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October 22, 2014

Natalie Lisinska on 'InSecurity' and Revamping the Genre

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Jan 4th 2011 12:02PM
Ever notice that procedural dramas like 'CSI' can be, well, kinda goofy at times? The producers of the CBC show 'InSecurity' certainly did, and figured it was time to parody the hugely popular genre. The new half-hour action/comedy series follows a team of incompetent national security agents who somehow manage to gather intelligence and bust up bad guys in spite of their total lack of skills.

'InSecurity' is set in Ottawa, but was filmed in Regina. It stars Natalie Lisinska ('Young People F---ing', 'Chloe') as team leader Alex Cranston, William Devry ('The Bold and the Beautiful') as Alex's hunky boss Peter and Grace Lynn Kung ('Being Erica') as the cold-as-ice forensics specialist JoJo. Rémy Girard, Matthew MacFadzean and Richard Yearwood round out the rest of Alex's incompetent team.

TV Squad caught up with Lisinska to get debriefed on everything from how her high-jumping background (she was a B.C. provincial high jump champion) helps her kick ass to what we can expect from Alex's love life on the show.

What drew you to 'InSecurity'?
Natalie Lisinska: I got the part the usual way -- I auditioned for it. It was one of those things where the script comes along and it's like, "OK, I've gotta book this one." The writing is fantastic and I really instinctually got the comedy. I find you either get it or you don't, and I definitely got it with this one.

I've been involved with this project now for about three years. It started out when we shot a pilot called 'The B Team.' The concept was more like 'The Office' meets '24.' We were the B Team, as the title suggests, and were watching the A Team go out to save the day while we stayed back at the office like a bunch of losers. CBC decided they wanted to rejig it a bit. Given a second shot, the producers realized it was much more interesting if we were the A Team that was out in the field.

How do you think it's different from anything else on Canadian television right now?
NL: It's faster-paced, sexier and a bit more irreverent. I think there's a certain amount of naivety in a lot of Canadian television at the moment and we have a bit of a twinkle in our eye, which sets us apart.

Who do you think the show will really resonate with?
NL: The thing that's so great about the material is we're parodying this genre that seems to be appealing across the board: The one-hour procedural drama. The industry is just saturated in it. I had personally never made it through to the end of a 'CSI' until I started doing this show. Then I started watching it and realized the stuff is hilarious. 'InSecurity' is something that families are going to be able to sit down and enjoy. At the same time, it's not going to feel like it has didactic undertones, like, "Let's sit down and watch the television, kids, and learn about life."

I understand that you're a high-jump master. Does that help you in the scenes where you're taking down bad guys?
NL: Well, I don't high jump anymore -- I did it when I was a teenager. But having a bit of natural athleticism definitely helps. We didn't realize how much action there was going to be in the show -- there were fight scenes and stunts every single episode. I did four years of combat training in theatre school and I've done a bit of mixed martial arts, but I was thankful to have a bit of natural coordination. [Laughs] Well, natural coordination is saying a lot for me -- I'm covered in bruises.

I've noticed that your wardrobe is pretty awesome.
NL: It's soooo awesome!

What's it like getting dressed for the show?
NL: I actually got to go shopping with the executive producer and we went to John Fluevog and Holt Renfrew. The day we went to Fluevog, they literally locked me in the store and told me to choose a pair of boots -- which is every girl's dream. So I did. I wore some pretty high heels throughout the whole thing -- Grace and I both did -- and we were always finding ourselves sprinting down sidewalks doing fight scenes in high heels. The Fluevogs were by far the most comfortable. The thing that's hilarious about the wardrobe is Alex dresses like an action hero. She's in tights and boots. Like, literally. She just needs a cape and a leotard and she's set.

I'm getting the impression that Alex is the only competent team member...
NL: That's not saying a lot. She does seem to have a level of competence that's higher than the others, but she does drop the ball often. There's an episode where she gets rip-roarin' drunk and loses really important documents. That's one of the things that I like about her -- at the end of the day, she's just a girl who wants to go out and have a good time. She's the kind of girl who probably did way too much drinking in university as opposed to studying.

Will we be seeing any love interests for her?
NL: Um, like every single episode. [Laughs] She uses her feminine wiles. But I definitely think there is chemistry between her and the Peter character.

So there's going to be some ongoing tension there?
NL: Yeah. Because he's an idiot. But she's attracted to him. It's like, "Why are you sexy?"

What was it like filming in Regina?
NL: Regina was absolutely amazing. The crew was incredible. Everybody really brought their A-game. It was really inspiring.

What else can we expect from the show?
NL: Well, the show doesn't pull any punches. No nation is safe. Everyone is an enemy, potentially. And there are a couple of near-death encounters throughout the season. There's a great cliffhanger.

'InSecurity' debuts on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 8:30PM ET/PT on CBC.

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