Whether or not her family members agree, Romy (Julia Scarlett Dan) has decided to put her trust in her father David (Louis Ferreira). On this week’s episode of CBC’s This Life, Natalie’s (Torri Higginson) youngest daughter decided to trust David and work towards building a real relationship with the man who had been absent for much of her childhood. So far her older sister Emma (Stephanie Janusauskas) doesn’t seem to agree with this decision, meaning that David is going to have to work extra hard to prove he’s back for good in his children’s lives.
Not only does David have to prove this to Natalie and her kids, but he’s juggling another family, the one he has with his wife Kate. Will he be able to manage being present in both of his families’ lives or will he disappoint them all once again? Motive star Ferreira was given the tough task of playing David in Season 2 and has proceeded to give him a charm, vulnerability and genuineness that much like Romy, we here at The TV Junkies couldn’t help but fall for. The actor recently spoke with us about joining the show, where David is coming from and whether or not his children are right to trust him going forward.
The TV Junkies: The cast and crew on This Life seems to be very close and a tight knit group. What was it like for you to come and join them for Season 2?
Louis Ferreira: I’m always happy to work and any time you’re on set you’re working with creative people and I’m immediately drawn to those types of personalities. So I look forward to it even though I’ve been doing it 32 years because for the most part it’s always a positive experience. But this particular group is wonderful–cast, crew, everyone involved–and I got to go back to a city, Montreal, that I love. The first series I ever did in 1990 called Urban Angel was set there so it was full circle to come back 32 years later.
TTVJ: It has to be difficult knowing that you’re going to be playing the guy that everyone is supposed to hate. How did you approach David and the character initially?
LF: I never saw that from the get go. Whether you hate him or not, I saw David as a very redemptive character and one that is very close to my heart. David is a man that made mistakes, and is also someone who accepted the fact that he made those mistakes, and rather than continue to stay away from them he knew he wanted to fix that. He had the courage to say ‘my responsibility is to those children,’ so he goes back knowing he’s going to be perceived that way.
I’m a father who went through divorce and got custody of my son so it was very dear to me. The message I wanted to put out there with David is that it’s never too late to do right by your children and be responsible and start that relationship at any point. That’s the journey of David where he realizes he was responsible, but he wants to make right by it. From that perspective, deadbeat dad was an element, but it’s much more the story of a man who is going to right his wrongs.
TTVJ: That’s what I loved about the recent episode where he took the road trip with Kate and we got to see things more from his perspective.
LF: It’s very tough and you could see him trying to navigate and do the right thing. I like when he says to Kate ‘it’s your responsibility too. My obligation to these children is also yours.’ When you marry someone with children that’s part of the package, it’s not us and them. Those children were there even before you, but I know in my personal life when I searched for someone after my divorce that was a huge factor. There was just no other option, I had to do right by my children.
TTVJ: Why did David have such a strong reaction to finding out that Romy was freelancing?
LF: For the reasons that he states, she’s underage, working with kids that seem to be much older and David, having corrected his wrongs, has probably become a bit moral. So it’s just his fatherly instincts kicking in and he goes into “protective daddy mode.” The fact is there’s right and wrong sometimes so in that moment he just thought that was not cool. When I was shooting it I thought ‘what would I do in that situation?’ and I thought I’d probably say ‘oh this is so cool!’ So it was interesting in one sense because it goes against what I think, but I think for David it was simply that he’s moral and when you see your child in a situation where you’re a bit threatened then you go in protective mode. Also, if anything there’s that bit of guilt and self blame of had you been there this maybe wouldn’t have happened.
TTVJ: Romy and David seemed to have really reached an understanding. Is she right to put this trust in him?
LF: I love that they did that and I love her so much. Every time I see her I just want to hug her and apologize because she’s so good. The whole cast is so good. Romy gives David a chance, even in spite of David messing up. David is stuck in a situation though and it’s very complicated, this multi-wife thing is very complicated.
TTVJ: Emma is still pretty hard on David despite everything that’s happened. Is there any chance he can get her to start to come around on him the way Romy has?
LF: I think the writers are doing a great job of being realistic. Emma has every right to feel the way she feels, so does Caleb. I think David is at peace knowing this is not going to happen overnight. It boils down to our actions and at the end of the day he knows that he can’t expect results overnight. He understands that she feels that way and probably can relate to it because she has every right to feel that way. I like that every single relationship and dynamic is different and I think very smart in putting the story together.
TTVJ: David and Natalie slept together a couple of weeks ago. Will we see any further fallout from that and what’s their relationship look like over the last two episodes?
LF: The feeling that I get is that David is always going to love Natalie. She will always be the mother of his children and that alone should be enough. I think he missed out on a lot and realized all of that. That’s not a good feeling. I’d like to think that Natalie is at least seeing that in him. I think he’s come into his potential later in life though which is a beautiful thing and a reason I love this show, all the characters have that and are just on their different journeys which make it really compelling to watch.
What are your feelings on David this season? Is Romy right to trust him? Sound off 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.