This awesome actor plays Dale on Jericho! Erik has been acting for a lot of his childhood and his experience shows in the great job he does playing Dale!! It was super fantabulous to talk with Erik and find out more about his life, his career and of course, Jericho!!
What was your favorite color when you were a kid?
My favorite color as a kid was neon green. It still is ha-ha. It is so vibrant!
Did you like school when you were a kid?
I LOVED school when I was a kid. We always did lots of plays and that was my favorite part. I loved science and doing lab experiments. I was such a cool nerd ha-ha.
Did you play a lot of sports when you were a kid?
I played lots of sports when I was a kid. I played all the typical Canadian sports like hockey and lacrosse. I used to play on a house league team for hockey and a traveling team for lacrosse. I have sports to thank for getting me started in the acting business. My hockey team was picked to do a visa commercial. I don't play to many sports anymore. Too dangerous! ha-ha. I also played other sports like baseball and paintball.
What was your favorite cartoon character when you were a kid?
I loved soo many cartoons. I think out of all them I loved Rafael from Ninja Turtles. He was always the coolest to me. I had all the plastic swords and action figures. I still have a Ninja Turtle blanket on my bed.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a scientist when I was younger. I also thought about being a police officer or doing something in the military. As I got older I wanted to do acting more and more. Now it's acting and directing.
What is your favorite sport?
My favorite sport is hockey. I think it's such a great spectator sport. Going to Toronto Maple Leaf games are the best. Everyone gets into it. I love to play hockey when I can too.
Do you own any pets?
I have 3 pets. An 11 year old cat called Poonie. He is HUGE! I have a leopard gecko named Frisky. And I have a brand new puppy named Kola. He is 8 months old. I named him Kola because my favorite drink is coca cola. So I thought it would be cute to dedicate my favorite drink to my dog. :)
Did you go to college, if you did where did you go?
I have not gone to college yet due to my work schedule. It is very hard to be working 13 hour days and be in college. However I still want to get my college degree. I think education is very important, and is a must.
In my research, you were born in Canada, how often do you go to Canada to visit your family?
I am from Canada and I am here all the time. My home is based in Toronto, Canada. When I have to work on Jericho I fly to Los Angeles and I rent an apartment nearby set. It is so nice to be home but it is also nice to be working in LA.
Do you have a home in California and Canada or do you go out to Canada and live there?
My only home is in Toronto, Canada. When I work on Jericho I just rent a small apartment. I still live with my family in Canada.
Does Canada have a different language than the USA?
Yup! Canada is a bilingual country. We speak English and French. In school it is mandatory to learn French from grades 4 to 9. I myself cannot speak French very well, but I understand a bit.
What do you like most about the United States?
I have found the people in the United States to be so friendly. I have met and worked with such great people in the US. I also love the weather in California. It is a lot warmer than here in Toronto. The United States has given me the great opportunity to work there as well.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I play a lot of video games. I have an Xbox 360 and a Nintendo Wii. All my friends come over and play. I also like making my own movies in my spare time. I just bought a new camera so when I can I get all my friends together and come up with an idea and start to shoot it. You learn so much on set it's great to put that knowledge to use in my own personal stuff.
How long have you been acting?
I started acting when I was 10 year old so I have been acting for 9 years now. It seems long but it doesn't feel like it. I have had so much fun in the past 9 years.
Who inspired you the most to start acting?
My mother was always performing when I was younger. She used to go to my school as this character she called Mrs. Peabody. All the kids loved her but it was so embarrassing for me. ha-ha.
What is your favorite thing about acting?
My favorite part about acting is the fact you get to be someone else for a job. Every character you play is a different person with a different back story. I love the fact that nothing is the same. Even with Dale in Jericho, even though he is the same person, he is changing a lot. Every episode is a new story for him and I love the surprises.
Do you like acting better in the United States or in Canada? I have also read that you did a lot of acting in Canada, what did you act in there?
Both Canada and The United States are great places to film. I don't think I have a favorite due to the fact that they are great in their own individual ways. I love working in Canada because I am home. I get to drive to my very own house and go into my room and sleep in my own bed at the end of the work day. I also like being surrounded by my family. The United States is great as well because it has provided me with such great opportunities. The US has so much work pumping out of it. Great roles, movies, and TV series. I love working on Jericho.
In my research, I read that you were nominated for an award for "The Guardian", can you tell me a little about that?
Yes! One of my very first jobs was my role as "Hunter on The Guardian". I was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV drama series. The role of Hunter was a lot like Dale. His mother passed away and he was left all alone with no parents.
If you could act in any movie and play any character you wanted, what movie and character would it be?
I would love to play Edward Scissor Hands in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands movie. I thought Johnny Depp such an amazing job. I always loved the character he played and thought it would be so fun yet dark to play.
If you could pick any job to do (besides acting), what would it be?
If I could not do acting I would LOVE to direct. It has always been a passion of mine to have creative control on a project and make a movie almost yours. If I couldn't do anything in the entertainment industry I would still like to be a police officer. They have such a hard but interesting job. They are the hero's of everyday.
How did you find out about the Jericho opening for acting jobs? Did you try out for the part of Dale or another character?
I was sent the breakdown of Jericho from my agent. I loved the storyline to Jericho so I did an audition tape. Because I was in Canada at the time I taped myself and sent it out to LA for them to view. Eventually they called me and wanted me to fly down to do a network test. I did 2 more auditions after that for Dale.
If you could be any character on Jericho (besides Dale) who would it be and why?
There are so many great characters in Jericho. I would love to play Jake Green, Skeet's role. He is the hero to Jericho. He is also sheriff. He would do anything to protect his family and his community and I think Skeet has done a great job playing Jake.
Do you hang out with cast and crew outside of the set?
Living in Toronto makes it difficult to hang out with the cast and crew off set. They are such a great crew of people. Whenever we aren't rolling they are always cracking jokes on and off set. It has become almost a family on the set.
What is your favorite part of being in the Jericho family?
My favorite part of being part of the Jericho family is the dedication and hard work I have seen being put in to making Jericho successful. I can honestly say I haven't met such a hardworking cast and crew ever. Every single crew member and cast mate are totally in love with the project they are working on. It makes it so much easier to go to your job everyday when you love the project you are working on. And to know your making something for such dedicated fans as well is something very special.
Did you ever think that kids would watch Jericho?
I think Jericho was written for everyone to enjoy. It is a show for everyone, from the young to the old. I know many of my younger cousins watch the show and love it. I am so glad that younger kids are watching the show. I think Jericho has a lot of positive messages from it. And hopefully the kids can learn from Dale’s mistakes!
How many of the new episodes are you in?
I am in 2 of the new 7 episodes of the 2nd season. We weren't able to get all the characters back for all of the episodes because we were very limited. If we get a 3rd season I am sure we will all be back full force :)
Does Dale change a lot in the new episodes? Do you think of his character as a bad guy or a good guy?
In the first season Dale started out as a good guy. He worked for Gracie and just wanted to help his town. Dale had it very hard in the first season. Not only was he in this disaster that everyone else was in, but he also lost his mother, and then later on the woman that took him in. I think Dale has always meant well. He was just confused and angry at all the bad people trying to take advantage of the disastrous situation. In the 2nd season, Dale is still a good guy. He may be getting into a bit of trouble but his hometown is still in his heart.
What is your favorite thing about season two of Jericho?
What I love about season 2 is the fact that it is all due to the great fans. Without the hard work of all our fans we wouldn't be back on TV. But here we are. It's so special to be working on something you know so many people feel so strong about and love so much. That's what I love.
What makes Jericho a family show?
Jericho is a family show because I feel like Jericho is a family itself. Even before the attacks everyone knew each other and cared for each other. Jericho is trying to look after itself and keep all its loved ones safe, just like a family. I think that a family can relate allot to the situation of wanting to keep the ones you care for protected and families can root for all the characters living in Jericho.
Did you think the show would get canceled?
I never thought Jericho would get cancelled. I know it is always a possibility but Jericho was a knockout show. It had everything people wanted to see plus something new. I was so surprised to here that it was cancelled just like all the fans. But it worked out in the end :)
What was your first thought when you heard that Jericho was canceled?
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!? I loved the ending to the first season of Jericho but after I found out about the cancellation of the show I almost felt sad not knowing if Jericho was going to survive the fight and who was going to pass from it. We were left in the dark. I just wanted to know if everyone was OK.
What was your first thought when Jericho was brought back?
I KNEW IT!
Here is a little game that I like to play. All you do is choose the one you like the best.
Paper or plastic Paper... Got to think green these days :)
Summer or Winter SUMMER!! Winter is too long and too cold here in Toronto.
Spring or Summer Spring! Everything seems so happy. And you are so happy to see the sun finally.
Moon or sun… Moon... I love the night.
Tan or no tan No tan... It is much healthier for your skin.
Here is another game that I will say a name of the cast or crew and you say 1 word that you think represents them.
Carol Barbee....Hard Working
Bob Stephenson.... Hilarious!
Dan Shotz... Mentor
Clare Carey.... Bubbly
Richard Speight Jr. ....Witty
And the last question of the day,
I have been told that Richard likes to play jokes…..and now everyone wants to know this and we are in search of the answer Do you know what Richard Speight Jr. did to the sandwich lady?
I have no idea what he did to the sandwich lady!!! When you find out let me know! ha-ha. I can only imagine what he did :)
Thank you for doing this interview with me!! It was great meeting you on the set!! You do a fantabulous job playing Dale on Jericho!! Take care!!
Thank you so much and keep up the great work.