The new Showcase series Copper has already sparked quite a bit of buzz ahead of its premiere, and earlier this week we had a chance to chat with one of the show’s stars, Kyle Schmid, about his role in the project. You might recognize Schmid from Blood Ties and the U.S. version of Being Human, two supernatural shows with very hard-core followings. He goes decidedly old school with Copper, which is set in New York City in the aftermath of the American Civil War when the city was a melting pot of immigrants, freed slaves, and the moneyed upper class—a hotbed of the poor, the criminal, and the wealthy.
Schmid’s character is Robert Morehouse, an uber-rich war veteran sleeping and drinking his way through upper crust society. In spite of that, or maybe because of it—we don’t know yet—he’s closely aligned to the lead character, NYPD detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), an Irish-American immigrant who’s also the fellow former soldier responsible for severing one of Morehouse’s legs when he was wounded on the battlefield.
It’s unclear from the pilot whether Morehouse is to be entirely trusted and Schmid says that’s part of the plan. “He’s ambiguous,” he offers. “He’s a character with money and access who can do what he wants and we don’t know everything there is to know about him yet.” Schmid plays the role with more than a hint of a twinkle that Morehouse is up to something and says the character’s arc will be “all over the place” during the first season.
Schmid got the part after initially auditioning for Corcoran. When that didn’t go his way, he read for Morehouse, which was actually the role he was originally drawn to in the script. He thought the audition went well, and when he was called to New York for what he believed to be a screen test, he discovered in the room with several producers, network representatives, the casting agent, and two of his costars that he already had the job. “I lost it and started jumping up and down,” he says.
To prepare for the role, Schmid, who is Canadian, immersed himself in the history of the late 19th century to get a better sense of the time and place. And he credits show creator Tom Fontana with being a wealth of information and a walking encyclopedia about the era.
Copper wrapped production on its first season in Toronto in mid-May, and Schmid returned to Montreal to work on episodes for Being Human’s third season. This month, he’s been on the post-production and press train, and represented Copper at the Television Critics Association press event in Los Angeles. Last week, the cast and crew premiered the pilot episode at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Schmid says it was a treat to see and share the show with everyone who has put their blood, sweat, and tears into making the show a reality.
Since many fans will know Schmid from his supernatural roles, we asked him whether playing someone human in a period piece required any sort of different preparation, and he said not really. “The goal as an actor is still the same,” he points out. “To find the history of the character and create a back story. The genre itself doesn’t play into that.”
We’re certainly looking forward to watching him breathe life into Morehouse this season in Copper.
Photo Courtesy of Showcase