picked a fine time to visit the east coast: The Canadian actor arrived
shortly before Hurricane Sandy devastated the Atlantic seaboard in
late October, and was still drying off when we spoke to him. Howland
co-stars as Trick on the SyFy TV network show, Lost Girl, a
supernatural crime drama about a Faethe Middle English word
for fairywho is trying to fit in a world of humans. At 4 foot
7, Howland who has osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bones) has tried,
mostly successfully, to fit into the acting world without getting
crushed. ABILITYs Chet Cooper caught up with him recently.
Chet Cooper: Were you affected by Sandy?
Rick Howland: We got quite a bit of rain. Nothing really bad happened
here, though; no major portions of the city knocked out or anything.
Cooper: Nothing really bad happeneduntil this phone call.
Howland: (laughs) Yeah!
Cooper: Where do you film Lost Girl?
Howland: In Toronto, on the west end of town.
Cooper: Does most of the cast members fly in, or are most of them
Canadian, as well?
Howland: The majority of us are Canadian and live and work in Toronto.
Anna Silk, who plays Bo, the lead character, and one of the other
actresses were [living] in LA before the series. Anna flies up and
stays for the year while were in production, and then goes back
after were done.
Cooper: A lot of productions shoot in Canada because its often
less expensive with the currency exchange rate.
Howland: Yes. Canada also gives tax credits within certain provinces.
Cooper: Tell me a about your character on the show.
Howland: Trick is 2,000-year-old bartender. He runs the Dal Riata,
which is a bar but also a way station. All Fae who come into that
part of the world have to check in with him, whether theyre
Light Fae or Dark Faemeaning good or bad. Its a way of
keeping track of everybody. Also, Dal is neutral ground, so when theyre
in the bar they cant fight. They have to get along. In season
2, we find out that Trick is Bos grandfather.
Trick used to be the Blood King a long time ago, and he still is a
Blood Fae, which means that what he writes in his own blood becomes
true, so he can manipulate the future. But theres always a karmic
kickback. At the end of season 1one, he uses his blood to change the
future and help Bo, and it inadvertently awakens the Garuda, an even
more evil presence than any Dark Fae weve ever come across,
so we end up having a battle at the end of the second season.
Cooper: I saw some images of you on the show, and you dont look
a day over 1,500.
Howland: (laughs) Thank you! Im aging well. I guess its
the Blood Fae part of it.
Cooper: Was the show adapted from a book?
Howland: No. Apparently the stunt guys had an idea for a show that
was based on a succubus. [In medieval folklore, a succubus is a female
demon who appears in dreams, and takes the form of a woman who seduces
men, usually through sex.] Their idea was Lost Girl, but darker
and even more sexy. I think they approached Jay Firestone, the main
producer, with the idea, and he got Michelle Lovretta, the lead writer
for the first season, and she put the thing to a fine point, bringing
Lost Girl to life.
Cooper: And she wrote it in blood and changed the future.
Howland: (laughs) Somebody did.
Cooper: Now that theyve revealed that your character is related
to the lead, does that secure your role for a few seasons?
Howland: I think so. The shows going to go on forever, I hope.
Im really enjoying it. It allows me to do a lot of different
things, so I dont get bored. Weve done three seasons so
far. Season three comes out in January. Theyre promoting it
on Showcase.ca. For season 2 we did a pre-show, and were doing
that again for season 3. Soon well hear back about whether therell
be a season 4four. I have high hopes.
Cooper: When you did the last Showcase, what question did fans
Howland: I often get asked, Who do I love working with the most?
The truth is I love working with everybody. I enjoy all my scenes
with all the other actors, because they all have different elements.
With the girls, I get to be a protector and father figure. While with
Kris Holden-Ried, who plays Dyson, I get to have these kinds of warrior/soldier-after-the-battle
drinks in my lair, and plan what to do next.
Cooper: What I heard you say is that you dont like working
with anyone, and none of the scenes are all that interesting.
Howland: Hey Chet, dont turn this around on me; Ive got
to come out sounding like a nice guy! (laughs)
Cooper: Do you play Trick as a moderate guy or do you play him
as a fellow whos holding back a temper?
Howland: Hes not mean, but you dont want to upset him.
At the same time, if you need help, hes going to be there for
you. Hes a very open, considerate person. Somebody whos
been around for 2,000 years either shuts down and knows no one, or
learns to accept people for who they are. I think Tricks done
Bo, the main character played by Anna Silk, always comes to Trick
for information about the Fae world and to get advice. Hes a
father figure, and an encyclopedia. At one point the character Kenzi
calls Trick Trickopedia, because he has all the information.
Cooper: (laughs) Does Trickopedia have a wife?
Howland: He was married a long, long, long time ago, and his wife
was a warrior who died in battle. You see a bit of her in episodes
13 and 22, where the Garuda has gotten hold of me and takes me through
these flashbacks, trying to convince me that the choices I made back
then werent the right ones. He shows Trick to himself, now and
then, with his wife. We had a daughter and then our daughter gave
birth to Bo, who gets raised by humans, discovers that shes
not human and starts trying to figure things out, which is how the
Cooper: Is your daughter, Bos mother, alive?
Howland: Yup. And you come across her eventually. Shes played
beautifully by Inga Cadranel. Shes in episode 13 also, which
is one of my favorites. In it I end up having to buy this drug to
see into the future, and I go to this drug dealer who has lost her
vision, and it turns out that she and my character were lovers a long
time ago, which she mentions.
Cooper: So she was your blind date?
Howland: Thats a pretty bad. But she wasnt blind when
he first met her. I think she went blind later. Shes also a
truth-seer; she knows when people are lying. She can flick her long
fingernails and make [people] tell her the truth. Its a cool
trait; shed be a great person to have around.
Cooper: Whats your acting background?
Howland: I started acting in high school because I needed an art credit,
and I was terrible at drawing. My very first class, I was bitten.
And then I just started doing shows in school and went on to a university
for a year, and then to another university for another year, and then
I just went out and started acting.
Being short and having a disability, its been a battle to break
down barriers, but Ive found directors, writers and producers
who like casting outside the box. I get roles that are anybody kind
of roles that are written with depth, and theyre also for people
who look different. Thats great.
When I was very young, I spent a lot of time in and out of plaster
casts. I have osteogenesis imperfectabrittle bonesover
80 broken bones since I was born. Ive also had surgery a bunch
of times. So I spent a lot of time watching television and I thought
to myself at some point, IIf I want to make a difference in
this world, if I want to not feel like Im so different when
Im in a wheelchair or on my crutches, Ive got to get used
to people staring and pointing or making a comment to the person next
to them. Its hard to be pointed out like that, but then
on TV you see these people who are getting pointed out, and its
out of respect, because theyve got this body of work. So I decided
at some pointand Im not sure whenthat that would
be what I needed to do in order to make it maybe slightly better for
the next little kid who comes along and looks different.
Cooper: And Im trying not to make a joke about body
Howland: You should write down your jokes and try stand-up
Cooper: I joke a lotand some of it is funny. But you have
to be a good actor to make it in stand-up, and Im not an actor.
Every comedian in the club has great jokes, and it sounds like they
ad lib, but thats an act. Thats why you see so many TV
shows coming out of the stand-up arena.
Cooper: I used to publish a magazine that dealt with humor.
Howland: Mad magazine?
Cooper: National Lampoon.
Howland: I was close.
Cooper: I had a lot of writers around me, and Id go to open
mic with them, and theyd have great material, but they couldnt
make it work onstage. Ive talked to Robin Williams several times,
and when hes......
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from the Kurt
Howland His Lost Girl Fantasy
China Art Exchange and Mao Yu-yan
Sessions The 38-Year-Old Virgin
Kurt Yaeger Son of Anarchy
Croizon Quadruple Amputee Swims Four Straits
in the Kurt Yaeger Issue; Ashley Fiolek Off Season, But Still
Racing Around; Geri Jewell Lets Vote for Each Other;
Humor A Day in a Life; Philippe Croizon Quadruple Amputee
Swims Four Straits; Paul Pelland 2 MS, Eat My Dust!; Rick Howland
His Lost Girl Fantasy; Solo-Dx Silence Never Sounded
So Good; The Sessions The 38-Year-Old Virgin; Kurt Yaeger
Son of Anarchy; China Press Art of the Exchange;
Chinese Lessions Shes 86, Teaching From the Heart; DRLC
Enforcing the ADAs; ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and