Date of publishing: 4th
Robin Dunne's feature film credits include lead roles
in "The Skulls 2"; "The Circle";
"Cruel Intentions II"; "Borderline
Normal"; "Teenage Space Vampires";
"The Big Hit," which was produced by John
Woo and featured an all-star cast including Mark Wahlberg,
Lou Diamond Phillips and Christina Applegate; The
Road Home; and Strike, with Kristen Dunst, Gaby Hoffman
and Lynn Redgrave. Dunne has also starred in the television
movies of the week "Jewel" with Farrah Fawcett;
"A Husband, A Wife And A Lover"; and "Au
Pair II." He has also appeared in "In a
Purple Haze" with Colm Feore and Jonathan Jackson,
and in "A Strange Affair" with Judith Light
and Jay Thomas.
Dunne's television credits include a series lead role
on "Manchester Prep" (which, after being
controversially cancelled by Fox, was reformatted
as the feature "Cruel Intentions II") and
the recurring role of A.J. Moller on "Dawson's
Creek." He also starred in the TV series "Little
Men," "My Life As A Dog," and "Side
Effects." TV guest-starring roles include "The
Hoop Life," "The Mystery Files of Shelby
Woo," "The Adventures of Shirley Holmes,"
"The Adventures of Sinbad," "Ready
or Not, "and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues."
A native of Toronto, Dunne studied at the Etobicoke
School of the Arts where he trained and amassed an
extensive list of stage credits. You can now see Robin
Dunne in the online exclusive show "Sanctuary"
where he plays "Dr. Will Zimmerman", one
of the lead roles of the show.
Nuytens: You play
Dr. Will Zimmerman in Sanctuary, the first full show
exclusively for online broadcast, how did you decided
to take part in this groundbreaking project?
Robin Dunne: Director Martin Wood
and I had done a film (an awful film) together some
years ago and had stayed in touch. He called me and
sent me the script for Sanctuary and I read it and
loved it. I began to research the rapidly closing
gap between the Internet and television and am very
excited to have an opportunity to be on the cutting
edge of that.
Gilles Nuytens: Simmilar
question, do you think this delivery platform is where
televison is heading in the future?
Robin Dunne: Absolutely. Online content
is so much more easily accessible. It allows the audience
to watch what they want when they want, and to be
more actively involved.
Gilles Nuytens: Most
of the show is shot with green screens, was that something
difficult for you to play? Or is that easier to play
a character on a "real" set to put yourself
in the "mood/mind" of the character?
Robin Dunne: Damian Kindler's script
is so rich that it is not at all difficult to know
exactly where we are and what the context is without
the green screen making much of a distraction, also
I have the privilege of working with such fantastic
actors. The green screen gives us a great opportunity
as well, in the sense that we can set each episode
anywhere without worrying (too much) about the logistics
of building sets or traveling to locations.
Gilles Nuytens: The
first episode is now avaiable online, have you already
gotten some feedback? And because it is a show specifically
for the internet, have you found yourself surfing
for comments on the show?
Robin Dunne: I have taken part in
online forums with the fans. It is truly awesome to
be able to talk to people all over the world who are
as excited about the show as we are. Very cool.
in this new show concept, online shows, is that something
you would recommend to other actors?
Robin Dunne: Certainly. There is
a barrier that is removed by being an online show
because everyone has more direct involvement.
Gilles Nuytens: What
was the most interesting and enjoyable aspect of playing
Robin Dunne: Because it is a new
media show, and we are on the cutting edge, we all
feel as though we are part of a cause or movement
and that makes it special. I know it sounds like a
cliche, but it really is like a family environment
we are working in. There's no ego. Everyone just wants
the show to be a success and to have fun. I think
that is the most enjoyable aspect.
Gilles Nuytens: And
what was the most challenging aspect?
Robin Dunne: I think the most challenging
aspect of working on Sanctuary is having a day off
while shooting. We have such a great time making this
show that youâ€™re disappointed when
the weekend comes and you canâ€™t
wait until Monday to go back to work.
Gilles Nuytens: What
parts of you, characteristics, do you bring to Dr.
Robin Dunne: There is a vaulting
curiosity that Will and I share. He has completely
jumped into this world head first, acting on his gut
impulse. I've done that in my life.
Gilles Nuytens: What
was the best gag joke or funny experience during the
shooting of Sanctuary?
Robin Dunne: As I've said, we have
a great time on set. Because we all know each other
so well there is a lot of joking going back and forth.
Nobody is safe from the teasing. I get a hard time
about my acting, Damian gets a hard time about the
script, etc. To be honest, Martin is the ringleader.
I'm really looking forward to many years of Sanctuary.
The one downside will be dealing with Marty and his
bad jokes. Nothing is perfect.
Gilles Nuytens: A
lot of the cast & crew from Sanctuary come from
Stargate, how did you feel entering in this "family"?
Robin Dunne: I had worked in Vancouver
a few times before Sanctuary and had worked with some
of the crew so it was really nice to reconnect with
them. It was a very welcoming environment. The second
I showed up (and the teasing started) I felt right
Nuytens: Would you
consider playing in Stargate Atlantis?
Robin Dunne: I had seen Atlantis
before working on Sanctuary and like the show. It
was a lot of fun working with David Hewlett (on Sanctuary).
I think I'll probably have my hands full with Sanctuary,
but working on Atlantis sure would be fun.
Gilles Nuytens: You
play a psychiatrist, did you do some researches for
the role? How did you prepare for it?
Robin Dunne: I did quite a bit of
studying before I began the project because I wanted
to make sure Will had an authenticity to him. I also
spent a lot of time discussing the character with
Damian. Not only did Damo create the character of
Will, but his father is a psychiatrist. During shooting
I was constantly checking in with Damian to make sure
that my approach to various scenes were accurate and
Gilles Nuytens: We
don't know much about him yet, what could you say
about his personality, his past and his role on the
storyline (if you are authorized to speak about it)?
Robin Dunne: Will is a guy who, because
of the nature of his job, has had to constantly keep
his cool no matter what the situation. I think we
may see him snap at some point.
Gilles Nuytens: Some
people are reluctant to watch a show on their small
computer screens, even if there are ways to connect
the computer to the TV, the technology isn't available
for everybody. What would you say to people to motivate
them to watch the show?
Robin Dunne: We are cusping a wave
of the joining of television and the Internet. What
is great about having a show available online is that
it is much more interactive. Fans are able to participate
in a way that traditional television cannot offer.
I even had doubts myself whether or not online content
would work, but since seeing the enthusiasm that the
show has generated from the fans it's a no-brainer.
Gilles Nuytens: When
did you first know you wanted to be an actor?
Robin Dunne: It is the strangest
thing. I have always wanted to be an actor. I can't
remember not wanting to be in this business. For me
it is the greatest job in the world - especially being
able to work on such a great show, with such great
people as Sanctuary. I consider myself extremely lucky.
Gilles Nuytens: What
motivates you in life and what do you like doing when
you're not acting?
Robin Dunne: I tend to be quite a
workaholic, and this business can be all-consuming
at times. Several years ago (geez, it might even be
ten) I discovered long distance running and I fell
in love with it. It is the perfect zen pastime for
me. It really clears my mind. I've just run the Los
Angeles marathon and I'm gearing up to run Toronto
Nuytens: You are
credited in a movie called "The Dark Room",
can you speak about this movie and the role you play
Robin Dunne: The Dark Room was a
television pilot that got canceled. It is unfortunate,
too, because I felt it had a lot of promise. The story
took place around the greed and secrecy of a very
wealthy political family. I played a young Bill Clinton
type who will do anything it takes to climb the political
ladder. I have a interest in politics so it was quite
a fun project. I also was able to work with my friend,
director Bruce McDonald (Highway 61) which was a blast.
He's a great guy and - much like Marty Wood - a maverick
director. To be an actor and be able to work with
guys like that is an honor.
Gilles Nuytens: Same
question about "Roxy Hunter and the Mystery of
the Moody Ghost" and "Jack and Jill vs.
Robin Dunne: Roxy Hunter is a TV
movie series that I co-created and co-write for Nickleodeon.
The films center on a young girl who has moved to
the country with her mother and is constantly discovering
strange mysteries in the new town she lives in. The
first film will air on Nick in October. Also, you
can look for the books around the same time.
Jack and Jill vs. the World is a film that was written
and directed by my multitalented girlfriend Vanessa
Parise. It stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Taryn Manning.
I helped her produce it and played a small part in
it. It will be released next year.
Gilles Nuytens: You
have also played in an episode of CSI: Miami, was
that an enjoyable experience? How is it to play in
a "blockbuster" series like CSI?
Robin Dunne: I've really liked David
Caruso ever since I saw him in Proof of Life. So I
really lobbied to get on the show. I was a lot of
fun. David is a really nice guy and to work on a show
that has such a huge audience is mind blowing.
Gilles Nuytens: A
few years back, you played in Species 3, can you speak
about your experience on that movie, on the sets?
Robin Dunne: Species was a lot of
fun. It was nice to be able to a part of such a great
Sci Fi franchise. It was also the first time I worked
closely with prosthetics which was a great learning
experience for me.
Gilles Nuytens: Have
you some special interests in sci-fi/fantasy? Or is
that just work and opportunities?
Robin Dunne: I, of course, grew up
obsessed with Star Wars. Those first three films are
in a large way responsible for my interest in the
film industry. And now to be able to work in the genre
is great. Who knows, maybe we'll have the same kind
of success that Star Wars had.
about this interview on the forum