Jerry O’Connell is revelling in his Jerry O’Connell-ness. A couple of weeks ago, the actor shared a now-viral video of him in the car singing along with the Prince song When Doves Cry as his daughters covered their eyes, begging him to stop.
He would not.
“Turn it down!” one girl cries, but he just answers, “This is real music — listen!”
The caption on the video: Teach your children.
O’Connell’s personality also shone through on his syndicated talk show Jerry O, a mix of celebrity interviews and comedy segments that aired as a three-week preview this past summer.
Now, he’s starring in the second season of the crime dramedy Carter, airing Fridays on CTV Drama Channel. (Season 1 is now streaming on Crave.) He plays Harley Carter, an actor on a cop show who becomes an actual private investigator in Northern Ontario. In real life, O’Connell has appeared on police procedurals including Crossing Jordan, Without a Trace and Las Vegas.
The man clearly has a sense of humour about himself.
“This is a terrible thing to say about myself, but I’ve done a lot of procedurals in Los Angeles and I was kind of a cheesy procedural actor,” he says.
“Then I read this comedy about a guy who’s a cheesy procedural actor, and he moves to this small town and tells the cops how a cheesy procedural actor would solve crimes. It really made me laugh. Also, I didn’t have to do any research because I knew exactly who the guy was.”
“The second season has been a lot of fun to because we can really goof around now, because we’re not worried about getting picked up.”
Filming in North Bay, Ont., the show also stars Sydney Poitier Heartsong as a police officer and Harley’s childhood friend, and Kristian Bruun as a streetwise truck stop owner. Lyriq Bent (The Affair, She’s Gotta Have It) joined the series this season as an interim police chief.
“The second season has been a lot of fun to because we can really goof around now, because we’re not worried about getting picked up,” says O’Connell, who earned a CSA nomination for his role. “For example, I go undercover as Colin Mochrie and get all the prosthetics done. My character tackles it like Christian Bale would.”
In reality, O’Connell maintains he could never be a detective — not even with the highest level of Christian Bale determination.
“I would be terrible. I know we goof around on our show, and I play a joke TV detective, but I hold all of our law enforcement in such high regard,” he says. “I couldn’t do it. It’s too much stress. But it’s fun doing ride-alongs for this show, sitting in the back of a police car and seeing how it’s really done.”
As Carter chugs through this season’s 10 new episodes, fans might be wondering if O’Connell’s wife, Rebecca Romijn, will return to guest-star on the show after appearing in the season 1 finale.
“I can’t talk about guest stars, but here’s the good news: I don’t have to go through Rebecca’s agent if I want her to do another guest-star spot,” says O’Connell.
“My wife and I just have so much fun working with each other. We run a lot of lines with each other, since we’re both actors. And while we fight in every other aspect of our lives — be it raising children or spending money — when it comes to being on set with each other, that’s the one place we don’t fight. She really makes me laugh.”
Carter airs Fridays on CTV Drama Channel