Article sur l'acteur Billy Campbell à propos de la série The Killing dans le magazine PostMedia News
Billy Campbell apologized for being late. Filming on the second season of The Killing had backed up all week, until Friday spilled over into Saturday morning. Here he was, on a crisp, cold Sunday morning in Vancouver's West End, preparing for his customary run around the Stanley Park seawall.
The cast of one of TV's most contentious, divisive, talked-about thrillers has not exactly been sworn to a blood oath of secrecy, but it's a question of common sense. Campbell is only too happy to talk at length about The Killing's behind-the-scenes goings-on, except, of course, the Big Question: Who killed Rosie Larsen? And, more to the point: Why is it taking so long for viewers to find out?
Campbell plays respected and well-liked Seattle city councillor and mayoral candidate, Darren Richmond, the prime suspect in the brutal killing of a teenage girl, Rosie Larsen, and the murder's subsequent coverup. The Killing, as conceived by Veena Sud, is part whodunit and part character study of what happens to a family when a loved one is suddenly and brutally murdered.
Emmy-nominated Mireille Enos and native of Stockholm, Sweden, Joel Kinnaman, play the investigating detectives, a pair of polar opposites compelled to work together in a case that, after a while, starts to wear on them, emotionally and psychologically.
Michelle Forbes was nominated for a supporting-actress Emmy for playing the teenage victim's heartbroken mother; Brent Sexton was lauded by critics for his performance as Larsen's father.
The Killing was initially praised for its slow-burning mystery set against a backdrop of constant rain and drizzle. The first season's 13 hour-long episodes took place over 13 consecutive days, with each episode representing a single day. In that time, the sun never shone once, in keeping with Seattle — and Vancouver's — reputation for perpetual grey in mid-winter.
Richmond, whose wife died years earlier in a drowning accident, was revealed toward the season's end to be leading a double life. In the pilot episode, Larsen's dead body was found in the trunk of one of Richmond's campaign's cars. By the season's end, he was revealed as the client of a high-end escort service, using the name "Orpheus," and that he once proposed a morbid drowning scenario. Enos's character was convinced of Richmond's guilt after tracing emails to his personal computer. In the controversial season finale, Richmond was shot at while being arrested, and the season ended without any final clarification of his guilt. Or non-guilt.
Viewers were outraged, but Campbell insists their anger was misplaced. The Killing's mystery will be resolved eventually, he said. And besides, The Killing was never intended to be a straightforward Agatha Christie-style potboiler, he said, but rather a psychological thriller in the vein of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson's Scandinavian mysteries, Wallander and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, where men in power abuse and ruin young women — sometimes very young women.
Campbell said that, as proud as he is of his own work in The Killing — "I had to do a really intense scene last week, that took some time to do," he said — the real stars are Forbes and Sexton, as the girl's parents, Kinnaman and, in particular, Enos, who, he said, brings "a natural, deep soul and resonance to every scene we've done together. Her Emmy nomination did not surprise me, frankly; I think it would have been a travesty if she'd been overlooked."
The Killing's subject matter is grim, but that doesn't mean Campbell takes the job home with him.
"I don't think you'd be much of an actor if you can't separate the two," he said. "I do get tired — some of these scenes are really intense, and the days can be very long — but if you're professional, you don't let your weariness show. And only a fool would take that home. I've never been method, myself."
Campbell was named one of People magazine's "World's 50 Most Beautiful People" in 2000, when he played 40-year-old divorcee Rick Sammler, a man who finds new love late in life in the critically acclaimed drama, Once and Again. A number of Hollywood film roles followed, and he thought Los Angeles would become his full-time home.
Then he found Vancouver. Campbell is a lifelong sailing aficionado. He took a 14-month break from acting to sail around the world aboard the Picton Castle, a 180-foot, three-masted barque based out of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.
"Basically, it's a sail training ship. It's a beautiful ship, with a group of fine people running, and sailing, on it. It takes medical supplies, educational supplies, and a doctor, around the world, but primarily, it's about sail training and people learning to be at sea, which is mostly where I like to be."
In 2004, Campbell landed a role in the filmed-in-Vancouver USA Network science-fiction series, The 4400. He was immediately taken, he said, by Vancouver's West End and Yaletown district, its proximity to the water, and to the city's international, multicultural, ethnic feel.
"It feels more like a European city than a North American city, because of all the cultural influences, the different languages you hear on the street. Many L.A. actors who work up here talk about this place being 'the job,' but I see myself settling here one day and actually living here."
Campbell tries to get out on the water whenever he can. Vancouver affords him the opportunity of both worlds, he said: a healthy, year-round, outdoor lifestyle, coupled with steady work in one of television's most prestigious, high-profile dramas.
"You often hear actors talk about how good the crews are in Vancouver, but these guys are beyond good," Campbell said. "This is a very intense, tough, gruelling, grinding show to be on, and it'd be difficult — impossible, even — to pull off if everyone wasn't working on the same page. Everyone has everyone else's back. It's a safe, friendly set, as friendly as any show I've worked on. And, hard to believe as this may sound, they make it fun. The hours are long, the work is intense, but we find time to laugh. I think you'd go crazy if you didn't."
Campbell says he didn't pattern his politician character after anyone in particular.
"I came in pretty much at the last moment," Campbell said, thinking back to when he was first cast in The Killing. "There's a politician character in the original Danish show this is based on, Forbrydelsen (The Crime), which is how it's pronounced. But I didn't really want to have anything in my mind. Fortunately, I'm quite often without anything in my mind. So it all worked out."
Campbell said he had little idea of The Killing's resolution until the very end.
"As I understand it, they never told anyone, any of the Danish cast in the original, anything about who might have done it. They all had to play along without knowing, which I think is really an amazing way to do it, an amazing opportunity for any actor."
Campbell admitted he was irritated, though — angry, even — at the reaction and controversy surrounding The Killing's season finale.
"I really don't care what people think about that," Campbell said, with finality. "I know we did good work, and I'm proud of what we, everyone on the show, did. I always thought the show was supposed to be about Rosie Larsen, anyway. Who was this girl? What were her dreams? What kind of life would she have led, if she'd had the chance? The sadness and tragedy of losing someone so young in life, with so much in front of (her) — that, to me, was always what The Killing was about. I think the show has real integrity; I think Veena (Sud) has integrity. We're talking about 13 days in the life of this story. You tell me: What murder investigation is solved in 13 days? I don't care how much people jump up and down and complain; what we did was exactly right.
"You'll learn the mystery eventually. In the meantime, have a little patience, OK? Accept it for what it is, and accept that Veena knows what she's doing. I couldn't be more proud of The Killing, and what we've done here."
Campbell paused, looked toward an eagle's nest in Stanley Park, plainly visible from the seawall, and his mood suddenly brightened.
"Besides," he said, with a gentle laugh. "I think I've found my new home."