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I had the privilege of recently interviewing Yannick Bisson. As most of you know, Yannick plays Jack Hudson, the likable FBI agent in the Sue Thomas FBEye show and one of Sue's best friends. We spoke about how he got started in show business, his work on Sue Thomas FBEye, his future goals and his commitment to his family. I found Yannick to be very easy going and in many ways, he reminded me a lot of the type of character, he plays on Sue Thomas FBEye, just a likable fun guy. When I first called him, he asked me, if I could call him back in about 15 minutes, because he needed to get a 'haircut.' We were joking around a bit about how they do haircuts really fast in Canada. Maybe they really meant 'a hair' (i.e. just one hair) cut! We actually did the interview, while he was on his way to a haircut!
We started talking about Yannick's background. "I'm Canadian. I was born in Montreal. So, I'm originally a Francophone (French Speaking Canadian). I moved to the US, when I was about 8. I grew up in Florida, and Texas, and I lived in Alaska for a while. I moved around a fair bit. My father is a bridge builder. I lived in the Keys, and in Tampa Bay for a bit. Those are the main places. I ended back in Toronto, Canada, when I was 13. I actually took up acting at that point. I went and took some classes and made some effort and got into it."
Things took off from there. "I was doing commercials as a kid and somebody picked me out for a movie of the week and it was called "Hockey Night." It was a real Canadian story. It had to do a lot with Hockey and youth. That was my first dramatic role and it turned out to be a really big success. A lot of people saw it. It was a well written very good story and it got me a lot of success. From there, I ended up doing a lot of stuff till today."
We started talking about Yannick's role in Sue Thomas FBEye. "A lot of people do appreciate Sue Thomas FBEye and watch it and that's great. The show was a tough job though, the toughest I've ever had. It was a large cast. So, you would think on the surface that that would be easier, because it would spread out the workload evenly. The truth is that because the large cast was always together, they were always working as a team. Thus we did everything together. That resulted in a lot of extra coverage of every character and a lot of blocking complexities, because we had to make sure that there was always a realistic aspect to Deanne's character, being able to see, read our lips, understand and communicate 100%. That's very important and intrinsic to the story. We were cooped up in the studio for a long period of time and and it made for long hours, which was hard."
Yannick had nothing but praise for Deanne Bray. "Deanne was very committed to every aspect of the show being very realistic. In truth, she has a large responsibility on her shoulder, because the deaf community is very observant of what is realistic and how scenes and characters are portrayed, because you either get it right or you're wrong. There's no in between. So Deanne had a tough job and she always worked really hard and was always prepared. She was a really hard worker."
Playing on Sue Thomas FBEye was a dream come true for Yannick. "I think I enjoy it more now than ever. One of the things, I've been quoted as saying when I was young is that I wasn't really intending of making it big till I was about 30 and doing adult roles, the things that I fantasized acting out as a kid, whether it be spies, like FBI agents or a doctor or those sorts of things, the games that I played out when I was a kid. So, I always looked forward to this time in my career. So, I'm really enjoying it now and I'm really doing the things that I always dreamed of doing. It seems that everything I've been doing up until now has been filling time and making a living."
We spoke about playing the role of a secret agent more. "I've dreamt of playing the role of James Bond, since I've watched Dr. No as a very small boy with my dad. I don't know if that's a reality, being that I'm not English, but I sure entertained those thoughts often! I think anything could happen, but I think the Franchise is very particular about the characters at least very closely descendent of the queen."
We spoke some about how he approaches his roles. "I would say that I would approach each scene with a different technique. Sometimes I need to call up different experiences in my past, sometimes I need to call up on a commitment that takes a few days, where I really need to recreate myself and become that person. Sometimes, I just really need to remember my lines, so I take some vitamins, so that my brain works properly. It's different every time. I'm a fan of all different types of methods and I although I didn't make any serious commitment toward a particular one. I started as a kid actor, I developed my own technique in order to adapt materials to my abilities."
Yannick commented on one of the by-products of being successful in the entertainment business, and that is notoriety. "That's been going on for some years now. I wouldn't say a lot. I have a very unique freedom given the choices that I've made in my career in that I'm able to work a lot and not necessarily have anybody bother me. Although in Canada, people are much more laid back and they wouldn't necessarily come up to you and make a scene. We're a much more reserved crowd here, it seems. That's where I choose to make my home 75% of the time. Whereas in the States, it's a little bit different in that people are much more aggressive and they want to discuss the show and your character and they have no problem and they are not shy and they ask you and they want your autograph and that sort of thing."
Yannick spoke of his new show on the Discovery Channel called Star Racers. "Like I said earlier, Sue Thomas was a tough bit of work for me. So, one of the things that I did after finishing Sue Thomas was that I went after a show called Star Racers for the Discovery Channel. It is blast to do for me. I'm a huge racing fan and a complete car nut! I think anyone who watches Sue Thomas will notice that on my desk, I always have car hotrods paraphernalia and different car things. That's just something that is really cool for me. I enjoy it a lot. I'm hosting the show for Discovery. It's going to be out in the Fall and I really enjoy it! It is very, very different. I work outside. I meet new people. Not a lot of it is scripted, because all of the action is just really happening and it is a sport. The hosting itself is very different than dramatic acting. So, I started to do that. I've got a week coming up on Star Racer in Quebec and my family is coming up with me on that."
Besides that, Yannick has done several other projects. "I've also been doing a recurring character for a show called Falcon Beach and that's been fun, because I cruise in and out. I'm not there for a very long time. It allows me to do some traveling and to work with different casts of actors, who are all very nice and friendly. It's a different type of exposure also. It's on CTV here in Canada, and I believe it is on ABC Family. I also took a movie of the week for Lifetime. I've known Tim Bond, the director for many years because I've done some projects with him in the past. So working with him was great! He's a great director and a good friend. And I've worked with Cheryl Lee on that movie. Cheryl Lee was from Twin Peaks and she is now on One Tree Hill, I believe. So, that was a lot of fun and I did that out of Vancouver. Spending time in Vancouver is just a great thing for me. I absolutely love it."
Yannick actually has some other hobbies. "I'm an avid mountain biker. That's my number one thing and I like to ski. I also have two dogs. They are two boxers, Mack and Kuda as in small horse. That's basically what he is a small horse. He's a very big dog!"
In the midst of all of this, Yannick does not forget his first priority, which is working with his kids and devoting every minute that he can with them. "I think a lot of people do a lot of good for the world, but don't always take care of their own back yard and one of the things that I've always strive to do was to really be a great father to my daughters. And I think a lot of men, once their daughters get to a certain age, they forget that they still need their daddies and that has a huge effect on the world."