Currently in its third season on the Hallmark Channel, Cedar Cove has established itself as a solid hit for the network in ratings and with its viewers. The series is based on author Debbie Macomber’s book series of the same name and follows the personal and professional lives of the townsfolk of Cedar Cove.
Adding to the drama of the series is the town’s newest member, District Attorney Paul Watson portrayed by actor Colin Ferguson. Colin may be best known for playing Sheriff Jack Carter for several seasons on the hit Syfy series Eureka. He’s also appeared in the series Haven, Vampire Diaries, Coupling and Happily Divorced.
Today, we sit down with Colin to talk about his character, what if any concerns he had joining the series and his thoughts on the relationships between Paul, Olivia and Jack.
Pop Culture Principle – How did the part of District Attorney Paul Watson come your way?
Colin Ferguson – They approached me for the role. I think Sue Tenney had me in mind because she had seen me in Haven and a couple of other things. It all happened very last minute to be honest. So they said we shoot in a couple of weeks and would you come and do an arc on the season. I said sure and we did the contract and I showed up. I think it was on day two when she came to me and asked me did I want to do the entire season.
I love the way she writes and it fits in my mouth. I speak the way that she writes and we are really quite close. It was a wonderful pairing and it’s a rare thing when the dialogue just fits.
Pop Culture Principle – Your character shares a lot of scenes with Olivia played by Andie MacDowell. What has it been like working with her?
Colin Ferguson – You get cast in something opposite Andie MacDowell who comes from the world of glamour and who is incredibly talented, beautiful and famous. If it doesn’t go well, that is going to be my fault. She’s bringing everything to the table and I just have to show up. That being said, chemistry is one of those things that either it’s their or it’s not. If it’s not there, then there is very little you can do. You are sort of stuck with a bag of tricks trying to make it work.
We got lucky right out of the gate because we got along, our processes are the same, we like to run lines and we like to just work. The strangest thing about Andie in general is despite coming from this world of glamour and being so beautiful, she has this blue color work ethic. She wants to be nice to everyone and she wants everyone to be nice to everybody else and that makes for a lovely environment to work in.
Pop Culture Principle – Olivia and Jack are the heart and soul of Cedar Cove. Did you have any reservations or concerns as to how the fans of the series would react to your character?
Colin Ferguson – Yes I did and actually that’s incredibly well put. I wasn’t worried about being liked or not being liked, I was worried about Twitter backlash. I was worried about just streams of vitriol in my Twitter feed. Sue Tenney did a really good job writing a character who threatens a relationship without doing anything inappropriate which is a wonderful arc to get to play. He doesn’t make the big move; he doesn’t do something that’s completely rude, he is pretty clear about his feelings, but at the same time presents himself as an option while being respectful towards the relationship.
More often than not, when they write that kind of character, you know he’s up to no good and it’s so boring because you know what’s coming and there is no reveal later. But with this, you genuinely don’t know when it comes to Paul. I assumed that by the end of the season there was going to be some awful reveal which would get really basic in the television formula and we would hate Paul, but it never came. He doesn’t do anything terrible or villainous in any form and I love playing that line.
Pop Culture Principle – Would you agree that having Paul on the series makes Olivia and Jack step back and truly see if their relationship is worth it?
Colin Ferguson – Absolutely and when you look at their relationship, it’s a valid question. Jack was inappropriate to say the least, maybe even had an affair because we don’t know what went down with him and Jerry. He has massive baggage with his drinking which he recently went back into. As his partner, you have to think Olivia is sitting there wondering does she want that baggage the rest of her life or is there a better way to go which will have less baggage. I think we all deal with that in a relationship when you look at the person you are with and you wonder if there is a choice out there that will land me with less trouble in my day to day life. So, I love being that guy; it’s amazing.
Pop Culture Principle – The scenes between Paul and Bob Beldon have been comedic gold. What has it been like working with Bruce Boxleitner?
Colin Ferguson – Bruce is awesome! I spent five years in Hong Kong as a kid and one of the shows I watched growing up was Scarecrow & Mrs. King. He’s the nicest guy and the most generous actor and to be able to do scenes with him is just fantastic. I love the guy. I love the fact that Sue writes him unapologetically hateful towards me and I love when it’s bold and out in the open like that.
Pop Culture Principle – We’ve had hints of Paul’s past and his divorce, will we learn more about his backstory as the season plays out?
Colin Ferguson – Yes we do. We learn little things from time to time and some big stuff, but nothing that upsets the apple cart in any sort of crazy way. There is no big, dark deep secret coming and I think that would be a terrible move anyway. You do that when you are stuck when you bring out that big secret that no one knows and then you have the drama. You keep learning about Paul, what he’s looking for and where he is coming from and it happens in a very gradual way.
Pop Culture Principle – We also see that Alex Baldwin seems to be very interested in Paul, but it seems Paul has no interest in her. Would you agree with that?
Colin Ferguson – I love working with Rebecca Marshall. She’s amazing and we got along so well. It’s funny doing scenes with her because you end the scene and you walk away and you think Paul might be interested or he might not be. The crew is all there and they are like, “You aren’t interested in Alex Paul? Really?” So, it’s funny to do those scenes because she’s absolutely stunning and you’d be crazy not to go out on another date with her.
Pop Culture Principle – Paul also has a very rocky relationship with Rebecca Jennings? Could there be something between them in the near future?
Colin Ferguson – First, I just want to know, how has she not been fired? I mean, you see what she does and how she talks to her bosses, how has she not been fired? I think there could be something because there is that fine line when you are dealing with relationships were people get under each other’s skin, but at the same time, while you are under my skin, I still kind of adore you.
She’s also incredibly confident, but she does it wrong, she does it incorrectly, she does it rudely and she does it abrasively, but she’s good at it. I think maybe with more experience she’ll grow a little more grace and if she does that, I think there could be something.
Pop Culture Principle – As an actor, did you have any concerns coming into a series that’s already in its third season?
Colin Ferguson – Yes, I really did particularly coming in to be a threat to the heart and soul of the show or be a challenge to that relationship. You sign on at the beginning of the season before the scripts are written and once you sign the contract, they can write what they want. So, you get a little nervous that it’s going to go in a way where all of a sudden you are getting tweet after tweet from fans telling you to stay away from them and leave Cedar Cove.
But to be honest, the fans have been fantastic online and have been really measured, adult and really smart which I was impressed with. The fans have been in favor of my character not dying, which is nice.
Pop Culture Principle – Cedar Cove has a strong social media presence with its fans and cast, have you taken part in the social media with the fans?
Colin Ferguson – You know, I haven’t been a part of that because I am scared. I think it’s safe to go in the water now and at this point, I could show up and not be beaten up on a Saturday night.
I think I will live tweet, but it’s also a hard thing as an actor because you sometimes get a lot of pressure to do it and you don’t want setup something you can’t follow through on. I think as long as people understand I will do it some Saturdays and other Saturdays not, then I’m ok. Twitter as you know, is a funny place and some people can be a little possessive in weird ways and you don’t want to start that without being able to get out of it.
Pop Culture Principle – How have you enjoyed working for the Hallmark Channel and being part of the Hallmark Brand?
Colin Ferguson – I have to say it’s been fantastic. I come from Syfy, so I come from 16 hour days with stunts, visual effects, make-up, green screen and all that sort of stuff. We were also working nights and Saturday mornings. I go to Hallmark; we are working 11 ½ hour camera days, not a minute over. There are no stunts, special effects, guns or explosions. It’s such a breath of fresh air I just can’t tell you. All the drama is two people talking. One person walks into a scene or two people are walking down the street, it’s lovely to lean on the acting to make the drama instead of the wiz bang or the camera cuts.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to for the rest of the season?
Colin Ferguson – They can look forward to everything getting a little bit more complicated. There are a couple of reveals coming, particularly in the final episodes that are huge. I love the way the season ends and I think it’s a great ride in the weeks to come. I think there is stuff that you will expect and stuff that will surprise you. You don’t really know what’s going to happen until the very last frame.
You can catch brand new episodes of Cedar Cover every Saturday night at 8/7c only on the Hallmark Channel. We would like to thank Colin for sitting down to talk with us. If you’d like to keep up on Colin’s latest news and projects, you can follow him on his official Twitter account @colinferg.
**Photos Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Eika Schroter**