Enrico Colantoni reflects on Sgt. Greg Parker's intense 'Flashpoint' journey
Season 4 was intense for Sgt. Gregory Parker, but Season 5 is a walk in the park, says actor Enrico Colantoni, at least until the last few episodes.
“There are no scoreboards,” he says with a laugh, referencing the episode last season where Parker ended up dangling above centre ice, trying to hang onto an exceptionally difficult negotiation. “Last season was epic and satisfying in every way, but my crises were resolved last season.
“Now I’m just the team leader going about my business. Parker has a much more intimate relationship with his son this season and he’s watching Ed’s character along the way, but more often than not, he’s a rock.”
Not only do Parker and Ed further their relationship, their sons Parker and Dean get to know each other. “It’s really wonderful that the Dean character and Clark character develop a friendship and they discover what their fathers do. We see the future through their eyes,” says Colantoni.
Even though Colantoni only played a head negotiator for Team One, like Parker, he often found himself taking his work home with him. “It started in the second season. I went home one night when the Donna Sabine character had to kill an RCMP officer and Parker was trying to talk to her and the whole time on my way home, I kept thinking, ‘If I just acted better, I could’ve saved her.’ I sincerely wish that I could’ve done more.
“In the second season, I told the writers that I just needed Parker to save someone. After a year and half, I needed to feel what it was like to save someone!”
And since then, Parker’s had a whole score of negotiation successes, but Colantoni’s favourite negotiation happened in Season 3, Episode 4, “Whatever It Takes,” where Parker had to talk a suicidal high school basketball player off the roof of his school.
“I always like when they wrote humour into the negotiations and kept things as light as possible,” Colantoni reflects. “Any negotiator’s intention is to dissipate the tension, and humour works perfectly.”
It’s also the first time they showed that Parker was afraid of heights, Parker notes. “It was so awful for his character when he was up on the roof there!”
And Colantoni promises Parker will have to revisit that fear later on in the season.
Though we get to see the “Flashpoint” folk every week on Thursdays, they finished shooting in the summer, and when asked what he misses most about wrapping up the series, Colantoni doesn’t hesitate: “The people.”
“The show is about a team, and if the team didn’t work, even for a minute, the team wouldn’t have survived five seasons. There are a lot of reasons why this show is successful, but part of it was the camaraderie that we built. A lot of the camaraderie was written, but most of it was built between the scenes, waiting in the truck, in sub-zero weather at 2 o’ clock in the morning,” he says.
“When shooting the show ended, it was the same loss any SWAT team feels when it’s disbanded. It’s hard and there’s a grieving process to let go of the character,” he says.
But, he says he and Hugh Dillon, who plays Ed Lane, are already onto their next project, writing and directing a feature. “We’re still joined at the hip,” he says with a laugh.
About Lindsay Zier-Vogel
Lindsay Zier-Vogel has been working for CTV.ca since 2008. Lindsay’s highlights include interviewing the famed American choreographer Bill T. Jones and Canadian prima ballerina Karen Kain, as well as covering the Juno Awards. Follow her on Twitter!