There's no mystery surrounding why viewers are captivated by "Motive." Starring Kristin Lehman as Detective Angie Flynn, the TV drama put an unconventional spin on the standard procedural by identifying the murderer and victim at the top of the hour. The rest of the episode revolves around the homicide department's investigation and piecing together the reason behind the crime.
"Motive" kicks off Season 2 on CTV on March 6. HuffPost Canada TV recently jumped on the phone with Lehman to discuss Angie's new boss, firearms and this year's talented list of guest stars.
HuffPost Canada TV: Many freshman dramas spend time establishing the characters and format. With all that out of the way, what's different about Season 2?
Kristin Lehman: The crimes themselves are the things that take the main focus in Season 2. Whereas in the first season, we went home with Angie and knew about her personal life. It's not that so much anymore. There are separate storylines that revolve around office politics and intrigue, but for the most part, now we focus on the crimes more.
The premiere opens four months later. Why the time jump?
It just adds an element of freshness. They're not asking anyone to invest in the way we ended our first season. What it does is allow the audience to be in the here-and-now, as opposed to tying up loose ends.
There are a few new faces in the department. Can you introduce us to Sgt. Mark Cross [Warren Christie]? How does his presence impact Angie?
He is Angie's former partner and former flame, and suddenly he's her boss. Mark shakes things up in terms of their past together, personally and professionally.
Warren is such a welcome addition. Roger Cross is an actor extraordinaire and working on about 7000 shows. We really mourn the loss of him. I was a little nervous when that gravitas was going to go, but Warren is such a versatile actor and so strong, smart, compelling and charming and sexy. So, he adds all that. And having that past be present and palpable in the office really shakes things up.
Does that mean there will be tension between Mark and Angie?
I'm hesitant when I answer because it's something we didn't want to only play. That can get old. If you're a certain age or certain kind of person, you can become addicted to drama. So what we played is two people who were not addicted to drama and were doing their best to deal with it.
Were you pleased they delved into Angie's romantic history?
I think so. The reason I pause again is it's always an intriguing challenge for the writers to try to strike a balance between telling the story of a show that is obviously a procedural, and therefore crime-based, and also trying to explore the lives of characters trying to solve the case. Yes, that's obviously what I want and the kind of shows I find interesting.
What makes Angie and Detective Oscar Vega [Louis Ferreira] such good partners?
They really accept and trust each other. That's something that begins to fray a little in this season. It doesn't really fray so evidently. Instead, it's quite subtle, which I think makes it more powerful. But they are mature people, both in their age and their careers, and are wise enough to know the trust they have for each other should not be misconstrued for anything but a really honest relationship.
"Motive" starts each episode where most procedurals end ... with the killer's reveal. For you, what are some of the challenges of filming in such a non-traditional fashion?
I'm used to it because those are muscles for TV. You're always filming in a non-linear way, but quickly. It's the pace. The biggest thing for me is the content of the show. There are so many facts and logics that need to be relayed and that my character needs to understand. Tracking how much she knows, when she knows it and how she feels about what she knows can be a real challenge.
Angie has rarely fired a gun. Is that something you are happy about or would you like her to see more action?
I fired a gun in episode 13 of Season 1. I shot Amanda Tapping, which is why they jumped four months ahead, so they didn't have to deal with the aftermath of that. Personally, I'm happy about it because in our research, there are police officers who can go their entire careers and never shoot. If they draw their weapon, a policeman would tell you they have to be prepared to shoot.
In terms of wanting to emulate real life, I'm grateful. I also don't want to be pulling my gun all the time. That can get tiring. I'm also Canadian, so I have strong feelings about guns and what they mean.
"Motive" features an impressive array of guest stars. Do you get excited when you see who is popping by?
Oh yes. I get excited. Off the top of my head, this season we have Jennifer Beals, which was like a cultural experience for me. I didn't talk to her about "Flashdance." I didn't geek out too much, but that was a really serious movie for me that I saw in the theatre. I was a dancer and that was amazing to me. That was a modern fairy tale. I was really excited to work with her and she's an incredibly dedicated actress.
Then there's Ben Cotton. Corbin Bernsen. I got to work with my husband [Adam Reid] a little bit this season, which of course was exciting. There was Kenny Johnson, who has been on "The Shield" and "Saving Grace" and "Sons Of Anarchy." You name it and he's done it in the States. I thought he was possibly one of the best actors I've ever worked with. It's certainly this thrilling melting pot of Canada's best and some interesting American actors. I feel so lucky.
What else can you tease about the second season of "Motive"?
It's always coming back to the bedrock of Angie and Vega's relationship. Their relationship carries people through this season again. They are basically the container for the crime story. I'm hoping we've continued to hone our ease and friendship in real life so that it comes across on TV. That is really pleasing. And then I hope viewers are compelled by our new characters. The writers have also worked hard to present exciting crimes. Altogether, that equation makes for a strong season.
"Motive" Season 2 premieres on CTV on March 6 at 10 p.m. ET.
CTV 2013-14 TV