Hit Canadian series Hudson & Rex returns to the SVOD service UP Faith & Family this week for a second season. The series stars John Reardon as Charlie Hudson, a Major Crimes detective, aided by his clever canine cohort Rex (played by Diesel), who always saves the day, and a crack team of investigators that includes Mayko Nguyen as Sarah Truong, Justin Kelly as Jesse Mills and Kevin Hanchard (pictured at top) as Superintendent Joseph Donovan. The series is currently in production on a fifth season (to air in the fall in its home country); something Hanchard is proud of and thrilled about.
"As an actor, you're sort of used to reading great scripts for great roles you auditioned for," he explained from the set during an exclusive interview with MediaVillage. "Sometimes you get these great pilots and quirky, interesting, fantastic shows that never end up going anywhere. You go, 'This is really cool, I hope this goes somewhere' and cross your fingers. Hudson & Rex was one of those quirky, interesting shows … a show with the dog as the star, solving crimes and stuff.
"This one worked out, so we all feel very fortunate about that," he continued. "There's a template of dog shows from yesteryear that were successful, but our premise is the dog is the most brilliant of all of us and has abilities beyond those of the average human. It has heart, and it is firmly rooted in reality. I know, at least with my family, they can root for [the] heroes, along with Rex, to solve the crime in real-time. It's a very well-crafted formula."
Hanchard has nothing but praise for his four-legged co-star. "There's that old adage about never working with children or animals," he laughed. "But the reason why [people] say that is not because they're not great to work with; it's because they're so much more watchable than you are! I had an acting teacher who said, 'When acting, you want to be like a two-year-old or an animal, because they don't care about how they look and just exist in the moment.' They are existing in the purest form, and that's watchable.
"Diesel brings it every single time he's on set," he added. "He hits his mark better than any of us do, he picks up his cues and he's happy. He puts us in a good place, and although he does upstage us in the best way, we're really happy for that because he's golden, and we wouldn't have it any other way. In the show, I don't know if there's anything Rex can't do. We try not to put a cape on him and have him leap tall buildings in a single bound, but within the realm of what highly trained police dogs can do, his intuition and instincts are head and shoulders above."
While the show, at times, deals with heavy subject matter, what makes it stand out is that "heart" Hanchard previously mentioned. There's also a strong sense of camaraderie between members of the cast, something he assures is genuine. "The biggest challenge we face is getting through scenes without laughing," he shared. "That's a testament to each of my castmates because they're all truly a joy to work with, and we have great chemistry. Working with all these people is a pleasure, and we have a lot of fun as a group -- including Diesel! At the end of the day, it is a murder show, and there's a dead body, so living in that realm is not a whole lot of fun. But we're able to find some levity and lighter moments as a group and that keeps the hours flying by."
Despite being in demand for other projects, Hanchard has no regrets signing on for a multi-season series. "A series is always a good thing," he said. "It gives you a chance to follow an arc and take a character through a journey. This role has become the hallmark of my career and led to me playing many authority figures. But the draw with Joe Donovan was he actually likes to get out in the dirt with the team, and as an actor, that's all you ever want."
Hanchard isn't giving away any spoilers regarding season two other than advising viewers to expect "more" when they watch. "Diesel is more comfortable doing more, and we get to bring the audience in even more. If you liked season one, you'll love season two as we've only begun to spread our wings and fly."
He's also thrilled the show has a streaming home on UP Faith & Family, so American audiences can experience it. "For a network like [them] to believe in this show means a lot," he said in closing. "Given their values, for us to fit into that model and be successful moving into the second season is a wonderful thing! It makes me keen for more success, and I hope the relationship remains fruitful."
The first three episodes of season two of Hudson & Rex begin streaming on July 28, with new episodes dropping weekly thereafter, exclusively on UP Faith & Family.
Click the social buttons to share this content with your friends and colleagues.
The opinions and points of view expressed in this content are exclusively the views of the author and/or subject(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet, Inc. management or associated writers.