If you are a viewer that came to Cardinal expecting to see Aaron Ashmore playing another loveable good guy, then you’ve probably been taken aback at what you’ve seen so far. Instead, Ashmore joined the CTV drama series’ third season as someone quite different from John Jaqobis, the character he stars as on the SYFY/Space series Killjoys. In Cardinal, Ashmore plays Randall Wishart, a real estate agent involved in an affair with Sam (Devery Jacobs). It’s an affair that saw him being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now threatens to expose his secret life to a wife that has no idea what her husband truly has been up to.
Sam seems to be in some very real danger over what she witnessed, and now may be pushing Randall more and more to seek out help. The TV Junkies recently caught up with Ashmore to talk about his experience shooting Cardinal, as well as to get some insight into what Randall may do and even more so, what may be going through his mind. In addition to Cardinal, Ashmore will be back for the fifth and final season of Killjoys later this year and as he tells us, also be appearing on the upcoming season of Designated Survivor, now on Netflix.
The TV Junkies: The first season of Cardinal had only aired when you landed this role. Were you a fan and how did this opportunity come about?
Aaron Ashmore: I definitely had seen the first episodes, and with it being a Canadian show, I try to check those things out because I’m very proud of the work we do up here. I remember thinking it looked really, really well done and interesting. I really enjoyed the first season. Then I was in between seasons of Killjoys, and got a call that there was a recurring role in the third season. I jumped at it and thought I’d love to be a part of it. I was not disappointed either because it was a really fun show to shoot.
TTVJ: Randall is very different from John Jaqobis. What was so appealing about the role to you?
AA: It’s always nice to play different things. On the page he definitely had his own self interests, but I don’t think he’s a terrible person. As the season goes on, we see a little bit more of where he’s coming from. The director [Daniel “Podz” Grou] and I talked about how he was trapped in this life as a hockey star who didn’t go anywhere, so he’s stuck in this small town. He’s not particularly smart or has any kind of drive in any other way. He ends up working for a real estate agency that his wife’s father runs and is stuck in this life that he didn’t plan on. In doing so, he’s probably a bit of a sad guy, and doing things that aren’t in other people’s best interests and feeling sorry for himself. He’s not bad, he’s just not a great guy. He’s just self serving.
TTVJ: You just came off of five seasons working on a show where you were the lead and had to carry a lot of the weight on your shoulders. What was this experience like on Cardinal for you where you got to come in and be a part of this team, but not have to shoulder such a heavy weight?
AA: I like both positions. I like to be driving the show, but it’s also nice to come in and allow other people to have the heavy lifting. It’s nice to come and just play around with less responsibility. Billy Campbell really sets the tone on Cardinal and he’s so nice and laid back. It’s a really nice show to walk into with strong leads who are also very friendly. It’s very different, but I’ve done a lot of both. They are slightly different, but sometimes it’s nice to take a little bit of a back seat, just come in and play for a few scenes. I really like both opportunities.
TTVJ: You guys also shot a ton in studio for Killjoys, so what was it like going up to North Bay for the shoot?
AA: We were there in the summer and into the fall and it was absolutely beautiful. I would not want to be there in the winter because I’m not a winter guy and have a hard time getting through Toronto winters, let alone North Bay winters.
TTVJ: You mentioned the director earlier, what was it like getting the chance to work with someone like Podz?
AA: It’s interesting because he directed the whole season so there’s so much continuity and he knows what he wants. They are short seasons so everything is mapped out and they know what they are doing ahead of time. It’s a great way to work. I thoroughly enjoyed him because he’s very laid back, but also knows what he wants, and that’s the best case scenario for a director. When you’re working over multiple episodes, it’s really nice to have that continuity. To be able to work with someone continuously like that is really nice.
TTVJ: Randall seems very reluctant to help Sam, even though she seems to be in a lot of danger. What can you preview about what’s next or how long can he keep all these balls in the air?
AA: He’s really worried that if she goes to the cops their relationship will be exposed, and then his whole life, job and marriage will be up in the air. Obviously, he thinks something happened at the house this one day, but he doesn’t think anyone is after her. I genuinely believe that even though she’s super scared, he thinks she’s overreacting.
TTVJ: I know you can’t say much, but is there anything you can share about what to expect from the final season of Killjoys?
AA: We’ve got a long journey still to go and it’s a really big season. There’s a lot to wrap up and discover so there’s a lot that happens. I also think people are going to be really, really happy with the ending. If a show that people love has to come to an end, at least it’s coming to an end in a way that was really planned and really well executed. The stakes are high and we’ve got some cool new characters, but also all our favorite characters coming back. There’s definitely some surprises, and people will be surprised by some of the avenues we go down and things that go down. I was surprised so I think the fans will be as well.
TTVJ: We always love when you’re on our screens, so any other upcoming projects?
AA: I’m just finishing up on some episodes of Designated Survivor, and I do have a new genre project coming out. I’m very excited about it, but can’t talk about it quite yet. It’s something I personally am a big fan of so am very excited to be a part of it.
Thoughts on this season of Cardinal? Share them in the comments below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.