(Yes, that Yannick Bisson, kids. It really is a Murdoch Monday.)
As I often tell the wife, this is the big one. Of course, like the wife, I’m sure you’re having some doubts…
Well dispel them now, friends. In my house, Yannick Bisson isn’t just a homegrown actor with decades of exceptional work under his belt. In my house, Yannick Bisson is Detective William Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary and he, along with the colorful cast of characters that inhabit the world of Murdoch Mysteries, gave a dying old man something to look forward to every day. This may seem silly on the surface, but when a person expends all their energy getting washed up in the morning it makes them realize there are fewer days ahead than behind.
Emphysema doesn’t just weaken the lungs and by extension, the entire body, it robs a person of their dignity and self-confidence. It can make them give up on life entirely.
Once my father-in-law became confined to a daybed and an easy chair, television became his window to the world; it gave him a reason to get up on days when his spirit was crushed. One show stood above all the reality shows, Mrs. Brown’s Boys, the weather reports and the news.
Unlike some celebrities, Yannick genuinely appreciates his fans – of all species.
I think Dad’s personal record was five episodes of MM in a single day. The phrase, “What have you, George?” became as common as, “I’m hungry!” (certain meds made him ravenous), “What do you work today, Bob?”, “Are we going to Tim Hortons?” and of course, “Is Murdoch on?”
And so you can see why I’ve always considered a Yannick Bisson interview my personal white whale, right? With his ridiculously-busy schedule I was certain I’d never land a 5×5 with Yannick Bisson. (The man’s married to the love of his life, he has three daughters, a film career and a TV series. When does he have time to breathe?) But life, like that young lady with the Adam’s apple I met at a club once, is full of surprises.
Here’s how it all started:
This tweet was in response to a tweet one of my own, where I openly envied another blogger who was fortunate enough to land an interview with the man himself. But then he made the word “anytime” my favorite word of all time. With the exception of “yes”, of course.
So here we are. Now it’s 5×5 primer time. As the guest in question has had a long and storied career, I’ll stick to the highlights and anyone who wishes to delve deeper can click here.
Ironically, in 1984 a young Yannick got what actors refer to as his “big break” in a CBC movie-of-the-week. From there, he bounced around the TV landscape, wearing different skins and making a name for himself as a actor of the highest quality. He even starred alongside rocker Rick Springfield, forming a friendship that endures to this day. Personally, I think Rick is just hanging around waiting for Yannick to pay back that fifty bucks he lent him in 1994…
As impressive as his television resume is, I find myself more interested in the moments between jobs.
Yannick worked as a builder to support his family and this is where the true measure of the man can be… measured.
Anyone who’s been paying attention to his public persona and acting trajectory can see this is a man who cares about the integrity of his career.
But he cares about his family more. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep his wife and three daughters happy and healthy, whether it be solving crimes onscreen in turn-of-the-century Toronto or swinging a hammer. Of course, his amazing wife is more than capable of making her own money as are his gifted daughters at this point in their lives, but there’s no statute of limitations on being a caring dad/husband.
This is what it’s really all about for Yannick Bisson, friends.
And speaking of caring, Yannick Bisson also believes in giving back to a society that has given him so much and so he and his family devote as much free time as they can scrape together to charitable endeavors. Among the many charities the Bissons support are “Adopt A Lesser-Known Kennedy”, “Neuter A Kardashian” and of course, appearing on this blog.
Today, Yannick is CBC’s Detective Murdoch (he’s even appeared behind the lens as well), a man whose brilliant mind is ahead of its time and whose moral compass never wavers. In this regard, I don’t think the man is acting. He does double-duty on CBC (stop giggling) as William Murdoch and teacher Mr. Anthony on the live-action/animated mix children series, The Adventures of Napkin Man.
You’re actually five-o, Mr. Anthony? Wow!
As a fanboy, I could go on, but let’s get down to business, shall we? We’ll start you off with something easy and light-hearted…
ONE) If you could strike one word from human language, what would it be?
I’d have to strike “Regret”. It’s a cause of much pain and looking backward. Too much and you start second-guessing yourself and even hit upon depression maybe…
And strike “Hemorrhoids”, also very bad.
TWO) To me, you’ve always had the perfect profile and acting chops to play a superhero (that bubble’s not bursting anytime soon, it seems), if you could play any hero, who would it be? Or maybe a villain for a change?
I have a really good time playing a baddie, can’t lie. Strange is also good. If I look at it honestly though, as I imagined my roles when I was younger, being a “hero” or “lead” was my ideal. I know better now that variety is really where it’s at. Pick one hero? Rick Deckard (H. Ford) in Blade Runner. Does the voice of Mr. Incredible count?
(Whatever you say counts, Det. Murdoch.)
THREE) A zombie apocalypse breaks out. What do you do first? (I’m sure you’re laughing, but Trump’s running for president, anything can happen these days.)
Grab the kids and head north…way north. Not many zombies in the cold and they have no idea where Canada is anyway.
(That’s very true; zombies are worse than men when it comes to asking for directions.)
FOUR) If you could have had a role in any past movie or TV show, what would you pick?
Wish I’d been in? Great question.
(I was bound to ask a good one sooner or later.)
It’s no secret that I’m a Star Wars fan, so that’s one. The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, A Fistful of Dollars, Miami Vice, Pulp Fiction, Saving Private Ryan, Manhunter, Tombstone, Alien, The Jeffersons, Blade Runner, Three’s Company, Cannonball Run, Interstellar, To live and die in LA, The Matrix, Barney Miller, Snatch, Breakfast Club, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and EVERY Bond film besides Moonraker.
(In spite of its uber-silliness, I didn’t mind Moonraker. Hopefully, Yannick doesn’t read this.)
FIVE) You can be any type of container (suitcase, barrel of wine, a bra) what would you be?
A bucket in a Ferris wheel. Always new faces, wide-eyed with wonder and not many unhappy ones. That or Trevi fountain, for the same reason.
Well, I don’t know about you, but this has been one of my favorite 5×5 sessions ever, kids. My eternal thanks to Yannick Bisson, for yesterday, today, and tomorrow; your work has touched a chord in all of us, buddy. I literally can’t wait for MMX to begin. And of course, I need to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy lives – so I can rot your brains with my unique form of madness.
See you in the lobby, friends…