In the first of a series of interviews with Canadian screen talents, MississaugaLife speaks with the thoughtful star of CTV’s Flashpoint. Words by Bryan Cairns
Actor Enrico Colantoni is thrilled to finally be home. After rocking such Hollywood cult favorites as Galaxy Quest, Stigmata, Just Shoot Me!, and Veronica Mars, the former GTA native pounced on the chance to return and film CTV’s police drama, Flashpoint.
“I absolutely love being back,” gushes Colantoni. “I’ve run into high school friends and people I haven’t seen in years. My relatives and uncle, the pride that they have for me because I’m on a successful show in Canada, makes them happier and much more proud for me than anything I had previously done.
Nominated for numerous Gemini Awards, Flashpoint revolves around a Strategic Response Unit brought in to handle life or death situations. From day one, Colantoni was impressed with how his character, Sgt. Gregory Parker, bucked the “shoot first, ask questions later” stereotype, opting for a brains over brawn approach.
“The writers love Parker because he’s so atypical of a police officer,” explains Colantoni. “He’s not the guy you expect although if you meet a cop, they are all like him. They are all smart, thinking people who care. Parker is just one of those guys who wants to think of alternate solutions.”
In retrospect, Colantoni had been grooming for this role all along. After all he previously played a sheriff/ private investigator, his brother is a police officer and Colantoni wanted to be one. Instead, Colantoni attended the University of Toronto, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and graduated from the prestigious Yale School of Drama before landing the juicy part of Elliot DiMauro on Just Shoot Me!. The NBC comedy ran for several years and gave Colantoni a unique perspective on his career.
“I fell into the trap of getting bored really fast. Now that I’ve been on two other dramas since Just Shoot Me! I’ve realized the sitcom is such a great medium because it’s just like doing a play. I want to go back to that. I didn’t realize it then, but now I realize how awesome and creatively fulfilling those years were.”
Next up, Colantoni starred as Keith Mars on the critically acclaimed Veronica Mars which despite its fanatical audience, never translated into huge ratings and was cancelled after only three seasons.
“The thing that we actually didn’t get to do on that show was Rob’s vision of Veronica Mars,” notes Colantoni. “His was more about the relationship between father and daughter. Here’s a private investigator really torn with what is morally right. He’ll do good things, but what will he do to get to them? Veronica was no different. They were the dynamic duo of ‘Okay, how far do we go?’ I hope that’s what the movie deals with.”
Whether Veronica Mars becomes a movie or not, Colantoni loves working on stage, screen or television. “TV has been my bread and butter, I’m grateful for it,” he concludes. “Theater is where I come from. I want to end my life on stage. Movies have the cachet to lift the work to a different level. All three have a special place in my heart.”