Most viewers will know Shenae Grimes-Beech as Annie, the girl next door in Beverly Hills spin–off 90210 or youngster Darcy Edwards on Degrassi: The Next Generation. But she tells Deadline that her latest role, playing a street-smart cop with a messy personal life in procedural The Detail allows her to stop being typecast and marks the next chapter of her acting career.
The Detail is one of the hot titles for international producer and distributor Entertainment One (eOne) at Mip TV, which kicks off this weekend and the company will be hoping that the show travels around the world with the same success as other North American procedurals.
The show is produced by ICF Films in association with eOne for Canadian broadcaster CTV and has already been picked up by Ion in the U.S. Deadline spoke to Grimes-Beech and co-star Angela Griffin about the show, which follows three female homicide detectives, ahead of its Cannes debut.
Grimes-Beech plays Detective Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Cooper, a relatively young cop whose personal life threatens to eclipse the bright light of her policing prowess.
“I’ve been on teen dramas my whole life so this was a huge departure for me. I love crime shows and cop dramas as a viewer and it was a character that I could personally relate to. It was fun to be tough and a badass, that comes easier to me than to play the perfect girl next door that I’ve portrayed for so long. This role is so important for me because I have always been typecast, 90210 was a different version of Degrassi and [in real life] I swear like a sailor. I’m so unpolished in my own life but I was always the one wearing the pink skirt and being the girlie girl. So, to get to play this tomboyish woman with adult issues is really exciting because my fans they have grown up with me, I’ve been on TV since I was 13. This is the next natural chapter,” she says.
Alongside Grimes-Beech are Saving Hope star Wendy Crewson as Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the formidable boss, and British actor Griffin as Detective Stevie Hall, an experienced interrogator.
Griffin, who is best known in the UK for her role on soap Coronation Street, said that it was a huge privilege to be part of a show that featured three female leads. “You have to give viewers that depth otherwise they will go somewhere else. Even now, three female lead characters it doesn’t happen often, you might get one strong female lead but the idea of having three is huge. There’s a bit of politics and a few initiatives to get more women on screen and more female directors, there’s been a bit of push to make that happen and viewers like it and want to see more of it so it begets more of that. Three women in their 30s, 40s and 50s and a diverse cast is representative of where the world is now,” she says.
Griffin has never filmed outside of the UK, having first gone to the U.S. last year for pilot season, and admits that the filming process is incredibly different in the States and Canada.
“The way that the industry is in Toronto is so different to the UK in terms of working hours and how many people there are on set. It’s very unionized, the way it worked is so mightily different. When we were into our 15th hour of filming… in the UK as soon as you hit that 11th hour, the sparks just go and pull the plug and say they’re not filming anymore, whereas over there they film until the day’s work is done. I had to get my head round that. But to make up for that they have a craft truck,” she adds.
She say that signing for multiple years was also a scary thought, but both agreed that the show had the legs to run and run over a number of years. “There’s something about having the procedural aspect that will keep it timeless as well, it’s not necessarily a trendy show, it’s not a fad that will go out,” says Grimes-Beech.
The Detail is exec produced by Ley Lukins, Adam PettleIllana Frank, Linda Pope, Sally Wainwright, Nicola Shindler, Jocelyn Hamilton with Sonia Hosko as co-exec producer. Kathy Avrich Johnson is a consulting producer and it was written by Naledi Jackson, Sandra Chwialkowska, Katrina Saville and Sarah Goodman. Directors include Jordan Canning and Sara St. Onge.