What happens when your dream job turns into a real-life nightmare? Unfortunately for everybody’s favourite boy in [rookie] blue, Dov Epstein is about to find out. Curiously titled “A Good Shoot,” tonight’s episode of ROOKIE BLUE sees Dov’s world explode into chaos when a community erupts in outrage after the rookie cop puts an end to a convenience store robbery in progress by shooting a young black teenager who may-or-may-not have been armed. So did Dov do the right thing? Well, we recently had the pleasure of catching up with his portrayer Gregory Smith to find out just that, in addition to the eery parallels between the episode and the recent Trayvon Martin tragedy and some obligatory EVERWOOD chatter. See for yourself, after the jump.
Before we get into tonight’s episode, I want to take a moment to reflect on ROOKIE BLUE’s remarkable run thus far. Did you ever imagine the show would become as successful as it has?
Gregory Smith: It’s one of those thing where you always kind of hope but at the same time you never expect it. So I guess you can say that the show and the people we’ve had has been beyond our wildest expectations but at the same time I always felt it was possible when we were working on it.
Is it safe to say tonight’s episode is Dov’s biggest to date?
I think so. It certainly is the most dramatic episode that the character has had to date. Basically everything in Dov’s life is going great, he’s sort of having one of those moments where he realizes that everything he’s ever wanted is kind of coming true. Until that is, he stops into a convenience store to pick up a pack of Twizzlers and unknowingly walks in on a robbery in progress. And then within a blink of an eye shots are fired, the kid, the guy who is robbing the store is killed and it becomes a question as to whether Dov was justified in shooting him.
Having shot this episode almost a year ago, did the recent Tayvon Martin tragedy give you pause in terms of the eery coincidence of it all?
Well it’s different because Dov is an on-duty cop, but there are certainly parallels that I thought about. It’s a little spooky, but this storyline that we’re telling on ROOKIE BLUE, what they really wanted to do was examine a cop’s worst nightmare. It’s something that happened, it’s a bit of an universal story for police officers. So that’s sort of the heart of the story, more so than the similarities to the Trayvon Martin case.
Going forward, how will this episode change Dov’s outlook on both his life and his career?
All Dov’s ever wanted to be is a cop, drive fast, shoot guns, essentially be one of either Starsky and/or Hutch. So when what goes down tonight happens, it’s his worst nightmare, he has a really high perch to fall from and his life will certainly never be the same..
Since ROOKIE BLUE’s summer shooting schedule always has the show finished filming well before the proverbial powers that be announce a renewal, crafting that classic season finale cliffhanger has always been the show’s achilles’ heel. Any clues as to how the series plans on finishing out the season this year?
I think this year more than ever they finally said. “We’re going to end with a cliffhanger!” Previously, like in the first season, they tried to wrap things up very nicely, but then it was hard coming back for the second season, if you don’t have a cliffhanger, what’s the premiere about? So this year they’re going for the cliffhanger, and hopefully enough people watch!
I understand you directed your first episode of ROOKIE BLUE this season, what was that experience like?
I directed episode 11 this year and it was incredible. It was the scariest most intense experience that I ever had, yet even in its worst moments I loved every second of it and there were some really really stressful times. I was acting in the episode as well and there was a scene where I get the crap kicked out of me by a bunch of people and that really became a metaphor for the whole experience. But in a good way.
And finally, I can’t let you off the hook with at least one EVERWOOD-related question. Your former co-star Emily VanCamp has had quite the banner year. Have you had a chance to check out REVENGE or check in with her?
It’s been amazing. I haven’t seen the show yet but I haven’t been following it and talking to her here and there. It was funny, I was trying to get her to do an episode of ROOKIE BLUE but then she started working on REVENGE so Dov’s probably not going to be arresting her anytime soon!
ROOKIE BLUE airs Thursdays at 10PM on ABC (Global TV in Canada). More info on the show can be found at abc.com