LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Cape Breton-born MacLellan lands role in CBC series “Bellevue”
East Bay native has role in new CBC series ‘Bellevue’.
For Billy MacLellan, 2017 is looking rather unnerving.
“It’s going to be hard to top 2016,” laughs the 43-year-old Cape Breton-born actor during a recent phone interview from his current home in Los Angeles.
“It’s been absolutely great.” Although he’s been acting steadily over the years in series such as “Bomb Girls,” “Murdock Mysteries,” and “Defiance,” 2016 was the year he landed major roles in movies and television with some of the top actors in the business.
On Monday evening, Cape Bretoners had the chance to watch MacLellan in his latest role as small town detective Brady Holt in the CBC series “Bellevue,” which stars Academy Award winner Anna Paquin.
“Detective Brady Holt is a small town guy that I can identify with,” says MacLellan. “Every character in this series has wonderful contradictions and wonderful levels to play.”
He’s hopeful the show will go over well with viewers, especially here at home.
“It’s premiering on Family Day so everyone should have seen it,” he says jokingly.
The new edgy series will air on CBC for eight weeks at 9 p.m. on Monday.
Although based in Toronto, MacLellan made the move to Los Angeles in June and admits he’s been barely home anywhere over the past year. He’s originally from East Bay.
Last fall and early winter he worked on “Bellevue,” which was shot in Montreal. He says the show is unlike anything else shown on television.
“It’s surprisingly dark,” he says. “It’s definitely not for kids. At the end of one of the trailers you can see a spray of blood on the CBC logo – I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
“Bellevue” is a mystery set in a small, blue-collar town. When a transgender teen goes missing, Det. Annie Ryder (Paquin) finds herself in a difficult position when she has to cast suspicion on people that she has known all her life.
MacLellan says working with actors like Paquin was a dream come true.
“She’s fantastic. I’ve never met anyone who works harder than she does.”
Shawn Doyle, who stars as the town’s police chief, is another favourite.
“I’ve admired his work for years and I was nervous to meet him,” says MacLellan, who says he needn’t worry since he found Doyle to be a kindred spirit.
MacLellan also acted in the movie “Maudie” based on the life of artist Maude Lewis, which starred Ethan Hawke. And along the way, he has also voiced the video game “Watch Dogs 2” and worked on such shows as “Dark Matter,” “Houdini and Doyle,” “The Expanse,” and “12 Monkeys.”
Since 2016 was such a busy year, MacLellan is hopeful 2017 will continue that trend and already he’s been at work on several projects and has hopes for several more.
But he knows his profession can have its up and down periods, so he is thankful that he can continue to make his living in the business that he loves.
“I am truly grateful for the past year,” says MacLellan.
Shown is the cast of “Bellevue” which will air Mondays on CBC television. From left are Shawn Doyle, Billy MacLellan, Anna Paquin and Sharon Taylor.