Rac­coon com­edy kills

Village Post - - Currents -

Jill Hen­nessy stars in Craw­ford If there was ever a com­edy that Toron­to­ni­ans could re­late to it’s Craw­ford, a new CBC se­ries about a dys­func­tional fam­ily with a rac­coon prob­lem.

The se­ries stars ac­tress Jill Hen­nessy, who took her first foray into act­ing while liv­ing in Toronto.

In Craw­ford, she plays the mom of the fam­ily — a busy ce­real com­pany ex­ec­u­tive with a hus­band who has lost his abil­ity to speak, a young per­sonal trainer boyfriend and three children.

“The rac­coons in­vad­ing the home in the first episode throw ev­ery­one into chaos in a nec­es­sary way. It was nec­es­sary to up­set the bal­ance of this fam­ily to rein­vig­o­rate re­la­tion­ships,” says Hen­nessy.

“The rac­coons are the in­sti­ga­tors of a lot of re­ally good pos­i­tive stuff and a lot of com­edy. It’s emo­tional and it’s hi­lar­i­ous.”

Hen­nessy says one of the high­lights of work­ing on the show is its mostly Cana­dian cast and crew. Alex Life­son of Rush plays her char­ac­ter’s boss at the ce­real com­pany, and Mike Clat­ten­burg and Mike O’Neill of Trailer Park Boys are two of the brains be­hind the show’s script.

“We got to know each other re­ally fast in an in­tense way just by play­ing. You’re sort of thrown into it. You’re do­ing nine, 10 pages a day, and it’s sort of like, ‘Let’s try this, let’s im­prov that.’ So it was nice to be in a col­lab­o­ra­tive at­mos­phere with Mike Clat­ten­burg and Mike O’Neill, whom I adore from Trailer Park Boys,” she says.

“I love their sen­si­bil­ity, and that tone you’ll see through­out Craw­ford, a lit­tle bit of that bizarre, dys­func­tional-func­tional as­pect and just hi­lar­ity.” by Macken­zie Pat­ter­son

The show was shot in Toronto last spring, and Hen­nessy says that al­though she lives in New York now, she still al­ways ap­pre­ci­ates com­ing back to visit the city where she got her start.

“I love hang­ing out near Ossington.That area is just smok­ing hot right now. I went out with the cast there to a tequila bar, and we went to a place called Squirly’s on Queen Street West, which was just awe­some,” she says.

“There are so many great neigh­bour­hoods in Toronto. I was frus­trated I couldn’t visit them all.”

Born in Ed­mon­ton and raised all over Canada, the ac­tor and mu­si­cian al­ways knew she loved per­form­ing, but she never thought she could do it as a ca­reer.

It wasn’t un­til her Grade 12 drama teacher sin­gled her out for the drama award that she re­al­ized she just might have the chops to make it as an ac­tor.

“I thought, ‘ You know I would love to try this act­ing thing. I’ll give my­self a year. I’ll go to Toronto and I’ll see what I can do. I’ll wait­ress. I’ll do what­ever I can,’” she says.

As it turned out, her gam­ble didn’t pay off right away.

“I worked at the Ea­ton Cen­tre as a wait­ress and as a bus­boy, and I played gui­tar in the street, which was great,” she says. “Then I got a job in a play that was go­ing to Broad­way.”

Once in New York, Hen­nessy landed her big break as Claire Kin­caid in TV se­ries Law & Or­der.

Next up for Hen­nessy is a role in a Net­flix TV se­ries called Yel­low­stone.

Craw­ford can now be streamed on the CBC web­site and app, and will air on TV this sum­mer.

Jill Hen­nessy hung out on Ossington while in town film­ing her new CBC show

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