Interview With Actor Dru Viergever, “Flower Shop Mystery

By Ruth on July 2, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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As a committed Hallmark fan and zealous devotee of the Flower Shop Mystery series of films, I pay very careful attention to what the stars of the series tweet and whom they choose to highlight. In this third installment, it just so happens that Kate Collins (author of the book series) mentioned the actor Dru Viergever in connection with Dearly Depotted, and immediately, I was compelled to look him up and follow him. Furthermore, Brennan Elliott (the incomparable Marco Salvare in the film series) tweeted to this man, and I knew then that I absolutely had to investigate this actor further and request an interview. I was amazed when I heard back from him so quickly (I shouldn’t have been, I mean, if Brennan thinks he’s a good guy…), and I was quite honored to be able to ask him some questions (and get some phenomenal answers) about how he got started in acting and how he got involved in this extraordinary series of Hallmark films.
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What inspired you to become an actor? What kind of training have you had?

I was always inspired by Star Wars while growing up, like everyone else. (haha!) When I hit adolescence, I began attending outdoor festival concerts, and this band called I Mother Earth from Toronto instantly changed the direction of my life at a concert called Edgefest, in 1996.  I had never seen intricate musicianship like that, while motivating 10,000 sweaty kids to jump in unison on a field of 30,000 people. I focused everything on the bass guitar after that, and I plowed forward.  I then became involved with, let’s say, the wrong crowd, and found myself in some trouble… 

dvMy family decided that a boarding school would be a great change for me, and I began grade seven there.  It was tough, disciplined, and stringent, and the best thing that could have happened to me. To answer your question specifically, I remember standing in the lunch line, in the cafeteria.  They had a television monitor that displayed student announcements during the day, and for whatever reason, sometimes the channel would be flipped to a regular station during that hour or two at noon.  A trailer for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective came on, and here I was, in a suit and tie, transfixed by what I saw, thinking, “Wow, one can do that?!” I then proceeded to become all things class clown.  The drama teachers there persuaded me to channel or filter that energy into something productive; lo and behold, I was in every school play subsequently, in some capacity. During senior year, my best friend at the time had a step-brother, whom I knew in passing, and was evidently a talent agent.  He came to see my senior year play as Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady.  He approached me afterward and asked if I’d be interested in “trying out for some commercials?” I very naively responded, “yes.”  Alas, I haven’t smartened up yet, and here I am speaking with you, HA!

With regard to training, I have done several classes and studied separately, outside of school while attending university.  I still do classes and have a coach I work with, constantly

As you have played a wide variety of roles throughout your career, what process do you use to get into each character so that your character seems so genuine? What are the unique challenges of playing a good guy versus a bad guy?

Wow, very kind words, thank you.  I’d have to give credit to the coach I have worked with for the last six years.  He always finds an objective way to “ground me” within a scene. That is to say,  to make the words my own.   That’s really the key, the goal, and the challenge – to make any words on a page come out “ truthfully,” as your own, in that fictional situation.   There are several popular schools of thought as to how that can be achieved, but that’s essentially the desired result. Those actors that you admire, in those scenes you love, happened to play that moment in some way that resonated with someone in the audience.  It struck a nerve because someone relates to the unfolding.  It’s an honesty where you feel,  “I get that. I relate to how they handled that.”  Both “good guys” and “bad guys” simply approach whatever they’re doing as doing the “right” thing, to them.  The conflict which creates a “scene” is produced when two characters approach something while they are both after what they are after, for their own reason.  They are in a parallel pursuit,  approached from a different angle, dictated by their circumstance, which just happens to be different. They are both honest.   Finding that is the challenge.  I hope that makes sense. (hahaha!) 

How did you get involved with the Flower Shop Mystery series?

I apologize if anyone knows about the typical casting process (and bear with me here), but to be brief, a film or TV show producer will be green-lit to produce their project.  They hire a casting director who then begins to “breakdown” all the roles in the screenplay, aside from the leads/stars, who are typically already attached or cast. This list, with character descriptions, is distributed to agents in the region or area where the show will film along with a selection of “sides” for each character for selected actors to read. In my case, I received the sides and breakdown, with an invitation to audition, and deduced the description, “small town cop, ” and rolled my eyes a little bit.  Just look at me – I have never been cast as the small town cop: Military guy, cannibal, gang member, etc., has been my story for years, which is hilarious in itself as I’ve been described as a teddy bear by everyone who knows me!  Oh, and when I saw Brooke Shields was “cast,” I panicked a little, hesitated and almost declined it as I didn’t think I’d even have a shot. Something I made up almost prevented the whole thing.  A great lesson. I went in and read for it without giving it a second thought afterward, which probably helped…  Just goes to show, never say no, and never count yourself out. I hired a coach before the audition, which was the scene in Mum’s  where I take down the description of the vehicle driver from Abby Knight, and I found a way to approach it which made me feel right.  Alas, here we are!  When I booked the part, I was thrilled. 

mv5bmjaymtm3nzc4ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjq0odqynje@._v1_uy317_cr910214317_al_.jpg.jpgWhat do you like about working with the Hallmark brand? 

The people!  The audience!  I’ve just been dramatically introduced to this amazing community of positive, spirited, devoted and excited fan base.  I’ve never been a part of anything like it.  More, please 🙂  

What was it like working with the cast/crew of Flower Shop Mystery?  What is the environment like on set?

I don’t even know where to begin.  During Mum’s The Word, no one had any idea if it would be watched or liked by anyone, really.  Everyone was just trying to make a good movie within essentially two weeks, which is crazy. Hallmark has nailed the production formula though.  It just works. We certainly had fun, but there was a quiet focus.  It seemed as though the script was modified daily, and we just worked away. People came, worked and left so fast, it felt like.  The crew was great, but again, and I can only speak for myself,  I assumed it was a few scenes and then onto the next project.  A one-off, so to speak.  I tried not to become too attached.  I hate wrapping.  Goodbyes are painful for me, especially when it’s fun, and it always is!  The cast was fantastic.  I was terrified of shooting with Miss Shields, as my older sister has really looked up to her all her life.  She was so excited and eagerly awaited anything I could tell her. My sister is also a fan of the book series and lost it when she realized the title, days after I wrapped!  I told Kate Collins after I met her,and she was amazing enough to sign an item for her, which made her year.  Just a great collaboration of people.  Of course, Miss Shields is amazing.  Kind, generous, funny and cool!  Very professional too.  Quiet and focused.  I respect her very much and essentially just leave her alone until I’m told to speak, haha!  Same approach with Brennan {Elliott}.  I just stay back unless engaged. Respect – they’re trying to lead a TV series!  When they yell cut, they’re as cool as any fan of theirs would hope… I’ve never had more fun, especially since in Depotted the writers made Dunn and Abby more adversarial. It’s such a rush to “bump heads” a little more with Brooke Shields!

There is a reason why Miss Shields has been around, as iconically as she has, for as long as she has.  Of the cast, she is usually first there and last to leave. I’d come to town for a day or so, here and there for my sections, while she, Brennan and Kate Drummond are there, day after day, hammering away for the duration.  They’ll finish several pages of dialogue, then on to the next. I have no idea how they maintain their health while going full-tilt like that, especially during the winter. A lesson in work ethic and what it takes.  Toward the end of Depotted, from my perspective, it had become a team.  Heck, a family.  A very sleep-deprived family.

dv2Do you have any upcoming works you can mention? 

My next project that is finished is a TV movie called Deadly Dance Mom which my company, Factory Film Studio, is producing. If anyone is interested, write to me on Twitter or Facebook, and I’ll let you know more as I learn! First of many.  It’s hilarious, as you may have gleaned from the title.  Doug Murray (Richard Bender) is a lead in it. He’s great!  

Anything else, I’m too superstitious to talk about until I’m actually there and the little red light on the camera shows that we’re recording – HA!

As you are recently married, how are you working to balance your personal and work life?

Communication.  Patience.  Understanding.  Neck Massages.  Communication.  Red roses (don’t laugh!)

 Any plans to eventually direct/write?

I’d love to do both.  I’m watching and learning everything I can from set. I always have a note pad or the ol’ iPhone around for whenever the muse strikes. I simply need to focus the ideas, compile them, and just do it!   I’m too focused on attempting to provide good acting right now.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Music.  Cinema.  Video games.   General excitement.  

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Well, I don’t know if you’re impressed, but I’m completely blown away! Dru is so well-spoken, and he has keen insight into the film industry and the art of acting. I am a fan of his immense attention to detail and his focused observational skills. Oh, and I do love that unaffected wit of his that sneaks into his responses so easily. This is an actor who is well aware of what it takes to be successful in this business as well as the true measure of one’s success. His outlook is positive, and I would say that as he continues to pursue his passion and keeps his gentle humility about him, I believe he has the capacity to go beyond his wildest dreams in this profession (or at least attain much of them–he may have extravagant dreams than I realize after all).  I hope that Hallmark continues to utilize his unique style and unquestioned skills in more of their films, but if nothing else, I do hope to see him in more of these Flower Shop Mystery films. He has convinced me to explore his works even further, and I invite everyone to be sure to follow him at the various links below lest you miss any of his works, updates, and more.

FOLLOW DRU

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

IMDB

Factory Film Studio

 

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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

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