’s really a very giving actor,” says Popowich.
“It’s easy to be in a scene with Aaron. We’ve developed a friendship on the show, and we can play on that with the banter…. They’ve been friends a long time — kind of like an old married couple in some ways — and they know what each other are thinking.”
“The Bridge” also stars Michael Murphy, Ona Grauer, Theresa Joy, Frank Cassini, Inga Cadranel and Stuart Margolin.