'CSI: NY' star AJ Buckley on his show's new night and 'Flashpoint'
Born in Ireland and raised in British Columbia, this actor is one of Canada’s brightest stars on primetime.
AJ Buckley plays lab tech Adam Ross on the “CSI” spinoff, first appearing in 2007, and now moving into the field with the investigative team.
Buckley has also appeared on “Entourage,” “Without a Trace” and “Supernatural,” which spawned an online spinoff series, “Ghostfacers,” which Buckley wrote, directed and starred in. The actor is also producing several television and feature projects with his company, FourFront Productions.
This fall “CSI: NY” is making a big move, switching timeslots from Wednesday nights to Friday nights, and have a new lead actress in Sela Ward following the departure of Melina Kanakaredes.
CTV.ca had the chance to speak with Buckley while the actor was in town supporting friends at the Toronto International Film Festival.
CTV.ca: First off, can you tell me why you continue to pursue so many projects outside of “CSI: NY”?
“CSI” has given me so much opportunity, and allowed me on so many different levels to work in new avenues. I love taking a story on an idea from the embryonic stage, to develop and attach it to people. I could relax and sit back, but I want to take it to the next level or build my confidence. Nowadays as artists, you sell yourself short if you don’t know the business side of things, if you don’t hustle. As an artist, you can get a camera, you can get a computer and shoot a movie. You’re your own studio. That to me is exciting. For me, it’s a business, and you have to work hard, and there’s so much more out there I want to do and people I want to work with. It’s never ending.
CTV.ca: Are you ever concered that your outside work will distract your role on “CSI: NY”?
No, in a sense the show-runners have always believed in my and my directing and writing, they let me shadow them, and that sort of stuff. For some people maybe, but the busier I am, the happier I am. It’s the joy of having ADD, I’m an incredible multi-tasker. It’s an incredible opportunity and I don’t want to see it go. I’m having so much fun, there’s nothing I could complain about. I enjoy working my ass off.
CTV.ca: Do you have any plans to direct an upcoming episode of the series?
I would love to, but I don’t know if that will ever happen. I’m hoping that there’s something I can go direct, some sort of short film, build up my reel and then go to them. If they were ever to grant me that opportunity, I’d be over the moon. With seven years on the show, I’ve treated it as college. And what I’ve learned from being on that show is invaluable.
CTV.ca: What’s coming up for your character in the new season?
There’s some great stuff coming up. We have a new cast member, Sela Ward, and she brings a new dynamic to the show. Besides being a fantastic person, the writers found a great voice for her. My character is out of the lab, the third episode of the season, it’s awesome for Adam. He’s outside, kicking ass. It’s a whole side to Adam we’ve never seen before. It’s another layer you pull back and think, “Oh cool.” I love how they write this character. It’s always fun being the funny guy on such a dark set.
CTV.ca: I also noticed you’re fairly active on Twitter. What attracted you to it?
At first, I didn’t get it. But I found it was a way to really connect with your audience, and the people that support you and follow you. You can get a sense, especially when you’re throwing out ideas, you can get the pulse of what an audience wants. I encourage every artist out there to connect with your fans, they give you the life that you have. It’s fun. There’s various different things I’m passionate about, charity wise, and it lets you get your voice out there. It’s amazing way to reach the world in a click of a button.
CTV.ca: So what has changed with the timeslot move for “CSI: NY”?
Business as usual. We turn it up a notch with Sela joining, but to be honest, when I first heard we were moving, I was scared. Is this the end of “CSI,” is the franchise dying? After talking with producers and the studio, the way the world is right now, the economy, people are home Friday nights. They want to reinvent Friday nights. I think people will follow it. On Friday nights when I’m at home, there’s nothing on TV. There is “Flashpoint,” which I love, but other than “Flashpoint,” what is there?
CTV.ca: “Flashpoint” has always done well on Friday nights in Canada.
“Flashpoint,” I think that is a phenomenal TV show. The actor who plays Sam, David Paetkau, he’s great on that show. I’ve known him for some time, but he’s one of those solid actors. And it’s a Canadian show! A high-end Canadian show. I love “Flashpoint,” it’s on my PVR, no joke! I would love to come up here some day and do a Canadian show at some point. That would be cool. I would love to come home and work at home. Canada is such a great country. The people here are so gracious and humble, and there’s so much talent here.
CTV.ca: Would it be a cop show or sci-fi show?
I love sci-fi. It would be cop sci-fi.