Craig Olejnik channels his inner Kevin Costner and plays bodyguard to pop star Fefe Dobson
Paramedic, telepath, special consultant for the IIB and now . . . bodyguard?
Season 3 of “The Listener” has Toby Logan taking on a number of new roles, including that of protector when the life of famous pop star Jade (played by JUNO Award nominated singer-songwriter Fefe Dobson) is in jeopardy.
“It was our ‘Bodyguard’ episode for sure,” says Craig Olejnik with a laugh. “She was like Whitney (Houston) and I was like Kevin (Costner).”
Olejnik admits he actually had the DVD of the popular 1992 movie in his trailer and watched it before filming his scenes.
But while he may have taken some cues from Costner on how to be a bodyguard, one thing Olejnik didn’t try and replicate was the famous scene where Costner runs across the stage and throws himself in front of Houston to protect her from an oncoming bullet.
“He’s a little high strung, Costner,” jokes Olejnik. “Logan doesn’t have that. He’s more laid back.”
In the episode, titled “Curtain Call,” a stalker breaks into Jade’s music studio and Toby must pose as her assistant to keep her safe and investigate the case for the IIB.
“There’s a lot of shady stuff going on and people don’t like Jade and want to kind of get rid of her and Toby is her saviour really,” says Dobson.
“He’s kind of her angel, he teaches her a lot of different things and kind of pulls her through the dark.”
Toronto-born Dobson, who is currently working on her third album, a follow-up to 2010’s hit album “Joy,” describes her character Jade as a cutthroat perfectionist who doesn’t let anyone in.
“She has a serious wall up and she doesn’t let anyone through it and through the process of seeing this character throughout the show you’ll see that she starts to shed some skin and show all her colours and all her colours aren’t devious, which is nice.”
Dobson, who is making her first appearance as a guest star on a TV series, says being part of “The Listener” was a great experience and everyone on set made her feel right at home.
“It was amazing. Just to be able to have the opportunity to do something other than the music and go in there, everyone had an open mind, it was really cool, sometimes it can be kind of nerve-wracking being a singer going into that world but everyone on the set made me so comfortable,” says Dobson.
She also really enjoyed working with Olejnik, even though she admits his off-screen antics made it difficult to keep a straight face.
“He was so super cool to work with. I’m always nervous when it comes to working with actors … he was super generous and so funny. He’s hilarious. He cracked me up all the time . . . he also did the weirdest dances when I was trying to focus or just made faces when it was my time to be on camera.”
Canadian rapper, record producer and actor Wes Williams, who first gained fame as rapper Maestro Fresh Wes with 1989’s hit track “Let Your Backbone Slide,” also guest stars in the episode as Jade’s manager J.C.
“It was super cool . . . just to have the experience of working with another artist-/musician, but again, doing something completely different, it’s a different feeling. We’re both always trying to do our best because it’s not our world and it’s an honour to see that people are opening their arms to us,” says Dobson.
JUNO Award-winner Williams also had much praise for Dobson’s performance.
“I’m proud to see her evolve. I told her I saw one of her first shows back almost 10 years ago in Blue Mountain. She was just starting off, and just to see her expand and see what she’s doing now, I’m really proud of her.”
Williams also has a long list of acting credits to his name, including “Cra$h & Burn,” and “Instant Star,” and received a Gemini nomination for his role on HBO dramatic series “The Line.”
Williams, who now raps under the name Maestro, has also returned to the studio to work on his first album in more than 11 years.
“I was just so busy with projects and life and stuff like that (music) had to just fall back for a minute . . . but I’ve been doing shows and have been writing but haven’t put out a full-length album in a while.”
He also has no plans to ease up on his burgeoning acting career.
“I definitely (want to do more). I want to do my own show.”
MuchMusic host Lauren Toyota also guest stars in the episode, which airs Wednesday at 10/9C on CTV.
Full episodes of 'The Listener' are also available online at CTV.ca.
About Sheri Block
Sheri Block has been covering entertainment for CTV.ca since 2008. In addition to covering Will and Kate’s Royal Wedding in London, Sheri’s highlights have included going on tour with “Canadian Idol,” being a stand-in on “Canada’s Next Top Model” and meeting Colin Farrell at the Toronto International Film Festival.Follow her on Twitter!