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.


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