American-Canadian actor Ben Bass is one of the stars of Rookie Blue. Ben talked Canada, period acting and why he wouldn’t be friends with his Rookie Blue character.
Ben Bass is no rookie actor, though he stars in Rookie Blue. The Canadian-American has performed across media – film, TV and onstage – in both modern and period pieces. On the differences Bass tells me “one thing that’s great about doing any kind of period piece is seeing how the clothes inform how you move and how you feel.” Bass lives in L.A., but spends copious amounts of time filming Rookie Blue in Toronto – about five months out of the year. Though he admires his character, Sam Swarek, for his sense of humor, Bass tells me he would not be friends with Sam if he were more than fictitious. Why? “His interests and my interests have nothing to do with each other at all. And […] he lives a different lifestyle that’s entirely different from mine.” For one thing, they have different tastes in movies and, while Bass is “artsy-fartsy,” Sam is “kind of a rough-and-tumble cop.”
Besides working on Rookie Blue, Bass is also involved in an off-Broadway production of Hamlet that will take place in New York. He will play the lead and produce the show, which is set to open in the fall of 2015. “When it comes to things that are close to your heart, you […] want to realize your own vision,” Bass explains, regarding his foray into producing theater. He tells me the most difficult part of playing Hamlet is “finding an approach to his antic disposition.”
Bass also shares some of his many Canadian experiences. Having lived in Vancouver between the ages of seven and 18 and returned often since then, he has fond memories of Canada. He quotes his perfect Canadian day as “driving to the southwestern Ontario countryside into the small towns and just having a nice dinner and a pipe in the evening,” laughing that this sounds “old school.” Besides Ontario, Bass has spent time in other provinces, including Quebec, where he has extended family in Montreal. He lists his favorite restaurant in the city as L’Express on Saint-Denis. Oh, and Bass’s musical-sounding last name actually hints at a little-known talent: he is “a pretty committed guitarist” who practices regularly.