HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--Eric Balfour brought it up. We were sitting in a union hall by a picturesque bay in Chester, N.S. Balfour (left), one of the stars of the new sci-fi drama Haven (coming this July to Showcase and Syfy), was talking about surfing. It was killing the California dude to be sitting in a boat out in the Atlantic, surrounded by water (he plays a devil-may-care ship captain), and not be paddling out to ride the big kahuna.
Balfour's co-stars, Emily Rose (a lovely Seattle girl who was on the final season of ER as Dr. Tracy Martin) and Lucas Bryant, a native of Elmira, Ont., who was on M.V.P. and played skier Ken Read in that Crazy Canucks movie, were conducting interviews at nearby tables. There was press here from various parts of Canada, including Vancouver, and all of us found Balfour, Rose and Bryant (below) as friendly as can be.
Anyway, I asked Balfour the old "Why TV, why now" question. He's been pretty active in films lately (including an indie he just shot in a prison in Guelph, Ont.). I wasn't trying to be sneaky.
The actor had something he needed to get off his chest. Basically, it pisses him off that some critics label him a showkiller.
Balfour has had some bad luck when it comes to TV series that get cancelled early. He's no Ted McGinley, or Paula Marshall, or Jason Gedrick. But he did get cast in such six week wonders as Hawaii, Sex Love and Secrets and Conviction.
Sure, says Balfour, but he didn't write those shows, or schedule them, he's just in 'em.
"I kept reading, 'Eric Balfour is a show killer,'" he says. "How can I be a showkiller? I didn’t write this show? I didn’t have anything to do with the fact that they put a show for young people on at 10 oclock at night…"
It's the reason he ducked the TV pilot scene for a few years, although he did say that after turning down quite a few, he didn't get one he really wanted. (Balfour didn't name the series.)
I let Balfour have his say in the story I filed today for The Canadian Press. Read the rest of the article here.
Sounds like it has all worked out well in any case. There's some good early buzz on Haven, with the crew volunteering that this cast is a dream to work with. The leads got a thumbs up from makeup specialist Stephen Lynch, whose opinion I trust. He's a fellow Michael Power alumni (his big sister, Kate, starred opposite Bill Murray in Meatballs and now directs at the Shaw Fest). Last time I saw Lynch--1975! Makeup!