Brennan Elliott has been a familiar face on TV and in movies for close to twoÂ decades. andÂ his recent work onÂ Hallmark Channel includes headlining The Nanny Express opposite Vanessa Marcil, and appearing last year with Mia Kirshner and Barry Watson in Kiss at Pine Lake. That appearance led him to join theÂ network’s backdoor pilot for Cedar Cove last year, which turned into a weekly gig, and this season, his character, Warren, gets a story arc of his very own.
A character we were supposed to love to hate, Warren was introduced in season one as a real estate developer and fiance to Justine, Olivia’s daughter. Bliss was short-lived as Justine realized she didn’t want marriage, didn’t want Warren, and her former sweetheart, Seth, re-entered the picture. Warren ended up theÂ ostensible villain as he spun deals, attracted the attention of the Feds, and maybe torched a restaurant he was selling to Justine and Seth.
This season, Warren is set for a sort of redemption story, and we chatted exclusively with Elliott about what to expect.
“This is a season I’m really proud of because there’sÂ a lot more for Warren to do and one of the story line is with Jack’s son,Â and it’s a nice, complex storyline. I think the audiences will really like it. And Warren causes more trouble,” he says. “Last season, I never felt like Warren was developed. The network loved him and the audience loved him but [we didn’t know]Â where toÂ put him.Â This season, we found his voice and his place in the town and it’s secure and it’s here for season two, season five, season ten… He’s here now, they’re writing more for him to do more–stuff that’s really fun.Â He’s kind of the cad, and theÂ [comedic relief]Â and I’m having a really good time with it.”
Elliott was asked to do Warren after working with directorÂ Michael Scott on Kiss at Pine Lake. “It was the first time I’d played a corporate suit character,” he recalls. “A year later, he called and asked me to come play a similar character. I came down and shot it and it got picked up. I was only supposed to d a few episodes and I’m still here. The audience’s response to him has been really touching and profound and it’s a testament to them. Audiences love to hate him or love him. He adds a little characterÂ and color to the show. Playing the bad guy has always been fun and I try to find some nuances of charm and likability. I’m having a really great time with him. He’s probably one of my favorite characters that I’ve played.”
The series shoots near Vancouver, and Elliott says that definitely helps with the familialÂ vibe of the show. “That available stimulus is very supportive of our chemistry. We’re friendly and are friends and get along great,” he says. “It does feel like a family. We enjoy ourselves and that radiates in the episodes. It’s very fresh and we have fun and we all respect each other and enjoy each other’s work. I think the small town [aspect] makes us feel like we’re doing something simple and differentÂ and we don’tÂ have that big city feel.”
Cedar Cove fills a niche that’s currently pretty small on television and Elliott hears that from fans. He recently met a coupleÂ at the airport who stopped him to say hello and take pictures, andÂ the womanÂ told him it’s one of the only shows she watches where they finish an episode and feel better. “I think that’s how we’ve connected with the audience. When you leave, you feel good,” he says. “We wanted to do something different that’s not on TV that has a bit of edge and that’s something we take pride in.”
During the last hiatus, Elliott did a guest spot on The Crazy Ones for CBS, “I had worked on the pilot, and the execs enjoyed my work and it came back around I was on set for a day and worked withÂ Sarah Michelle Gellar,Â who’s a doll, and I met Robin Williams, who’s a legend, and had a great time,” he says.
He’s disappointed for them that the series wasn’t picked up, but understands it’s the nature of the business. He credits Hallmark with giving Cedar Cove a chance to finds its legs. “We’re kind protected because Hallmark gave us time to find our voice,” he says. “This year, we found what we wanted to do and I think this season is going to be fantastic.Â There areÂ also some really brilliant people coming on and doing some really nice stuff. Bill Abbott, Michelle Vicary, and Randy Pope [at Hallmark]…I’ll work with them til I’m in the box. They’re the most brilliant minds and they’re really, really supportive of collaboration and whatever we need to be successful.”
Elliott is happy to have found a longterm role. “I love telling stories and getting a chance to act. It’s an honor. We all feel like we’re living a dream and we should be appreciative of it,” he says of his Cedar Cove family. “I prefer to have a regular series job or a major recurring job, or a movie that lasts a few months to really dig into a character. When you guest star, you don’t get a lot of time and that’s the culture of the business, and here, we get to collaborate [and build the character].”
Next up for Elliott is heading home for the arrival of his second child, and waiting for word on a couple of potential hiatus gigs.
He just wrapped a small role in the next Night at the Museum film,but he wasÂ on lockdown about the specifics. “I had worked with [director] Shawn Levy several years ago and he thought of me for the role,” he says. “All I’ll say is my character is an immense reason the story lines in the three films have taken place.”
Elliott is new to social media and enjoys the real-timeÂ interaction with the fans. “The Twitter followers are out of control and I love it.,” he says. “This is the first time I’ve been able to interact [with fans while working on a project].Â I picked it up last season and Tweeted live and now it’s just exploded. Social media is the way of the business. I really enjoy it.”
He will live Tweet tonight’s episode with the rest of the cast, and intends to live Tweet the whole season. Cedar Cove premiered its second season Saturday, July 19thÂ at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel.
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