While Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan) may have plenty of her own problems on Coroner, she is also starting to see that her father’s health problems only seem to be increasing. Gordon (Nicholas Campbell) started to exhibit signs of possible dementia near the end of last season, but in just a few episodes this year, it’s become clear that his symptoms are only increasing, and even more problematic, he’s starting to exhibit some dangerous behavior.
During a visit to set, The TV Junkies were able to take a few minutes to speak with Campbell about his roles as Jenny’s father. The Canadian TV veteran shared with us why he was so excited to see his Coroner role expanded, and why it’s such a joy building Gordon and Jenny’s relationship with Swan. He also joked about his hesitancy to join a series where the main character was a coroner after spending 7 seasons playing that on Da Vinci’s Inquest.
The TV Junkies: Going into this role, did you have any idea how big of a role Gordon would play in the show?
Nicholas Campbell: No, it got a lot bigger. I was supposed to die at the end of last year, but I got along so well with everybody that they added me in this. Now I’m in every episode and it’s a good part.
TTVJ: You and Serinda have such a magic about your relationship on screen. Can you talk a little about what it’s like working with her?
NC: She’s so easy to work with because she’s so good. She’s so good because she prepares so much. She’s into it deeply. I used to play the coroner on a show called Da Vinci’s Inquest, which was a big deal and went around the world. As soon as I heard this show was called Coroner, I thought I’d never be able to do it because my old boss [Chris Haddock] would never talk to me again. Luckily though, Gordon was the father and he was dealing with health issues, but I called and asked first!
TTVJ: In addition to Da Vinci’s, you’ve been on so many other successful shows. How does Coroner compare?
NC: This one has been really something special. When I had my meeting for it, Serinda was there and I thought she was one of the producers. I was being extra solicitous, and had I known she was just the actor, I would’ve been more rude and probably wouldn’t have gotten it. [laughs]
TTVJ: At the end of last season, Gordon was starting to get sick and we saw his dementia coming into play. Where do things stand for him this year?
NC: Not much has changed. It all happens gradually and he’s at that sundowner thing now. So during the day he’s not bad, but as it starts to get dark it’s worse. They aren’t saying that this is Alzheimer’s though, so maybe there’s hope. I don’t know but I just hope they keep me around.
TTVJ: Caring for the older generation seems to be something that many of Coroner’s audience members could relate to.
NC: I’m playing it absolutely straight. I’m not trying to look crazy or forgetful. I think that’s how it happens. It’s just so heartbreaking. I haven’t done any of that so let the audience get their heart broken and not me.
TTVJ: I also really enjoyed your scenes in the first season with Ehren. Will we see more of Gordon’s relationship with Ross?
NC: We hit it off the first day! I think that’s why I’m back. People hear different things, like ‘Nick Campbell is a prick. He likes to make up his own lines.’ But we got along so well that I think they said ‘Oh, I guess it’s not true. He’s OK!’ They then started writing more for me last year. Ross and I are pretty close.
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.