Ac­claimed ac­tor ready for next case

With the fi­nal sea­son of po­lice drama 192, ac­tor Adrian Holmes looks to the fu­ture

Richmond Hill Post - - Arts - by Macken­zie Pat­ter­son

Through­out its four sea­sons, 19-2 has been well re­ceived among both crit­ics and au­di­ence mem­bers. In 2016, the show was nom­i­nated for an In­ter­na­tional Emmy Award. This year, Adrian Holmes won a Cana­dian Screen Award for best per­for­mance in a con­tin­u­ing lead­ing dra­matic role.

The show also stars Toronto ac­tor Jared Keeso.

Holmes says he sees sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween him­self and his char­ac­ter, Nick Barron — a cop with a tough-guy ex­te­rior as well as a softer side.

“Nick Barron is a multi-lay­ered char­ac­ter with a lot of depth and vul­ner­a­bil­ity, and it was such a treat and a joy to be able to play him,” he says. “He’s all about help­ing oth­ers, and he’s not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, but at the same time, there is a tougher side to him, and he doesn’t want to come across soft.”

Al­though the fourth sea­son will fea­ture eight episodes in­stead of the usual 10, the show will re­tain its re­al­is­tic plot lines and in-depth char­ac­ter devel­op­ment.

In fact, 19-2 is so true to the re­al­ity of work­ing as an of­fi­cer that Holmes says a po­lice de­part­ment has shown episodes to its trainee of­fi­cers for ed­u­ca­tional pur­poses.

“They showed their trainees the school shoot­ing episode be­cause that episode was re­ally in­tense and it put the of­fi­cers in a sit­u­a­tion where they had to be re­ally fo­cused and calm in or­der to re­spond,” he says. “The fact that they took what we did as a model for real life was a huge hon­our.”

Holmes is now based out of Van­cou­ver, but he says he still gets to Toronto of­ten. The ac­tor cites ar­eas like Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket, Oss­ing­ton Street and St. Lawrence Mar­ket as some of his most fre­quented haunts, as well as Belfast Love Pub­lic House on King Street.

Holmes has also been busy with other roles, in­clud­ing his re­cur­ring gig on Ar­row, op­po­site Toronto na­tive Stephen Amell, and an ap­pear­ance on Let­terkenny cre­ated by his 19-2 co-star Keeso.

Last year, the ac­tor played Er­rol Bur­row, the first prime min­is­ter of Bar­ba­dos, in Bur­row: Free­dom

Fighter, an in­de­pen­dent film, and he says he’ll be work­ing on another in­de­pen­dent film in Bar­ba­dos in the near fu­ture.

“That was a huge ca­reer high­light for me. I got to go back to my home­land of Bar­ba­dos and work on that pro­ject,” he says.

Holmes was born in Wales and had al­ready lived in three coun­tries by the age of four. His fam­ily moved back to his home coun­try, Bar­ba­dos, be­fore start­ing a life in Bri­tish Columbia.

“My mom was a nurse, and she had a job op­por­tu­nity over here. She jumped on it, and I had no say in the mat­ter,” he says and laughs.

While grow­ing up, Holmes found his call­ing early on. He acted in school plays and mu­si­cals through­out his child­hood, and he still re­mem­bers his first role as the lion in the Wizard of Oz.

“I’ll never for­get this lit­tle girl came up to me and asked for my au­to­graph and I was like, ‘Mom, why does she want my au­to­graph? I’m not fa­mous.’ She said, ‘Oh but you were the lion, and you were so good!’ That was my first au­to­graph I ever signed. I won­der if that lit­tle girl still has it,” he says.

His pas­sion for act­ing never left him, even dur­ing a brief stint in the nurs­ing in­dus­try. Holmes still dab­bled in the act­ing world while he com­pleted his nurs­ing diploma, and af­ter a cou­ple of brief stints work­ing in hos­pi­tals, he de­cided to make act­ing his fo­cus.

“I said, ‘ You know what, the years are go­ing to go by any­way, re­gard­less of what you do, so it doesn’t hurt to do some­thing you love.’ Life is short, you only have one life to live, give it your all. If you gave it your all and you don’t suc­ceed, at least you’ll be able to say you tried,” he says.

Al­though Holmes has acted in sev­eral film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions through­out his ca­reer, he says his favourite plat­form is the the­atre, for its au­then­tic­ity and the creative li­cence it al­lows him as an ac­tor. He says one of his ca­reer bucket list items is to star in a Broad­way show or at least one play a year.

“The thing about the­atre is that it’s act­ing in its purest and rawest form. You’re com­pletely vul­ner­a­ble be­cause it’s just you and the au­di­ence, and you get to ex­pe­ri­ence their en­ergy and their re­sponses in the mo­ment,” he says. “You get to per­form from the be­gin­ning to the end and ex­pe­ri­ence the full arc of the char­ac­ter.”

De­spite his love for the­atre, he says the ex­pe­ri­ence of star­ring in

19-2 has been a ma­jor ca­reer high­light for him. The fourth and fi­nal sea­son is set to pre­miere on July 31. Holmes says he’s glad that the show is end­ing on a high note.

“I would have loved to have kept it go­ing a lit­tle longer, but a lot of shows will go nine or 10 sea­sons and in do­ing so sac­ri­fice qual­ity. We wanted to end the show with­out los­ing that qual­ity and with­out los­ing the re­spect that the au­di­ence al­ready has for the show,” he says.

Adrian Holmes is a fan of Toronto’s Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket

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