Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New CTV Series 'Played' Explores Fraught Lives of Undercover Police

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

New CTV Series 'Played' Explores Fraught Lives of Undercover Police

Article excerpt

'Played' takes aim at 'Flashpoint' success


TORONTO - When Dwain Murphy excitedly talks about his part on the TV show "Played" -- CTV's newest drama exploring the fraught lives of undercover cops -- it's not hard to see the overlap in his work and his characters, or why he calls it a "perfect acting role."

"The show looks at how their jobs affect people," said Murphy, sitting on the patio of Toronto's Polson Pier in a break from shooting.

"It looks at how switching between all these characters and juggling all those moments of when they're undercover or not undercover ... trickle over to each other, and how you can see that you can lose a family from this job, and see those moments where you struggle to be a human being at the end of the day because you've seen someone shot to death and then you have to go home. It's all of that."

If it's an actor's goal to play as many different types as possible, then "Played" -- billed as the first show in Canadian television to tackle the world of undercover police -- is certainly an actor's dream. The characters they take on in undercover situations are even called "plays"; in effect, the show features actors playing actors.

"I mean, who can ask for a better job?" said Murphy, who is cast as magnetic right-hand man Daniel Price. "In the end, I get to play a DJ, I get to be a cop, in this episode I get to be a Brazilian drug lord -- and these are all tools you can bring to create these characters that fits in the realm of the episode.

"There's no telling what characters we can play within a given episode -- that's the amazing thing, you really get mini movies, not 13 episodes," he added.

"As opposed to other cop dramas that you've seen where you play one person, this series, every episode you play who you are," said Adam Butcher, who plays the hard-scrabble tough Jesse Calvert. "So sometimes you play a good guy; sometimes you pretend to be a bad guy. It's a really nice dichotomy of people you get to delve into."

In many ways, "Played" owes a debt to 2008's "Flashpoint" and 2010's "Rookie Blue," those rarest of homegrown shows whose popularity transcended Canada's borders and became popular in the U. …

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