Interview With Actor Marc Senior, “The Gourmet Detective”

By Ruth on June 30, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
2
1

UPDATE: Per Dylan Neal, executive producer of The Gourmet Detective: Death Al Dente, it appears that this film will premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries September 25th, date subject to change.

Those who are familiar with my cinematic preferences know of my affinity for mystery films, series, books, stories, etc. In fact, mysteries are almost my favorite genre of entertainment on earth. I remember when the first Gourmet Detective film premiered,and I was more than enthralled since Cedar Cove had transformed me into a Dylan Neal fan. I adored everything about the series, and I did my best to connect with as many cast members as possible. And that would include Marc Senior, the young man who plays Bailey. He, Matthew Kevin Anderson, and Brooke Burns make a formidable force, especially when combined with the talents and expertise of Dylan’s character. While anxiously awaiting the release of the third film in this incredible series, I had the opportunity to chat with Marc about how he got started in this business, his thoughts on this particular series,and even some intuitive observations concerning the uniqueness of this franchise.
ms3RH: What inspired you to become an actor?

MS: I don’t have any actual inspiration. This may sound weird. It was just a calling. I woke up one day–I was about thirteen–and I started out doing stand-up comedy. My mindset was that I would start doing stand-up to get into acting. That was just how I thought it would be. This may sound weird, but literally, I heard a voice say, “You have to be an actor.” I didn’t come from a community where I knew about acting. And as far as I know, there was no one in my family who is in the arts at all.

So I started doing stand-up ’cause I was funny around school. So I started doing it at assemblies at school, which led to a teacher at school getting in contact with a comedy club up here called Yuk Yuk’s. So that’s how I started out in acting.

That’s great–and no, it doesn’t sound weird. I’ve heard a lot of unusual stories.

Fair enough.

So from stand-up, how did you make the transition over to acting?

I had been doing stand-up for about five or so years, and I was doing quite well with it. So another voice–I have no other way that I know to refer to my thoughts–said, “You need discipline.” So I researched theater school, which again, I didn’t know anything about. I just kind of stumbled on it through college applications. So I got to theater school when I was like nineteen. For three years, I got formal training in acting at theater school which helped me to develop as an actor.

Not that it’s a requirement, of course, but I think it’s great that you went to theater school. Some actors aren’t able nor willing to do that.

Yeah, that’s true, I guess, especially with some of the younger people. I know a lot of people who haven’t gone to theater school, and I happen to have a theater background. So it’s very different. Usually, people do either one or the other, but there are those who do both film and theater.

So how did you become a part of the cast for Gourmet Detective?

I auditioned. (laughs) I guess that’s the short answer. I’m originally from Toronto. I’m not from Vancouver. So I came out here to Vancouver about four years ago ’cause I was working on a show for Fox called Alcatraz. 

So I basically auditioned for Gourmet Detective. Then I was called back to audition again–which is basically a chemistry audition. It’s a chance for them to see you in a partnership–like me and Matthew {Kevin Anderson}. I read with a bunch of different guys. That particular day, I read with two other guys before I read with Matthew.

That day, after reading with these guys, I was packing my stuff up. But then they said, “Marc, could you stay? We’re waiting for one other guy to come back.” And I was like, “All right.” And that guy was Matthew. We read a scene together that has not been in a movie yet. Then I got the call a couple days later saying I got the part.

That’s always nice when it works out like that.

Uh, yeah, for what I do? Yeah! (laughs) That’s the goal.

Matthew Kevin Anderson (Munro), Dylan Neal (Henry), Brooke Burns (Maggie), Marc Senior (Bailey)

Matthew Kevin Anderson (Munro), Dylan Neal (Henry), Brooke Burns (Maggie), Marc Senior (Bailey)

I know that two of the films in the series have been released, and we’re waiting on the third one.

Yeah, we already filmed the third one. So that should come out some time this year. None of us are sure when it will come out exactly.

What is the atmosphere like on the set of these films?

The atmosphere on set–is probably the best I’ve ever worked on.  It’s really fun. It’s almost not work. Between me, Dylan {Neal}, Brooke {Burns}, and Matthew. Dylan’s mindset was that he wanted good people working around him, and he did a really good job of picking those good people for this series. The cast, the crew, everyone behind the camera has been quite solid–very friendly. It’s almost not work. It’s like going to work with friends that you feel like you’ve known for a long time that you’ve just met. It’s a lot of fun. I’ll put it that way.

That seems to be a common thread with Hallmark programs. People say it’s like family, they have a lot of fun, and not only do they hire the best casts, but the best crew, too.

I’m not sure about the crew in the States, but I know that the crew up here interchange between Gourmet and Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and Murder, She Baked. Many in the crew work on different Hallmark shows. Portions of the crew will say, for example, “Oh, I just finished working on Garage Sale Mystery.” And they know all of the actors.

It seems that whenever Dylan is on The Gourmet Detective, he tends to get hurt. But from what I’ve heard from Jordana {Largy}, I think it sounds like he may not have gotten hurt on this third one.

The first one, I know he set his hair on fire. With the second one, there was an incident–it escapes me right now. I think it was on set. There definitely have been two. One per film. But on this third one, I think he was safe. We definitely had discussions about what was going to happen because he did say that sometimes he can be a klutz in that way. So because of the trend, we were all like, “So, what’s going to happen to him now?” And because of that trend, I think we had a discussion at one point where we asked him, “Are you okay today? What’s going to happen?” As much as I’m there, I’m not there as much as him and Brooke are. Like with the fire story, it happened on a day I was off. I came in the next day, and Brooke told me about it. But the second one–I can’t remember what it was. I can’t remember if I was there or not. The third one, as far as I can remember, there’s nothing that I heard that had happened. I think we were in the clear.

Well, that’s good if he finally got through one without anything happening to him.

Yeah, we kinda need him. (laughs)

So, in the second one, was your character not in it as much as the first?

It kind of panned out to be about the same amount of screen time from what I could tell when I watched it. As far as the days I had to be there, I might have had a day less than the first one. The first one, I know I worked on it longer.

With the third one, are we going to see you just as much if not more than in the other two?

Yes, the number of days that I work doesn’t equate to the amount of time that you’ll see me. But it’s been kind of consistent the amount of days that I work for each film. Part of the issue in the second one is that Brooke and Dylan went away to a spa. And the first one, they were in San Francisco, where we work, so that led to you seeing more of all of us together. With the third one, as far as I remember, we’re not going anywhere. So I should be in it about the same, as long as the editing is consistent as it has been for the other two. But there is some stuff in this particular film that the audience hasn’t seen. And I think they will enjoy it.

So are there any moments during the filming of the third one that stand out to you?

Well, like I said before, ’cause me, Brooke, and Matthew play the actual detective–the cops–we spend a lot of time together on set. There are constant jokes going on between us right up until the cameras start rolling. Literally, in between takes, there is some funny stuff that goes on. Matthew was literally making like a documentary behind-the-scenes to show to the rest of the cast, I guess you could say. So at any given time, he had his little camera out and was filming us. Me, him, and Brooke were working, and we decided to have someone hold a camera and film him. I don’t remember everything about it, but that was a memorable time we had working on this one. There is so much that happens in the course of filming.

I know at one point there was talk of The Gourmet Detective being a weekly series. What are your thoughts on that possibility?

Well, nothing’s impossible. First of all, do I think that it will become a series? I don’t know. If it were to happen, it may not happen with Hallmark. It may happen somewhere else. Or it may happen with Hallmark. It all depends on whether they see that the show is viable. For myself, do I think it would work? Yes. More so–and this may be my bias since I’m on the show–it’s a little more suited to be a TV show. For instance, Signed, Sealed Delievered was a TV show. And then it turned over into movies. And I think that it works as both. There are some that work well for either. When you watch a movie series, all that has to connect them is that it has the same characters and the same main name in the title. Usually, the movies in a series are standalone movies. With a TV show, you have to have characters and a story in place that can carry on for thirteen episodes or something like that. I watch all of the current Movies & Mysteries TV movies that they have. Just the way the story is in Gourmet Detective, you have Dyaln’s character, Henry, and Brooke’s character, Maggie, who have some chemistry there. And you have the detectives, and you always have a mystery to solve.ms4 So it’s almost kind of endless, in terms of stretching that out for thirteen episodes. You can kind of make up in your mind how that all plays out. Whether it’s from the day-to-day cop work that we do with Henry popping in, the dynamics between Henry and Maggie, also our dynamics between Bailey and Monroe. There’s stuff that has been written–like the scene Matt and I auditioned with–that displayed our actual relationship. Me and Matt’s relationship hasn’t been touched on yet in Gourmet Detective. There’s a lot of stuff that I have seen written or have been told that hasn’t gotten into the movies. There’s a lot of material there for an episodic series. So I think it would work great.  Then with the food element–who doesn’t like food? So even if you’re a foodie, you can just watch for that component. The director that directed the first two {Scott Smith}–he was a big foodie. He was really excited to work on the first two because he was really into food. There’s a lot of components and a lot of elements where the audience can get into the show, I feel, as a TV series. But it all depends on who would want to make it into such.

I honestly agree with you here. I remember you and Dylan both were tweeting about it, and some others agreed. But then it kind of petered out.

Yeah, it did kind of. I remember someone mentioned it, and Dylan tweeted about it and made it a thing. I think it would make a lovely TV show, but I haven’t really heard much about it becoming a TV show in any capacity. But I do know those things can change overnight. It depends on how the audience perceives it. I feel that if there’s enough people who want it, then put some pressure on the network to supply what they demand.

I wanted to bring it up because I thought that maybe the fans might be able to bring it up and mention it to Hallmark again.

Yeah, and when the third film comes out, we’ll see what people think. Like I said, there is some stuff in this one that the audience has not seen before that may get them to want to know more. Hopefully. That’s my hope with this particular third one coming out.

I think it would make a great show, but I’m just one person, and–

We get one and another one and another one and another one–

That’s right. So maybe we can get the conversation going again.

I think that once this one comes out, if the conversation hasn’t happened before, I mean, if the conversation hasn’t happened at that particular time, then I guess it may never happen. With the third one, you never know. But I’m not going to give up hope.

Well, then that makes me more excited about the third one. I just hope we hear soon about when it will be airing.

I really do try to keep myself active in terms of the movies and all. I just haven’t heard anything official yet. But I really do try to promote Gourmet Detective as much as I can.

In addition to Gourmet Detective, do you have anything else coming up that you can mention?

There are some things in talks right now. Nothing has been locked down. I am always auditioning, and there are a couple things in the works right now that I can’t really divulge, but hopefully there will be some stuff soon, like real soon. (laughs) that I’ll be working on. There is a show I did a couple years ago back in Toronto–it’s called 24 Hour Rental. It is completely opposite from my character in Gourmet Detective. It’s a dark comedy. That’s on Hulu right now. There are thirteen episodes of that if you are looking to see me in another light.

Well, we will definitely look out for you. Personally, I think it would be nice to see Hallmark use you more.

Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve auditioned for a bunch of Hallmark movies. But as you know, it all depends on their cast and what they’re looking for. It’s all up to the director and producer and their vision for the film and all. It’s not from lack of trying, but maybe one day they’ll find the right Hallmark film to put me in.

I always think it’s important in these interviews to give fans ideas that they might want to mention to the network. I mean, you could tweet to them all day about what you would like, but they may not listen to you as readily as the fans tweeting to them. Kind of the way things work.

Well, ultimately, the films are for the fans, right? The fans are the ones keeping them where they are. And if they want to see more with a particular person or more of a particular show, then it’s up to the fans to let the network know. With TV shows, all networks have data where they can understand–let’s say–the impact of a particular character’s–let’s use Gourmet Detective, for example. When Brooke and Dylan are on the screen, they can see how many people are interested, how many people are tweeting about it, how many people are talking about it in comparison to when me and Matthew are on the screen, or when two other people are on the screen. So they’ll know where their bread and butter is. They can track the dynamic between two characters or a particular character. They can pinpoint that this character gets a lot of mentions or a lot of retweets or there’s a lot of talk about this particular character. So the writers of the show will be like, “Ok, let’s push more towards this dynamic, or this character, or these two characters.” And that’s all data they get back from the viewers. If people are talking about it, it definitely helps that way.

ms2I’m glad you brought that up because I think sometimes people still don’t know how important it is to let the networks know what you think. 

It is true that there are sometimes network reasons that have nothing to do with fans that cause cancellations and all, but if there is a demand for it, then they’ll try their best to supply it. And with all networks, including Hallmark, they try to infuse some current topics into their shows and films to keep the fans interested because they know that that will get attention or people will gravitate towards that because it’s topical and it’s current. And there’s universal topical things that people will also gravitate towards. But that’s the reason they do it–to pump up the demand. That’s why Signed, Sealed, Delivered has been on for so long. The audience seems to gravitate towards those characters and wants to continue on with their journey. They’ve had a TV show. They’ve had movies. Now they have more movies that are coming out.  And they have their Postables hashtag, for instance, or Hearties hashtag. They’ve found their own little niche, and the viewers can really feel like they’re a part of something. When you can give it a name, that helps out.

Postables are going to love you.

Well, I worked with Crystal {Lowe} on the second one. So there’s a connection there. I worked with Laura {Mennell} on the first one. She was on When Calls the Heart. So there’s some crossover there.

So what do you like to do in your free time? If you have any free time.

Oh man! I wish I did more. I do have free time. I like to watch movies. Although I’m an actor, I don’t watch TV that much. That might sound weird. (laughs) Some people are like, “You don’t watch TV?” I do watch TV, but when I do, it’s more nature shows. I go out. I have dinners. I go and see the odd movie here and there. See, the biggest thing is I’m not from here. I know people, but most of my friends and family are back in Toronto. I know people, but it’s usually a professional relationship. Me and Matthew have become pretty good friends as a result of Gourmet Detective. We hang out a lot. Ironically, we used to have the same agent, and Matt lives across the street from me. So we see a lot of each other. So basically when he and I go out, we talk acting. We work and collaborate a lot together.

So then when you work on Gourmet Detective, it’s like you’re working with your friend.

See, that’s what I mean! Before we were good friends, it was great fun, but now, it doesn’t even feel like it’s much work. And Brooke is S-U-U-PER down-to-earth and nice and warm–she’s a gem to work with. And Dylan is the same thing. Sometimes you get certain actors who have their own things to do–Dylan is the writer and an executive producer, and Brooke is just as busy, so I can understand you may not have the time to interact on set and talk to the other actors. But with them, it has been the complete opposite–which is really nice.  They’re great–even after the show. You can talk to them–whether it’s to ask for advice. With Dylan, I can always email him about something I have going on, and he does his best to support me in my work.

Dylan is really good about that–I’ve seen that. He’s good about congratulating and promoting the actors he has worked with. He sees that they won an award, and he congratulates them. 

Yeah, Dylan is great like that. I was coming into this series, and I figured he’d have a bazillion things to do, but from day one, he has been great. We’d sit, we’d talk, we’d have dinners. For me personally, in my experience, I’ve never had that kind of thing happen on set anywhere before. Especially from the person who was kind of spearheading it. For me, it’s more than I could imagine.

 

ms

Over and over again, Marc thoroughly impressed me as we chatted. He is so passionate about The Gourmet Detective series, and his knowledge of the business is truly perceptive and thought-provoking. As I listened to him detail his aspirations, I was mesmerized by his vernacular and choice of words. Nothing against any actor who has not been to film school–I am fully aware that there are a myriad of paths that can lead to success in this business–but there is something that resonates with me when someone has studied extensively in their field. It’s probably that educator’s bent within me. This young man has the brains, talent, vision, and willingness to be successful in this field. He knows what he wants, and little by little, his determination and commitment to the work is going to equal his success–at least in my humble opinion. While he was serious for much of the interview, on occasion his clever sense of humor would sneak out, and I have to say that I thoroughly appreciate that about him. Like him, I long for the release of The Gourmet Detective:Death Al Dente, and I can only hope that once released, it will be an unparalleled success. Moreover, if you notice, never once did he draw attention to his talent nor his successes–further proof of his genuine humility and eagerness to highlight others. Here’s anticipating that within the next few years, his worth and skill are realized by a variety of networks and that his ascent to stardom continues its steady climb. Be sure that you follow Marc at the links below lest you miss any of his announcements or updates!

FOLLOW MARC

Twitter

Instagram

IMDB

 

 

Interested in subscribing to all my site's updates? Subscribe below!

Subscribe to My Devotional Thoughts

About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

2 Comments

  1. Linda Manns Linneman July 2, 2016 Reply

    I have not seen this yet. I watch Hallmark alot. It is my favorite channel. This was such a great article. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Author
      Ruth July 2, 2016 Reply

      Linda, thank you for stopping by. They do regularly rerun the other two so hopefully you can look it up!

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Please know that comment moderation is in effect on this site. Comments may not appear immediately. Also, please note that any negative attacks on people, networks, or other comments that are deemed "inappropriate" or "overtly negative" may be removed and/or edited by the administrator.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge