Armed and Ridiculous! CBC InSecurity actors at the VO
InSecurity is one of CBC’s hottest new shows and I had the great fortune of talking with two of the talented and hilarious actors, Vancouver Island’s Natalie Lisinska (as Alex Cranston) and Vancouver’s Richard Yearwood (as Benjamin N’udu).
WD: Can you tell us a little about the show?
NL: InSecurity is a parody of the spy genre and the existing archetype of the American hour long procedural drama: Law & Order, Alias, 24. I feel like it sort of steals its tone a bit from Get Smart and Naked Gun and even Airplane in a way.
RY: I agree. It makes fun of those serious shows. Just on last week’s episode someone came up to me and said they were so glad we did the bonk on the head thing and that it didn’t work. Because every time someone hits you on the head with a gun or punches you in the face, down they go and then they move on.
NL: Yah, I feel like there’s an archetype in spy shows where there’s this one move where you come up to somebody and you karate chop them on a really obscure, vague area of the neck.
It causes them to drop to the ground for just the right amount of time you need to escape.
RY: It’s just silly.
NL: For example, Jack Bower (24). How much can happen to Jack Bower and the dude is still going (laughs).
We have this great fight scene where Richard’s character has gone rogue and my character starts to figure out what’s going on. He comes after me with a pipe, the butt of a gun, he head butts me, and I just won’t go down and my hair’s flying all over the place like a Pantene ProV commercial.
WD: Can you talk a little about your characters?
NL: Alex Cranston is my character and she’s the team leader. She’s the Charlie’s Angels of the group, or that sort of how she sees herself when really she’s more of the Liz Lemon type: she’s just trying to get the team to do what they’re supposed to do. They’ve all got inflated egos which causes them to take on more than they should and therefore drop the balls.
She spends a lot of her time catching the balls and trying to corral them into saving the day, which they always do. It’s just how we all get there in the end.
RY: My character’s name is Benjamin N’udu. I come from Ligeria, not Nigeria, because it doesn’t exist so I could make up any accent that I wanted.
NL: Richard is a fantastic actor but there were days where he would forget that he had an accent and we would do a scene and we’d all be so connected and the pacing would be flying and everybody would be hitting the comedic beat and then they’d call cut and then realize that Richard had done the entire in his own voice. It was like, “where did N’udu go?” (laughs) “N’udu’s from Brooklyn?”
RY: (laughs) Exactly, that’s what they called me. “Brooklyn N’udu is in the house.”
So N’udu left Ligeria because it was a terrible and nasty place. He was a top spy and “the man” and everything that he did was by the book, which meant that by any means of force you got the job done. No guns, but a knife or anything else is ok, preferably a knife.
When he escaped Ligeria and moved to Canada he realizes that things aren’t done the way that they’re done in Ligeria: Canada has rules. He doesn’t agree with them so they’re always pulling him back saying, “no, no, no put the knife down!”
NL: …you don’t need to kill anybody on this mission N’udu (laughs).
RY: …are you sure you don’t need to kill anybody because I feel like killing somebody.
My character is loveable, loves old women, loves reading, . He has a sweet soft side that comes out in the weirdest things: he loves the Queen for some reason, perhaps because of her uni-bosom. He’s the really bad guy on the team, but he is nice.
WD: What ‘s the best part about playing these characters?