Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TONIGHT: King & Maxwell trade T.O. for B.C.

Jon Tenney and Rebecca Romijn are King & Maxwell
You'll want to catch Tuesday's Canadian premiere of King & Maxwell from the very beginning (10 p.m. on Showcase). There's a stunt involving a runaway bus that took place on the streets of Toronto that has to be seen to be believed.
"It's supposed to be D.C. but that was downtown Toronto," says Rebecca Romijn, who plays private eye Michelle Maxwell. "We made no friends on Toronto that weekend. We apologize to the people of Toronto for that bus flip."
Don't worry, I assure her. Toronto traffic is so hellish, no one probably even noticed.
"We made it worse," says Jon Tenney (The Closer), who plays P.I. Sean King.
Romijn and Tenney made the comments last week at the Yorkville Hazelton Hotel, about as hellish a spot to try to drive to in any city as has ever been concocted.
The opening scene, however, is worth whatever traffic jam it caused. The stunt driver, whose name actually is Buddy, takes the wheel of this giant greyhound-sized coach and, dressed in a beaver suit (don't ask), flips the thing on its side, skidding perfectly close to but not smashing into a downtown office tower.
"The steering wheel broke right as they said, 'Action!' and he refused to quit," says Romijn. A little duct tape and away he went.
The scene--which closed down traffic at King and University--was shot last November. While the pilot was made in Toronto, the series--seen Stateside on TNT--just wrapped in Vancouver, far from the norm these days. West Coast crews have been crying the blues that the B.C. government's lack of tax incentives are killing the province's film and TV industry.
"I know it's a big tax credit issue," says Tenney, who shot The Closer and, later, the spin-off series Major Crimes in Los Angeles. (He plans to sneak back on Crimes for a few scenes toward the end of that show's season.)
King: "Chilly here." Maxwell: "I hear B.C. is warmer."
Both Tenney and Romijn were delighted to relocate to B.C. because both live in L.A., have families and enjoy the easier, same time zone commute.
Tenney's daughter is "15-and-a-half"--scary words for any dad. Romijn and hubby Jerry O'Connell have four-and-a-half year old twins.
Romijn says, after another 16- to 18-hour day on the set of King & Maxwell, "the idea of coming home and trying to juggle toddlers getting into my bed at five in the morning after I've been working till three..."
Speaking of romance, Romijn says King & Maxwell has a little of that will-they-or-won't-they tension, but it isn't another Moonlighting. "We're really partners, first and foremost," she says.
"There's a fun element to the show that attracted me to it," says Tenney. His character, for example, doesn't like to use, or even bring, and especially ever load, a gun. (This is is explained later.)
Both characters seem to have screwed up in their secret service days, although, maybe they were just set up.
"We share a common wound if you will," says Tenney.
O'Connell guests this season on King & Maxwell as "a cheesy P.I.," says Romijn. (He also was a guest star on Satisfaction in Toronto earlier in the year.) "He needed to frisk me, and that went on-and-on," says Romijn. "Jerry is very good with improvisation."
Sure he is.
King & Maxwell premieres Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on Showcase.
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