Canadian actor, Eric Johnson Rookie Blue, is most known for his portrayal of detective Luke Callaghan on ABC’s hit, Rookie Blue. Prior to his work on Rookie Blue, Johnson played Whitney Fordman on the sci-fi hit, Smallville. In an exclusive interview, Johnson explains how he got involved in Rookie Blue and why he knew it would be a success.
Q: How did you first get involved in Rookie Blue?
Johnson: I was aware of Tassie Cameron’s writing and was a fan and had done a pilot with Producers Ilana Frank and David Wellington that didn’t get picked up so I was eager to work with all of them and thankfully they liked my audition and cast me as Luke.
Q: What drew you to the character of Luke?
Johnson: Intellectual, work focused, calculated. I enjoy playing intelligent characters, even in the early days I always was hoping for a darker side of the character which in later seasons I think we’ve seen.
Q: Were you surprised at how quickly the fans latched onto the show and began supporting it?
Johnson: No. I knew the second I read the pilot this show would go 5 years or more. As long as we had network support I knew audiences would love it. Once the cast was in place, I knew it was going to be a hit.
Q: What was your favorite episode to film and why? — What was the hardest scene?
Johnson: Episode 3 season 2 Bad Moon Rising. That was actually the first episode we shot in season 2. My first day was the proposal scene then getting shot. It was a big emotional day and we hit the ground running so to speak. No little warm up scenes to get us going. It was a great day in the end, but I would be lying if I said there wasn’t butterflies that day.
Q: At one point, Luke leaves the show — but yet you keep making appearances each season. Would you be open to Luke coming back for a more regular role?
Johnson: I don’t know, If there was a need for Luke to be around then yes but it’s a big show with a lot of characters to service and there is only so much time week to week. Even in seasons one and two, there were times that Luke was unneeded in episodes and for me, I’d rather be in there with a strong driving purpose on the show that just be in the background or on the periphery. What I like about how it works now, is that you know something big and bad is happening when Luke is back at 15. It gives the character direction and purpose which I think we struggled with at times in seasons 1 and 2.
Q: As an actor, how do you prep for each role you take? Is there a lot of backstory and/or research done beforehand? — (i.e. before playing Luke, did you do anything specific to learn about police/detectives?)
Johnson: Reading. Google and wikipedia are the best things that have been invented for doing research. Watching docs or films or shows with a similar vibe helps too. With RB they gave us a day of cop training, which I loved. I love learning new skills and techniques.
Q: The cast of the show seems really close. How is it working with the other cast members? What is it like to come back each season?
Johnson: Some really great friendships are forged on this show, which isn’t always the case with series. For me coming in and out its always a warm reception and I’m eager to get to play with my friends again. They are a great group that honestly care about the show and each other. When you get to work with such a committed group, it’s fun.
Q: I am going to ask you some questions about your cast mates that I have asked all the other Rookie Blue actors during my interviews:
– Who is the funniest? Matt Gordon
– Who is most likely to prank you? Matt Gordon
-Who is most likely to forget their lines? Matt Gordon
-Who is first on set? Not Matt Gordon
-Who is the first to laugh during a scene? The person working opposite Matt Gordon
-Who stays around to hang out even if they aren’t working? Matt Gordon
-Who is the most talkative? Matt Gordon. I love Matt Gordon.
Q: What are your next projects? Where can people stay updated on what you are doing?
Johnson: Well I am currently working with the same production team as RB on another show of theirs Saving Hope, doing a few episodes for them. Also, a video game I’ve spent the last 2 years working on is being released this summer. You can buy SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST Aug20th in north america. Also, have anther job that I’m very excited to talk about in the near future so check my twitter feed @ericjjohnson79 for the latest EJ news and some ridiculous bad dad jokes.
Q: Anything you want to say to the fans that will read this?
Johnson: Thank you for helping make Rookie Blue a continued success. You really are fantastic fans.