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Motive - Brendan Penny Interview

Motive airs Thursdays at 9/8 C on ABC.
Brendan Penny can be found on Twitter @BrendanJPenny.

Brendan Penny, who plays Detective Lucas on ABC's Motive, grew up in Ottawa and London. He got his start in acting when his friend Erin Karpluk from Being Erica suggested he check out a showcase at Lyric School, an acting school in Vancouver which he enrolled in shortly after. In his first starring role as AJ Varland in Whistler, he was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series. Other credits include the upcoming movie The Virginian with Ron Perlman and Trace Adkins, Calvin in The True Heroines, Danny in The Assistants, and Todd in Stargate: Atlantis. His guest star credits include Supernatural (Steve in Scarecrow), The Killing (Josh), Flashpoint, Smallville, Blade, and Kyle XY.

Motive, which just got renewed for a second season and is a hit in Canada, is a police procedural with a twist. Instead of trying to figure out who the killer is, audiences must figure out why they killed. The show lets audiences know who the killer and victim are in the first 5 minutes but the reason is never obvious. I have to admit that when I first heard this concept I was skeptical. Half the fun of a police procedural is guessing who did it. However most TV viewers are now good at guessing correctly halfway through which lessens the fun for the last half hour. Guessing someone's motive is harder and enough to separate Motive from the rest of the pack for me as you get both the victim and killer's stories this way.

Brendan was kind enough to answer the following questions via e-mail.  I strongly suggest those who like Motive to follow Brendan on his Twitter @BrendanJPenny to get access to breaking news.  He really does answer fan questions and is obviously grateful to all viewers who support his career.

Motive questions:

If you could sum up Motive in 3 words, what would they be?

Crime. Mystery. Suspense.

Motive works differently from other crime dramas in that it tells the audience the killer and victim first instead of last. Why do you think audiences have connected with that change?

What I really think they will connect with is that you get to really know both characters equally. It gives the audience the ability to sympathize with the killer, which sounds weird, but in this show all of the killers are just regular people that have been caught in a bad situation. It humanizes them.

In the US we have only seen the first 4 episodes where Detective Lucas is adjusting to the homicide division. What does he bring to the team? How does he grow as detective in the upcoming episodes?

Lucas brings a whole new personality to the team. He is different. Quirky, naive, fresh faced, but he is also very intelligent and competent. You will see him grow as a more valuable team member throughout the series. You will see that he often holds the piece to the puzzle.

What is the most challenging part of playing this character? How does the character compare to other roles you've played?

I don't think I have ever played someone who is so earnest and good. Ha. I normally play troubled people that don't have too many positive options, so I was pretty excited to explore this type of person. The most challenging part of playing Lucas is that sometimes he has some tongue twisting dialogue.

In what ways are you alike and different from Detective Lucas?

Other than the fact that we both try to be the best person we can be, that would really be about it. Lucas is fairly tightly wound and neurotic, where I am a lot more relaxed. He is also pretty geeky at times, which cracks me up.

What is the best part about working on Motive?

The best part of working on Motive is --everything. I am so pleased to be working on this show. I have a blast everyday.

What was your favorite episode/scene in season 1?

I really like the pilot episode. Maybe it's because it was the first, I don't know...I just really like that one. I tend to like the funnier scenes the best. I have always leaned towards comedy.

Congratulations on a season 2 renewal. Where would you like to see your character go in the second season?

Thank you! I am pretty excited. I would like to see my character's personal life brought in a bit more.

It sounds like the cast and crew do a great job of lightening the mood on set. Are there any anecdotes you would like to share with us?

I don't really have any anecdotes, but I will say that everyone likes to joke around a lot. Louis is probably one of the funniest guys around, so it is tough to stay in the heavy.

The Virginian questions:

What was it like working with Ron Perlman and Trace Adkins?

Working with Ron and Trace was great. I didn't have as many scenes with Ron, but he is a great guy and super funny. Trace is such a great guy. He is very generous and very open as an actor.

How is working on movies different from TV? Do you have a preference?

The major difference to me is the time period which you are connected to the character. Also, in films, your character arcs a lot more dramatic for the most part. As long as my character is interesting, then I don't have a preference.

When will the movie premiere?

We are still waiting on more info about when the film will be released, but will be sure to keep you guys posted.

General questions:

Social media has become an increasing focus for shows and actors to connect with fans. Besides your Twitter account, do you have any other platforms you would like to share? How has the social media experience been for you?

You know, I really only use Twitter to connect. I find that it is the best way to connect with fans. I am not the best for tweeting every thought like many others, but I always get back to my fans right away. I think that is important.

Who would you most want to work with in the future?

In a dream world.... Leo, Pacino and Phillip S Hoffman would be the bomb. Those guys are in leagues of their own.

What would your dream role be?

Any well written comedy. Movie, or series, it doesn't matter.

SpoilerTV has a large Supernatural audience. What was it like working on the Scarecrow episode as Steve or in the movie The Christmas Cottage with Jared Padalecki?

Working on the Christmas Cottage was a bit weird, only because my character was so vague. The writer wanted one thing and the director another, so it was tough being pulled in two directions. But Jared is a true gentleman. When I worked on Supernatural, it was mostly with Jensen, and he was one of the wickedest dudes around. Both those guys are absolutely fantastic.

Anything else you would like to say to your fans?

Don't be shy to follow me on twitter and ask me questions. I will get to you right away. @BrendanJPenny

Thanks so much for your time. B

Don't forget to watch Motive Thursdays at 9/8 C on ABC
and follow Brendan Penny on Twitter @BrendanJPenny.

Pictures by Jamie Mann
Screencaps by Home of the Nutty and Philly.com

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