So who remembered to tune in to the show on Saturday night this week? If you were confused on Thursday night when you flipped over to CBS after “30 Rock” to find something other than “Harper’s Island,” then you must not have gotten the briefing about the network’s decision to give up on the series on Thursday nights and movie it into one of their Saturday night death slots. It’s not exactly as optimistic a move as the official CBS press release on the matter would have you believe, but as this week’s victim observes, it’s at least going to prove to be an interesting experiment, particularly if the show’s DVR / TiVo ratings stay strong nonetheless.
Speaking of that victim, let’s check in with the poor soul and see how they feel about the way they met their demise, which was, in its own way, as surprising as anything we’ve seen thus far on the series.
Bullz-Eye: Hey, Sean!
Sean Rogerson: Will!
BE: How’s it going?
SR: (Laughs) Good, buddy! How are you?
BE: I’m good, thanks! Well, you didn’t make it to the end of the series, but you did, at least, get to go fishing.
SR: I know, right? And a man loves his fishing…
BE: Well, sure. So how was it to film on the open water like that? Or, actually, how far out did you film those scenes?
SR: You know what? We did a couple of different stages. Most of the stuff where we were discovering the body and everything like that was right off a big dock or a platform. I love watching the show and remembering all of that, because there was a big group of people in front of us, and we’re barely even in the water! But we did get to go take it for a spin.
BE: Excellent. Who ended up taking Muffin home?
SR: (Laughs) You know, I heard she stuck around for quite awhile, but…it was definitely Sully. Are you kidding me? I think he might’ve gone back and gotten her after she floated around for awhile.
BE: So how weird was it filming the bachelor party’s strip-club scene? Because I have to figure that, even though you weren’t actually in it, you surely must’ve been around the set…
SR: Well, you know, thanks for that question, because I was a little upset that I wasn’t at least scheduled to be on set! I tried to talk to Dan (Shotz) and Karim (Zreik, executive producers of “Harper’s Island”) about that, but it didn’t work out. But I heard it was a blast. I also heard that the young lady was a little bit nervous, but she seemed to do a pretty good job.
BE: You can’t tell it from her performance.
SR: (Laughs) That’s right.
BE: Booth might’ve been the most surprising death since Uncle Marty in the first episode, since Booth was barely even explored as a character until this episode, and then he was gone.
SR: Yeah, I think it might’ve been one of those things where they were playing along with people, leaving them in the background, making them the suspicious characters in the back who lay low, and you never know what’s going to happen. It was kind of surprising either way. I was listening to what everyone else was saying, and I knew everybody would be surprised either way, so…
BE: Did you know this was going to be your final episode prior to getting the script, or were you just reading along when you hit the words, “Booth draws the short straw,” and went, “Well, hell”?
SR: (Laughs) I found out…we had just done the scene where Sully runs by, where he’s covered with feathers. It was the third episode, I think. We were all in our robes, and honest to God, I’m laying back there, just having the best damned time. I’m sitting there with Richard Burgi, the guy’s the funniest dude ever, and we’re just having a blast. It’s late at night, and so we all get walked back to transport, and we’re on our way, and I kind of hang back a little bit, just taking it all in. Karim walks by, gives me a little tap, and says, “Hey, buddy, can you, uh, come talk to me for a second?” “Sure, bro, what’s up?” We walk around the corner, and as soon as he turned around, my response was just, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” But there it was. “I’m sorry, buddy, but this is it.” (Laughs) So it went from the greatest couple of moments of my life, just hanging out, to getting a little bit of harsh realization. But, you know, I couldn’t have asked for a better few months.
BE: That’s funny that you mention Richard Burgi. Just about everyone I’ve spoken with thus far has made a point of saying just how awesome he is.
SR: Oh, my GOD! He is the coolest dude on the planet. I’m serious. I mean, that guy’s got stories, and it’s never a dull moment. Ever. Ever, ever. I don’t care what you’re doing, man. You could be just hanging out, having a coffee with the guy, and he’ll just be doing something hilarious. Everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. He’s great.
BE: So here’s the traditional question I ask everyone: how did you find your way to the show in the first place? Was it just a standard audition?
SR: You know, mine was kind of a process. I did the first audition, and it was great. Karim was the guy in the room, and right away, he said one of those things where you hear a director or a producer say something that you think will never come to fruition. I did the audition, and Karim was, like, “Yes! That’s great! You’re our guy! Thank God!” And I was, like, “Um, alright, thanks,” and I kind of backed out of the room, thinking, “Oh, great. I’m not getting this part. No way.” But then I saw him on set, and he said, “I told you!” So that was the basis our relationship started on. But then after CBS did its thing and there was the possibility of a lot of people being recast, and we had to go through another audition process, so they could be sure that they’d found the right people. So it was about a two-month go-round, with a few auditions here and there. But it just happened to come my way.
BE: You had one of the more unexpected manners of death, too. What did you think when you found out that you were going to be a victim not of the killer but simply of your own clumsiness?
SR: (Sighs) Oh, man. I was so bummed. SO bummed. And, y’know, Karim tried to tell me in such a way where it was, like, “Oh, it’s gonna be so heartfelt, because you’re going to go into the woods and…” Actually, he told me a different thing right off the bat. He said, “You’re gonna go into the woods, you’re going to go bury the money, and you’ve got this gun, but then you’re going to trip and fall and you’re gonna shoot yourself.” And there was just silence on the phone call before I went, “WHAT?” But he said, “No, no, it’s gonna be great!” “Really?” (Laughs) “Because I don’t want to tell anybody about this!” But as the writing evolved, when I got the script, I found out that it turned out to be a lot more heartfelt, I suppose, and a lot more innocently accidental, and not stupidly accidental. I just didn’t want to be a total idiot. That’s all I was thinking in my head: “Do I really have to be a huge idiot and trip, fall, and shoot myself?” But this, I thought, was a little bit better, a little more heartwarming, I guess.
BE: How hard was it to play dead with Chris (Gauthier) hanging over you?
SR: You know, it wasn’t, because Chris and I had felt such a bond, especially over this episode, and just kind of getting to know each other through the show. We were just so there for each other as far as the scene and the moment. He was upset about me having to leave the show, anyway, and it was kind of breaking up that groomsmen bond we’d started to have. And it was just getting going during this episode, y’know? I think a bunch of guys are always really interesting on TV, especially with all these antics. It was just starting to get to the good stuff! But it wasn’t hard. Everyone, the crew, was so awesome and so there for the scene, so it was easy.
BE: So are you throwing “Harper’s Island” parties every week, like some of the other actors I’ve talked with?
SR: (Laughs) You know, I think this next week, a few of us have been working and just doing our thing and getting back on track here. I just go tback from L.A. for the past couple of months; I’m back in Vancouver now. But Malcom…Chris Gauthier…and I are going to get together. I’m going to get together with his family to watch the next one, so it’ll be my first get-together up here back in Canada with people.
BE: Now, be honest: what was your first thought when you heard the show was being moved to Saturday nights?
SR: I was floored. I heard from one of the cast members, and I had no idea what it meant. I just thought, y’know, that they didn’t get it a big enough chance, and what are they doing? It’s just about to start…see, I thought the fourth episode really signified a big change in the show, because a friend is hiding something, and you start to wonder, “If a friend can do this, then who knows? It could be anybody.” I just felt like they didn’t give the audience enough of a chance to enjoy it. But then I got informed about the PVR ratings, and I know that every one of my friends out here is PVRing the show and watching it later, and it just kind of made sense. It’s, like, if people aren’t staying up for it and they want the viewers, then Saturday might be a bigger bet. And I had a ton of people calling me on Saturday, saying they were watching it at the time that the show was on, rather than just PVRing it. So I think it could be a smart move on CBS’s part for the ratings.
BE: I’m not saying I’m thrilled that it got moved to Saturdays, but it does seem like it could be a potentially interesting experiment.
SR: Absolutely. I don’t see how it can’t be an interesting experiment, for sure, but I think the diehard fans, which I thought would always be there for a mystery show or a horror show, whatever they consider it, they’ll follow it forever, wherever they put it. As long as CBS doesn’t cancel it or something like that, these guys will follow it wherever it’s going to go. And all of us, the cast and the fans, are doing our part to tell people where it’s moved to, so I think we might even find new fans!
BE: Just a couple more quick ones for you…
BE: What did you think when you saw the supernatural element start to kick in?
SR: Okay, here’s something I’ve got to tell you: I have no idea what’s going on with that. None. I’ve been informed throughout the process of the filming of the show of some of the stuff that’s going on, but that’s one of the things that I have no idea about, and I’m just wondering what the heck is going on like you are. I have no idea what’s going to happen.
BE: This might get the same approximate response, but…do you think that Booth’s death is going to be the one where they finally start to say, “Maybe we should cancel this wedding”?
SR: (Laughs) You know, it’s…my death is definitely one of the ones where it’s gonna be noticed. It will be noticed, although coming up in the next couple of episodes, there isn’t going to be a chance to worry about one person anymore. It’s gonna start piling up. So while I’d like to say that Booth could be a big reason why this thing isn’t going to happen, and he may be for a short amount of time, but the body count’s gonna start piling up real quick real soon.