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Exclusive Video Interview: Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent’s K.C. Collins

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal IntentThe latest spinoff in the franchise, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, which is based on the American seriesrecently premiered on Canada’s CityTV. The series centers on crime stories “ripped from the headlines,” and follows detectives as they pursue the offenders of high-profile homicides and corruption in the Greater Toronto Area. 

K.C. Collins, who stars as DCA Theo Forrester, the Deputy Crown Attorney, recently spoke with SciFi Vision about his work on the series, including how he connects with the character, what he looks for in roles, and much more.  

Watch the interview or read the full transcript below.

SCIFI VISION:   Why don't you start by telling me a bit about your character? 

K.C. COLLINS:   Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, yeah, that's the character, DCA Theo Forrester. He's the Deputy Crown Attorney, and with regards to him, he just sort of pops in and gives us insight. He is a bit of a legal sounding board for Graff (Aden Young) and Batemen (Kathleen Monroe), just making sure that the cases that they're working on and the cases that they want to prosecute are solid enough to prosecute and don't have any holes. That's sort of his draw, his job within in this world. So, I think it's an interesting character, because I do enjoy how he sort of just, you know, he's there, and then he's not, and then he could be there again, and then not, and I find it fun in a way, a bit unpredictable. So, yeah, that's Theo Forrester, and with regards to his position, he's an ambitious guy, and he wants things to stick, not only for his ambition, but also just for the victims as well. He wants it for justice. 

Were you very familiar with the original show, or, well, any of the original shows…before taking this role? 

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal IntentYeah, I was familiar, but I wasn't. You know, I wasn't really deep into it. Like I know some people that are extremely, extremely deep into it, and they can tell you everything about every episode, believe it or not. But obviously it's Law & Order; you are not able to get away from it. You know of the show. So, yes, I was familiar with it enough to know that it's a big deal. 

So, what was your preparation like for this role? Like, did you research this type of job, or did you just watch a lot of [the series]? What did you do? 

Yeah, I mean, for me, it was more about what is the tone of the show, making sure that you can match the tone of the show, the format of the show, and then from there with regards to the specificities of the character, it's okay, the legalese have to be right. So, let's learn about what this position does. We had a couple of great, great consultants on the show for that, and so many questions that I had, they were so open to helping me. Also, with regards to sort of rounding out the character, it then becomes whatever you want it to be: it's the imagination. It's whatever real experiences you might want to bring to it. So, that's really how I rounded out the character. 

What was it that you most connected with, with the character when you first started? Like, what what part of him, I guess, do you see in you, or [of you] do you see in him? 

Yeah, I think it was sort of the ease of how he does his job and the seriousness of how he does his job, and as much as he can sort of color outside the lines, or having that ability to color outside the lines, or having that ability to not take on something. He's always up for the challenge. Also, wanting to make sure that something is done right and taking the time to say, “Hey, let's think about this, again, from a different angle, and let's get it right,” as opposed to just maybe saying, “It's not working; push it to the side.” 

Was there a part of him that you had trouble reaching and connecting with? 

No, not so far. The beautiful thing about characters is that they're ever growing. So, we don't just, I mean, for me personally, and I believe, for a lot of the shows that I've watched and enjoyed, the characters are always evolving, and never just sort of cultivated in the first season and that's it. It's, you know, a hard mark. That's not how human beings are. So, we're always changing, learning and growing and maybe regressing as well, so that the character is still open for interpretation, let's just say, which I love. 

Was there anything, not character-wise, then, though, that you did find difficult, or was this a pretty easy role for you so far? 

Yeah, I had a hard time fitting in my chair one time in my office and getting my legs under the desk, but other than that, at first it was really - we do some walk and talks. Those things, even though they might look like it, when someone is watching it, they're not just like a free for all. It's not like just walk and talk, and no matter how long it takes you, it's okay. No, it has to happen within a certain amount of steps, sort of a certain timeframe, before you hit this pillar, and that goes for everyone. That just doesn't go for K.C. Collins and his character; that goes for everyone. So, there has to be a sort of - we all have to be in sync. Then, with regards to the people, our crew, our lovely crew that are dealing with camera and sound, they have to be in sync with us as well for that movement. So, trying to give this show some movement, sometimes you bump into some challenges. And my character does a lot of walking and a lot of walking. 

[I’ve only been given the first episode], but do you have a lot of, I guess, legalese or anything like that, that you that you had to get onto that was hard to do or anything like that? 

Yeah, not so far. I mean, I'm sure there was, and I can't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure there were some some words that were sort of hard to wrap my head around, but luckily enough, I did the medical show, which prepared me well, and I did that for many years. So, I had a good time dealing with the legalese. It wasn't a big deal, and because our show is not really centered on the courtroom for the DCA Crown, because it is Criminal Intent, I don't know how much more I'll be challenged in that department. 

What do you, just in general, look for in a role? 

A challenge. I look for something that I haven't done, or if I have done it, how can I, not do it differently, but how can I bring more life to it, or bring a different sense of life to it than something I've already done? Look, I'll be honest, sometimes as actors, you want to be lazy. Sometimes you want to do something that's comfortable, but then once you actually get into it, and you're doing it, you realize you don't want to just be comfortable…because you got to do this, sometimes every day, sometimes for years, and you want to be able to challenge yourself, and you want to be able to come to work, and nerves are good. Nerves tell you that you're doing something that is challenging. So, that's what I look for. I look for a little bit of a challenge; I look for being able to bring something to the character that I would want to watch. 

You talk about challenge, is there anything that being on the show taught you, either from an acting standpoint, or just about yourself that maybe you learned that you didn't realize, or something that changed, after having filmed the season? 

That’s a very good question. I would just probably go with - what I do like about playing a lawyer is that, and it's not necessarily something that it's taught me, but I know what it's going to potentially teach others. I've said this in the past that, when my agent and I were discussing, you know, we have these little boxes that we like to tick, and a lawyer was one of them. So, we had this discussion of lawyers that we liked in the past, for past shows, and sort of realizing that they all sort of felt very similar. Then it was like, “Well, what if Robert De Niro played a lawyer?” Then, we could hear Robert De Niro's voice in our head. That's not really sort of a stereotypical lawyer. So, that's kind of interesting. I would watch that. It's almost like when Joe Pesci did it in My Cousin Vinnie; that was very interesting. So, it made me think when I do get that opportunity, I don't want to fit that stereotype of a lawyer. I want to be able to bring something so that someone else who might want to pursue that career, but might not be the stereotypical lawyer that they see on TV, because, you know, let's be real, TV sort of influences our reality. So, I just wanted people to realize that, “Hey, you can maybe speak this way, walk this way, look this way, and you can still be a lawyer.” And funny enough, when I did do a bit of research, there was a Crown Attorney that looked like me. I was like, “Hey, there it is.” So, it's just that's something that I learned as I was going through it, and I started to really embody it, and I hope someone can learn from. 

Well, I think we're about out of time, but quickly, is there a scene that you have, a favorite, that you could talk about that won't spoil too much, sort of something to tease? 

Yeah, I feel like it might be in our finale. There’s a scene in the finale. 

You probably can’t tell me about it then. 

Yeah, exactly, unfortunately. But there's a scene in our finale that I really like, and I'll let you guess which one, because there're a few scenes in the finale, but I'll let you guess which one when you see it. 

Is there a role or type of role that you really want to do or somebody really want to work with? 

Oh, good question. Yeah, you know, I think I'm ready for some action. I mean, let's be real; it’d be cool to play superhero. That'd be interesting. And someone that I would really like to work with, that's a tough one. There're just too many to name, and I don't want to put one above the other…If you had like, a thumb on a nerve somewhere, and I was about to fall to my knees, I would probably just have to go with - it would be a director though - I would like to work with Martin Scorsese.

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