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April 24, 2014

Brandon Jay McLaren Talks 'Being Erica' and 'Tron: Legacy'

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Sep 20th 2010 1:01PM
Get ready to see a lot more of Brandon Jay McLaren. The incredibly-busy Vancouver-born actor is best known for his roles on 'Harper's Island' and 'The Best Years,' and now he's popping up everywhere from 'Being Erica' to 'Tron:Legacy' to two new TV series from SyFy and AMC.

He's also in the critically-acclaimed horror/comedy 'Tucker and Dale vs Evil,' which is set to come out this winter. As if that's not enough, he's also trying his hand at producing with a short film called 'Two Knots.'

You'll get a hearty dose of McLaren throughout Season 3 of 'Being Erica.' He plays Lenin, the free spirit love interest of Erica's uptight sister Samantha (Joanna Douglas). TV Squad caught up with him to get the scoop on Season 3, and to chat about the zillion projects he has on the go. He tells us about everything from what it was like working with Jeff Bridges in 'Tron: Legacy' to why he's dying to work with Liev Schrieber.

I know you're insanely busy. What's your secret? Do you drink a ton of Red Bull?
[Laughing.] Noooo. I don't even know what the secret is. I wish I could bottle it because then I could drink it all the time.

And sell it!
Yeah, exactly.

Can you tell me a bit about your character on 'Being Erica'? Are you a good guy or a bad guy?
I'm definitely a good guy. I'm like a free spirit, I fly by the seat of my pants. And I'm dating a girl who's a surgeon, so she's pretty conservative and planned-out. So I guess I kind of try to loosen her up a little bit.

What can we expect from you in Season 3?
You can expect some making out. A little bit of fighting. A little bit of love. Everything. It's exciting.

I want to know all about 'Tron: Legacy'. How did you land the role?
It was just another audition. When I got the call I was so excited to even have a chance to read for it. I play Sam's best friend in it. I'm this big talker who can't really back it up. It was a really fun role.

What was it like working on 'Tron'?
Amazing. When I met Jeff Bridges at the read-through, I was like "Oh my God, that's Jeff Bridges!" It was good. It was very humbling. And very positive because everybody there was so into what they were doing and so focused on doing a great job. From the grip to Jeff Bridges, everybody was so focused on doing something great.

I understand you're also in 'Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.' How did you get involved with that?
I read the script and thought this is actually kind of amazing. We shot it in Calgary. The cast was great, I knew some of them from before. And the director [Eli Craig] executed the script perfectly. So what could have been a mediocre movie turned out to be an amazing movie. And at Sundance and everywhere it shows people love it. It's really, really funny.

What was it like filming in Calgary?
A lot of thunder while we were there. We were in the woods a lot, there were a lot of mosquitoes. It was fun though.

And you're also going to be in the new SyFy pilot 'Three Inches'?
Yeah, I've been here in Toronto doing prep for that. That came about from a tape I sent out. They liked my tape, so I went out to test. It was a funny but dramatic and also action. It has everything in it. It's a 90-minute pilot. It's just starting right now, but everything is very exciting.

Can you talk a bit about your character?
I play Noah, the main character's best friend. We go way back, and then he gets struck by lightning and starts acting really weird and I don't know why, so I get mad at him. He develops a super power where he can move any object three inches and he doesn't know how to deal with it. So I learn about the power and try to help him out and he joins a team of superheroes and it goes on from there.

Wow. So what kind of good can be accomplished by moving things three inches?
Well, you can open locks on doors. I'm not going to say anything else because I don't want to ruin it!

You're also booked on an AMC show, can you tell me a bit about that?
Yeah, that's called 'The Killing.' It's based on a Danish series that captured the Danish audience for four years. Patty Jenkins, who directed 'Monster,' is the director. It's this amazing story about a female homicide detective who, on her last day on the job, gets this case of this 14-year-old girl who gets murdered. And she becomes obsessed with this particular case. I play the schoolteacher of the girl who gets murdered. It's really good. It tells the story from the parents' point of view, the detective's point of view and the killer's point of view.

So the whole season is focused on solving this one murder?

Yep. And it's AMC. They're so great at producing amazing television. That's extremely exciting. They definitely have a great track record.

Is there anyone out there who you're dying to work with?
I would love to work with Liev Schrieber. So if you know him, call him for me. Thank you.

Why him?
I saw him in 'Glengarry Glen Ross' on Broadway, and it was maybe the best acting performance I've seen in my entire life.

Do you have anything else on the go?
This year I'm producing a short film and starring in it as well, so that's new for me. It's called 'Two Knots.'

When do you sleep?

Never! In between takes.

Season 3 of 'Being Erica' premieres on CBC on Tuesday, September 21 at 9PM ET.

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