Is there anything that Rookie Blue fans agree on more than their shared love for one Oliver Shaw? In fact, we here at The TV Junkies are of the opinion that hugs from Staff Sgt. Shaw do indeed have magical powers. While Oliver may have had some difficulty settling into his new role wearing the white shirt and dealing with troubled teenage daughters, the character has always remained a Rookie Blue fan favourite.
The TV Junkies were lucky enough to snag some one-on-one chat time with Oliver himself, actor Matt Gordon (or as we like to call him, ‘Matty,’ which is cool because we totally got permission from the man himself), to talk all things Rookie Blue. When we say all things, we mean ALL things. That’s why instead of a straight Q&A we’ve decided to condense Gordon’s musings on the hit Canadian cop drama series below–including everything from how Oliver is adjusting to his new role, whether or not we’ll see Celery again, love for his co-stars (Gordon even jokes that, “we’re all kind of in love with each other”) and what’s to come should there be a Season 7.
It turns out we weren’t the only ones happy to finally learn more about Officer Nick Collins (Peter Mooney). Gordon says he was just as excited to learn the truth about Nick’s past in last week’s episode, “Letting Go,” because “Oh my God, we’ve been waiting for that for so long!” In fact, it’s something that he and Mooney have discussed ever since Peter joined the show in Season 3. “As Peter and I would hang out and talk about Nick, we always had these fantasies like, ‘I want to go back in Nick’s past and why did he leave the Army?’” recalls Gordon. However, when it came to what the actual truth was, things differ slightly from what Gordon had in mind–not that he cares. “I always had this fantasy episode where he really has PTSD, and he became a cop because he needs some kind of action and to be moving forward. I wanted there to be this whole PTSD episode where he’s struggling and so when they came up with this I was like, ‘Oh that’s so awesome!’” he enthuses.
Oliver is finally adjusting to his new role
In Season 5 Oliver became Staff Sergeant, and he had a difficult time transitioning from the streets to being the guy wearing the white shirt. But according to Gordon, things may have turned the corner. “Basically a season of fighting against it and trying to figure things out, I think he’s finally settled in a bit,” he explains. He also attributes this happening to the writing in that, “I think they are giving Oliver a little more latitude to take some risks in that job, in whatever way he thinks he can lead his troops, by following his heart or his instincts to protect his community,” says Gordon.
It’s all politics
When Oliver’s daughter Izzy got into some trouble at a house party this past week, viewers saw the tables turn a bit as Oliver went to his best friend Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) for advice. Usually Sam is the one coming to Oliver with all his relationship problems, but this time it was Oliver who sought counsel on what to do and whether or not he should take the Commissioner’s offer to expunge Izzy’s record. “Oliver in his comfort zone can talk to Sam about relationships or kids or all the stuff he has life experience with. But when the work stuff comes, that’s all new to Oliver because it’s all politics,” Gordon explains. So it’s a good thing he has best friend Sam to turn to as he figures these things out because, “It’s not being in the street. It’s not being in the car. It’s all politics. It’s something he’s not so comfortable with,” says Gordon.
Oliver’s Inevitable Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
There’s not a whole lot in life you can absolutely count on, but the fact that Oliver Shaw will have a horrible, no good, very bad day is something that will definitely happen once every season on Rookie Blue. “You’d think by now he’d be like, ‘Man this day is rocking along, uh oh what’s coming? This can’t end well,’” jokes Gordon. The actor admits that he’s a fan of Oliver’s misery as well. “I love those shows, it’s the same for everybody,” he says. “Whenever you read that stuff your first reaction is, ‘Oh my God, this is going to be wicked!’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so scared!’” he says, before explaining that “you want to make the writers proud and honour their intentions, make sure the story is great and never let the fans down. You’re excited and freaked out all at the same time.”
Gordon again attributes these fan favourite stories to the Rookie Blue writers. “It’s funny because folks like Tassie Cameron and Sherry White and that whole writing room–they know where to push all of us, they know what buttons to push, and they know how to expand our characters, and they take an awful lot of time figuring out where people should go and how they got there, especially servicing so many characters,” he says.
He loves Charlotte Sullivan & Gail Peck
It’s no secret that we here at The TV Junkiesenjoy Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan), along with the entire Rookie Blue cast, and it turns out Gordon is just as big of a fan as we are of Sullivan’s work. “Charlotte Sullivan is so incredible and she’s like the humblest, craziest, amazing little person on the face of the planet,” he gushes. “It’s funny because she’s always the one that is like, ‘Peter is amazing! Missy is amazing! Matty is amazing!’ and then you watch the prison riot episode, with her sitting there with the wonderful Mary Walsh, and it’s like, ‘Charlotte Sullivan you’re a rock star.’ But if you told her that she’d be like, ‘No, no, no,’” he tells us.
Gordon says that not only is he a fan of Sullivan’s work, but he also enjoys her character Gail Peck as well. “Gail Peck is such an interesting character, even from the first season,” he says. “You want to know what a great actress Charlotte Sullivan is, remember when she went to see Traci in the hospital after Jerry died? And Jerry died trying to find her. That moment on the bed with Enuka [Okuma] and Charlotte is as good as anything you’ll find on television,” he enthuses.
More Oliver and Gail?
With all of the love Gordon has for Sullivan’s Peck, does that mean we can expect more of those scenes between Oliver and Gail that we love so much? Admittedly, Gordon says “I can’t remember, which is ridiculous. I have no idea what’s happening,” he jokes. “I adore my scenes with Charlotte Sullivan because she’s the hardest, and the most closed book, but there’s something with Oliver that she’s allowed him in and they have this special place,” he says.
He also recalls a favourite moment of his that the pair shared where “she busted up with Holly and I’m like, ‘Are you sad?’ That was one of my favourite scenes of the season because it was real and it was amazing. Again, a testament to the writers of Rookie Blue–within this insanity of Rookie Blue–it’s slightly crazy and kind of insane and they give you those quiet moments that are just two people really trying to see if they are OK and connecting.”
He’s a big Oliver & Celery ‘shipper
“I love Emily Hampshire,” gushes Gordon. “I only want more and more Emily Hampshire because I think those two [Oliver and Celery] together are amazing,” he says. Gordon says that Celery came along at the perfect moment in Oliver’s life, and really filled a much needed void for him. He explains that he “loves their relationship because he came from a place that was really hard and he had trouble with his kids. He’s having trouble navigating his job now, because even when his relationship was falling apart he had the love of his kids, and all the sudden that gets a little shaky because Isabelle is screwing around and getting in some trouble. For him, at least he could go to work and it was familiar, and then that changed. So I loved bringing Emily in because it was something that was positive and easy and light and new and exciting that was very positive.”
Give Rachael Ancheril the love she deserves
It’s no secret that the some Rookie Blue fans have voiced their displeasure about the Sam and Marlo [Rachael Ancheril] storyline and the fact that Marlo is carrying his baby. Whether or not fans agree or like that story’s direction should never come back on Ancheril as an actress says Gordon. “We have amazing fans,” he says, but he adds that he “started tweeting and was like, ‘You got to give Rachael some love man.’” He says that dealing with the blowback is nothing new for Ancheril, and he recalls that “it started in Season 4, when Nick and Andy were undercover, and there’s Rachael and it’s like people were so vocal and like, ‘You wrecked our show. I hate you and you’re stupid. You’re so ugly.’”
Gordon has some advice for those fans. “It’s like, guys, she’s an actor, she was hired to play this part and she does a beautiful job,” he says. Fans can be certain of one thing: Gordon himself is a fan of Ancheril’s. “She’s an amazing actor. Those people wouldn’t be so invested if she wasn’t so good at her job. It’s like you’ve got to give her some love guys, come on,” he says.
Ben and Missy “pull us along”
While Rookie Blue may be an ensemble show, Gordon calls Missy Peregrym and Ben Bass “two really strong lead actors that pull us all along.” He says that “Missy and Ben are incredible together. It’s effortless and dangerous.” What sets these two apart? Gordon says that it all comes from the fact that, “You sit down with Missy, and it’s the same with Ben too, they are just so there and present and invested in their characters and open hearted that you’re so drawn in.” Gordon says they help make Rookie Blue into the show that it is today because “Rookie Blue wouldn’t be Rookie Blue without Sam and Andy. Everybody knows that. Without those two, without Missy shouldering the show, her and Ben, in a way, with total grace. They are such pros.”
Thoughts on a possible Season 7
It remains to be seen whether or not Rookie Blue is renewed for a seventh season, but there are plenty of signs that point in that direction. If Season 7 does happen, current showrunner Tassie Cameron would be replaced by fellow Rookie Blue writer and producer Sherry White. Should fans expect any sort of major change in Season 7 because of that replacement? Gordon says not to worry because “those guys are like besties. They are cut from the same cloth because they’ve known each other forever.” Gordon says that “with Sherry running the show I think it’s in good, good, good hands. It’s also in the hands of someone who loves it.” He also sites that White is “an amazing writer and has written us great episodes. All of us live in her hearts for sure.”
What do you think Rookie Blue fans? Who are your favourite characters and what do you still hope to see this season? Sound off in the comments below.
Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Global and will premiere June 25 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC in the U.S.
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.